As I walked through the doors and into the school, there was a new energy within me. I had showered and even put on my make-up. I hadn’t even been sick yet! Today was going to be a great first day of school – or was it?
I was so naive. Sure my doctor had suggested a sick note (still not keeping any food down) but I had refused it. At times I thought about how amazing it would be to stay at home and watch television (like I had done the whole month of August) but I wanted to see what it would be like teaching again. I hadn’t taught for one month and was wondering if teaching would give me a lot of energy as it had done in the past.
I am an extrovert so I get my energy from being around people. Even if I only had a couple of hours of sleep the night before, I would come alive in the classroom. Connecting with people makes me feel alive and with teaching, I get to feel that way every day.
The day was going so well. People were telling me about their summer vacations, some of the students that I’d taught in the past came to tell me about their summers, etc. Standing in front of my new grade nines made me feel really grateful for coming into work.
Then I started to feel really tired.
I threw up in the bathroom and as I walked out, my principal saw me in the hall and asked how my pregnancy was going.
“It’s going” I said with a laugh. “Just got sick in the washroom but nothing can stop me.”
Sometimes I say things and feel like I set myself up for failure.
By the end of the day, I was completely exhausted. When I got home I started to develop chills and was freezing cold (the opposite of how I’d been feeling since being pregnant). I could sense something was wrong so I decided to have a two-hour nap.
When I woke up and went to the washroom, I realized that I had started spotting.
Sure I had spotted before (really early in my pregnancy), but this time things felt a lot different. Immediately I started crying. All I could think about was what Dr. Whittle had told me after my procedure.
“The first week after your procedure is crucial. After that, the next two weeks are really important. At that stage, your baby’s sac will be expanding and will be taking over where his/her twin used to be. Three weeks after the procedure your pregnancy will be considered a singleton pregnancy and you will be considered low risk.”
I started to blame myself. Why the hell did I go into school? Why was I not listening to my body? Three weeks had not passed. Why was I just assuming everything would be okay?
My Mom, sisters and I have a group chat so I wrote them and asked them if I should call in sick the following day and what I should do.
Within seconds my mom was on the phone.
“You are not going into work tomorrow” said my mother. “Call your doc or go to emerg. Are you okay?”
Hearing her kind voice just made me cry.
“I am so scared” I said. “I will call my doc right now.”
By Wednesday night I still hadn’t heard from him. I dialled the next line in command – the nurse’s line. I left a message that I was still spotting and didn’t know what to do about work. I also wasn’t keeping any food down.
The nurse called at 4:03 p.m. on Thursday and as soon as I heard her voice, I cried.
“Thank you so much for calling me” I said.
“Oh my gosh. I am so sorry I didn’t call you yesterday.” Her voice was so sweet and reassuring. “How are you Sarah?”
By that time the spotting had stopped but I was bleeding in another area (yes this is so TMI) because food would not stay in my system. I was sleeping 12 hours a night and having at least two naps a day.
“Rest but don’t stay in bed for too long” she said. “We don’t want you getting a blood clot from bed rest. You can go out walking and you can go to the wedding you want to attend. Just stay home from school until we can figure out what is going on. As for the spotting, we are only worried when the blood soaks up an entire pad. It is quite common for women to spot during pregnancy.”
I knew this information but spotting had led me into a panic. It made me think that the spotting was going to lead to a period and that I was going to lose my baby.
Now, I am just teaching half-time. My doctor has given me a note until Wednesday Sept. 11th when I see him again.
This whole week was an absolute whirlwind and all I want right now is a healthy/normal pregnancy. All of these little scares (even though they are super common and normal) are really starting to make me nervous.
There are so many stories of loss and different emergencies involving pregnancy, labour, and motherhood. At times I think I am really strong and then my anxiety just takes over, filling me with different fears.
Fertility and pregnancy are not for the weak. So many women have gone through this and this is yet another time when I am in absolute awe of women. How do some women work their entire pregnancy? How do pregnant women stay on their feet all day? How do people actually stay calm through this process?
When I started telling people on Instagram what was happening, so many people kept checking in. This whole fertility, pregnancy, labour, and motherhood thing brings so many people together. All we want to do is support one another because it can be a really tough journey.
Women are truly amazing and I am only getting through these scary times because of all of you. Thank you.
Here’s to a healthy and happy week ahead!