Thankfully, when i screamed "MO-O-O-O-O-M!!!" at the top of my lungs, she ran downstairs, threw the babies in the car, and drove my hysterical ass to the emergency room. It is a rare thing that, as a 31-year-old married woman, you can scream for your mommy in a dark hour and have her be close enough to come running, particularly when she lives over 2000 miles away most of the time. Dave and Beau were at home at our house, but the babies and i had fallen asleep at my in-laws house (where my mom is staying for the month--in-laws are in Oregon), so she was right upstairs.
Arrived in a hemorrhaging stupor at the ER, where Dave met us and was able to comfort me and allow my distraught but always heroic mom to take the babies home. The doctors, upon seeing the amount of blood, declared that if i had not already miscarried, i was probably in the process, and that it would not be painless, considering the gestational age/size of the babe. They hooked me up to an IV with some Fentanyl (marketed as "Sublimaze" in the 60s--friggin' sublimazing!), which calmed me down, to say the very least.
Enter sonographer. "How are you today?" he asked. I told him i'd "been better", but i was "pretty high." He applied the ultrasound gel to my belly and i closed my eyes, not wanting to see my empty womb. It's funny, as upset i was at the news of this pregnancy only a couple months ago, i realized how incredibly sad i was to lose it. I had just felt the first kicks the day before, and as anyone who has been pregnant knows, you can really start to fall in love early on. Turns out i really wanted this child, and i was truly devastated. I'm crying just writing this.
"Welllll....still there," I heard him say after a pause. I opened my eyes and looked at the screen. And there was a baby. Not just a sedentary little tiny fetus either, a vigorous, kicking, dancing fetus with a strong heartbeat, and a face, and everything! "WHAT!???" Dave and i asked in unison. We were utterly shocked. "How?? I can't even..." "Oh. My. God,"said Dave with an incredulous smile. I just kept blabbering in disbelief, because not only was the baby happily swimming around, my placenta appears to be COMPLETELY ATTACHED and dandy!! WOW.
--"Sooo..." i stammered, "Wait, wait, then maybe it was just a subchorionic hemorrhage and it grew and grew and then i just passed a giant clot and not the fetus? and my placenta looks ok after all????"
--"That's certainly what it looks like," he replied, looking slightly dubious that i just said "subchorionic hemorrhage" when i was crying, mostly naked, bleeding on a sheet, and wasted on what is essentially heroin at 4:30AM.
He continued to look around ultrasonically and inspect the situation. I noted and mentioned out loud that it appeared that the big blood clot that we saw in last ultrasound 10 days ago was all but gone, and he agreed. He said the baby appeared completely healthy and so did everything around it. He couldn't tell the gender yet, but i surmised that it must certainly be female, because boys simply do not pull dramatic bullshit like this.
Very relieved, Dave and i waited for the doctor to return. When she did, she was aghast. "I cannot believe this," she said, sitting next to the bed. "Wow. I was sure...SURE that this baby was gone. I was preparing the nurses, making sure they knew to tell you this wasn't your fault, and to be comforting during something as difficult as this. I have never had someone bleed like this and then have a strong healthy fetus, and i've worked here for 12 years! It's wonderful!"
Sadly, she told us that the very opposite had happened to a woman only two hours beforehand. She was 4 months along and just had a bit of light spotting. The doctor did an ultrasound "just to give her peace of mind", as she was sure it would be nothing, and they saw no heartbeat. The poor woman had a miscarriage right then and there. SO heartbreaking! We always think our lives are such chaos, but someone always has it harder, sometimes right next door. (This observation brought Dave and me to ponder about the Dooce next door neighbors. In her blog, she claims that "the chaos in her house is unreal." She has only two children with a very acceptable age distance between them, a nanny, an assistant, and a wildly successful blog. It was quiet as a tomb the day i was over there, and i was acutely jealous of their peaceful silence. Thus, this morning, in my still very drugged state said, "I'll show you chaos, bitches. Ima throw that blood clot at your fucking window." Now, this is an extremely crass and highly inappropriate thing to say, and these seem like very lovely, funny people with whom i wish to burn no bridges. I would love for our children and dogs to be able to play, and to have gin and tonics together on occasion. But YOU try Fentanyl after a harrowing debacle, and see what flies out of YOUR mouth. Apologies in advance, Heather and Jon.)
"However," the doc continued, "We are not out of the woods yet. That was a LOT of bleeding, and we always have to be very cautious. Although, against all reason, your blood counts are actually HIGHER than they were before, and your hormone counts are fantastic, as is the fetal heart rate. It's really something." But she said i can't mess around--strict bed rest until further notice from my midwife.
So i am feeling, once again, like a very, very lucky, lady. My friend Mary said, "You are the luckiest person ever. That baby has some serious guardian angels. It's uncanny." And my sister (after recovering from her minor heart attack) put it succinctly and perfectly, as she always does: "RACHEL!! WHO is living inside of you????" I'm not sure, but they seem quite insistent upon getting here, and likely rocking pretty seriously hard. I can't wait to be introduced.