Today i would like to introduce you to a Mumma from Auckland, NZ. Rebekah is 31 with a gorgeous now 11 month old baby girl. Her journey to this point hasn’t been straight forward but i’ll let you read her story…
The fall that changed everything
Before I share, I’d like to add a trigger warning for the following topics: missed miscarriage, d&c, birth trauma, c-section, haemorrhage & placental abruption.
In April 2021, we found out we were pregnant. At 6 weeks we had a scan and saw a heartbeat. At 10 weeks we paid for a blood test and all genetics came back low risk and we found out we were having a girl. We shared the news excitedly with family and friends. We went shopping for clothes and baby items. We decided on the name, Elara Hazel. We were so excited! A few days before my 12 week scan, I started bleeding and ended up in the ED. At my scan, we found out the devastating news that our baby had stopped developing and had passed some time prior. However, my body had not registered this and continued to show symptoms, indicating I was still pregnant. I was informed this is what they call a missed/silent miscarriage. At 13 weeks, I had a d&c. The grief of this loss was shattering.
After a few months, we decided to try again for our rainbow. On our wedding day in December 2021, I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant! I had regular blood tests to check my hcg levels were increasing and things progressed well. Every bathroom trip would cause anxiety with the fear of losing this baby in the same way. Each scan id hold my breath.. hoping.
We again found out we were having a girl! All the baby items we had bought previously, would get used. This was bittersweet. Once we hit the 12 week milestone, I felt like I could breathe, but that thought at the back of my head remained. I knew that anything could happen, at any time. I had a relatively smooth pregnancy and each week I was grateful to make it further than the last. At 15 weeks, I got covid. I recovered and baby was ok. At 24 weeks, I got gastro and spent a night in ED due to dehydration. Again, I recovered and baby was ok. I remember breathing a little more when baby reached the milestone of ‘viability’. I continued through the usual gripes of pregnancy and the incredible toll it takes on your body with nothing significant to note. At 30 weeks and 5 days, this all changed…
On June 25th, We Had To Get Our Tyre Replaced And Walked To McDonald’s For Breakfast While We Waited. On The Walk Back, I Lost My Footing, Stumbled, And Ended Up Falling On My Stomach. I Landed On The Concrete Footpath, And Hard. My Stomach Felt Like It Had Popped And Deflated Like A Balloon. I Immediately Started Bleeding And In That Moment It Felt Like My Worst Fears Were Coming True. I Couldn’t Feel Baby Move. I Was Sitting In A Pool Of Blood And I Was Terrified But Also Struggling To Comprehend What Had Just Happened. Two Ladies Approached And One Immediately Sat And Comforted Me. She Prayed Over Me And My Baby, Holding Me. I Was So Grateful For Her Kindness In That Moment. This Completely Random Accident That Occurred Within A Few Seconds, Changed Everything. I Had Fallen Outside Of A White Cross Clinic And The Other Lady Got Help As My Husband Called An Ambulance. I Could See He Was Shaky And Scared. I Ended Up In A Wheelchair In A Back Room Of The White Cross Where All The Nurses And Doctors There, Did What They Could To Help, With The Limited Resources They Had. The Ambulance My Husband Had Called Was Cancelled (After They Learnt I Was In White Cross), However, White Cross Ordered Another Ambulance To Transport Me To Hospital. They Said Half An Hour, But It Took Nearly An Hour. During That Time, I Haemorrhaged. Thankfully, They Were Getting Baby’s Heart Rate On The Doppler But I Knew We Were In Trouble. Each Minute Felt Like Too Long. There Was Too Much Blood. I Went Into Shock. I Was Finally Transported To The Hospital Near By Where A Team Was Waiting For Me. They Worked On Me And I Received A Steroid Shot In Anticipation That Baby Would Be Delivered Via Emergency C-Section.
Due to being less than 32 weeks, I needed to go to a hospital with a nicu (neonatal intensive care unit). I was put into another ambulance with light and sirens to a hospital 20 minutes away. I was admitted into the labour and delivery ward where monitoring etc occurred. I was contracting but the bleeding seemed to have subsided. An ultrasound showed a tear in the placenta which had taken the blow of the fall. Because my placenta sat in front of my uterus/baby, baby’s sac had somehow not been damaged and she was stable. The emergency of needing to deliver subsided. The goal was to get the next steroid shot 24 hours later and keep baby in as long as possible. Because of being an O negative blood type, I required an anti-d injection due to bleeding. I was diagnosed with an irritable uterus and was confirmed not to be in labour. I was eventually moved to the maternity ward where I spent a total of 11 days in hospital. Following the haemorrhage, I received an iron infusion and a blood transfusion. The doctors warned me that my placenta could abrupt or detach due to the trauma of the fall. Each day that passed, gave more hope. After further scans, it was suspected baby had also sustained a bleed and that she may become anaemic – which would lead to an early delivery. I remember the fetal medicine specialist pulling me into a white room with a blue couch and a box of tissues on the coffee table. Was this the room they used to give people bad news? The experience of being told about this potential bleed and anaemia, was terrifying. I was kept in hospital over the weekend with another scan to re-check the value they were concerned about. Thankfully, the next scan showed the value had stabilised and we were discharged on the 5th of July with her still safely inside. I was transferred to the high risk team and spent time at home recovering.
On the morning of the 12th of July, I had a growth scan (to check the placenta was working well) which looked great. Bay girl was growing nicely. I was discharged from the high risk team and things seemed to have turned a corner. Then, out of nowhere, later that night, I started bleeding and passed a large clot. I called my husband (who was working) and back to the hospital we went. I continued bleeding and again started to have regular contractions. How was this happening over two weeks after the fall?! After a night in one hospital, I was transferred via ambulance to another hospital due to no available beds for baby (if she were to come). Again, I was back in labour and delivery. The chances of her coming early were again on the cards, but this time I was past 32 weeks (meaning scbu (special care baby unit), not nicu care) and baby had received two steroid shots which would have helped mature her lungs. I arrived in the afternoon and was monitored. Contractions and bleeding continued and I was nil by mouth. I signed consent for a c-section. Everything pointed to this happening. However, after seeing several doctors I was moved to the maternity ward and given dinner.
In The Evening, My Pain And Contractions Ramped Up And I Was Feeling Worse Than Ever. I Was Moved Back To Labour And Delivery And Was Told I Was 1cm Dilated And This Is The Room I’d Birth My Baby. Hold On.. I Was Under The Impression I’d Have A C-Section And I’d Mentally Prepared For That. It Didn’t Seem Right As Every Bathroom Trip, There Was More Blood. Things Start To Get A Bit Blurry After This. Time Started Changing. Next Thing I Knew, There Were So Many People In The Room. I Was Told I Had Spiked A Fever And Baby Was No Longer Responding How They Wanted. I Was Being Prepped For An Emergency C-Section And They Informed Me That It Looked Like My Placenta Was Detaching. I Had People On All Sides Of Me Putting In IV Lines, Compression Stockings Etc. There Was A Sense Of Urgency And I Was Scared. Especially Knowing Baby Was In Distress. I Looked Up And My Husband Was All Of A Sudden In Scrubs. Then I Was Being Wheeled Into Surgery. A Spinal Line Was Put Into Place, However, Upon Checks, I Could Still Feel Everything. They Waited As Long As They Could But The Decision Was Made To Put Me Under General Anaesthetic. That Meant My Husband Had To Leave The Theatre And I Would Not See My Baby Be Born.
Aria Grace Entered Earth Side At 11:57pm On 13/07/2022. She Was 2.095kgs And 43.5cm Long. I Then Woke Up In Recovery. Unfortunately, I Couldn’t Even Ask How Aria Was Doing As I Woke Up In Excruciating Pain. From The Entire Experience Over The Past Two Weeks, This Was The Most Pain I Had Been In. It Was Torturous. I Made Sounds I Didn’t Even Know I Could. I Pleaded For It To Stop But I Just Had To Wait. Wait For The Pain Relief They Were Pumping In, To Kick In. Time Stood Still. Finally, After A Cocktail Of Different Medications, I Was Calm.
While this was all happening, my husband stayed with our daughter – which we’d decided on prior to me going under. She had been put on cpap to help her breathe and was taken to SCBU for care. I was told she was a good size and doing well. I later found photos on my phone from my husband and it was a surreal moment to realise that’s my daughter. I was pretty drugged up and video called my husband who had gone home to get some sleep. He updated me on everything but I kept dozing off and was very spaced out. The next morning I was to focus on mobilising so i could go in a wheelchair to meet Aria. I was informed I had haemorrhaged again during the c-section and that measures were taken to prevent a hysterectomy. After 12 long hours, I finally got to meet and hold her. She was so small and she had so many tubes and wires attached around her. It was such an out of body experience to know she was here and she came from me. It wasn’t the birth and moment I’d dreamt of, but it was ours. After 4 days, I was discharged and Aria was transferred to another SCBU, closer to home.
After 24 days, Aria was discharged and we finally got to bring her home. The fall, her birth and having her in SCBU has left a lot of trauma. I’ve spent months writing out this story. It’s been 11 months and it still doesn’t quite seem real. But despite all the grief, trauma, and challenges I endured, I am forever grateful that Aria and I are safe, here, and well. That’s the bottom line. We have our beautiful rainbow and she absolutely is the rainbow after the storm.
Thank you for sharing Rebekah, We hope sharing your experience can help others in a similar situation Realise that they aren’t alone on this journey of loss, trauma and Special care.
If you have a story you’d like to share please feel free to contact us via email or our contact form for more information