When things don’t go as planned in pregnancy

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This post was supposed to be about the trials and tribulations of creating a baby registry. Then two weeks ago, something unexpected happened.

At 32 and-a-half weeks pregnant, I was still working, exercising and feeling great. Then one night, I started bleeding. A lot. I immediately woke up my husband and we drove to the hospital. We were terrified.

Almost instantly, they hooked me up to a fetal monitor, which measured the baby’s heart rate and movements. As soon as I heard my little one’s heart beating strongly, I was able to calm down a bit even though I was still bleeding.

I was diagnosed with Placenta Previa.

That’s when the placenta is much lower down then it should be and too close to the cervix. If the cervix contracts, the placenta can tear, causing bleeding. The doctor explained that if the bleeding did not stop, I would need an emergency C-section.

My husband and I both started to panic. They gave me a needle to speed up lung development should the baby come early, which only played into our worst fears. The doctor said to just wait and see if the bleeding stopped.

Luckily after a few hours, it did. An ultrasound showed that everything looked good, but I stayed in hospital overnight for observation. The next morning everything was still ok, so I was sent home.

My OB-GYN explained that any movement could potentially cause contractions and therefore more bleeding, so I would have to be on bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy. My scheduled C-section was 6 weeks away and I was supposed to work for 3 more weeks. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my co-workers or students. Both of my baby showers had to be canceled.

I felt sad and disappointed. This was not how things were supposed to go! I’d already gone through a lot to get pregnant, so it felt unfair that I had to deal with this too. Why couldn’t I catch a break?

Since 6 weeks of bed rest was my new reality, I needed some perspective if I was going to make it through without going insane. Did I deserve this? No. But those thoughts did not change the facts. I decided to focus on the positive. My child is healthy and still has more time to develop and grow in utero. I feel ok and am not in any pain. In the grand scheme of my child’s life, 6 weeks of bed rest will be a blip of time. So I have a countdown calendar going and I’m just taking it day by day.

Pregnancy is a mixed bag. You never know how it’s all going to play out.

No matter how many books you read or sessions of pre-natal yoga you attend, things can always go awry. What I took away from my experience is that you have to be prepared to be unprepared. Letting go of control is a hard lesson for a ‘planny’ person like me to deal with, but I have to accept that I have little control over what happens. Kids are unpredictable and as a mom there will be times when I will need to just roll with the punches. So if nothing else, this is good practice for what’s to come.

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