Tightrope Walking


I have been bleeding, and telling, and dissecting ultrasound numbers – effectively swinging violently between the moments of bliss when baby feels like a reality and others when my post-traumatic stress chimes in to remind me that bad things happen and caution against the arrogance of presumptions.

The bleeding was a sobering moment. A week ago, I was sitting on the sofa in my bathrobe when it started to pour out of me into a broadening stain on the creamy linen of the slipcover. I sat on the toilet, sure that this brief spring of hope and happiness was ending in the puddles of syrupy red draining from my body. I raced to the OB, hands shaking, prepared for the ultrasound to spell nothing short of black doom, but up he popped on the screen, little heart flashing. Miracles, indeed.

It happened again on Christmas night, red and seeping. The blood has kept my anxiety on a hair trigger, but we had our 7 week ultrasound at RMA the following morning, and little bean is still hanging on. Hematomas, apparently, appear to be resolving, but bean was measuring 6w4d at 7w0d, and the fetal heart rate was 113, which got me to Googling and fretting that it should be above 120 at this point and maybe this is just a mirage.

The flip-side has been the pure joy and excitement of what will more likely (statistically, at the least) be: sugar-plum dreams of next Christmas with babe in tow, the healing power of a new little one in the family, moms turned grandmas, brothers turned uncles, and so on. This yummy secret has been a bit hard to contain, despite the fear and worry, so in a private post-Christmas moment, we gave Grandma (my mother-in-law) a bib we bought for her the Saturday before last on a trip to claim Babies R Us as our own. She wept as she unfurled the orange thing from its tiny box, sputtering, “Is this real?”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8bb/53925926/files/2014/12/img_2774.jpgI thought, I sure hope so, Mom. Keep praying.

45 thoughts on “Tightrope Walking

  1. I think the internet was invented so that every possible medical symptom could be interpreted as certain death! Stay away from this diabolical device — other than writing your posts and reading my posts, of course;)


    • Did you ‘enjoy’ the early weeks? Lol. Besides the scares, I want to vomit or sleep all the time. My vision started to go black I was so lightheaded while waiting on the insane lines at the mall today just trying to buy some clothes for my newly gigantic breasts and bloated belly. And when none of the bras fit, I got so emotional in the dressing room, I started to cry! Ha, I’m thrilled to be pregnant, but, jeez, I don’t feel so hot…


      • LOL. Oh, I definitely didn’t the early weeks. And I’m still not so much enjoying the not-as-early weeks. Next time I won’t be so pollyanna. Whatever it is, PTSD, knowing too much, I’m struggling to accept that this is really could end well. It does get easier, granted I don’t have any bleeding (I’m sorry about that–I really do hope it resolves quickly) or major cramping. I read there’s a 1% chance of miscarriage after seeing the HB at 9 weeks (and it’s like 5% after seeing it at 6 weeks), so after our 9w scan, I’ve been more able to accept that this is good.

        I hear you on not feeling hot; I think it might be easier to accept if I didn’t just like crap every day. I’m watching my mid section expand and I can’t tell if it’s cookies or baby; I’m thinking cookies. None of my bras fit and my already large boobs are so tender. I don’t want to buy more bras because I was already spending a fortune on bras, so I want to hold out as long as possible and hopefully only have to upsize once or twice. I wake up tired, I’m tired all day, and I basically can’t function past 6PM. I’m a real joy to be around. My husband said I looked like a pregnant lady–tired. I told him I was supposed to be glowing. He still settled on tired looking. I hear they’re worth it, but this first trimester is no joke.

        I went to a pottery barn kids (they’re having a nursery sale if you’re interested; it’s still too early for us, I think) and I nearly recoiled when the woman asked if I wanted to set up a registry, hire a design consultant, etc. (I might have otherwise because this baby racket is almost as bad as the wedding racked, but it didn’t help that I just feel fat and tired, not pregnant).


  2. Ugh, the bleeding, so counterintuitive in pregnancy and for hope. Knowing there are hematomas, though, is helpful and SEEING a beating heart in spite of all that blood is reassuring.

    Where hematomas are in relation to the sac and cervix can be telling, too, as not all hematomas are created equal.

    Sending hopeful and growing thoughts.


    • I kept thinking of your posts while it was happening – that some women bleed like whoa and still have babies. Thank you for that! It has been a real comfort to have your experience and success in the back of my mind.


    • Yeah, I don’t pray either, but my mother-in-law is a devout Catholic who tells us she prays for us all the time. I will say, though, that God becomes convenient when you’re scared!


    • I was thinking of you at the time – it’s possible to bleed like crazy with baby intact. It was comforting to think of your story! Has your bleeding let up? I sure hope so! I now know from personal experience how scary it is.


      • Definitely possible. Bleeding just kind of keeps going, unfortunately, but I keep just reminding myself that it’s been relatively okay so far. Hoping yours is stopping and things are getting better!


  3. Why must this terrifying bleeding happen to those who have been through so much trauma already? Unfortunately it seems to be very common. And the heart rate? I think it just means it’s a boy 😉


  4. A, I am so feeling for you… I’ve been there with the bloody beginnings and I can tell you I would not go back to my first 12 weeks of pregnancy for anything in the world. They were so mentally (and well, physically too) trying. Girl you WILL get through this, I am so hopeful for you and baby bean… and well… then you can move on to new and more freakish worries, like me! I turned 31 weeks today and my latest dark thoughts are inspired by all things involving umbilical cords (baby’s best friend you say…? oh no, think again).

    Having read the above comments, I too might add that I have never subscribed to any organized religion. That said, I confess that for the past 7 months I have been sleeping near a small army of miniature icons, as I figure to whom better plead for my baby’s well-being than Mother Mary? 🙂

    Oh the things we do to survive… Sending you so much peace and hope dear A!


    • Omg, I could just imagine. I made the mistake of watching some video on FB about a stillbirth because of a “pinched umbilical cord” and I could only think WTF?? In the end the statistical possibility of that is so ridiculously remote, but hey, when you’ve endured this kind of loss and trauma already, it sets the mind to worrying. You hang in there as well!


  5. Awwww, this made me tear up-again! The little precious growing up fast, and you’ll see the bump soon, it’s only going to get better from here! Yeah the first 3 months was terrible, it was filled with aches here, crams there and don’t even mention the spotting…another few more weeks…! Hang in there!!


  6. Aw. I’m so sorry that you have bleeding. I had a subchorionic hematoma too. It made the early weeks hell on earth, and I still feel t traumatized thinking about it. But I hope that your pregnancy continues to be healthy. Nausea although disgusting is a good sign!


    • I am taking some comfort in feeling like sh*t. I think this is just a nail-biter and I have to get used to it – going on 3 weeks of bleeding with more hematomas lurking.


  7. I know it’s been a few days since you wrote this but I wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you and bean. Damn the bleeding! I’m glad you’ve been able to see the heartbeat and your pregnancy symptoms sound good and strong. Not fun, but good! And I love that you were able to present the bib to your MIL. What a special moment 🙂


    • I think I have to get cozy with the bleeding, find my zen-Buddhist place or something because there (according to u/s) seems to be plenty more where that came from. You know, “…grant me the serenity” and all that jazz!


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