Though this is posted on Reformed Beauty, this was written entirely by my husband, Mark Fromme.
Warning: this story may be graphic.
The birth of my daughter was a surreal thing. Walking through labor with my wife and trying to help coach and encourage her through that process was hard, but the result was so worth it. Due to the circumstances of the pregnancy my wife, Lyndsey, was induced on a Thursday evening in the hospital. After about 20ish hours of labor she was ready to push. At that point, it was less than fifteen minutes before I heard the cries of my daughter and cut the umbilical cord! We had a healthy baby girl and Lyndsey was doing pretty well after all of it. However, the most terrifying hours of my life were fast approaching. After giving birth around 4:00 PM on Friday, Lyndsey was able to rest, and we were able to spend our evening holding our little baby. Lyndsey was exhausted from the events of the day, and I was filled with exhaustion and excitement myself. As the nurses continued to come in and check on her, I was noticing that there seems to be a lot of blood coming from Lyndsey when they checked. Now this was our first child birthed and so I knew I was no expert. The nurse didn’t have anything to say about it so I just went with it; that is, until the shift change and a new nurse checked on Lyndsey for the first time. As she was checking Lyndsey for clots, she spent a lot of time examining her with a concerned expression. She told me to wait just a moment and stepped out of the room. She returned shortly with another nurse in tow and started examining her together, one of them stepped out and returned with a third nurse, who promptly brought a fourth nurse as well.
At this point, I knew there was something definitely wrong and was starting to wonder why they had not called for the doctor. They finally did and explained to the doctor, and me, that Lyndsey seemed to be bleeding a lot more than normal. Our doctor to a look and let us know that, while yes it was above average, she was not really concerned. However, Lyndsey had yet to go to the bathroom since giving birth. Her bladder was putting pressure on her uterus and causing this hemorrhaging. Lyndsey was adamant she did not want a catheter, so the doctor gave her an hour to go to the bathroom on her own. She attempted a few times in the next thirty minutes or so, until at one point she passed out. The nurses caught her and woke her up and quickly got her back in bed and hooked up to a catheter. During all of this I am watching intently and trying to remain calm as I watch my wife struggle through all of this, unable to do anything but pray. After getting her set up the doctor called for a blood test to check her hemoglobin levels. For those of you who don’t know low hemoglobin is part of anemia and can be dangerous. The normal range for hemoglobin in women is 12-15. We were told they would expect closer to 9-11 in a woman who has just given birth. Lyndsey was at a 7. I was scared because I was not sure what that meant. We were reassured that they were starting to get the bleeding under control and it wasn’t low enough to call for a transfusion so they would check again in the morning to see if there was any change and in the meantime we should try and get some sleep. Once it was just Lyndsey and me, I opened up a little more about how terrified I was. She had lost a lot of blood (the nurses had talked about weighing her blood clots to gauge just how much she had lost) and I knew that if this wasn’t regulated it could cause real problems. Lyndsey, who was exhausted and weak, calmly assured me that God was in control and there was no reason for me to be anxious or worried. I knew in my head that she did not understand the gravity of her state at the moment, but God used her to calm me as well. We prayed together and I told her to get some sleep.
Even though it was almost 2:00 am Saturday morning, I felt like I should call our parents and let them know the situation so that they could be praying as well. I was able to get ahold of Lyndsey’s sister and my mother to fill them in on the situation. I got very little sleep despite how tired I was from everything that had happened. To this day, I am grateful for nurses that were able to help take care of our baby overnight and at times during the day while I cared for Lyndsey. I am also grateful to a couple of my close friends, also dads, who were intentional to reach out to me and make sure that I worked to take care of myself too. I was so focused on Lyndsey and our daughter that I was missing meals, neglecting sleep, and drinking very little. The reminder from them to take even five minutes to run down and get a piece of fruit or something was helpful. Around 6:30 am that morning Lyndsey’s hemoglobin was tested again, she was now at a 5. Because of these low levels, her heart was working extremely hard to keep up with blood flow and for most of that night had been above 120 bpm and they were starting to be concerning that her heart could give out from working this hard for so long. Hearing that was like alarms blasting in my head, I almost couldn’t believe it. The doctor had already sent for a blood transfusion before talking to us and they got Lyndsey taking blood fast. After about a third of the way through the bag she got a fever and they had to stop the transfusion, they immediately tested her blood and the donor blood for infections, both came back clean, thankfully. At this point I just felt like nothing could go right, Lyndsey was still completely out of it and I could tell she really wasn’t sure what all was happening. Meanwhile, I am now solely responsible for taking care of our baby. I was feeding her, changing her, and rocking her to sleep. As difficult of a time as it was, I am so thankful for that time to bond so closely with my daughter. Even in the trials, God is good.
Lyndsey was put back on a blood transfusion once again and throughout the day Saturday she took two full unites of blood (plus however much from the initial bag). She was clearly starting to feel better but was far from recovered. Her bleeding was down to “normal levels” for postpartum recovery and her hemoglobin was starting to rise, she was up to 8 on Saturday night. We stayed again overnight for Lyndsey to be monitored closely. While I was still scared about what the night would hold, I was encouraged to see Lyndsey starting to slowly return to herself. On Sunday morning, they removed her catheter and she was able to go to the bathroom again on her own. The doctor decided to give her one more unit of blood to make sure her levels were close to normal and give her a little extra boost in her body’s recovery after everything that had happened. Because of this, they needed to keep her until Monday for monitoring and just like that, we were guaranteed another night at the hospital. Sunday was a better day overall. Lyndsey was able to hold Isabella again and get some actual rest. When Monday rolled around, the doctor confirmed the transfusions went well and Lyndsey was up to a 10 for hemoglobin. We were finally able to go home! After the most terrifying days of my life, watching my wife fight for hers, it was finally past. The recovery continued past that and I am so thankful for our family and our church family for how they helped us through everything. God provided us with comfort and peace when both seemed impossible. I am thankful that God really protected Lyndsey mentally and emotionally in the hospital because she really had no idea what was happening after Friday night and I believe that was for the best. God reminded me, once again, of his sovereignty over creation. He gave the nurses and doctors the wisdom to know what to do and I am forever grateful. Soli Deo Gloria.