Trigger warning: Please be advised the following narrative contains graphic content relating to blood.
"I think these symptoms line up with an issue from your c-section." I met with a doctor in Lincoln, Nebraska and after reviewing my symptom timeline, he believed my side effects was sourcing from my delivery with Trax. He listened closely, brainstormed out loud with me, and made no promises as I left his office. I loved that. Many doctors I spoke to previously believed my issue was current, which is why Endometriosis was a plausible idea at the time.
My doctor's plan was to do a saline sonogram and take a closer look at my uterus. I liked this approach. It was new, but I was also scared to death of how painful it might be. My Google search of the procedure did not ease any nerves.
a painful pelvic ultrasound
On sonogram day, I clenched the sheet and asked the technician how much it would hurt. I was nauseous as heck thinking about catheters and sharp tools. The technician started with an ultrasound and I about gagged. Every movement felt like a jagged blow to my pelvis. I gritted my teeth as the tears started to flow. The technician was surprised and now understood why I was nervous to begin with.
She called my doctor in to conduct the sonogram. As he entered the room, his eyes hit the monitor. "I don't think I need to see more. You have an abnormal pocket on your uterus and it's free flowing with fluid." Back in his office, he sketched a photo of what he saw on the screen. I attached it below. He drew stitching around the pocket he saw.
abnormal pocket on my uterus
Normally, he wouldn't suggest fixing the uterus, but because of my extreme symptoms he recommended a robotic laparoscopy. My doctor would go in, reshape my uterus, and do a biopsy. He believed they did not catch this abnormality in my previous laparscopy because they did not pass through my uterine wall. I collapsed to tears in my car. An answer. Thank you Jesus. I could not wait to be free of pain. The surgery was scheduled a few weeks later.
The surgery went well. The biopsy came back with nothing, an okay sign to me. My stomach was covered in bumpy red scars and gray sticker goop, from all the wires fastened to my belly. Overall though, I felt good. I was happy to run back to my old life as soon as possible.
My doctor mentioned he believed my c-setion scar from 2019 healed improperly and that's what created the abnormal pocket. It was a bit ironic. I was recovering from my surgery in the same hospital I delivered my baby.
abnormal uterine bleeding begins
For a handful of weeks, I felt alright. I was learning how to back off pain killers and return to my ibuprofen routine. I even made it to North Carolina for our family trip in May!
On week three of recovery, I was back in my hometown with husband and son at my in-laws. I started to bleed a bit, but it wasn't much so I carried on with my day.
The following night, I woke up at midnight to my bed soaked in blood. I didn't panic, panic. I know post delivery and post surgery there are oftentimes random bouts of bleeding. Although, when I stood up, blood was dripping fast down my legs. I took a shower, cleaned up the bed, and carpet. I called our local ER just to be safe.
Trey makes a 911 call.
Once on the phone, the bleeding had slowed. I described a few cups of blood and since I wasn't losing much anymore, I decided to go in the next day if it got worse. The following morning, I called my doctor in Lincoln. I was prescribed medication to slow the bleeding. I took it twice that day and that night, but then I began to pass blood clots.
When I woke up the next day, I walked out of our room and stood motionless. On my last step, it felt like I had just given birth to a baby and it fell to the floor. I lost my breath as I looked down and saw a clot the size of one of my organs.
Blood continued to pour down my legs. I tried to walk a few steps but the pools of blood around me started to cover my feet. I didn't want to traipse through the entire house. I waved my hand at my sister-in-law. "I can't get it to stop," as I attempted to sop up the blood with a blanket.
the blood clots grew bigger
She grabbed a couple towels and wiped up some of the blood on the floor. I tried wrapping the towel around my waist for pressure. The blood didn't stop. By this time, my husband, Trey, saw what was going on and asked if I wanted to get in the shower. I did a few steps, but my feet were stained with blood and I began passing more clots the size of golf balls.
We thought about jumping in the car to head to the ER, but I just envisioned someone's car getting wrecked with this bloody mess. Trey called for an ambulance. I took big deep breaths. I really didn't want to psych myself out. A few minutes had passed, blood was still seeping out, and I shimmied my way down to the floor to sit. Within a few seconds I was pretty nauseous and dizzy. I remember laying my head on my sister-in-law's lap and closing my eyes.
The fire station was only about two blocks from our house. I could hear the sirens blaring down the street. An EMT came inside and took a look. He said, "I know this looks like a lot of blood, but it isn't as much as it looks okay?" I was able to walk outside with their help and scoot onto a stretcher.
A blurry ambulance ride
In the ambulance, I zoned in and out. I could feel clots continuing to pass, it was next level disgusting. I was conscious most of the drive to Grand Island, but as we entered town my organs tightened and immediately felt overworked. I had always imagined people passing out to feel light, pain-free, a moment of stillness. However, when I could no longer keep my eyes open, my body went into uproar. Every inch of my skin was not mine. It tingled, burned, and demanded energy I didn't have. I heard the EMT shout to the driver, "Light it up!"
The sirens rang in my ear like a parade. Wake up Logan. I squinted my eyes and attempted to glance out the window. Billboards on Highway 281, we were almost there. I sunk deep into my body the rest of the ride. It was exhausting and sickening to keep my eyes open. As we arrived, I fixated on the rattling of the wheels on the stretcher. The tiny bumps. The grim hallways. The muffled voices.
They rolled me into a room and hooked me up to replace the blood I lost. I faintly remember seeing Trey, "How are you?" he asked. Not good. I was so mad at my body. Why is good news always followed with bad?
a stay in the intensive care unit
The nurses prepared to place a balloon, in order to control the bleed. When the doctor walked in, I knew it was time. He first placed a catheter and I screamed for several minutes. The pain was similar to a steak knife rotating clockwise, circle after circle. Placing the balloon was just as bad.
A while later, they transferred me up to the ICU. I continued to bleed, but it definitely slowed down. I spoke with a doctor, which was hard because I had to recount my health history from the last few months. He recommended an embolization, which would block my blood vessels with tiny gelatin sponges. I wasn't convinced. I'd experienced many of these 'fixes' and this new idea sounded like a science experiment. The embolization was not a permanent solution.
Trey and I were on the same page, we wanted them to take my uterus out. That seemed to have the greatest possible outcome and it was the source of most of my problems. However, we spoke with my doctor in Lincoln and he too agreed, the embolization was the best route to take. The next afternoon they reeled me into horridly cold white procedure room. I stared up at the glaring white head lamp, hoping I didn't make a stupid mistake.
Thanks for popping by y'all. I am slowly making my way through storytelling my last year and the medical events that transpired from my c-section complication. Please share this with a mama who may be going through something similar! I will be posting part three here shortly.
Travel bucket list:
Countries visited: 5
states left: 11