It’s been almost 9 months since I was admitted into the hospital for a threatened miscarriage. I still remember that morning as if it was just yesterday, it was one of the hardest and scariest days of my life. A day, never in my life I imagined would come to pass, but it did.
On October 17th, 2017 my sister took me to the labor & delivery ER at UMC Hospital for bleeding, I was 21 weeks and 6 days pregnant with my first baby. Upon arrival, they notified my OB doctor, who by some miracle, happened to be there doing his morning rounds. He did a pelvic exam and discovered that I was 2 centimeters dilated and had bulging membranes (meaning my cervix was thinning out, and my bags of waters were no longer in my uterus but beginning to come out). The moment he told me what was happening I remember asking, “that’s not good is it?” and Dr. B is the amazing and sweet doctor he is, replied, “no Maria, it’s not. I am so sorry.” From that point, he then handed my case over to the high-risk clinic there at the hospital. I was admitted, put on strict bed rest, and I was instructed to lay flat on my back. They were going to leave me in Trendelenburg’s position until the high-risk doctor could come in and talk to us about our options. As you can imagine I was heartbroken, and to say I was freaking out is an understatement. All I kept thinking was, why me? Why is this happening to me? What did I do that could have caused this?
The only thing that kept me calm was praying, so I did.
I don’t think I have ever prayed so hard and so much in my life until that moment. I prayed that God would watch over Scarlett and keep her safe. I prayed he would take care of me and allow me to do everything I could to help keep Scarlett safe.
When the doctor finally came I remember how sad he looked. And I will never forget that every time I spoke to him he was always so serious and straight forward. He only gave me the facts and what he thought was the truth. He told me that in cases like mine, there were two options. Option 1. Stay on bedrest and hope gravity helps pull the membranes back in and wait to see what happened. This meant that if gravity failed and the membranes continued to come out I would eventually go into labor and Scarlett would have to be delivered. If she came (remember I was 21+6 at this point) she would be too small and underdeveloped and there would be nothing they could do to help her survive. I would lose her. Our second option..not much better. He could perform a rescue cerclage (meaning he would try to sew my cervix closed) and I could stay on bed rest and try to hold her in as long as possible. But of course, with any surgery there were risks, with this one, they were big and scary. If we decided to do the surgery he would try to sew my cervix closed and not puncture the membranes in the process. If that happened I would obviously deliver Scarlett and again I could lose her.
So those were my options. Neither of them guaranteed anything, but hello – it’s life; when is anything ever guaranteed?
I can’t say enough how blessed and thankful I am to have had my sister with me through all of this, she took charge and let everyone who needed to know what was going on and comforted me as best as she could. Soon after, my mom arrived and so did BJ’s parents and the rest of our immediate family. But as happy as I was to see them I remember praying that BJ would get there as soon as he could so he could be with me. I needed him to be with me. I needed him to help me decide what we should do. When he finally arrived, I was in hysterics. I was happy he was finally with me, to share this burden with me, someone who could understand what I was feeling at that time. Not that our family didn’t, but this was our baby. This was the start of our family together and it felt so good to have him there with me.
After a very short and emotional conversation, we decided to go ahead with the surgery. It was our best option and we wanted to give our girl the best chance we could. So I was prepped. Before I went in, I asked our family to surround me. I wanted to see everyone. Seeing them made me feel safe and loved; I needed their love and support now more than ever. I asked my sister to say a prayer and at that moment I realized that no matter what happened, everything was in God’s hands and I just need to give it all to him.
During surgery, I needed to be awake just in case Scarlett was born. They numbed me from my neck down and I remember freaking out so much they had to give me something to help calm me down. The entire time I thought I was floating around the hospital in a lego cube! It’s funny remembering it all now but I was terrified. I am so blessed that God gave me one of the BEST nurses ever that day. Her name is Laura, and she has since become an extended member of my family. She held my hand through it all and talked me through everything. I thank God for placing beautiful people like her in my life. He knew I needed her.
I made it through surgery and by the grace of God, Scarlett was still tucked safely away in my tummy. Little did we know our journey had only just begun, she and I would have many more hurdles to face together.
To be continued…