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.


Books on Loss and Grief

Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy

The Dive :: A Memoir

A Time to Decide a Time to Heal: For Parents Making Difficult Decisions About Babies They Love

Precious Lives Painful Choices: A Prenatal Decision-Making Guide

Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, Revised Edition: Surviving the Death of Your Baby

Empty Arms: Coping With Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death

A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss

Unspeakable Losses: Healing From Miscarriage, Abortion, And Other Pregnancy Loss

Surviving Pregnancy Loss: A Complete Sourcebook for Women and Their Families

Difficult Decisions: For Families Whose Unborn Baby Has a Serious Problem

Books for Fathers, Family, Children and Friends

Couple Communication After a Baby Dies: Differing Perspectives

For Better or Worse: For Couples Whose Child Has Died

How to Say it When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words For Difficult Times

A Guide For Fathers: When A Baby Dies

When Your Friend's Child Dies: A Guide to Being a Thoughtful and Caring Friend

When Pregnancy Fails: Families Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death

What You Can Say When You Don't Know What to Say: Reaching Out to Those Who Hurt

Books about Trying Again and Pregnancy after Loss

Journeys: Stories of Pregnancy After Loss

Trying Again: A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss

Pregnancy After a Loss: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death