I was fully aware that any pregnancy I was able to achieve would be high-risk. After all, I have a running list of factors that are not at all in my favor, such as my age and the fact that I'm far from being in the best shape. But despite issues with my babies, my previous pregnancies practically personified perfection. It was as though my body was made to be pregnant. I had no health issues at all and felt absolutely fabulous each time. I loved being pregnant. So while I know the statistics about potential complications, I haven't really been focused on them for this pregnancy; I have been more consumed with worry about possible problems with the babies, since this has been my experience. I had no idea things could get complicated for me so early.
My doctor put me on limited activity following the bleed from my chorionic hematoma a few weeks ago. But, taking it easy didn't completely stop the off-and-on spotting. Exactly two weeks to the day after the first bleed, I experienced a major hemorrhage. I was actually in the shower getting ready to go to a follow-up doctor's appointment and then return to work, when the bleeding began... and wouldn't stop. By the grace of God, my husband was off from work that day. Although completely terrified, I didn't cry. I was in complete shock from the amount of blood spilling from me. I had some cramping, but strangely, it wasn't that strong, given the bleeding. I could feel something passing through my cervix. It felt very similar to the moment I delivered my stillborn son at 17 weeks... I asked my husband to be ready to help me collect what was about to be expulsed. I knew in the case of miscarriage, this was the only way we would be able to have answers. We braced ourselves for the horror.
First, I passed two clots about the size of limes. Moments later, a huge blob slipped out about the size and circumference of a grapefruit. My husband whisked it away while I tried to catch my breath. Almost immediately the bleeding began to subside. My husband, who had been silent, peeked into the shower to check on me. "It's not a baby, Tam", he said. "It looks, to me, like a giant blood clot."
While I couldn't imagine how my twins could survive such a trauma, like after my first bleed, I again had a strange peace that they were OK. Following the half-hour ordeal, the bleeding had all but stopped. I was able to finish dressing and rush to the doctor.
At my appointment, ultrasound again revealed two babies and two strong heartbeats. To us, it was nothing short of a miracle. To be safe, my doctor ordered me on modified bed rest. I had anticipated bed rest later in, perhaps, the last weeks of my high-risk pregnancy. I had never imagined it could be a possibility at just 8 weeks pregnant.
Despite being on modified bed rest, the heavy spotting continued. I experienced another big bleed at exactly two weeks to the day of my last. The hemorrhage came around 1:30 a.m. and resulted in a sleepless night in the emergency room with a battery of tests. Since then, I have graduated to strict bed rest and daily progesterone injections that require a large needle that could easily be used for a horse or other giant mammal.
All of the sudden, everything feels out of control (although I'm not sure why I thought was in control of anything anyway). The progesterone shots are very painful and bed rest is a huge challenge (that's putting it politely since my pastor and/or mother may be reading this). But, these babies are everything to me. I find it a little supernatural that I can love these two little people, whom I've never even met, so much. I'm proud of their strength and amazed at their resilience - that they have been able to survive multiple assaults from my now seemingly hostile uterus. I have been worried about how I might feel towards these children who are not my DNA. But at now just shy of 11 weeks pregnant, I already feel like their mother. I love them, and I will willingly and gladly make any sacrifice necessary to bring them into this world safely.