27 Weeks Of Pregnancy
My second trimester was smooth sailing. It was all, “feeling good, feeling great,” when someone asked how I was doing. Then, just two days before entering 28 weeks and my third trimester, it decided to go out with a bang – and not in a good way. I’m sharing details (some graphic, so be warned) on the last terrifying 48 hours of my second trimester that included a 9-1-1 call and an unexpected hospital stay.
"No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside."
2nd Trimester Recap
The Ups As I mentioned, everything was going along smoothly. The extreme fatigue from my first trimester had worn down, and I had more energy – naps were getting less frequent. Baby Eberhardt was super active. I joked about her doing yoga in there or having a daily dance party. Feeling a tiny human move inside you is really strange, but after getting used to it, I started to live for those little – sometimes intense – baby kicks.
The Downs Then, at 12:30am on Friday, October 23rd, I woke up feeling like I had to pee. And I noticed I felt wet. I’m a super sweaty person – especially now – so I assumed that’s what it was. When I rolled out of bed, I saw three puddles on our sheets. Of course, it was dark, so I couldn’t exactly tell what it was, but it definitely made me nervous. After a very loud, “what the hell is that,” Brad woke up alarmed and immediately began checking the bed while I went to the bathroom. At about the same time that I started peeing blood, Brad said, “I think it’s blood.”
As the toilet filled with blood, the tears started streaming down my face. After my experience in 2018, my mind immediately went to the worst. This couldn’t be happening AGAIN, not now, not at 27 weeks. I thought maybe it was over and we could just call the doctor and figure out what to do – all the while, waiting to feel the baby kick and be given any sort of sign that she was okay in there. I got up from the toilet and as I began to walk, the blood was dripping all down my legs and onto the bathroom floor. At this point, my legs got weak, I was shivering, and I began to feel like I was going to throw up. Brad had me lay down on the bathroom floor, covered me with towels, and called 9-1-1.
The amazing dispatcher helped keep us calm, staying with us the entire time until the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) arrived. Knowing I had to keep it together for the sake of baby girl, I did my best to channel some yogi energy and breathe through it, trying to convince myself that everything was going to be fine – even though I was absolutely scared to death.
When the EMTs arrived, they checked me out to make sure there were no signs of labor, before lifting me onto a chair that carried me from the third floor of our townhouse to the first. As they were about to wheel me out to the stretcher, we learned that the original ambulance had broken down, right in front of our house. I sat, for the longest 20 minutes of my life in the most uncomfortable metal chair, trying to keep calm while fearing the worst, and just asking baby girl to “please, kick me!” And then she did.
That kick offered a small ounce of relief. I at least knew we hadn’t lost her – but there was still no guarantee that we wouldn’t. Finally, the second ambulance arrived and we headed to Howard County General Hospital. Baby girl continued to kick me all the way there, and that glimmer of hope was growing. A little after 1:00am, the triage nurse found her heartbeat and confirmed that she was perfectly happy and healthy in there. However, I was still bleeding – and apparently experiencing regular contractions, which I couldn’t feel at all.
They gave me an IV, then admitted me to Labor and Delivery for at least the next 24 hours. I was given a shot of Terbutaline almost immediately to attempt to stop my contractions. After a few hours passed, and the bleeding had lightened but not stopped, they also gave me a steroid shot to strengthen baby’s lung development should I have to deliver early. A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) doctor came to chat with us explaining all the potential scenarios/procedures should I need to deliver early – a scary conversation, but much appreciated.
Finally, around 3:00pm Friday, the bleeding and contractions had both subsided. I was taken for an ultrasound to check on baby and my complete placenta previa (diagnosed around 20 weeks), most likely the cause of the heavy bleeding I experienced.
They checked my cervix first, noting that it was still completely closed – good news. Then they did a complete anatomy scan on baby girl, again, and everything checked out perfectly. She’s apparently above average for both height and weight, measuring in the eightieth percentile! By dates I was measuring 27 weeks and 5 days, but by ultrasound, I was measuring 28 weeks and 4 days. It was also noted at this time that I still had complete placenta previa.
Feeling even more relief now, the doctor let us know we’d be staying at least until Saturday afternoon to be safe, then would be evaluated for discharge. Around 10:00am Saturday morning, the doctor came in and let us know we would be discharged around noon. Not 30 minutes later, I went to the bathroom and passed a very large clot, experiencing more bleeding. So much for going home. The doctor came back in and did an exam to check for active bleeding – there was none. So, for lack of a better explanation, she cleaned out all the old blood allowing my body to start fresh, and hopefully, avoid passing any additional clots. We were now going to be at the hospital until at least Sunday afternoon.
The next 24 hours were relatively uneventful. They gave me another steroid shot so the baby would benefit from the full effect, still as an early labor precaution. Finally, we were discharged from the hospital around 3:00pm on Sunday, officially day one of my third trimester.
Because I’m all about finding the silver lining from this traumatic experience, here it goes…
Brad was able to be with me in the hospital the entire time. As other pregnant women know, right now, dads are being left out as a COVID precaution. After not being able to join me at a single appointment since finding out we were pregnant, Brad heard that magical heartbeat in person for 48+ hours in the hospital. He heard every kick, swish, and tiny dance move. He got to experience the 20-week anatomy scan he originally missed, at 27 weeks instead. He FINALLY got to experience the overwhelming joy of his first child, his baby girl, growing.
The Completely Absurd Well, I think we could all use a few laughs after that little recap, so let’s talk dreams. They were the most talked about portion of my first trimester recap, so here’s some more for your amusement:
My dad hosted a League of Nations meeting in my parents’ kitchen.
My nana tried to force me to eat chicken drumsticks made by her neighbor, even though I told her chicken (unless it’s Chick-fil-A) makes me want to throw up right now.
My best friend’s 3-year-old daughter flushed herself down the toilet.
Brad bought pet rats and let them roam all over our house; I was not pleased.
My iced coffee craving has turned into a hot coffee craving – blame it on the fall temps. Except, when I say hot, I mean HOT. It can’t even remotely cross over to warm. So, there’s a lot of reheating coffee going on to finish a full cup. The strangest craving has been hot and sour soup – so much so that I opted to make it at home once, versus ordering takeout.
Still can’t do most meat! Can’t stand the smell of a grill or even watching cooking shows where they are making burgers, slicing steak, etc. Apparently as a baby, I didn’t like meat – so maybe our little girl is gonna take after her mama.
The Things I Can’t Live Without
Thank goodness for my yoga teacher discount at lululemon. Because my favorite leggings are also the comfiest for pregnancy – and bonus, non-maternity, so worth the investment. Pregnant or not, if you’ve never tried on lululemon Align™ (also comes in crop version), I highly recommend. They feel like a soft, light extra layer of skin made of the best quality. Another must have is Aura Cacia Relaxing Lavender Mist. I spray down my pregnancy pillow and sheets every night before bed. And my daily post-shower fave is Mama Bee Belly Butter.
What now? I’m on strict doctor’s orders to do a whole lot of nothing for the next couple weeks. Then, it’s pelvic rest until Baby Eberhardt decides it’s time for her to make her appearance. The biggest change being no more yoga – and a leave of absence at Life Time Athletic much sooner than expected. Although I’m bummed, I will do whatever it takes to keep baby safe. And trust me, this little girl is already strong and will come whenever she wants. If she decides to stay put in there, and my placenta previa has not resolved itself by 34 weeks, I will be scheduled for a c-section around 37 weeks. So, while we’re still hoping she can wait patiently until 2021…2020 might have a happy ending after all.