(Life Defenders) – My name is Amanda Solomon. When I found out I was pregnant with our youngest I was a 38-year-old mother of three boys, ages nine, 16 and 19. I am a cancer survivor, having beaten Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 24.
After doing aggressive chemo to beat my cancer, I was told I’d more than likely not be able to conceive again. Although disappointed, I had two beautiful boys and was thankful I had them. However, one year after finishing my maintenance chemo I conceived again. I had a beautiful pregnancy that gave me another healthy baby boy.
After I had my second son, I began experiencing horrible issues with heavy bleeding during my periods. I had a procedure called an endometrial ablation which involves burning the lining of the uterus. I had no periods at all after this and my doctor advised me that it was impossible for me to become pregnant again due to not having a lining for the baby to attach to.
You can understand my shock upon the moment I saw those two little pink lines again.
Later that week I went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy and was told that I was five weeks along. Even though I had begun spotting that day, the doctor advised me that everything was fine but if my bleeding got heavier, to go to the ER because ectopic pregnancies were common after ablation.
Well that Saturday I began bleeding heavily and went to the ER. After a trans-vaginal and abdominal ultrasound, as well as blood work, they confirmed a miscarriage. I was absolutely crushed.
The doctor stated seeing a small gestational sac exiting my cervix and that I should be passing it soon, which I did. I was sad, but understood the likelihood of a successful pregnancy was slim.
I left my doctors and tried to resume my life. Over the next six weeks, I was still feeling miserable, so I decided that I should take another pregnancy test to see if I had residual HCG causing issues. I took a test that also tells you how long it’s been since you ovulated.
Not only did if say I was pregnant, but I was 12 weeks along. I called my doctors office and tried to explain that I was still pregnant, but they didn’t seem to understand and gave me an appointment three weeks later.
I was in a tailspin! There was no way I could wait three weeks to find out what was going on and still keep my sanity. I called my local Crisis Pregnancy Centre and there was my baby, kicking and moving around like she didn’t have a care in the world.
It was a sweet relief!! Apparently, I had miscarried a twin.
I called my doctor back and more accurately described the situation so they saw me the next day.
Hearing my doctor say: “I’m sorry, but you really should consider terminating this pregnancy. There are no good outcomes from pregnancies like yours” was a knife to my heart.
Sitting on the exam table, 12 weeks pregnant, listening to my doctor say these words was surreal. I was really being told having this baby may kill me. Me, the staunch defender of the unborn, was now in the position used for so many arguments in favour of abortion. Before the fear set in, a moment of delirious hilarity came over me at the irony of the situation. That moment passed quickly and the fear set in, as I realized the doctor was waiting on a response from me.
In addition to fear, anger swept over me. The same doctor that had just heard my baby’s heartbeat with me, the same one who showed me the ultrasound pictures of my sweet baby kicking and moving around, was telling me I should kill that life. I took a deep breath and told her that I would not be terminating my baby and I would carry this baby as long as I could, no matter the risks. She said she understood but that she could no longer be my doctor, instead referring me to a Maternal Fetal Specialist.
Upon my first meeting, I was a bundle of nerves. What if she pushed me to have an abortion too? However, my fears were unfounded. She took my hand and said we could do this, that it would be hard, but we could do this without killing my baby or myself. Oh the peace that she gave me!
Over the next few weeks they saw me every two weeks. The problem with becoming pregnant after an ablation was the uterus lining is very thin and not designed to support a pregnancy. The chance of further complications, such as Placenta Previa and Accreta, is high. At 22 weeks I was diagnosed with Complete Placenta Previa, a dangerous condition in which the placenta attaches and covers the cervix. At 26 weeks, I had a massive hemorrhage.
On the way to the hospital all I could think was I’m going to die and so is my baby. Blood was gushing from me. I couldn’t see how my sweet baby could possibly survive. However, upon being admitted to the hospital, the baby was fine. Me on the other hand, not so much. They gave me steroids to prepare my baby girl for an early arrival and Magnesium. They prepared me for the very apparent fact that my sweet girl was going to be a preemie
Yet again, I was overcome with fear and persevered. After bleeding for two weeks in the hospital without affecting my precious baby, I stopped. My doctors were cautiously optimistic that I could make it until 33 weeks, which is when they wanted to take the baby via c-section while also performing a hysterectomy.
Sadly, the danger of my pregnancy meant I’d have to stay in the hospital until I delivered. I’ve never in my life been so depressed as I was when I was confined to that hospital an hour away from our home and my children. My nurses became family and as I began to tell my story, more nurses started coming daily to hear it. Even with the sights they saw daily, they recognized a miracle was taking place and they were a part of it.
Everyday I was seen by my doctors and they made plans for my delivery. They suspected I also had Placenta Accreta, in addition to Placenta Previa. Accreta is a dangerous condition in which the placenta attaches too deeply into the uterus.
In cases of Accreta, the placenta can invade other organs and cause major blood loss during delivery, causing death to the mother and sometimes the baby. On my delivery day, I was prepared for major surgery: blood in waiting, under general anesthesia, IV’s in each arm and my chest. Upon delivery it was discovered I also had Placenta Percreta the most dangerous form of Accreta. My placenta had grown through my uterus into my bladder and my arteries.
I bled out during surgery. They gave me blood but I kept bleeding out. After six hours of surgery, they packed me, closed me up, and put me on life support until they could determine where I was bleeding out from.
The doctors met with my family and told them they had done all they could do. My sweet daughter, Sadie, was born that day weighing five lbs and was in the NICU doing well by all accounts. I woke up in the ICU on a ventilator and my fiancée told me what happened. I saw pictures of my baby and was so amazed at the little fighter she was. It was hard being awake and on the ventilator so they put me back to sleep. The next time I woke up I was being wheeled from the operating room where they had done a procedure to find the two nicked arteries, fix them, and remove my packing.
I was alive and going to make it to see my daughter. Meeting Sadie will always be one of my favourite memories. I remembered the overwhelming joy, relief and pride that I felt. Sadie and I made it out alive!
To say she’s a fighter or has purpose is an understatement. God truly had a plan for this child. He simply needed me to be willing to carry her. I’ve always felt strongly about abortion, that each life matters no matter how long or how insignificant it may seem, but this experience put my convictions to the test. It would have been much easier to have an abortion. Lord knows I had every conceivable reason. But I fought for Sadie and I’m so thankful everyday that I did. Sadie is now nine months old and everyone that meets her talks about her delightful personality. I know God has a plan for her and I pray hearing this allows another child to have the opportunity to be born. That is purpose enough for me.
This article was first published at Life Defenders and is reprinted here with permission.