The first 29 weeks of my pregnancy were a dream. Yes, I was sleeping nonstop and could’ve won the Olympics of power naps, but I dodged the morning sickness stage and was glowing with excitement. It was finally my time to be a mom and not just any mom — a girl mom!
I was told by countless people, “Once you make it through the first trimester, you’re in the clear!” But at the beginning of my third trimester my dream quickly transitioned into a nightmare.
On Oct. 27, 2021, after completing the mundane, everyday task of taking vitamins, I stood up and felt a gush… and then another gush… and another. I thought my water broke, but when I touched, all I saw was bright red blood dripping down my hand. All I could do was scream. I ran to the bathroom and watched as the blood continued to leave my body, pleading with God to save my baby girl and wondering if it was too late…
The rush to the hospital
I was home alone and gathered enough strength to call my husband who did his best to understand me through the cries and screams. He broke every speed limit to get to me and rush us to the hospital. I remember almost throwing up into an old Taco Bell bag, the smell of old fast-food making me gag even more. I finally understood what people meant when they said your heart could ache.
We didn’t have hospital bags packed. We forgot masks. Triage was a blur. And I couldn’t breathe… not until I heard the midwife say, “Your baby is OK. Her heart rate is great. She isn’t in distress and she has no idea any of this is happening.”
At least that makes one of us, I thought to myself. Thank you, God.
After countless tests and ultrasounds, I was told that I had a partial placental abruption, and I had absolutely no idea what that meant.
My doctor told me that part of the placenta prematurely detached from my uterine wall. If it would’ve completely separated, it could’ve deprived my baby of oxygen and nutrients, leading to a worse outcome for us both.
I was put on moderate bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy, and my anxiety improved thanks to weekly OB/GYN appointments. Each week that passed was another milestone, another reason to give thanks.
We made it to the 39-week mark and welcomed our beautiful Gianna Rose on Jan. 10, 2022. Since then, our world has forever changed for the better. She was worth all of the heartache and pain and more.
Moms, you are not alone
I realize not every abruption story has a happy ending, and I want to take a moment to recognize the moms and dads whose story went differently. I pray you will find peace one day.
No matter your story, I want women to learn from mine to be more educated and familiar with the words “placental abruption” and know this:
- I didn’t have any symptoms or warning signs.
- I didn’t get into a car accident, suffer a bad fall or do cocaine, which doctors say can all lead to an abruption.
- I didn’t see it coming and have nothing to tie it to.
But it happened and as difficult as it was to accept, I know it wasn’t my fault.
I was one out of 100 pregnancies impacted by an abruption. My hope is that by sharing my story, more women will feel compelled to share theirs and know they’re not alone. While many Instagram feeds may lead you to believe differently, there’s no such thing as the perfect pregnancy.
Amanda Klingbail is a former TV news reporter turned media relations specialist and her favorite title of all: New Mama. She lives in metro Detroit with her husband, George, and their little girl Gianna Rose. Her goal is to view the world through her daughter’s eyes.
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