As we drove my teeth chattered. I was so cold that my body shivered, making it difficult to let the tears come. It was twenty-something below... nearly 2am. And the five minute drive from our house to the hospital seemed like an eternity. I remember Micaiah's hand grabbing mine... I remember as he searched for words to know how to pray. And I remember the feeling of blood that wouldn't stop coming.
When we reached the Emergency Room my eyes were wet with tears as I tried to answer their questions. I stumbled as they asked me my name, where I lived, how far along I was, my birthday, how much blood I'd lost... I remember thinking how surreal it was to stumble over such easy questions... just trying to keep it together... to remember anything beyond seeing that terrifying clot of blood and fearing the worst. I remember silently thanking Jesus for my sweet nurse who reassured us that my heart rate was probably just low because of all of the excitement... who saw my obvious vulnerabilty and was so kind as she gently reassured me it was okay if I bled on the hospital bed. When the brought in the ultrasound machine I remember praying the same words I'd prayed just ten weeks earlier "a heartbeat... please Jesus a heartbeat..." It took her a minute but she found it and we watched in awe and wonder as our child kicked and moved within me... heartbeat strong and steady. I remember thinking that whatever was going on inside of me was something we could handle as long as that little heart just kept beating. They ran numerous blood tests and eventually brought in an an ultrasound technician. She was quiet but kind as she wheeled me through the hallway to a special room. We were in there for almost an hour as she looked at all different areas of my womb and took pictures to send to a radiologist in the cities. I savored that hour... watching our baby kick and move and wiggle. Seeing tiny fingers and toes... a perfectly formed little mouth.
It was nearly 5am. when we returned to my room. We were quiet that night... sometimes there simply are no words. We didn't have words for this... for our fear or for our relief. We simply waited. For good news... bad news... any news that would help us understand what was happening. As I laid there in the dark room trying to rest my thoughts drifted back to earlier that night.
I'd woken up in the quiet of night with the feeling that something was terribly wrong... I felt the strange wetness beneath me and immediatly knew it was blood. As I stood up to get out of bed I could feel something shift... The next thing I remember is looking down at a clot.. the size of which made my heart sink....
It was six am. now and the results were in. They handed them to me and explained that they'd found a lemon sized hematoma (blood clot) next to my placenta. Their only guess as to what had happened that night was that something had shifted causing the hematoma to press against the wall of my uterus and cause a rupture which is what caused the clotting and bleeding. They sent me home on bedrest and told me to consult with my OB Monday morning. We were thankful for the exhaustion as it made sleep come easier that day.
The next morning I talked with my OB and she gently explained what this could mean for our child. "Our main concern is that if this hematoma gets bigger or shifts it could cause the placenta to detach from the wall of the uterus and cause your baby to loose it's blood and oxygen supply. We'll need you to come in for weekly ultrasounds from here on out to closely monitor you and make sure it doesen't grow." Another concern further down the line is that hematoma's can cause premature labor. When I hung up the phone I just sat there... The nurse had said something that kept playing over and over in my mind... "It's amazing how quickly things can change."
And as I've had a couple of days to think about it I've realized something. Some things have changed. This is not what we would have chosen. This isn't a road we ever wanted to walk. No one wants to fear the loss of a child. We are no exception... we prayed for a healthy pregnancy just as everyone else does. But as much as fear sometimes tries to take over... we hold closely to the things that never change. Our God is the same as he was before we ever walked into that Emergency Room. We still feel His comfort and embrace as we face a road that feels so uncertain. And as we search for the words to pray... we rest in knowing He hears our hearts. And while we pray for the hematoma to shrink and dissolve or to allow to the baby to grow unhindered... we know that whatever the outcome He holds this chid in the palm of His hand.
For now, we do not take one day that this child continues to grow for granted. And as I lye here, I'm thankful. I'm thankful to have so much time to lye here and cover this child. I'm thankful for the people God has already provided who are praying for us and bringing us meals. And I'm thankful for a husband who has dropped everything to pick up the load of household duties and financial provision. And although this road feels so uncertain, I am so thankful we do not walk alone.
We covet your prayers. And for those of you who are praying on our behalf... thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
I will continue to update weekly with each appointment.