In the Hospital

Let me preface this by apologizing for the following incoherent post - I am pretty delirious from lack of sleep and adrenaline. So I hope this makes some sort of sense and isn't total rambling.

Judging by all of the phone calls, texts, and fb messages I know that many of you already know I've been admitted to the hospital. I so appreciate the messages and I haven't had a chance to return very many of them (sorry!), so I thought it would be easier to just do a blog post and give one update instead of repeating the same info over and over and over.

The summary:

I've been here since around 11:30 last night and won't leave until Harper arrives. This could happen anywhere from a matter of hours to a couple of weeks. I have complete placenta previa and when I have my second herald bleed I will need an emergency c-section at that point. I'm 31 weeks along (out of 40) so we're praying that we can keep her growing inside me for as long as possible.

The details:

It's been a very long 24 hours. Last night after small group I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that the "something bad" that we've been waiting for was about to happen very soon. I got a good cry out, Rick reassured me that everything was going to be okay, we prayed about it, and then I decided to distract myself on the computer and finished up Harper's nursery blog post and sent out an Evite to a shower I'm hosting. (And by eating a nice, heaping, delicious bowl of Cocoa Puffs) Feeling productive, I decided it was time for bed.

And then the "something bad" happened. I woke up Rick and told him that I was bleeding and it was time to go to the hospital. I was strangely not panicked at all. I got dressed, called my mom to ask her to come stay with Harrison, and kept it really together until I went into his room and picked him up out of his crib to give him a hug goodbye. And then I lost it. I've learned that it's actually pretty easy for me to handle scary things happening to me, but when it comes to my children, it's the hardest thing I've ever had to face.

We got to the hospital around 11:30 and thankfully the bleeding never got super heavy and stopped after a few hours. When they hooked me up to the monitors I was having regular contractions, so they immediately gave me a steroid shot to help Harper's lungs develop and started me on magnesium sulfate. It is a pretty miserable experience and I felt like my insides were melting within, but the contractions slowed down so it appears to be doing the trick. The rest of my night was filled with beeping machines, runaway thoughts, wires, needles, and IVs. I tried so hard to drift off to sleep but started feeling really claustrophobic when I realized that every single one of my extremities had some sort of apparatus on it. An IV and a too-tight heart rate monitor on one arm/hand, an automatic blood pressure sleeve on the other arm, and some sort of inflating blood-clot preventers on both my legs. When my sats got low and they had to put an oxygen mask on me, I almost had a panic attack. But then I calmed myself down and realized just what a blessing all this modern medicine and technology is.

My OB came by this morning and gave me all the facts, which I already knew: I will stay in the hospital until the baby comes, and we will try to keep her inside for as long as possible by slowing down contractions and being on strict bed rest. He gave me the scary details: my second bleeding episode will be much more serious and will require an emergency c-section. Depending on the amount of blood loss I might need a blood transfusion and possibly a hysterectomy. He arranged for us to meet with the high-risk doctor for an ultrasound and also to meet with the neonatologist to go over the facts about premature babies and NICU stay. I had the scan done and it was encouraging: my cervix still appears long (not dilated) and there is nothing pointing toward me (but not 100% ruling out, either) experiencing placenta accreta, which is what would cause the abnormally heavy hemorrhaging and need for hysterectomy. We haven't seen the neonatologist yet, but Dr. Klein was very reassuring. He said that while 31 weeks is still very early, survival rates are great and the chance for long-term complications in babies are fairly low. NICU stay in babies this age average until their due date, which would put us at 9 weeks. This made the tears come again. He tried to make me feel better by reminding me that there was nothing I could have done to prevent my herald bleed, and there was nothing I've done to cause it. Which does help

to alleviate the what-ifs and mom-guilt that I'm so good at placing on myself, but doesn't really make me feel better. So I'm choosing to pray, pray, pray that Harper will beat the odds and stay in my belly for longer than 2 weeks. Every day we keep her inside takes off 3 days of NICU stay on average.

We have had so many visitors (and I am SO thankful Harrison is allowed to come visit), well-wishes, prayers, and offers to help. We feel so incredibly loved and cared for and are overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you so much -- it's really helped us stay positive and optimistic and full of hope.

And now I'm going to force myself to get some much needed rest. I'll try to update tomorrow if anything changes.


I am praying for you! I never had placenta previa, but delivered both of my pregnancies early. My son was born at 36 weeks (after trying to come at 32...he came home right away) and my girls were born at 29 weeks (48 days in the NICU). I had a friend who had placenta previa and had her son a month before I had mine. Her son was born at 32 weeks and spent about a month or so in the NICU. All of our preemie kids are perfectly healthy today. Please email me if you have any questions about hospital bedrest or preemies or NICU. I've done it all. Like I said, praying tons! It's great that they got the steroids started on Harper though, that is the biggest help to preemie lungs!
Melanie said…
If anyone can cook that kid longer it is you. Don't let your placenta be the boss of you....tell it to stay put and to stop bleeding already. I know you have a great support group there in Texas but just know that Oregon peeps love you too. I will hug a tree for you since I can't hug you. :) Melanie
Dirk and Trish said…
We will add you & your sweet family to our prayers. Hope little Harper will stay put for a few weeks! I'm glad you have access to good doctors and can still visit with your sweet little boy.
kelsey said…
Thank you, everybody. I feel so comforted knowing we are being lifted up in prayer.

@Twinkies Mom - your birth stories are very encouraging! Thank you for sharing!

@Melanie - thank you for making me laugh! I so needed that. :)

@Trish - thank you, my sweet old friend. And I don't mean "old" like "old"...I mean it like "we go way back" :)
Tracye said…
Melanie, you're so funny!

She's right, though, Kelsey. You give that placenta the what-for!

Praying for you!
Abby Mitchell said…
Rachelle talked to me about what was going on with you. We live in the same neighborhood. I am a mom of twins that were born at 31 weeks, 4 days. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. The scariest day of my life is when they told me I was having my babies in 30 mins. Not knowing what all can go wrong is the scariest. I want you to know, my girls are now 15 months old today...we were in the NICU for only 4 weeks...they told us 6-8, and at their 15 month check up this morning, they are right on tract! With that being said, I know the feelings that go along with having a preemie and leaving them behind. Please get with Ed or Rachelle and get my number if you would like to talk.
Many prayers for you and your family!

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