My placental abruption story

Davie - posted on 11/09/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Here is my story.

It was around 3pm on Tuesday 10/19. I was resting in bed. I had been having pain in my sciatic never for a couple of days. So bad it was causing numbness. The doctor told me to rest and use a heating pad. That was what I was doing when I felt a warm gush.

I ran to the bathroom and found that I was bleeding. Badly. My husband, my son Alex and I jumped into the car and headed to the hospital. By the time I got to the hospital, I had soaked trough my pants. I found a nurse at the ER and told I was 24 weeks and bleeding badly. She took my vitals and transfered me to the the women's center. The nurses had me get into a hospital gown, blood dripping down me and had my doctor's partner check me out. I wasn't in labor and he had a positive outlook. We waited from my doctor.

When my doctor got there he ordered an ultra sound. The nurses checked me every few minutes to see how my bleeding was. The doctor thought it was watery and maybe my water was leaking a bit. He told me that it could be that and I would spend the next few months in the hospital waiting for the baby to be born or that I had a placenta abruption and that meant the baby would have to come out. It seemed like forever for the ultra sound.

Julian was very active the whole time. The nurses had to keep moving the heart monitor because he would not sit still. When the ultra sound was performed, Julian looked great. He was clearly a happy, healthy baby boy.

My doctor came in after looking at the ultra sound pictures and told me that it was an abruption. 80% he said. He said I needed to be taken to the OR immediately and that Julian had to come out. They kept asking me if I had any trauma to my belly or if I was in an pain. I wasn't and nothing had happened. It was all happening so fast. I was so scared. They talked about doing an epidural but there was no time. I had to go under general. Julian was doing fine until that moment. Then his heart rate started to lower.

I was rushed into the OR, my husband had to stay outside. I was half naked on the table, while all the staff prepped me for surgery. I had on oxygen and felt my stomach being covered in cold liquid. I was told the last thing I would feel was the nurses hand on my throat. That was the last thing I remember.

I don't know how much time passed, but I woke up quickly to my husband and best friend. I wanted to see my baby. He was doing good, but needed to be transfered to the NICU at another hospital about 5 miles away. I asked them to please let me see him before he left. My husband saw him briefly and showed me the picture he had taken. He was beautiful. Julian was brought by in his transfer bed. I could barely see him but my husband took a picture on my cell phone. I said goodbye as he left for the NICU. They would keep me in recovery for a while. My blood counts were low and I needed to be monitored.

I stayed on the anti-partum floor for a day. The levels in my blood that helped with clotting were very low. Everything else was ok. I just had to wait. My husband traveled between the two hospitals, unsure of where to be. I had many visitors and flowers come to my room congratulating me on my beautiful baby boy.

Julian did well the first day. Overnight, however, he suffered a hemorrhage in his lungs due to his PDA valve not closing and a hemorrhage in his brain. Surgery could repair his heart, but the bleeding in his brain took time to stop. My husband and I decided to give Julian a chance. We authorized the surgery and told the doctor to do everything he could for the brain bleed. Julian came through the surgery beautifully. The bleeding in his brain was stopped but it was bad. We would not know the severity of the damage for a long time.

I had been moved to the post partum floor but now my blood work was worse. It had been 2 days and I was still in another hospital away from my baby. I had to wait for a hematologist who would not be able to see me until after 5 that day. I was going crazy. I just wanted to see my son. I had friends and family visit and a wonderful nursing staff, but hearing the cries of other babies made it very hard. The hospital would not let me go because I was at risk of bleeding out or sepsis. My bloodwork showed something was wrong but all they could do was wait and see.

Julian was holding strong. My husband and dad stayed with him and kept me updated. I pumped all the breast milk I could for him. I wanted to do my part. Another night went by. The hematologist told me they would give me a bag of iron and see what it looked like in the morning. I was hoping to leave the next day.

I woke the next morning feeling less than sunny. The weather was poor. Raining and gloomy. I called the NICU to find that Julian was not well. His blood pressure was low and he had developed an infection in his bowel. They were controlling his BP with meds and monitored his infection. My blood work came back worse than the day before but good enough to leave. It was noon before I left the hospital on my way to Julian.

I got to the hospital. My husband met me there. He had been running around from place to place for days. We lived 20 minutes away from where the hospitals were. He wanted to make sure everything was taken care of. He is amazing. Th only thing more amazing was Julian. He was so tiny. I had only seen pictures, which never captured his size. Jenny, the nurse explained everything that was hooked up to him. It was so much. Then the doctor talked to us. Julian's blood pressure was low and the meds were maxed out. His infection, rare for his age, was bad. Surgery could fix it, but it would mean losing most of his bowel. His brain bleed had been so severe that it moved his brain. He was not breathing at all on his own.

My husband and I made the hardest choice of our lives. We had to let him go. What kind of life would he have? How long would he survive even if we did everything medically possible? It was not what we wanted for him. Because we made the choice to take him off the machines, we were able to bring in our son Alex and the rest of the family. My dad took pictures and I spent every moment with him. I was in a lot of pain physically from the c section, my engorged breasts and the lack of meds but I didn't care. The amazing staff in the NICU closed off the side Julian was on to give us some privacy. I made footprint and hand print cards and plaster molds too. I wanted to get as many memories with him as I could. Each member of our family came in and spent time with him. Alex, who is 6, was confused and sad. He was losing the baby brother he had wanted so badly. My mom took him to spend a weekend with his dad. Slowly the family filtered out until it was just Mike, Julian and me.

We had decided that it would be just us with Julian when we let him go. He was given pain meds to keep him comfortable. The NICU staff removed all the tubes and hooked him up the bag to keep breathing for him as they transfered us to a private room. We wrapped him up tight in a blanket and put his little hat on. I held him as he took his last breathe. Almost exactly 3 days after he was born, he was gone. We held him for what seemed like forever. We talked to him. He was gone, but it the first and last time I would hold him in my arms.

It has been 3 weeks since he was born. We have had a memorial. That was very hard. Most people have that moment where they show off their new baby but my moment will be to say goodbye. I want everyone to know what a beautiful, strong child Julian was. I don't doubt he would have fought through it all but everything that could have gone wrong did. He didn't have a chance and we couldn't let him live a life on machines. That is no life at all.

I spend my days crying. I am trying everything I can to dry up my breast milk. I am dealing with the pain of my incision. All these reminders of what I went through. It is making it hard to deal with emotional pain. My husband and I spend our time together. We have promised each other to be there for each other and to talk. To never shut down emotionally to each other. We will not let this loss tear us apart. We are both feeling the pain and we can survive this together. One day at a time is my mantra right now. I am giving it to God and hoping that his plan will be clear one day.

I hope that my story reaches anyone who has experienced what I am experiencing. I hope that if this happens to someone else, God forbid, that my story shows them we are not alone. I tell my husband, to help us both get through this, that we are not the first or the last people this will happen to. It is not fair. It is not fair to lose a child. There is no reason for what happened to me. Apparently there is a small percentage, a very small percentage, that have a placenta abruption for no reason. I will never understand this. I will always feel the pain, but I will never forget Julian. He has touched my life. He is my angel and he will watch over us forever.

I love you Julian..my little angel.
XOXO
Love,
Davie

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4 Comments

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ANnonymous - posted on 04/15/2014

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We lost our sweet firstborn son Ian and only child just a little over a month ago on Feb. 23rd, 2014. It is the day that will haunt his daddy and I forever. I was 6 months pregnant (24 wks. & 2 days) when I started bleeding and having some slight pain. We wasted no time driving to the hospital right away. As soon as we made it to the 2nd floor they hooked up the doppler and by his heart rate could tell that nothing seemed to be wrong as I was having no contractions. The nurse brushed the small amount of bleeding and pain off as "ligament stretching" we wanted to believe her and being late at night we were tired and wanted to go home and sleep. The nurse said we were free to go home and didn't do an exam or an ultrasound which might have saved his life. By the time we made it back home and tried to fall asleep I was in the most excruciating pain of my life. It felt like the worse gas cramps anyone could ever imagine. Thinking I had to go to the bathroom I felt the urge to push and thought that would make the pain go away. I couldnt go to the bathroom. Instead I felt something coming out when I reached down. Panicking I tried to push it back up slightly and my hand was covered in dark red blood. I screamed that we needed to go back to the hospital. I could barely walk in the front door when we made it there. Immediately they phoned labor and delivery and my boyfriend wheeled me up to the 2nd floor as fast as he could. When they let us in I ran to the same room I was in earlier that night. I ripped down my pants and could barely get on the table. Suddenly there was doctors and nurses all around me. They phoned my OB and when the nurse checked me it hurt so bad and my water broke immediately. The amniotic sac was coming completely out. I felt big jelly balls of blood coming out of me. I was going into shock and loosing a lot of blood. Upon doing an ultrasound they realized our son was sideways and would need an emergency c section to get him out. They made me sign consent and my OB was there very quickly along with the anestesiologist they were hooking all these needles into both my arms. As they started wheeling me back to the OR I was begging the anestesiologist not to let me die. Your not ganna die he promised. "But what if I feel it?" he said its impossible. Surgery is my worst fear of all time. This will always be the most terrifying and traumatic and painful experience of my whole life no matter what else I endure. The operating room was big cold and scary. I kept telling them over and over "I dont want to die today." I was convinced I was gonna see what it is like to die. They put the curtain in front of my face and i thought it was covering my mouth and i couldnt breathe i was having a panic attack. Then i felt a needle going in down there when I screamed and almost jumped off the table my OB said it was just the cathater. They had the oxygen mask on my mouth and it was just regular air. The last thing I remember was feeling this heavy gas come through the mask and breathing it in. I dont remember ever closing my eyes or falling asleep I was staring straight at the ceiling and the next thing I know Im staring at the recovery room. the first thing i ask is "Is my baby alive?" they tell me no im so sorry and i begin hysterically crying and telling them i want to see my baby and my boyfriend. I remember very little of my surroundings. My boyfriend comes in holding our baby and it was the worst nightmare ive ever had i just want to wake up and make it go away. This cant be real but it is. Our precious baby bay weighed 1 pound 3.8 oz. And was born at 2:02 A.M. despite the placental abruption and being deprived of oxygen for a long time and loosing so very much of his blood his heart beat for 18 short minutes after he was born. He could never breatyhe on his own didnt have an apgar score and made no sound at all. He's our little angel and mommy and daddys hero. He wanted to live so bad but im sure jesus is snuggling him right now. Hes waiting for us and hes with us in his spirit every long day. When I was pregnant we called him our little "kickboxer" cuz he was the most active baby in the world. We had him cremated and had a baby shower for him and put his ashed in a wooden earn that has 2 hearts on each side. One side has a picture of his face engraved in the wood and the other side has his name and birthday on it. It cost several hundred dollars but his daddy didnt care about money at all. It was all about honoring our baby boy and being able to cherish his memory everyday. We had now i lay me down to sleep come to the hospital and photograph him and took many many pictures of our own to add to his baby book. His crib and basinet along with all his clothes and toys fills our room everyday sitting empty. We will never get rid of any of it. We bought all of it brand new for the most part and only wanted the very best for our son. Our dreams and wished will forever be stolen but he will live through us everyday.

Laura - posted on 08/29/2012

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I also forgot to mention that when the doctor was doing me c section he said, oh u have had a placental abruption, like after all I wasn't imaging my pain.

Laura - posted on 08/29/2012

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I had a placental abrupt ion at 33 weeks, I woke up on the 15 th nov in the most horrific pain and just though I was in labour as my previous 3 pregnancies were all 3 weeks early, I just though I was really early. I went to the hospital examined and told after having a swab there was no chance I was in labour or going into labour, baby wasn't in distress so they basically told me I was imagining it. I was sent home, me and my partner went and done some shopping when all of a sudden I said to my partner my waters had gone, we went into the toilets and to myhorror my pants and trousers were soaked in blood. I was taken to hospital by my sister where I was swabbed again and told it was just a clot and they had taken it away. I was in complete agony for 4 days still bleeding and given morphine which didn't touch the pain at all a consultant come round and told me she was happy the baby wasn't in distress and discharged me, I couldn't believe I was in the worst pain I've ever experienced and I was still bleeding but told to go. So I called my partner and got my mum to come and get me. Within 2 hours of being home I had painful and close contractions was back in hospital and had a scan where I was told everything was fine, it wasn't until a midwife done an internal that she told me I was 5cm dilatated and waters bulging, I was booked to have a cnsections as my other pregnancies had been csections due to not dilating when in labour. I was taken down for an emergency csections at 33+3 weeks and lukily I had a healthy 5lbs baby boy Riley. He was in intensive care for 3 days as he had breathing difficulties but after has was in scuba for 2 weeks then came hom? Today he is a healthy 9 month old baby but things could have been terribly worse.nif n e 1 thinks something is wrong please don't leave it as only you know your body.

Sorry for your loss davie' and thank you for your story. Xx

Davie - posted on 11/10/2010

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Thank you Clare. I love my little angel and never want to lose that feeling to the pain of loss.

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