I really struggled with what to title this post. There was never supposed to be a "The Details, Part Four" because after Part Three I was planning to begin my weekly pregnancy updates. However, there is a Part Four, and it has taken me a long time to write it. For obvious reasons, it's definitely been more difficult to "relive" this part of the story.
If you missed it, you can find Part One here, Part Two here, and Part Three here.
Okay, so I left off on Part Three with us being over-the-moon excited for B3 to be growing, healthy, and joining our family in July. We did lots of things that I think are normal for excited parents-to-be to do. We talked about how we would arrange the kids' rooms to make room for B3. We discussed a few names that sounded nice. We looked at minivans. And, like I've mentioned a few times before, we finally spread our joyous news. Brianna knew to be careful with Momma's tummy because there was a baby in there, and she was excited to be a big sister again.
For Christmas, we went out of town to see my parents. While we were at their house, Brenson came down with a nasty cough which turned out to be croup. He did not sleep well at all the night of the 24th or 25th, and therefore Momma didn't get much sleep either. Thus began a string of events that led to the whole house being very sick (once again).
We came home from our trip on Wednesday, December 26th (the same day we announced our news in cyberspace) and Brenson was still not doing well. On the morning of Thursday, December 27th, I took him to Dr. F's office and found out he had croup and an ear infection. I thought Brianna was fine, but on the way home from Dr. F's office, she fell asleep in the car. Considering it was only 10:30am, I knew that this was a very bad sign. Sure enough, by about 1:00pm, she was running a fever and throwing up. I spent the whole day trying to care for my two very sick kiddos, and I was feeling progressively worse and worse. By the time Chris got home from work, I was down-and-out as well. I ran a fever of about 100.5 that evening, but felt absolutely exhausted. I remember texting my friend that my body was just so, so tired and worn out. Between not sleeping at night for several days, caring for two sick babies, and being pregnant, it's really no wonder that I was knocked off of my feet so quickly.
Chris stayed home with us on Friday, December 28th. He and I were both worried about me overdoing it. He tried so hard to let me rest while he cared for the kiddos, but it just wasn't always possible. Brianna's fever kept spiking (as high as 103), and although we were no longer vomiting, we were all coughing, congested, and had sore throats. Even Chris was beginning to feel really bad, so our caregiver was quickly needing to be cared for. Saturday brought with it much of the same misery for the whole family. I have thought about these few days several times, and I know that Chris and I both did the best we could do to make sure everyone was being taken care of, including B3. But it wasn't enough. My body was weak, tired, and dragging in a major way.
However, by Sunday morning I was feeling okay. I decided to go to church that morning, even though the rest of the family was still too ill to get out. In hindsight, I should have stayed in and rested more, but I thought I was on the up-and-up. By that evening, I was feeling horrible again and my throat felt like it was on fire. Of course, I was being super careful with the medications I was taking.
Chris and Brenson were doing better by Monday, December 31st, but Brianna and I were both still struggling. When I woke up that morning, I noticed the tiniest little bit of spotting when I used the restroom. And by tiny little bit, I mean I'm not sure how I even noticed it at all it was so little. I did tell Chris about it, but honestly was not concerned at all by it. I didn't have any pain and it was only that one little bit when I used the restroom that morning. However, by that afternoon, the spotting appeared again. It was still just a tiny little bit (and was brownish in color), and I figured that my body was just working so hard and feeling over-extended (which - no doubt - it was) trying to get over whatever illness had plagued me.
That night was another night of little rest as Brianna's fever spiked again. Chris ended up sleeping on the floor of her room and left me the bedroom to myself to try and get some rest. At this point, he was way more concerned than I was and was working harder than ever to make sure I was getting adequate rest.
The next morning (Tuesday, January 1st), I woke up at about 7:00am and used the restroom. When I did, I noticed that there was quite a bit of bright red blood. It wasn't a huge amount, but it was enough to scare me. I was 12 weeks and 6 days along. I immediately called the doctor on call at my clinic, which was Dr. C who I had never talked to or dealt with before. He didn't seem concerned at all (especially since I didn't have any pain or cramping), and told me to rest, stay hydrated, and come in to see Dr. N the next day (the clinic was closed for New Years that day). I tried to play it cool with Chris, but he could tell that I was beginning to worry a bit.
As the day went on, the bleeding became heavier and heavier. I googled my symptoms and found several stories of people who bled heavily and had successful pregnancies and several stories of people who bled heavily and had miscarriages. I really wanted to think that everything was okay, but deep down I felt like it wasn't. I kept finding hope in the fact that I wasn't experiencing any cramping or pain, but the bleeding was really scaring me. Once again, I found myself praying that God would give me the strength to handle whatever trial may be coming my way, and that He would bless our family with more children whether now or in the future.
When I went to bed that night, I was still feeling generally icky (congestion, runny nose, sore throat, etc), but I didn't have a fever at all. I planned to call my clinic first thing in the morning to get an appointment to check on B3.
At about 2:30am, I awoke from my sleep with severe pain in my lower back. At first, I thought my back was just hurting (not uncommon for me at all), but I soon realized that the pain was coming and going in waves. It was also getting progressively more intense, and changing positions in bed was not easing the pain at all. I knew then that I was losing B3. This was not just any pain, but it was mild contraction pain. Brenson has a clock in his room that ticks off seconds, and we can clearly hear the ticking of that clock over the monitor. As I laid in bed, I timed the contractions using the ticking of that clock. They were coming about every two minutes, and lasting right around one minute. They had a very obvious gain in intensity, peak, and letdown. Some were less intense than others, but there were several that I actually had to breathe through. This lasted for several hours, and I just laid in bed and prayed almost the whole time. I was scared. I was heartbroken. I was overwhelmed. I thought about waking Chris over and over again, but I never did. There was nothing he could do for me, and he needed rest so badly at that point. Someone needed to be rested enough and well enough to take care of the rest of us.
At about 4:45am, I had the sudden urge to use the restroom. I had been in and out of the bathroom several times before this, but this time I ran to the bathroom and blood just gushed out everywhere. It was seriously so scary for me because there was so much blood. So, so much. After this, the pain subsided and I was able to get a few hours of sleep.
A few hours later, I woke up feeling like the life had been sucked out of me. I felt like I could barely move to get dressed or brush my teeth or get a drink of water. I immediately called my clinic and left an urgent message describing what had happened to Stevie, Dr. N's nurse. I was still bleeding heavily, and still coughing and congested. Chris took care of the kids while I laid in bed and rested, waiting for a call from my clinic. At about 10:00am, Stevie finally called me back. After describing everything that was going on to her, she tried to be positive by saying that everything could be okay, but she also said that it could mean things are not good. But I already knew that. She squeezed me in at 1:20pm.
We also had to take Brianna to her pediatrician that day to make sure she was okay. We were able to get an appointment for her at 3:00pm. Dr. N's office and Dr. F's office are only a few miles from one another, but they are both about 45 minutes from our house. We didn't want to take Brianna with us to our appointment with Dr. N, but we didn't have time to come all the way home to get her either. So, we asked my sister to come stay with Brenson, and we asked my friend Angie to watch Brianna for us (she lives not far from where our appointments were) while we went to our appointment with Dr. N.
I was still absolutely beyond exhausted and weak feeling . . . more weak than I think I've ever felt in my life. Chris had to pretty much get the kids all ready by himself while I just sat in the chair. Oh, and as an added bonus to this day, when we got in the car to leave, our car wouldn't start! My car (that has the carseats in it) had a dead battery and we had to scramble to get Brianna's carseat in Chris's car so that we could leave on time to drop Brianna off and make it to our appointment. I know that a dead battery is really no big deal, but the timing of it was so bad.
Okay, this has gotten a little long, so I think I'll end it here for now. There is quite a bit of this story left, so check back soon for Part Five.