At What Cost?

Diagnosis: Placental Abruption

By Melissa

In 2011, I was a surrogate for an amazing couple. I had an uneventful labor, but it went south quickly. I ended up with retained placenta and a severe hemorrhage that landed me in the operating room for a manual extraction and a need for six units of blood. It was a scary situation, and for a few moments I didn't think I would make it out of that room.

Fast forward to December 15, 2012 when my doctor called me. I had been in and out of her office since May 2012 with no periods but all my pregnancy tests were negative. The doctor told me that I was eight weeks pregnant! My husband and I were ecstatic, considering we didn't think it was possible after all the damage during the last delivery.

A follow-up ultrasound on December 20 showed that the placenta was attaching to the same area that had the most damage from my previous pregnancy. My doctor sent me to a high risk OB who told me that it was my decision but that the bigger the baby grew, the more it would push the placenta, and ultimately, that it could rupture my already thin uterine wall.

I did not want to believe this bad news, so I asked for a third opinion. The third doctor informed me that the longer I waited to make a decision, the more likely it was that the choice would be made for me and that I would not like the outcome. She gave me a 15-minute window to get to the hospital, if should start to bleed with a miscarriage.

My husband and I chose for me to live. My life was more important to our family. This was so heartbreaking. My brain knows that it was the right choice, and yet my heart can't keep up. The week leading up to the procedure was pure hell. I cried all the time. I wrote letters to my family thinking that I was not going to make it out of the operating room a second time.

Friday, January 25th, I was 14 weeks pregnant, and I was admitted to the hospital. The doctor held my hand as I cried, and as I told the baby that I was so unbelievably sorry. That this was not what I had planned. As they were putting me out, I was crying, even though I was trying to be brave. I woke up feeling so empty and alone.

Even though I my house is full of my kids and my husband, it's amazing how alone I could feel. As the pain subsides, the wave of emotion sweeps in, and I'm riding that wave as best I can.


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