Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Rylan’s Story

This story was thoughtfully submitted by Corinne, one of our readers.

I just got back from our Make-a-Wish trip to Florida when I found out I was pregnant.  At the time I had 3 childen who had all been born near there due dates so I thought it was going to be a regular pregnancy.  Then I woke up in November with light bleeding.  Never having bled during any of my pregnancies (even one with a low laying placenta) I rushed to the hospital.  Of course by the time I got there I had stopped bleeding and now felt a little foolish for over acting.  Just to be on the safe side I saw the doctor who asked me how I knew I was pregnant becuse I was only 11 weeks.  Well, I peed on a stick and got it confirmed by a doctor, any more stupid questions?  I was sent home a couple hours later being told I had a threatened miscarriage.  The word miscarriage freaked me out and I tried to take it as easy as I could with 3 kids at home.  As the weeks progressed I didn’t have any other bleeding so I thought I was fine.

Then just after new years 2010 (I mean we just shouted happy new year) I went to the bathroom with some stomach cramps to find out that I had some brown discharge.  I was scared but decided not to freak out and waited it out.  Three days later I called the doctor because it wasn’t going away.  After an ultasound I was told that I had a bruise on my uterus and was told to take it easy.  A couple of days later it stopped only to have some light bleeding a week later followed by brown discharge.    I called the doctor who said not to worry, it was just the bruise healing.

The next week later I was on my way to walk around the mall with my kids when I started not feeling well.  I remember getting out of the car and needing my 7 year olds help to wheel his 2 year old brother in the stroller.  My stomach felt crampy and I felt dizzy.  I went to the bathroom thinking I just need to go and noticed I was lightly bleeding.  Of course I went home.  When we got home I stepped out of the car and felt the blood roll down my leg.  I put on a pad and called the doctor.  Of course it was Saturday so I had to wait for a return call.  In the meantime I went to the bathroom and checked the pad.  It was completely soaked and had a quarter sized blood clot in the center.  Now I was freaking out.  Just then the doctor called back and told me to go the ER right away.

I was just a day under 20 weeks and I remember them telling me if the baby was born now that it wouldn’t survive.  I was so scared.  Luckily the bleeding stopped and when they checked my US it was still closed.  I chose to stay there over night just in case, and the next day after a blood count I was sent home and put on bed rest the rest of the week.

The next day I had an ultrasound and was told that I had a possible Placenta Previa, but there was a large blood clot there so I would have to come back again in six weeks to get rechecked.   I was also told that I was having my third boy.

The following weeks got steadily worse.  I went from bleeding twice a week to every other day.  The episodes were preceded by stomach cramping and ,often times, dizzines.  I was finally told that I needed to be off of work and take it light at home.  It got to the point that I was bleeding every night but would usually stop by morning.  Then one morning it didn’t stop so I called the doctor who did not call me back.  Two days later I told the doctor who told me that I should keep calling until I got a call back because that much bleeding wasn’t normal.   Two days later it happened again and I called the doctor who told me to come into the office.  From the office I was told to go to the hospital.  By the time I was admitted I had already gone through 4 pads in 2 hours.  It got to the point that every time I moved my bottom I would feel a rush of blood.  Once they got the bleeding under control I was taken by ambulance to a hospital with an ISCU (Infant Special Care Unit).

I was brought into labor and delivery and was given the second steroid shot.   I was then put on Magnesium for the next couple of hours (horrible stuff).  Finally I was brought up to a room and told I would probably be there until the baby was delivered.  I was just over 25 weeks at the time.

Hospital stay was boring, but the bleeding seemed to be getting better so I hoped this would mean that I would be able to go home soon.  Unfortunately a couple of days later I coughed and felt a surge of blood.  I called the nurse and told her.  While we waited for the doctor I asked for help to use the bathroom and when I pulled off the pad two plum sized clots fell to the floor.  I was rushed back down to labor and delivery and put back on magnesium. (Ughhhhh).  12 hours later the bleeding was much better but I had lost so much blood I needed a transfusion.

When I was brought back to my room I couldn’t leave my bed for any reason.  As the days passed I was hoping to be able to have bathroom  privileges again when I started having pain during a daily stress test.  I told the nurse that I thought the pain was from the baby pushing on the sensor.  She moved it to no avail.  Then I started getting the shivers.  I again told the nurse who turned up the heat saying the room was cold.  Funny, I was really warm a couple of hours before.  Finally the nurses changed shift and when she checked me my temp was 101.8.  Thinking that the stomach pain was because I had to go to the bathroom I asked if I could have help to use the bathroom.  Again I was greeted by large blood clots.  Not again I screamed inside my head.   I was then told that they wanted to check for an infection in my uterus and I was wheeled down to labor and delivery for an amnio.  Once there I was told by the doctor that I most probably had an infection, I was having contractions, and the baby didn’t like them (his heart rate that was normally at 150 was over 170) so it was time to deliver.

So on March 5 2010, at 26 weeks and 5 days gestation I gave birth to a baby boy weighing 2lbs 4ozs and 12 3/4 inches long.  I remember trying to look at him but with so many people working on him I just got quick glances.  I remember this tiny little being with a tube down his throat and a plastic bag covering him.

He spent exactly 14 weeks in the hospital.  5 days after his due date he was able to go home.  He still was remarkably uneventful.  Besides some back steps with his oxygen (which was normal) we had no major problems.  He was taking feeds well, gaining weight, and making steady if not slow progress.  Unfortunately it was slower than I hoped.  I watched people coming and going and feeling quit jealous.  Every time they changed something he seemed to back slide.  But I was happy that no major health issues were arising so I was trying to be patient.  Finally he was in an open bassinet and besides not taking his full bottles he was doing great.  Every other day I would go in to see him hoping to hear he was eating his full bottle and to bring in the car seat for the car seat test.  It just wasn’t happening.  Finally it was decided that it was better for him at home than at the hospital and I was taught how to place the NG tube so he could go home.  Finally he could go home, now weighing 7lbs 8ozs.

After three weeks at home I was able to take him off of the NG tube and feed him completely from a bottle.  He is now just over 7 months old and doing great.

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. Afton, my son’s birth story is so like your son’s, it was chilling to read. You were able to describe the blood loss over the weeks so much more than I could, should I ever try. (To this day, I can’t talk about it. I have PTSD from the experience.) Thank you — it is wonderful to hear that someone else had a grade III painless abruption — I’m not such an oddity. I was told there is a 1 in a million chance of it occuring over such a prolonged time. So I guess we are two in 2 million, huh? Good luck to you and your son!

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