I Wish The Reality Of My Pregnancy Was Just A Nightmare: It Wasn't

Komal  Parekh Komal Parekh in Your Story on 27 February, 2017

(Read this first: I Was 25 When I Got Pregnant: It Was The Best Thing That Had Happened To Me Until That Fateful Day)

Time flew by experiencing the joys of pregnancy, minutes turned into hours, hours to days and days to months. It was my eighth month of pregnancy on July 9th, 2016 when I met my OB-GYN for a routine checkup; he confirmed that I was in good health and my B.P. was normal. This was very important in my case as I had been told earlier that I might be prone to Gestational hyper-tension considering my family history. Both, my sister and mom, had it during their pregnancy but my B.P. showed normal in both my trimesters, so the GYN and I felt that it wouldn’t affect my case.

We were relieved and I continued my routine while eagerly waiting for the arrival of our little bundle of joy. But, from here on, life wasn't going to be easy.
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The next day I woke up with my legs swollen. Overnight swelling took me by surprise but elders in my family mentioned that swelling was a normal occurrence in the last stage of pregnancy. So I didn’t pay much heed to to it and carried on. Days passed and then came the the midnight of July 15; the most dreadful night of our lives.

Around midnight I got very restless and kept tossing and turning on the bed, it was not painful initially but I was feeling uncomfortable. I was in my 33rd week of pregnancy and last trimester discomfort is common occurrence so I tried sleeping but in vain. Around 4 am I started experiencing pain around my lower abdomen. I texted my friends and both my elder sisters who have been through pregnancy to check if this was normal. It was late and I thought I might be panicking for no reason. I tried to put myself to sleep despite the discomfort.

After a very long, arduous night I called my OB-GYN at 7:00 am finally. I mentioned the details of what happened the previous night. He suspected it to be UTI as he had checked my statistics just last week. I was perfectly alright last week so we didn't anticipate anything serious. He asked me to visit him just to be on the safer side to take care of any concerns.

The moment I hung up, I got the biggest shock, I noticed my clothes stained. It started with normal bleeding and then I started passing lumps and clots. It was becoming increasingly difficult to get myself to walk. 
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My husband rushed me to the hospital. While in the hospital elevator I remember seeing my clothes soaked in blood and a pool of blood around my feet. I started feeling weak in my knees and almost fainted but I thought to myself, I have to be in my senses for the sake of my baby and was praying for my baby's health. We reached the top floor and I was immediately wheeled away. The doctor came rushing in to check me.

What came next may be the worst nightmare for any pregnant woman became my reality. The doctor could not detect the baby’s heartbeat and I was losing my consciousness but I tried holding on.

Despite experiencing the highest intensity of pain I've ever felt, I was worried and kept asking why couldn’t we hear the baby’s heartbeat. He didn’t respond at all, he tried to stop the bleeding but when it did not stop, he decided to shift me from his nursing home to a hospital close-by that could handle complicated pregnancy cases.

This was only the beginning of the trauma. An ambulance was called and I was placed on a stretcher. I was accompanied by my husband and mom-in-law by my side trying to comfort me and my doctor on the front seat. We rushed to BSES hospital Andheri that was 10 mins away. While I was being carried into the hospital I noticed my palm and hands swelling and my vision changed in a second. Everything seemed blurry and a gush of blood streamed down my thighs and legs.

As soon as we reached the hospital I was taken into the labour room. I was in immense pain and I couldn't move an inch. The intensity of the pain had paralyzed me and I felt a strong intuition that my baby was no more.

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I was taken for an Ultra-sound where during the examination I heard the Doctors discuss that it's a severe case of placenta abruption due to high blood pressure. I had suffered preeclampsia attack with extremely critical internal bleeding. 

It was a severe case of an attack of Preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is the most serious and a life threatening complication of pregnancy which can cause fetal death, maternal death or sometimes both. Preeclampsia is caused due to a sudden rise of blood pressure in a matter of seconds. In my case my blood pressure shot up overnight. The high blood pressure resulted in the blood capillaries around my placenta to burst and caused placenta abruption due to blood hemorrhaging.

This is a rare occurrence, 1 in 1000 pregnant women suffer from this condition but a pregnant woman should be aware of it nonetheless. The rise in blood pressure can affect any vital organ of the carrying mother. In my case it was the placenta, in some other cases it can be the brain/heart/kidney or any other vital organ

I was in a state of shock; I was so stunned I couldn’t hear anything they spoke after a point. I couldn’t bear the thought of my baby dying. I don’t know whether the terrible pain I felt was a physical or emotional pain. It felt like I was drowning and everything around me went a blur.

The doctor tried to comfort me and mentioned that they would try for a normal delivery, as it would be very risky to perform a ‘C-section’ in my condition and that I should be mentally strong and try to deliver normally. They told my husband that they will wait for a maximum of 6 hours for normal delivery.

I asked him, is the baby safe; his only reply was “we will do our best". I was still hoping for a miracle to happen, maybe my baby is fine and went through hell for 6 long hours. 
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Amidst all this I had fainted twice due to the unbearable pain. Unfortunately, even after 6 hours I did not dilate post 2.5 cms and for a normal delivery a woman must dilate 10 full cms. The doctor informed my family that he couldn’t wait any longer as it could be dangerous for the mother. Despite high blood pressure and a risk of me bleeding out, he had to perform a 'C-section' surgery as his last option. The last memory I have is of being given an extremely high dose of anesthesia as they began the surgery.

24 hours later I gained consciousness only to find myself on a ventilator with a plastic stick inside my throat helping me breathe in the ICCU. It was killing me to know where my baby was but I could not even talk while on life support. I struggled with signs to ask "where is my baby?" "If it was ok?" "If it was a boy or girl" and "where was Niraj?" But no doctor/nurse around had an answer to my questions. Instead, I was sedated.

In the middle of the night, I woke up again murmuring my hubby's name and he came to me in the ICCU and I asked his, "Where is our baby?" I noticed his eyes were red but he just came close to me, smiled a little and told me, it's a beautiful baby boy but since he was premature, he has to be in the NICU. I heaved a sigh of relief and felt alive again.

I don't remember what happened next, maybe I slept off. 32 hours after surgery, my statistics were somewhere close to normal and I was declared out of danger, after which I was taken off the ventilator. I gained consciousness to the most terrible news that nearly killed me again. I was told that my very first child, a baby boy, had passed away inside me 12 hours before I was bought to the hospital. My hubby was forced to hide the truth from me, fearing the rise in blood pressure, risking my life. I was later told that I had lost 40% of my body blood and doctors had barely managed to save my life.

Had my doctor not got a control over the internal bleeding, they would have to surgically remove my uterus. But due to some miracle, they managed to control my bleeding and I still have a uterus allowing me to plan again. I had substantial blood transfusions; over 8 bottles and a 5 hour long surgery.

Not only did my angel baby just leave me empty but left my heart, soul and my whole existence completely empty. A part of me got buried with him that day and I was never the same person again, I could barely function for the months to follow.
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Maybe my husband didn't physically go through what I did but mentally he was equally traumatised. Maybe more than me as he was in a worse situation. Having already lost his child he was under constant fear of losing me too. It was a miracle that I was alive and my uterus was safe. It was a sign that I have a chance in future. 

He had felt the inexplicable pain of burying the lifeless body of our first child, may no parent ever have to see this horrible day. As for me, I didn't even get to see my first baby.

I didn't know what it feels like when someone says, "felt weak in my knees" but that day, it was so overwhelming. I literally felt that intensity of emotional pain that if I was standing, I would simply collapse as my knees felt so weak and I just could not get myself to cry.

I was still in the ICCU as my kidneys and lungs were affected due to the massive blood loss. I experienced audible hallucinations of baby crying and of fetal heartbeats in the middle of the night. Even now, after 6 months, that I pen this it brings me to tears recalling that trauma.
Editor's Note:

Please share this story with every pregnant woman you know, because it's important.