pPROM Story

It changes you

One thing I’ve heard before but never really understood, or could even begin to understand, was the saying “the NICU life changes you.” Before you had kids you, could understand how a Mom would go to the ends of the Earth for her child. Before you had kids, you could understand why parents liked taking trips that made their kids smile instead of taking a trip to Vegas. Before kids, you could understand why parents would change their entire lives just to make their kids happy. You can understand all of that, but you could never understand the deep, soul penetrating love that a parent has for their child until you’ve been there. It’s like a secret passageway in your heart you never knew you had until you held your child for the first time, then it was like the flood gates were wide open! At that moment, you made a promise to yourself and to that little baby that you would do anything to protect them and keep them safe. They are now the most important thing in this world. Some parents get to experience this right away. They get to start that bond with their baby almost immediately. Some parents don’t. Some parents have to look at their baby from the outside of a plastic box before ever touching them.

The day after Audrey was born was the worst day of my life.

The day after Audrey was born was like a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. Audrey was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension (high blood pressure in the heart) secondary to Pulmonary Hypoplasia (underdeveloped lungs). Those were the two worst diagnoses the MFM warned us about. When we heard the NICU doctor say her diagnosis out loud, it completely broke me. I felt like I failed her as a parent for putting her through what would inevitably be a short, agonizing life. I felt guilty for being so selfish and continuing the pregnancy because I wasn’t ready to let go at 14 weeks. I felt guilty for putting my husband through the same heartbreak I was feeling. Even though we made this decision together, I felt guilty that my body couldn’t have a normal pregnancy and that all this happened because I couldn’t do what women were made to do. The NICU doctor (who we ended up calling “Dr. Doom” because she had the unfortunate task of telling us exactly what was going on) told us that Audrey’s condition is very serious and that they are working to find other alternatives if they exhaust all options they have available at this hospital. We are very fortunate to live in an area with a lot of technologically advanced hospitals so at this point we had a few different options. The doctor explained that days 3-5 are the worst for babies with Audrey’s conditions. She said they either start to show signs of improvement or go downhill pretty quickly. She explained that if things do start to go downhill they need to start her on something called ECMO right away. ECMO is a machine that will oxygenate the blood and pump it back into the body without the use of the lungs. The problem with ECMO is that the baby has to be a certain size and Audrey was right on the edge of the cutoff.

I wanted to stay longer with Audrey after that conversation, but I couldn’t pull myself together for even five minutes. I had to go back to my room until I could get it together to go back (our NICU was open 24/7 for parents). We just sat on the bed and cried. After a little while my husband thought I should eat something (it was well past dinnertime at the hospital and I hadn’t been keeping much down since my surgery) so he went to go get us something to eat. That was the first time I’d been truly alone since I had her. No visitors, no nurses, no doctors, no lactation specialists, no birth certificate processors, no social workers…. no one! I think because I had seen so many people in the last 24 hours I was mentally exhausted and let’s not forget the prognosis we’d just received.

As I laid alone in my bed, in the pitch dark, I lost it. I was so overcome with emotion I couldn’t even stop myself from letting it all out. I cried so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. I was crying so hard I thought for sure I ripped out several of my stitches. Soon I started shaking uncontrollably all over. At that very moment, I wanted to die. I remember praying (which I don’t normally do) and telling God to take me instead. I said if you have to take one of us, let it be me. I said it’s not fair to let her suffer because I was selfish. I said she’s just a baby and doesn’t deserve this. I was finally able to close my eyes and calm down enough to rest until my husband came back.

By day 4 Audrey’s condition was improving slightly, but she wasn’t getting any worse and that’s all we could ask for at this point. 3 of the 4 hospitals that had ECMO declined to take her because of her size. Our last option was out of state and that was risky given her condition. We were just waiting for some more significant improvement. Anything that would tell us she was heading in the right direction. As the week went on, she was slowly making improvements. Her doctors grew more confident that her lungs and heart were going to be ok and that ECMO was no longer needed. Audrey made her biggest strides somewhere between day 5 and day 14. On day 7 she was taken off the oscillator machine that was vibrating her body so that her lungs didn’t have to work so hard exchanging the gases out her lungs. Somewhere between day 7 and day 9, she was extubated (breathing without a tube).

On day 10, we finally got to hold her for the first time.

Being able to hold her was a huge victory. For the last 10 days, we weren’t allowed to touch her, shine too much light into her isolette, listen to our phones too loud, kiss her, hold her hand, nothing. She was to have no stimulation at all because it raised her heart rate and then everything else would go downhill after that. From day 10 all the way to day 27, Audrey made huge improvements everyday and on October 23rd, 2018 we got to bring our beautiful girl home!

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pPROM Story

Unprepared

I want you to think about one of the most difficult things that has ever happened to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big or small thing, whatever was particularly difficult for you. Now in one word describe that experience. The word that best describes my experience on September 26th, 2018 is…

Unprepared.

Honestly, I don’t think anyone could really prepare for what happened after the birth of my daughter, but you’d think one would have some sort understanding about what was happening. We thought we did but we didn’t have a clue. Looking back we were so naive. Not necessarily naive about being parents (that we knew was going to be hard), but naive about what happens next with a high risk pregnancy. We just kinda thought we’d get extra care and follow all the protocols and then poof! healthy baby. Unfortunately, we don’t actually live in Disneyland so we don’t have a genie to grant us wishes or a fairy godmother to bibbidi bobbidi boo things to the way we want want them. Sometimes life sucks and all you can do is roll with the punches.

On September 26th, 2018 in that operating room crammed with people my beautiful baby girl was born. She had dark hair and cried when they took her out. I remember laughing a little bit to myself because she had a cone head from trying so hard to come out during the induction. But then there was nothing. I wasn’t sure if they were doing something to her and that’s why she stopped crying or what. My husband tried to get a picture of her for me but there were so many people around her tiny crib it was hard to get a picture of anything more than the back of someones head. After what felt like 30 minutes (it was probably only 2 or 3 minutes), one of the NICU doctors (who I later found out was due on the same day as my original due date, November 3rd) brought her over to us. She explained that Audrey looked great but that she was having a hard time remembering to breathe so she needed to head to the NICU immediately. I remember wanting to touch her and asking for a kiss but too scared to do it. I was scared those extra 30 seconds spent with me and my husband would delay her treatment and hurt her more in the long run. We didn’t say anything, just stared at her in shock and amazement. Then off she went.

They say hindsight is 20/20 and that’s the damn truth! Our naivety also made us pretty sure of ourselves. We thought for sure we’d see her in a couple hours and we could hug her and kiss her all we wanted. That ended up not being true. At the time we didn’t realize we wouldn’t see Audrey for another three hours. For me those three hours went by quickly. I was so doped up on whatever they gave me I slept right through them. As for my husband, he wasn’t so lucky. We’ve actually never really talked about how he was feeling during those three hours but if I could imagine the feelings he was having they would probably sound a little something like this. He was probably updating the family and fielding phone calls and text messages as long as he could. He was probably anxiously awaiting any news from the NICU. He was probably worried that it took me so long to wake up and wondering if that was normal. His head was probably spinning trying to make sense of everything that just happened in the last six hours.

Then the thought we’d both tried not to think about, “What if Audrey doesn’t make it? How do I tell Rachel? How do I tell our families? What do I say? Can I even bring myself to do this?”

If I were to do it all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to reach out and touch Audrey, I would have insisted on giving her a kiss before she went to the NICU, and I would have asked for someone to take a family picture of us. Because knowing what I know now, that could have been our one and only opportunity to do that. Audrey’s condition could have deteriorated quickly and she could have been gone before I woke up from surgery. It’s realities like this that we didn’t prepare for. We didn’t know that could have been our first and last time ever seeing our daughter alive and no one could have anticipated that. So, a word of advice from some random wannabe blogger, hold their hand, kiss their cheek, give them a hug, and take the picture. Don’t be afraid to make your memories. That might be all you have left of that person someday.

pPROM Story

Next stop, Babytown! Well maybe…

**This post is a little TMI so if you don’t like the words: vagina or cervix or any other word associated with childbirth, you should probably just move along. I’m also NOT a nurse or doctor so anything I say in this post should NOT be used as treatment or diagnosis or otherwise. I’m simply explaining my understanding of my birth story as the patient.**

It seems most appropriate that I post about my birth story since today is my daughter’s 1st birthday! Per pPROM protocol if still pregnant induction should be started at 34 weeks. Even after spending as much time on my computer and phone as I did for the last five months, researching all sorts of things about waters breaking early, I still never really realized how lucky I was to make it as far as I did. 20 weeks with little to no fluid. That’s a freakin’ miracle! I guess even right down to the end I was still so naive about everything. I stayed pretty calm through my entire pregnancy even though it had a black rain cloud over it from the beginning. I stayed positive which I think helped tremendously. I kept imagining what my life was going to be like with my little girl and all the places we were going to go when she got here. I kept forgetting the most important part though, NO ONE knew how sick she was going to be. I just thought she would spend a couple weeks in the NICU and then we could go on all of our adventures. I was wrong. Like really, really wrong.

My induction started right at 34 weeks, it was a Sunday and my room was pretty spacious. It was about 7:30 pm when the process started. They had to give me a “cervical ripening” medication called Cervidil, so that the Pitocin I was going to get the next day didn’t tear apart my cervix like a pack of vultures on some roadkill. That stayed in for a little over 12 hours. My day nurse came in that morning, took out the Cervidil (it’s kinda like a tiny tampon that hugs the cervix all night), and checked to see if I progressing (thinning and dilating). I was! Yay! Then my doctor came in to check and to give orders to start Pitocin. Woot! Woot! We were on our way to Babytown!

Yeah, that was a big ole NOPE! About halfway-ish (I should mention I barely looked at the clock during this process so if you’re an L&D nurse reading this and thinking my timing is way off, it probably is) through my day on Pitocin and I reached the maximum daily amount allowed. I hadn’t dilated at all and my contractions were nothing more than a super mild period cramp. I was done inducing for that day so no Babytown for us. Boo! I was started on another “cervical ripening” drug called Cytotec. 0 out of 5 stars, do not recommend, I would tell a friend to stay far, far away! This drug was super fun because it had to be inserted into the vagina, like ALLLLLLLLLLL the way up to the cervix… well “behind” the cervix from my understanding. Not only did I have to have my nurse touch my belly button from the inside once, I had to have that done every 4 hours for the next… SIX…TEEN… hours! FML! I was at the point where I wanted the epidural now if this ish continued!

Finally, we started to have some movement and I dilated to about 1.50 cm. Hallelujah! I was back on Pitocin and this train was headed for Babytown! But not before one of those rough looking outlaws from the old western movies shows up and robs the train. That asshole. Apparently my body wanted to keep my child hostage (eyeroll emoji so hard RN!). I swear labor is the only time when your brain and your body completely separate from each other. Your brain is telling you one thing and your body is like “Nah, bro that’s not a great idea.” and then your kid is like “Well, can one of you make up your mind?!” I’m grateful my body kept her in there for as long as it did but right now is not the time to be difficult! I had pretty much stopped dilating altogether and I was going into day three of my induction. Things needed to move sooner rather than later because if we wait too long the baby will start to have trouble.

Because of the lack of amniotic fluid, it didn’t take long for baby to have some issues. Her heart started dropping during some of the bigger contractions (normal) but was taking longer to come back up to a normal rhythm (not normal). I had something called an Amnioinfusion to help add some padding to the baby during contractions. I had a probe placed up there to measure the pressure from each contraction, and I had a super fun foley catheter placed up there to help me dilate (who knew all that could fit up there all at once?!). The foley worked and I dilated to 3 cm! The next few hours seemed to be moving along just as planned and I dilated on my own to 5 cm. We were definitely on our way to Babytown now! I really started feeling those big contractions and asked for some pain meds. I have no idea how people like that feeling. I felt like I was floating but not going anywhere. I was hearing the conversations but it was like the words were literally floating in one ear and out the other. 3 out of 5 because it stopped the pain from the contractions, but I would not recommend if you want to be a functioning human being in society, I would only recommend to my friends pushing a watermelon out their vahjina! The pain meds worked for a little while until the contractions started to get really uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure if the whole vulture analogy from before was happening to me or if I was just a big ole puss but I asked for that epidural!

Couple hours after the epidural was placed that MF’n Yeti ripped up the train tracks on me and we were, yet again, stopped on our way to Babytown (if you’ve never been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom you wouldn’t understand that analogy, sorry!). I stopped dilating at 5 cm and the amnioinfusion wasn’t working like it was before. Baby’s heart rate was dropping and taking even longer to come back up. I had two options; 1) go all super saiyan and magically make my cervix dilate to 10 cm. Or 2) prep for a c-section. Since the whole super saiyan thing was unlikely at this point, I prepped for surgery.

This is the part of my story where I get scared… like really, really scared. Everything I had been through up until this point didn’t scare me half as much as this did. You should know that I’m a pretty tough girl. I’m not overly emotional; I’m one of those get back on the horse and tell him he’s an asshole type people, and (normally) when I’m scared I just move forward and get it done. This time… I was terrified. I didn’t want to be alone and panicked when my husband had to go put on that awesome looking bunny suit and my nurses wheeled me into the OR, alone. (**Sidebar: Full disclosure, I work in an OR. Still not a nurse, still not a doctor. I’m an x-ray tech. My medical knowledge is whatever I need to know to do my job. So, the first paragraph in this post still stands. Don’t be stupid and self diagnose because of this blog. Go to a real doctor who went to school for 85 years and will still be paying off student loan debt until they’re 100, kapeesh?). Being someone who works in the OR, it all looked the same. It smelled the same. The equipment was the same. The process was the same. Except this time I was on the other side of the table. I was feeling the exact same way my patients were feeling right before they went to sleep. I was putting my trust in my doctor that she would do the surgery perfectly (and only leave me with a tiny scar). I was putting my trust in the scrub techs that they made sure every single thing was sterile and I wouldn’t get an infection. I was putting my trust in my anesthesiologist that I wouldn’t feel anything during my surgery. These are all the things you think about when you’re the patient. Let’s not forget the main reason why I’m lying in an OR in the first place, my baby. My thoughts ranged from “Will she come out crying?” to “Will she even be born alive?”.

As they laid me down and prepped me for the start of my surgery, I begin to shake uncontrollably. I wasn’t sure if it was the meds they gave me, or if the room was just that cold, or if I was just that terrified. Probably a little bit of everything. Finally, my husband walked in. I was so relieved to see him. For a minute there I thought I was going to have to do this all alone. Now these times I remember, I signed all my paperwork for surgery at 6:00 am, by 6:15 am I was in the OR and at 6:45 am on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 my daughter was born.

pPROM Story

Room With A View

The following three weeks after our last MFM appointment were pretty uneventful. We stayed positive and put together the baby’s furniture and decorated her room. But it wasn’t completely void of a few negative thoughts…

“I really hope we will have a baby to sleep in this crib.”

“Don’t open everything just in case we have to return it.”

“I’m not going to wash any of her clothes just yet.”

It’s a very surreal feeling to prepare for something you’re not even sure is going to happen. You try not to get too excited because you could end up heartbroken if things don’t go the way you’d planned.

Since I couldn’t do much more in the baby’s room I had to get myself ready for my stay at the hospital. What do you even bring to the hospital when you know you’re going to be there for a while? EVERYTHING! Ok, so maybe not everything but to my husband I’m sure it felt like everything! Haha! I packed my big rolling suitcase full of leggings, cotton dresses, bralettes, t-shirts, about 100 pairs of underwear, and socks. I was definitely moving in! I brought pretty much anything that was going to make that place feel more like home (in hindsight, I didn’t need half the stuff I brought). We packed my suitcases (yes, plural) into our SUV and headed to the hospital.

I was admitted directly into the labor and delivery unit where they started IVs, gave me a bunch of preventative medications, took a million vials of blood, monitored the baby, and had me talk to about seven different people on top of talking with all my nurses and doctors. I was exhausted on day one and I didn’t even get out of bed! The first day was a whirlwind. So much was happening so quickly my head was spinning! The next day was little better. I was getting adjusted to living in the hospital. It was nice that people would bring your food, clean your room, and bring you water anytime you need it, but it got old quick. I missed home. I missed sleeping in my own bed, I missed my dog flapping his ears in the middle of the night, and I even missed the pesto pasta frozen dinner (we would eat this at least once, maybe twice a week when my husband was doing the grocery shopping) that my husband could probably live off of!

My hospital stay was so much longer than we originally anticipated (3 months)! But it was a double edge sword. We needed to stay that long because the longer I stayed pregnant the better, but I missed home so much after the first month. I somehow stayed positive and didn’t let the hospital life get to me (honestly, it was one of the hottest summers in FL that year so I was probably better off!). I think when I did start to feel down it wasn’t because I couldn’t be outside, it was because I didn’t get to have a “normal” pregnancy. I didn’t get to ward off little old ladies trying to rub my belly. Or hear people’s old wives tales about the sex of the baby. Or hear about other women’s labor stories. Or wear a stupid t-shirt that says “Don’t eat watermelon seeds!” I guess I was kind of mourning the fact that my pregnancy felt more like a secret because I was stuck in bed, closed off to the outside world. My time in the hospital wasn’t all bad. I was there for so long I got to know my nurses really well. I got to literally Netflix and chill all day, everyday. I didn’t have any responsibilities. I didn’t have to work (Praise the Lort!). My only job was to stay in bed, drink my body weight in water, and stay pregnant. All of which I did just perfectly!

Up until about 28 weeks pregnant my days were pretty uneventful. Baby didn’t make any big moves or cause much of a fuss from about 23-28 weeks. She behaved herself. Once I hit 28 weeks, that was a totally different story. She was trying to get comfortable but she was running out space. pPROM is when the sac holding the amniotic fluid and the baby ruptures sooner than it’s supposed to. Normally when a woman’s water breaks labor and delivery isn’t far behind. That’s the same for pPROM except the water breaks too soon, like mine did at 14 weeks. Sometimes pPROM happens later in pregnancy and the effects of it are not as detrimental. The gestational age of the baby is extremely important for moms suffering from pPROM. The earlier into the pregnancy the more damaging pPROM can be. For example, my water broke at 14 weeks and at that gestational age baby’s lungs are being developed. Without the proper amount of amniotic fluid the baby’s lungs could never inflate once born, ultimately causing death shortly after birth. However, miracles do happen and I have a beautiful, healthy little girl to prove it!

**WARNING: I will be talking in more detail about what my body was going through during this time so if you don’t want to know those details, skip the next paragraph**

One question I got a lot is, “Is the bed rest going to help heal the rupture site?” Yes and no. For me, it was no but for some other women it’s yes. I think there are a lot of factors that go into determining this and I honestly didn’t do the research to figure it out. I never “resealed” and for 5 straight months I “leaked” fluid. I had to keep a pad on all day and change frequently to avoid any type of infection. Every time baby moved whatever amount of fluid I was able to keep in there came right out. It was basically like filling a balloon with water and poking a hole in it. Every time you move the balloon more water comes out. You can try to refill it but it’s still going to leak. Same concept for pPROM except whatever fluid the baby is able to breath in is good. Bed rest is to help keep what’s left, intact and to minimize leakage.

With the help of my fantastic nurses and doctors, I was able to stay pregnant until 34 weeks! It’s a miracle I stayed pregnant that long without any major medical intervention.

pPROM Story

Nice to Finally Meet You

A month went by with no other complications and at this appointment with the MFM we would get to see our baby again. By this time we were due for the anatomy scan. This is the point in the pregnancy where they measure baby’s arms, legs, head, belly, and check for any (other) abnormalities. The ultrasound tech didn’t seem to have much trouble finding everything, so that must be a good sign! She explained to us what she was measuring and that I did have little pockets of fluid now but she didn’t know if it was enough for lung development (which by this point was our biggest concern).

When the ultrasound tech was done measuring everything she said she had one last thing she needed to check; the sex of the baby. Normally parents would be ecstatic to find out the sex of their baby, us on the other hand, were still unsure if we wanted to know. By this point I was around 18-20 weeks and legally we had up to 23 weeks (given my condition) to decided if we wanted to terminate the pregnancy. We both decided we didn’t want to know the baby’s sex until we were at a “safe point” in the pregnancy (we weren’t there yet!) because if we did have to make the decision to terminate, knowing the sex of the baby beforehand would make it that much more difficult for us to deal with. After a few minutes of back and forth we decided we wanted to know. We held our breath as the ultrasound tech typed on her keyboard…

IT’S A GIRL!

We just stared at each other for a little while and let that sink in. *It’s a girl* We probably didn’t have the same reaction most parents do. At first we were so excited that we wanted to call and text every person in our contacts list and tell them we’re having a little girl! Then we both felt a sadness. Almost like we should have stuck to our guns and said no because now the situation just got that much more difficult.

After the ultrasound, the doctor came in to talk to us. She discussed what would happen at admission to the hospital and how the whole process works from here on out. We also found out that she would not be monitoring me anymore because she is not credentialed with the hospital my insurance company requires me to deliver at. Bummer. She did leave us with some hope. She said even though our baby was growing a little behind her heart rate has stayed right in normal limits despite having very little fluid surrounding her. She explained that our daughter could still have some or all of the issues we previously discussed but that she’s made it this far and that’s a good thing.

We left that appointment with a mixed bag of feelings. We were sad the doctor wouldn’t be able to find out what happened to us when we left her office that day. We were excited that we now know the sex of our baby. We were nervous because my time at home was slowly ticking away. We were scared because the future of our baby was still unknown. We always asked each other after these types of appointments if we were doing the right thing; if in the end would all this be worth it? Would our daughter resent us in the future if we made the wrong decision? Thoughts like this crossed our minds daily and we never got any real validation that what we were doing was the right thing.

We had deep conversations throughout this time about things we never thought we’d have to talk about. Having those tough conversations all the time took a toll on us mentally. Not being able to leave the house (except for doctors appointments) and being stuck in bed all day, everyday wore on me. My husband felt bad when he wanted to go out for a couple hours just to clear his head. It wasn’t easy on either of us,but this was just the beginning. The hard stuff hadn’t even happened yet, but I can promise you we were not as prepared as we thought we were.

pPROM Story

The Day The Rain Came

A couple days after my water broke I had an appointment with a Material-Fetal Medicine (MFM) doctor. These type of doctors take care of pregnancies with more severe conditions with either unborn babies and/or moms; conditions like pPROM. We weren’t really sure what to expect from this type of appointment. So far our appointments for the baby were fun and exciting (aside from the bad news one).

Driving to this appointment was a silent ride, which is pretty unusual for us because I’m a talker. Sitting in the waiting room felt like we were there for hours! I started by getting an ultrasound. It looked the same as the one from the day before. The baby’s heart rate was still strong and within normal range, so that was good news! After the ultrasound we waited to meet the doctor.

Being in the medical field I was hoping for a doctor who was straight forward and honest, but still believed in miracles. Because we needed one. Lucky for us, that’s exactly the kind of doctor we got. She talked about things like Potter’s Sequence and Pulmonary Hypoplasia. She told us our baby could have severe physical deformities due to the limited space. She talked about how our baby could only live a couple hours after birth, and that we would have to prepare ourselves to sign a birth AND death certificate on the same day. All of those things seemed so scary to hear that day but one thing she did say was what we needed to hear.

“Your baby has a strong heart beat despite having no measurable fluid.”

That was really all we needed to hear to make our decision. Our doctor give us the option to terminate the pregnancy because the potential outcome could be pretty severe. Not to mention the emotional toll something like that could put on a family, marriage, and the child. We decided that if my water breaking was a sign of a late term miscarriage, we were just going wait it out and let things happen the way they were supposed to. Our doctor supported our decision and said she would continue to monitor me and the baby until 23 weeks when I would have to be admitted into the hospital, per pPROM protocol.

We left that appointment almost joyful. I guess because we had some definitive answers and we got to see that our baby was still chugging along. I was also put on bed rest until I delivered, which sucked, but I would have stood on my head for five months if that gave my baby a fighting chance. We wouldn’t have to see the MFM again for another month but I was required to see my regular OBGYN once a week. That was nice because we had the opportunity to hear our baby’s heart beat every week. A little good sprinkled in with the bad definitely lifted our spirits.

pPROM Story

Did I Just Pee Myself…?

Was exactly what I asked myself on May 14th, 2018. It was about 9:30 pm and I was only 14 weeks pregnant at the time and felt a gush of water like I’d just peed myself. I did not.

My water broke.

I didn’t even know that could happen, let alone so early! I was so naive to the whole thing I actually just changed my clothes and went to bed. I woke up in the morning feeling dry so I figured peeing myself was just going to be a thing now, among other fun pregnancy related things. I thought “Well, I better call the doctor just in case though.” They got me right in! Like “Can you be here in 10 minutes?” right in. I figured, “Sure, it’s on my way to work.” (Seriously, what TF was I thinking?!)

When I got there I went right back. No passing go, no collecting $200. I even had my couch picked out and everything! The doctors did a few tests for amniotic fluid, which came back negative. At this point, we both kinda thought I peed myself. She ordered an ultrasound anyway to make sure there wasn’t anything going on that she couldn’t see during a physical exam. The second the ultrasound tech put the probe on my belly I knew something wasn’t right. Having had an ultrasound two weeks before I knew the baby was supposed to be swimming in this black pool looking blob. It wasn’t there. It actually looked more like my baby was lying in a tear drop. Very small black pool and this long tail looking thing. But I kept thinking I was imagining it, that maybe it was the angle of the probe or something.

The doctor confirmed that my water had broken (pPROM) and what my next steps would be (although I couldn’t focus on anything she was telling me). I really just wanted to leave there as fast as I could and not let ANYONE see me crying. I just about sprinted out of there once I got myself together. At home, my husband and I just cried. For hours. We tried for two years to have a baby and were starting to wonder if we would need help getting pregnant, then we got pregnant! We were so excited! Our whole family was! Then this happens… We had no idea what was coming next and had no idea what decisions we would be facing. We had no idea what the process would be like or at what cost.

We locked ourselves in our house and shut off our phones. Nothing was going to make us feel better at that moment and it was easier to shut everyone out. So that’s what we did.