April 5, 2018
26 weeks. I felt really off that day, I took a shower and was just doing my normal duties. I felt more wet and heavy around my vulva and pelvis area. So, being in tune with my body, I kind of knew something just didn’t feel right. I called in a sub for my fitness class I was supposed to teach that night. Later that night, I was actually on a play date with a friend when I went to the restroom and I realized I had bloody, watery discharge. I called my midwife right away and was able to see her asap. She did some tests and said I needed to go down to the hospital to do further testing because there were so many things it could be. I was having no cramping, no labor signs, no signs of anything and I was not leaking, but felt wet and there was red blood in the discharge. They ran more tests and came to the conclusion that I had a small rupture in my membranes. However the first strip test they did, it turned a color they had not ever seen, so it was there best guess. They wanted to do another ultrasound to see how the baby was handling it and if they could look to see where the bleeding was coming from. They could not find anything, but the good news was that our little GIRL was healthy, strong, moving, lots of fluid, and measuring 27 weeks, it’s like like nothing happened to her. Usually with something like this, they see the baby under distress. I continued to spot and have bloody watery discharge, but never gushes and no contractions. I was hooked up to all kinds of things just incase I went into labor which was really scary since I was barely in my second trimester.
With my third pregnancy I did have a pre-rupture, but had a healthy full term pregnancy with my fourth. It was crazy they said to start having complications this late in pregnancy and it usually means something is really wrong, but they could not pin point it. They kept running more test. I completely stopped having watery mucusy discharge and then it went to just brownish blood. It did this for a couple days, but they went to just very light spotting. Each day they ran more test and the strips kept coming back negative that my membranes were not ruptured and still no answers to why I was bleeding.
At this point, I fought to go home from the hospital so I could be at home with my other four kids, who missed their mom. We had a lot of decision making to do. We hired an in-home nanny to help take care of the kids, and our Church stepped in to help support us as well. I left the hospital not really knowing or having answers to what was going on with my pregnancy or baby. Yes, everyone was puzzled. I had so many feelings, lots of emotions, uncertainties, helpless and overwhelmed. Like, why and how is this happening, this pregnancy has been so good up until now. Lots of tears and asking God to comfort our family during this trail. This is definitely a plot twist we didn’t expect.
Because of all of this and all the complications I was having with this pregnancy, I was risked out of my home birth and midwife’s practice. I then was on the quest to find the next high risk doctor that would respect my natural and holistic views, but would also have more answers for me. I found Idaho Stork with Dr. Glen Love Lace and Midwife Kristie Rhodes. Before I saw them at 28 weeks, I had to see MFM one last time for a follow up. Between that time I sat on bed rest all day, every day. I slept a lot and caught up on a lot of picture organizing, business stuff, and listened to a lot of audio books. I wore a pad daily to keep track of what was happening. My blood went from pink, to red to brown and then I would have nothing for a couple days and then it would start again. Sometimes I would have “gushes” of watery mucus with hints of blood.
When I followed up with MFM and had another in depth ultrasound to look at the right side where they think the problem was. I usually like to limit how many ultrasound sounds I get, but since I was considered and high risk, I needed to get so many. They checked fluid level and growth and everything was 100% SHE’S HUGE, they kept telling me she almost weighed 4lbs and is so healthy. That was always reassuring for me to hear, especially with the constant feeling of being worried every time I would bleed or have something strange happened down there. What the doctors said was that on my far upper right side I had a 1/4 of an inch where it looks like my amnion and chorion (Chorioamniotic Separation) are separated and there could be some blood building up. I asked if it would clot off and they said it might, but it can cycle throughout my pregnancy where the capillaries and fluid reform. This is probably why every couple days I was having mucousy watery blood, then it goes to old blood, then discharge. Again, was them just guessing because it’s really hard to see on the ultrasound. The MFM doctor didn’t seem to be worried, since our baby looked so great. Usually, again if something is majorly wrong, the baby shows signs. They did tell me though that things could go wrong fast and since they didn’t know what was wrong I could lose the baby or even lose my own life.
After I was dismissed from their care, I immediately made an appointment with the best high risk doctors in the city, who I mentioned above. I felt really confident with this team, they said they would keep me pregnant for as long as possible and still honor all of my birth plan even if I go early. Secretly I was still keeping the option of a home birth if I got to 37 weeks, because that was the initial plan. I was as to be risked out, but was so thankful for my now OB and midwife duo. At my first appointment they let me take a doppler home to put my mind at ease and at this point they still wanted me on modified and pelvic bed rest. They said I could be a little more active, but every time I was, I swear things kept going down hill. So, I planted myself as much as possible. I was making small goals each week to help me push forward. I also asked to see them weekly because of the circumstances, and they really worked with me and my care. Every week counted, and I was really hoping for 36-37 weeks, but that never came.
I would say daily affirmations to myself to help keep my mind in the correct space. I trusted myself, my body and the timing of this baby, but it was very traumatizing being on bed rest and not really knowing what was wrong and just praying for a good outcome. I can’t explain the feeling of thinking you might lose a child. I cried. I laughed at myself. I was very humbled and kept reminding myself of how sacred it was, the work I was doing to grow this child to make sure she got here safely.
May 21, 2018
That morning I woke up and I had a significantly more blood, it was more then I ever seen. I called my midwife right away and sent her a picture. She booked an appointment for me right away the late afternoon. By The time the appointment had come, I had been contracting on and off. I was 32 weeks. Even though I had some “fluid” coming out, when they did another amnio text, it still came back the weird color and everything looked good with baby, plus I still had almost 12cm of fluid. So my water was not broke because with contractions we would of had a sure test. They monitored me at the office for a little bit and sure enough this little girl was going me consistent contractions, they were light though, nothing too major. They decided to send me home on meds to help stop the contractions instead of admitting me to the hospital to put me on magnesium to stop them first.
Well, the first dose of the meds worked, but the second dose didn’t and I start having contractions every 2 to 5 minutes apart and they were becoming uncomfortable. I woke my husband up around 330am and told him that we should go to the hospital so I can get on magnesium to stop the contractions.
So there I was again, back in the hospital. They gave me a first dose of meds to stop them immediately, and I had some crazy side effects to the drug. I started shaking uncontrollably and having seizure like symptoms, which was really scary for me. It worked and stopped things in its tracks. Then they had to give me an IV, and they couldn’t quite get a good vein, so they had to poke me a few times to administer the magnesium. Magnesium is a muscle relaxer, so since your uterus is muscle, it helps to calm it down and stop contracting. Everything finally did calm down. I was in tears though, it was all so stressful. I got a progesterone shot to help prolong the pregnancy and steroids again to help baby’s lungs, since this meant she was coming sooner than later. They wanted to check to see if my cervix did anything and sure enough I was 90% effaced, but my doctor was hopeful that he can keep me pregnant for a while longer, as long as baby cooperates.
I sat on hospital bed rest once again, but this time felt awful being on all the IV’s and meds. My OB and Midwife would come check on me daily, when I would start contracting again they would up the magnesium and would give me shots of terbutaline, and it did keep me pregnant for about 1 more week.
The birth of Faithlyn
On the night of the 26th my contractions kept picking up and nothing was really working to keep them calm. They called in the Doc and he checked me and I was 100% and dilated to a 3. You could see my bulging bag of water. He told me, “she’s coming and there is not more we can do.” He asked me if I wanted turn off the meds now and go over to labor and delivery or wait until the morning. Since it was almost 1 in the morning I said, I’ll just wait and let my husband sleep.
I was having contractions that night, but they were not super intense, just crampy and mild. I didn’t have to breath hard though them, so I did not think anything of it. I could not sleep that well though, I kept having to get up and go to the bathroom. At around 5:30 am I texted my hubby and said that they were going to take me to labor and delivery around 7am and asked if he could bring some things. I asked the nurse for some herbal tea so I could try and relax before everyone got there, I was still in bed just trying to stay calm.
It was now around 6am that I drank some of the tea and took some big deep breaths. Today was the day and I didn’t really know what to expect. Having such an early baby, with my last pregnancy and birth being a perfect full term home birth. I yet again, had to go to the bathroom, so I got up and called in the nurse to help me put my swim suit top on, since that is what I wanted to labor in. I also was telling her how I wanted the IV out so I could labor freely. Just then, another nurse came in with a wheelchair and said, “when you are ready we will wheel you down.”
I was standing and all of a sudden I got “ONE REALLY HUGE WAVE OF A PAINFUL CONTRACTION.” It was a jolting feeling and super strong! It brought me almost to my knees I had to hold onto the wall and I breathed deep into it. I got really clammy and they said I turned pure white at the moment. I looked at the nurse and said, “she is coming!” She said, “Lets get you to labor and delivery.” I said, “there is NO TIME! She is right there!”
Next thing I know, she is crowning, and it was all kind of blur after that. I layed on the floor and my water broke, I then pushed ONE time and scooped her into my arms! She came out whaling and crying, it was 6:18am! Her birth was a total of 18 min. I was so happy though! She was so beautiful with her dark skin and hair and she was so chubby for being born at 33 weeks. She was covered in vernix and I kept rubbing her saying, “you are healthy and strong, praise God!” Our miracle baby was here safe.
The nurses were frantic because I gave birth on the floor in antepartum, It was absolutely crazy and we kind of joke now that I got my home birth in the hospital. I remember everyone scattering, yet trying to encircling me saying different things, but I do not remember what because my endorphins were high. I was laying in pool of blood in a very awkward place in the room by the bathroom. Everyone was doing there best for the circumstances, they told me there has not been a birth in antepartum in 20 years and that they will be talking about me for a while. I asked one of the nurses to take a picture, I got one picture of her having her nose aspirated by the bulb.
The NICU finally showed up and put warm towels on her and told me to continue to rub her to keep her warm, but that she looked very healthy. My midwife finally came in as well and helped me deliver my placenta, cut the cord and do all the after birth stuff. I saved my placenta for encapsulation and because my OB requested so he could further investigate my placenta. I asked if I could call my hubby, and when he picked up he said, “I am almost there!” I said, “SHE IS ALREADY HERE and she is so healthy and so strong just like we prayed for.” He was shocked, but full of gratitude. The NICU nurses then said that they needed to take her to get her blood sugar stabilized, but that her color and breathing all looked great. She was even maintaining her tempture on her own already. They then moved me to the bed for my after birth care. They took her weight and measurement and said she weight 5lbs even and 18 inches long. That was very big for a 33 weeker.
I could not believe it. No body made it for her birth, her father, her doctor, her midwife or even my photographer, she was just in a hurry to get here. What a way to end this story right? My husband finally arrived and we hugged and I told him to go be with the baby. My photographer, Angela, arrived too and we were both bummed that this little girl just did not want to wait for anyone to get here before she arrived.
My after birth care was not so pleasant. I went into full blown labor on the highest dose of magnesium, they said that never happens. Because of that my uterus did not contract after birth and I was hemorrhaging. I was loosing more blood than a C-Section and so they told me that I needed to get pitocin to get my uterus to contract, so I would not hemorrhage more. I guess I am glad they didn’t remove the IV. My OB finally got here at this point and literally had to stick his hand inside me and pull out all the blood clots. It was such excruciating pain! My after birth pains were just awful.
During all this my OB said he found something on my placenta and knows now why I had all the difficulties. My placenta had come off the wall about 6mm and tore just a little bit. They call this a small chronic abruption, but since it was at the base of my placenta and so tiny they could not see it on all the ultrasounds I had. They could see the tiny clot where it had pulled away and that is why I had so many complications with this pregnancy. I asked what about the mucous and fluid, and he thinks I had 2 sacs, but not certain because for sure my water was still intact since it broke during labor. He said my case is still a little of mystery, but I was happy to finally have answers.
Back to the after birth. I was getting so frustrated at this process because they said I was not stable enough to go down to the NICU to be with our daughter. My husband finally came back up to take me down, but my bleeding was not yet under control. I started to get really upset. I asked them if they could bring her up to see me, so I could try to nurse her and just hold her and be with her. My hubby went back down and they actually agreed to my request. All the nurses said they have never seen the NICU do that in the history of the hospital. I was so grateful, it was another tender mercy of her birth.
When I saw her, I just lost it. I sobbed and sobbed tears of pure joy! I kissed, hugged and caressed her little soft head. She actually latched on really well and had a strong suck. Everything I went through, everything that happened, it was all worth it for this pure and sweet moment of holding my beautiful healthy miracle daughter. We named her Faithlyn. Her name came to me in a very sacred way. We named her this because of how my faith was tried during this pregnancy, how I had to put faith in my body to keep carrying her, how I put complete faith and trust in God with this Child. Faith is the only thing I had. It gave me hope, helped me be brave when things got scary, and gave me strength to keep enduring and it was 100% worth it.
Perfect name for perfect little girl born on the Sabbath day.
Faithlyn Nan Price
Faithlyn did very well in the NICU and only spent 13 days there. She thrived and recovered from her severe jaundice and hit all her milestones quicker then expected. She became a champion eater too! She was well known for always getting out of the tightest swaddles and pooping all over her bed. Also voted loudest cryer in the NICU. She definitely has always had a mind of her own. All of them were amazed on how well she did for being 7 weeks early. That’s my girl!!!
We fought together every step of the way. Never underestimate the power of a mothers love.
Kerri Price (Mama) | IG : https://www.instagram.com/_wholejourneymama/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wholejourneymama/
Doctor and Midwives | Brittany Hiller, Glen Lovelace and Kristi Rhodes
Music | Little Miracle of Mine by Dana McKeon