Thursday, June 12, 2014

Naomi Wasn't Supposed to be Born-Part 2 of 3

Read Part 1 here.

Ben (my husband) and I were elated about the pregnancy, but it wasn't easy.  My doctor, Dr.Wallace Sherritt,  kept a very close eye on me due to the high-risk nature of the pregnancy. He saw me every week to monitor my progress and continually sent me for ultrasounds to keep an eye on the fibroids and my baby.
Dr. Wallace Sherritt, D.O
Community Care Network-Innovative Women's Health

We learned that the fibroids were growing very quickly, and he was concerned about the amount of space they were taking up. He didn't know if my baby would have enough room to grow and develop. I was given some restrictions, and we hoped for the best.

And then week 10 hit.

In May of 2012, I started experiencing the worse pain of my life. I'm talking toe-curling, nail-biting, excruciating pain that came in endless waves. It felt like I was being stabbed with hot knives in my uterus. All I could do was cry. Unfortunately, my doctor wasn't on call during the weekend that the pain hit. I don't think the doctor who was on call understood the severity of my case or the pain I was in. He informed me that with fibroids, I would have pain, but there really wasn't anything to be done. After a day of the intense pain and little sleep, I headed to the emergency room. The doctor said that the best he could do was give me Tylenol and that anything stronger would put the baby at risk, and I wasn't willing to do that. The Tylenol was kind of like using a band-aid on a surgical wound, but what was I to do?

The next day, I went to see Dr. Sherritt. He was immensely concerned and contemplated surgery, as one of the fibroids had become pedunculated  and was growing rapidly. Another large fibroid was at the bottom of my uterus and possibly on a nerve. Dr. Sherritt wasn't sure of the complications of surgery at this point, so he sent me to a Dr. Mahmoud Ismail, a specialist in high-risk pregnancies at the University of Chicago hospital.

Dr. Ismail-University of Chicago Hospital

After reviewing an ultrasound and reading over my case, Dr. Ismail sat down with Ben and me and told us what no parents-to-be want to hear. He said that in all of his years of practice, he had never seen a case like mine make it through a full pregnancy. Surgery was out of the question because there was a 100% chance that it would cause a termination of the pregnancy. He presented our options to us: abort the pregnancy, go through treatment for the fibroids, and possibly try to get pregnant again, or continue on with the pregnancy, knowing that it would be extremely difficult. Without hesitation, Ben and I said that abortion wasn't an option and that we would progress with the pregnancy. Dr Ismail looked us in the eye and said, "Sometimes, God has a different plan {than what is known in the medical world}." Both Doctors Sherritt and Ismail thought it best to put me on a heavy narcotic to control the pain, and I was told that I couldn't return to work teaching my middle school students.

A few days later, I got a phone call from Dr. Sherritt's office. During my latest ultrasound it was discovered that I had complete placenta previa. This raised all sorts of concern as it increased the risks associated with my pregnancy.

Since I wasn't allowed to go to work, I figured that I would be able to take it easy and the pregnancy would progress smoothly. I took some time to read about the possible risks associated with fibroids and placenta previa. As I read the drastic measures that have to be taken, I thought, "Those poor women. Who could be on bed rest for the entire third trimester? I'm glad that won't happen to me." Little did I know my pregnancy would spin out of control in a hurry.

Read part 3 here