In Family

My Baby Story ~ journey with a subchorionic hematoma

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Maybe this post should have been titled, “My babies stories” because I have 5 children with me on this earth and 2 in heaven. But, for now I wanted to share with you a part of my life that is heavy on my mind. I’d like to share my baby story.

The Feet of My Children ~ A Blessing of Amazing Grace | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

We choose to leave the size of our family up to God. By that I mean that we do not try to get in the way of the number of babies He chooses to bless us with. We do breastfeed until they self-wean, usually around a year or so. That causes the natural spacing we’ve enjoyed. However, I do not have what you would call “easy” pregnancies.
Simply put as the Bible states in Psalm 127 (NIV):
“Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their
enemies in the gate.”

Our first child arrived in 2002 with some bumps along the road with bedrest, lots of scary post natal events*. He was here nonetheless as a 9 lb. 2 oz. baby boy – we were (are) the proudest parents!

*summary: I endured hyperemesis for 9 weeks (violent vomiting), bedrest in 2nd trimester, unexpected birthing problems, baby in bili-lights from jaundice for 3 days, tongue-tied horrible nursing experience for 9 weeks.

Next, our little girl came in 2004 via home birth at a whopping 10 lbs. 10 oz. For those of you considering home birth, I give it my 100% vote!!!! All was well, and we were so excited to have a boy and a girl!

*summary: contracted pneumonia at 20 weeks which led to a staph blood infection and being life-flighted to emergency prenatal hospital in intensive care for 11 days. I was a breath away from losing my life…they thought I was gone.

Then, our next pregnancy would be interrupted around 11-12 weeks with bleeding. The scary, “am I miscarrying?!!” questions, and the wait-and-see approach. AAAGGGH!!

Nothing was ever found out about why I had bleeding. I just kept praying and hoping for a healthy baby. Even though the episode only lasted a little over a day, and the bleeding and cramping stopped allowing the pregnancy to continue as normal.

By 2006, we had a very sweet 6 lbs. 12 oz. baby girl.  Although during this pregnancy I drastically improved my diet, she had severe reactions from the start to a specific food. It took me the better part of 5 months to be on an elimination diet to rule out which food was the offender.  When she was only 2 weeks old she would be vomiting after every nursing. At one point she had gotten a clump of mucus lodged in her nasal passage and she was suffocating – turning blue and her arms stretched out straight to the side.

The emergency squad came, but I had been able to dislodge the mass back down her throat to allow her to breath by blowing forcefully in her nose minutes before they arrived.  I tell you that children should be born with a detailed list of how to care for them!!

*summary: I am seeing the trend that having babies is not all fun and games. 🙂

The fourth pregnancy had the same problem occur about the same time gestation with bleeding and cramping, leaving me wonder, “what in the world is causing this?” No one had any answers. Nothing would show up because it cleared before anything could be found out. So in the same fashion, by 2008 we had received our little girl weighing 7 lbs. 2 oz. in 2008.

*summary: blessed pregnancy and birth for the most part. I will say my births are full of all sorts of fun that most don’t get the pleasure of living through. God must consider me a rare sort.

Jump ahead two years in my baby story and into the next pregnancy.  The same 11-12 week pattern happened, except I noticed that in each successive pregnancy the bleeding was worse. I had learned to hold my breath until after the first trimester, at this point, and just prayed that all would go well.  Happily, we ended this pregnancy with a bouncing baby boy in 2010, weighing 9 lbs. 10 oz.

*summary: again, very nice pregnancy and birth.

All my babies, except my firstborn were born at home – what a complete blessing and I cherish the fact that I was able to welcome our little ones in that fashion.

Enter in 2011, early summer.  I found that I was expecting again and felt that I would indeed go through the same 11-12 bleeding episode and anxiously awaited that time.  I did have the same bleeding, but this time was different. This time the bleeding did not stop.  After a week or so of waiting to see, I went for an ultrasound expecting the doctor to tell me that I had lost the baby.

However, there was a very active little one in there, but also something else. He diagnosed me with a subchorionic hematoma – basically a bleeding in between the lining of my uterus and the embryonic sac.  He informed me that it could be reabsorbed and go away (which is what I assumed had happened in my other pregnancies), or it could stay there until birth and just bleed out on delivery, or it could cause an early delivery.  The hematomas typically occur when baby implants itself to the lining of the uterus.  There is always a small amount of bleeding for every new mom, but sometimes that bleeding does not stop causing the pool of blood such as in my case.

My Baby Story ~ a journey with a subchorionic hematoma via Prodigal PiecesI went home with a heavy heart because at this point, there is nothing to be found in the medical world that will help with a hematoma.  You just sit and wait.  It has nothing to do with age or race. The medical world is stumped on why subchorionic hematomas occur or what to do about them.

I hadn’t realized it much before, but my earlier pregnancies always carried a slight pain in my lower side of my uterus. This time it was true again. Except now I knew that pain was where the bleeding was taking place.  I was told bedrest was more for my mental state and really wouldn’t help, but to not lift anything heavier that a gallon of milk.  At that point, I put myself on a modified bed rest and began a new life for me and my family.

My children learned even more how to cook. We homeschooled from the couch I lived on, and our life was pretty dreary with the cloud that now hung over us. I began to feel baby kick around 16 weeks, went in for another ultrasound around 19 weeks to find the bleeding was still there.  The doctor’s face showed me all I needed to know – it did not look good.

My Baby Story ~ a journey with a subchorionic hematoma via Prodigal Pieces
My water broke from the bleeding at 21 weeks. We headed to the hospital only to be told there was nothing we could do. We attempted some intervention, but nothing put off the imminent labor pains. My dear friends, to hear and feel your baby inside you just happy as could be… the healthy heart beat seemed to be booming in the hospital room. Each beat was stabbing my heart because I knew my baby was doomed to die.  I could do NOTHING!!

They told me baby would come out and not be able to breathe. Basically, my baby would basically suffocate before my eyes. I wanted to scream for help and beg them to stop the labor, but it was all hopeless. I begged God for mercy, that He would take my baby to be with Him before it came out so I wouldn’t be put through the torture of watching it suffocate.

He answered my prayer.  Our little girl, Gabriella Rose, died just before she was born in 2011, perfectly formed.  I tell you that it was the most horrible day of my life.  No parent should ever have to watch their child die.  Only God knows why these things happen, and I trust she is with him now living a life so far greater than the one she would have here on earth.

It is beyond my belief how there are people who can say that a baby at this age is not a baby. I have no words for them, just my story and my soul are wrapped up in that BABY that was my daughter. Very much alive and in full form.

We buried Gabriella with heavy hearts, but know she is taken care of far exceeding anything we could even dream of.

We’ve lost another baby after our little girl left us, and it happened around 11 weeks gestation.  An ultrasound confirmed what I had already known in my heart because one day I just felt this overwhelming feeling that our baby was gone.

I was perfectly ready to be done having babies because I couldn’t take the heartache.  A dozen children would make me happy, but I didn’t want to keep losing my children.  I asked God to close my womb if the babies were just going to keep dying.  He did.

Up until that point, I had no problem getting pregnant within one menstrual cycle after each of my children weaned.  It has been over 3 years since I became pregnant.  In that time, I’ve been able to take a break from being pregnant or nursing for over 10 years and sort of find myself again.

My business has been born during that time, which has allowed my family and I some freedom from burdens.  We’ve been able to tackle some projects that couldn’t have easily been done while having arms full of babies. Though I’d take them in a heart beat.  We’ve went through healing nutritionally by going on the GAPS diet, where my 3rd born has been healed of her severe gluten intolerance she’d had since birth.

Now for the good news and another chapter in my baby story. God did see fit that when my heart was ready to allow me to get pregnant again. We weren’t trying, but I did tell Him I was ready if He saw fit. I share more on this story in this post HERE.

If you have ever known anyone who has had or is dealing with a subchorionic hematoma, take heart.  Most occurrences do not end like ours did, and most end up with a completely normal pregnancy such as I did with 3 of my babies.

More research needs to be done to find out why this is a growing problem with modern-day pregnancies. I fully believe it is related to the altered food we eat, the hormone, the lacing of pesticides…you name it. Our gut is key to it all – our second brain. I have left out a ton of information I have learned because there is too much to share. However, if you have questions, I’d love to answer them. Or if you want to share your baby story. Just email!

My journey as a mother is not over. I will continue to learn and take life as it comes, relishing the thought of knowing I will get to embrace my lost babies when I enter heaven.  God is good.

I hope you have felt encouraged by my baby story and are choosing to not give up hope. We all need His grace.
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I share more than my baby story…more inspiration for you:

How to Nourish Your Family with Home-Cooked Food by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Teaching my kids a trade - a long-lasting lesson in life skills by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com


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14 Comments

  • Bridget

    sorry to hear of your sad journey and, yet, congrats on the baby news!

    December 21, 2013 at 5:46 am Reply
  • kellyorr

    Congratulations, Larissa! What wonderful news! I will pray for a healthy delivery.

    I’m so sorry for your losses. Although our paths have been different, I’ve also experienced difficult pregnancies, deliveries, and (6) miscarriages. But God is so merciful, as I am sure you can attest, and has used those particular trials in my life for good to others, and to our family, and especially to His glory. I am thankful for the ways He has changed me through them, most especially for the gratitude it has given me for the miracle of life and a healthy baby.
    I hope you will be at peace throughout your pregnancy, trusting Him with the faith He has given you.
    I’m so excited for you!

    December 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm Reply
  • ReDo It Yourself Inspirations

    You are so Blessed with a wonderful growing family. Having faith and accepting God’s plan can be challenging on our hearts, but the blessings are many. I hope you continue to have a good healthy pregnancy and that you will keep us informed of all the good news. Take good care of yourself.

    October 15, 2014 at 5:54 pm Reply
  • Marie Blackburn

    So sorry to hear your journey Larissa, it is a similar one to my Mom, who had 7 live births. Wishing you a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

    November 24, 2014 at 4:01 pm Reply
  • Felicia

    Many blessings to you and yours! Your story is truly inspiring and uplifting. I am sorry for your losts in thr past but very glad to hear of the blessings afterward. Your story has uplifted me because as we speak I am experiencing bleeding but I haven’t gone to the doctor yet to see if it’s related to the sub hemorrhage that they spotted 4 weeks ago. My appt is in the morning. I am praying for mercy and favor as well…just likeHe did for you and your 3 older children.

    October 19, 2016 at 7:51 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Felicia. Do know that you are not the first to contact me with similar issues, and this is why I shared. You and your family are on my prayer list with your name on my desk. Do keep me updated, if you don’t mind, as I know God will bless you. email: larissaatprodigalpiecesdotcom 🙂

      October 20, 2016 at 6:49 am Reply
  • Sarah

    Larissa,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Last night I went to the ER after having bleeding and cramping and, while everything with baby looked fine, they did find a sub-chorionic hematoma. They were able to discharge me, but I have yet to talk with my OB about it and have been resting in bed today pretty worried. Your story gives me hope and comfort that everything will turn out okay no matter the outcome and that I just need to trust in God and have faith.

    September 4, 2017 at 4:51 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Sarah, my heart goes out to you and do know you are covered in prayer. If you ever feel the need to just vent or chat, please feel free to email me at larissa at prodigal pieces dot com.

      September 5, 2017 at 5:54 am Reply
  • Patty

    Larissa you are so strong and have come through all your trials and tribulations with grace and strength. Your faith in God has guided you through a mothers worst fears and hurt like no one can imagine unless they have experienced that kind of loss. We grieve for those losses and it is always heavy on our hearts. It has been thirty years since I lost my twins and every day I think of them and wonder what they would be like today, who they would look like, sometimes I cry a little, and what really angers and hurts me is when I hear someone talking about their same kind of loss and a friend of theirs or family member tell them it has been long enough and you should be over it by now. My sister in law lost her twins and that is what some family members told her. It is so hard for me to understand how people can be so ignorant that they think a mother can get over the loss of her baby, that baby was alive inside her it moved and kicked, she saw it in the ultra sounds it was a part of her. God has been with me through all my losses and without him I don’t think I would have made it.
    Thank you for your post today. My prayers are with you for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, I just know that God is with you and your baby and will bless you both.

    November 7, 2017 at 11:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Oh, Patty. I’m so sorry for your loss. Seems as though we all will have a great reunion one day! I truly can’t wait. Thank you for your love. 🙂

      November 9, 2017 at 10:20 am Reply
  • Lynda

    I am so sorry Larissa. Your babies are most definitely in the arms of our Lord and Saviour. God Bless you and your family.

    November 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Lynda. Hugs!

      November 9, 2017 at 10:20 am Reply
  • Andrea Guy

    thank you for this post. This is the first I’ve ever heard of that happening. Right now I am spotting on and off and it is nice to have a little hope that I’m pregnant with number 7.

    February 5, 2018 at 5:00 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are welcome, Andrea. Hugs to you on your journey and congrats! Feel free to email me if you need an ear. 😉 You are added to my prayer list.

      February 5, 2018 at 5:38 pm Reply

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