Part 2: Complications after birth

The next disruption to my plans ended up being very scary for both my husband and me. It’s something I’ve hesitated to share, because I’m not sure why I would want to, or why anyone would want to know. I certainly am not sharing this to be dramatic or to gain sympathy. But what happened to me in the hours after delivery scared me enough that I will never forget it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it continues to affect me emotionally for years to come.

I do, however, feel fortunate to have found people who shared a similar experience. It was a relief to know I had friends who could empathize. So that is why I am sharing this part of my birth story, now. My hope is to offer that same empathy to someone else who may have been through a similar trauma.

Bleeding happens after you deliver. Our bodies produce so much more blood while we are pregnant in order to support the baby. Some of that blood is in the uterine lining. Your doctor tells you to expect bleeding for several weeks after delivery, but they also tell you what is too much.

I remember being exhausted after I delivered. My nurses encouraged me to rest. My son was getting excellent care in the NICU. All signs pointed to him being healthy and that the 12 hour stay he had ahead of him would end up being precautionary. As a new mom we don’t get many opportunities to rest. If you need it during those first few hours or days after birth, it’s okay to take advantage of the help the hospital offers.

My plan, of course, was to be super mom. I had even joked with my overnight nurse in the post delivery wing that sleeping would be nice, but the adrenaline rushing through me was not going to allow that to happen that night. I don’t know why I had it, but thinking back, I am so thankful for that adrenaline rush. It was why I was awake and was able to recognize something was wrong.

It was around 1 a.m. or so when it felt like my water had broken. The problem was, I had already had the baby. So I turned on my phone flashlight and looked to see what was going on. It wasn’t water and it wasn’t urine that was streaming out of me… it was massive amounts of blood. Way more than what I was told was normal. I rang the call button for the nurse. She was calm when she examined me, telling me it was a little more than she would like to see. The culprit… a huge blood clot, which she was able to help remove. We hoped it was the only one. Sometimes you don’t pass clots because you have to pee. So she had me get up to use the bathroom. Several more clots passed at that point, and then I laid back down to rest. They told me again, how much blood loss was normal. If this happened again I was to ring my call button.

Forty five minutes later… another huge gush of blood. This time it wasn’t just my call nurse who came in, but also the charge nurse for the floor. At that time I couldn’t wrap my brain around exactly what was happening to me, but I knew it wasn’t good and I started to get scared. My husband was still sleeping on the couch across from me. He had taken his anti anxiety medication before he fell asleep, so he was out for the count. But I was getting emotional enough that I knew I needed his support, and I had the nurses wake him up.

Shortly after that I started shaking uncontrollably. The nurses continued to push on my uterus to work out any more clots and that was extremely painful. Medications had to be administered which caused even more pain… and then I passed out. My husband said the scene was terrifying. At this point there were 6 to 10 nurses in our tiny room working on me. He was holding my hand, listening to my pain, watching me shake, and then I suddenly went limp. All I remember is feeling sick, not being able to hear well, and then suddenly having doctors and nurses in my face telling me I had fainted, was only out for about 16 seconds, and that they were taking me to an O.R. for surgery.

Past that point I don’t remember much. All I could do was tell them what I was acutely feeling and trust that they would get the bleeding to stop.

In the hours after I gave birth, I hemorrhaged. I lost between 900 and 1000 cc’s of blood. It turns out there are a few reasons your body will do that post delivery. I hemorrhaged because I had so many massive clots that had formed in my uterus, that despite the nurses efforts to help push them out, my uterus couldn’t pass them. The surgery was an emergency D & C. Once they cleared the clots and anything else that could have been i there, the bleeding stopped.

I made my husband call my parents before I went in to the O.R. I had no idea what was going to happen in there, but I knew that they would want to know what was going on. Selfishly, I needed them to know. My parents are some pretty fierce prayer warriors, and I needed as much help as I could get.

Just before they put me under I remember hoping to not see my dead grandmother… and telling God that I wasn’t ready to go. It seems dramatic to say that, but that’s where my mind was. I didn’t really know what was happening, and while I trusted my team, there was some belief that my body would fail me.

Hemorrhaging after birth is not extremely common, but it does happen. Thank God we live in a time where modern medicine exists and doctors know what to do to stop the bleeding. When it didn’t exist, the outcome was detrimental.

The blood loss left me borderline for needing a transfusion. My iron and blood stores are pretty depleted, leaving me with zero wiggle room when it comes to self care. Appropriate sleep and an iron rich diet are critical for me to be able to function. For the first couple of weeks I was home I didn’t understand that, and my body shut down forcing me back to the hospital for nearly passing out.

If I can’t take care of myself, then there are options. But for now, I’m much more vigilant. It is a slow journey. I can tell if I’ve pushed myself too hard. My doctors say it will take 6 to 9 months to replace what I lost, IF I take care of myself. In the meantime, I’ll continue to feel better every day. And I look forward to the new normal that comes with a family of 5.

Part 1 of my birth story: disrupted plans

I can’t believe that almost 4 weeks ago I had a baby. He’ll turn one month old before we reach his due date. It’s a miracle he is doing so well!

I had high hopes of making it to full term. In my mind, I had decided that he was going to come over Easter. That would have put me at 37 weeks. But it wasn’t meant to be.

April 5th was a fun day. Early that morning I had gotten up feeling contractions and a little more “off” than usual. But these things had been happening. So I just drank a ton of water and went about my day. I went in to work, shot a promo with Daily Blast Live for a mommy makeover, and had a lot of fun on the noon show in studio for the Rockies Home Opener. The station threw a big barbecue in the backyard complete with cracker jacks, peanuts, hot dogs and burgers… this mama was HAPPY.

There were no significant contractions coming, so I really wasn’t worried about anything… until late that afternoon. I was sitting at my desk having a conversation with a coworker when I briefly stood up. That was the moment I realized the back of my dress was soaking wet. I looked down at my desk chair and realized it, too, was soaking wet. In that moment I thought, “Crap, I think my water has broken, and I’m at work.”

It wasn’t the same gush of water like my previous 2 pregnancies, but it was obviously enough to be concerning. Lucky for me I was wearing the kind of dress where you couldn’t tell it was soaking wet. So, I finished my conversation and went to the backyard to call my doctor. Her thoughts were the same as mine. Sounds like my water broke and it was time to get to the hospital. After all, I still had that dang cerclage in!

I went to tell my news director that I needed to go. She walked me back to my desk and helped me close up my work station. In my mind I was going to drive myself there. My contractions weren’t bad! But we were quickly approaching rush hour and I needed to get to the other side of town. So, instead, we played it safe and decided Cory Reppenhagen, my friend, coworker and fellow meteorologist would drive me.

It had been my plan to arrive at the hospital inconspicuously. I didn’t really want people knowing I was there, especially if the baby was coming early. I wanted the chance to deal with it emotionally before blasting the news to the public. Hahahahaha… plans!

📸: Cory Reppenhagen

When asked to describe the 9NEWS storm chasing vehicle… WeatherTitan… inconspicuous is not a word one would use. It’s a ginormous truck with 9NEWS tattooed all over it. Yet, this was my transportation to the hospital. The same truck we go storm chasing in, got me to the entrance of labor and delivery. When we arrived Cory and I were laughing pretty hard at the irony. EVERYONE was staring. In fact, it was so awesomely obvious that it was a 9NEWS vehicle that security thought we were there for the 9Health Fair happening there the next day. Imagine her surprise when I continued to check myself in! So much for plans. At the end of the day, it got me there safely, and I am very thankful to Cory for that!

My husband arrived about 15 minutes later, and nurses quickly confirmed that my water had, in fact, broken.

We also could tell that my cervix had thinned and I was already 2 cm dilated, despite the stitch. Fortunately contractions, still, were not that bad so my doctor was able to, relatively easily, remove my cerclage without medication. I wouldn’t say that process was totally painless, but I’ve experienced worse.

After the stitch was out I immediately dilated to 5 cm, and then my OB/GYN broke the rest of my water. Unlike my other two babies, this time my water broke up high… that’s why there was no rush of fluids. Then, I was told that if I wanted the epidural, to get it now, because if we waited it might be too late. So I got that epidural, and we waited. It’s possible the epidural slowed the process down a bit… but a few hours later, after about 3 pushes, the baby was born.

My husband was phenomenal during the whole process. He was the one who got to announce to the room the gender of the baby. And the joyful shouts of “It’s a boy!” after his first exclamation were so cool to hear.

I think the kids were fairly excited for their little brother… the hospital setting scared my 6 year old a bit, especially when she saw mommy attached to all kinds of things. But eventually she relaxed and realized I was okay. Waiting for the baby to arrive was the hardest part for them. If I had to hear “when can we go home?” one more time… 😆. It was a good thing the baby came close to their bed time!

Jeffrey Thomas arrived at 8:30 pm. He weighed 5 lbs 12 ounces… the biggest of all my babies. Since he came early, he was required to spend the next 12 hours in the NICU. It wasn’t my favorite option, but his health was most important and I knew I could visit him whenever I wanted. That was my plan, to start nursing immediately and visit him every few hours overnight in the NICU. But that’s the funny thing about me and birth plans… they never seem to go the way I want.

My butt ripped a hole in my maternity jeans… and a few other updates!

It was a sad day a couple of weeks ago. I was pulling on a pair of maternity jeans when I felt it, a long rip around the top of my butt. I knew they were tight, but my goodness! Oh the joys of the last trimester of pregnancy.

It’s hard to explain unless you’ve been through it. But even maternity clothes don’t fit quite right during that last trimester. My narrow body frame is desperately trying to accommodate my rapidly growing belly, but if I go up a size, I’ll just be swamped in extra fabric. And then there’s finding clothes that work for my job as a television meteorologist. Long story short, some people haven’t been happy with my appearance and have emailed and posted some inappropriate things.

I allowed some of those things to get to me, dealt with my emotions and then made a public post to address the general dislike of a growing baby belly. It went viral. It is not typical for me to respond so publicly, but I had had enough. I’ve gotten these types of comments for all 3 of my pregnancies. And I thought it was important for people to know that I wouldn’t have been able to respond the way I did had it not been for work I’ve done on my own mental health. I struggled with mental health issues just before I had my son and for years afterward. My doctor told me the therapist she thought I should go to, and that was life changing for me. I made my math-based social media post purely for me.

It helped me stand up for myself and take back my power. The next day, I explained the process I went through to make that post in hopes that it would inspire others (including my own children one day) to do the same.

You can find the links to the stories here.

The overwhelming support I have received since writing the post, appearing on the Today Show and even having it published on Yahoo and through iheart radio stations has been amazing. I’m so happy to see that good far outweighs the bad and I hope others who are struggling have the opportunity to see that, too.

In other news, (I think) I have one more month of pregnancy to go!! My son was delivered at 35 weeks, and I just reached that milestone the other day.

Technically I could give birth at any time. My left uterus, which has never been pregnant before, has been acting like a champ. This is counter-intuitive to what we thought when we found out I was pregnant on that side. That uterus started out just a bit smaller than the other one. However, unlike with the right uterus, the baby’s growth has not significantly slowed down for this pregnancy and it continues to measure a week ahead of schedule.

I’m only slightly frightened by what that means for delivery. My last two babies weighed 5 lbs. 10 oz. I know my mother’s stories of having a 9 lbs baby (me). To all the women who have had larger babies, I salute you and your amazing bodies. I’ve had it easy. This time, maybe not.

I failed, then passed the gestational diabetes test. 🤢

My family spent a fantastic vacation in Hawaii.

Discovered how thankful I am that we keep my dad’s snow pants at our house.

And then proceeded to work a blizzard, all while managing to stay pregnant during a rare Colorado bomb cyclone! #winning

More recently, my body HAS been giving me signs that it may go into labor sooner rather than later. Enough signals that I called my doctor and they brought me in to see how I was doing. I was having contractions, but they weren’t that strong and were coming every 12 minutes.

They also had me take a test to see if I would go into labor in the next two weeks. It’s called an FFN, or  fetal fibronectin test. It’s definitive if it comes back negative, you will not go into labor. Not so definitive if it comes back positive. Mine came back positive. So I’ve also been getting a couple of steroid shots to help my baby’s lung development along. So far, (knock on wood) so good. But I would really prefer not to have NICU in my labor and delivery room. And I would also prefer not to go into labor before my cerclage comes out. That happens in just a couple of weeks. Then, for real, it is game on.

Even though the baby has developed A TON, I still struggle with emotional stress from this pregnancy. Just the other night I had a nightmare that I delivered my child and then never saw it… for days. No one would tell me if it was alive or not. So while I don’t want this baby to come into the world just yet, I will be relieved when my healthy child is finally here.

My husband and I have most things organized and moved around so that we are ready for the baby! We’ve moved my son into his new room and have set up the nursery once again. Plus, I fully intend on working until I have to check-in to the hospital for delivery. We are so blessed and so excited to meet this new addition!

A record cold day in Denver?


It will be close, and it may depend on how long these clouds and the rain sticks around.

A lot of moisture is flowing into the state from the northwest. That, combined with a couple of disturbances, means a chance for showers and even thunderstorms all day today. Thunderstorms are not expected to be severe… but we certainly could see some heavy rain, especially in far eastern Colorado. In fact, a FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect for Cheyenne and Kit Carson Counties through Tuesday afternoon.


The chance for rain and cloud cover the entire day could keep temperatures below 65 degrees in Denver. And 65 is currently the “Record Coldest Maximum” for the city. That record was set in 1939.


Now, a couple of hours of sunshine could propel those temperatures above 65 degrees this afternoon. Where we get that sunshine makes a difference. The official temperature observations for the day are recorded at DIA. The sun may come out at DIA today, but not downtown, resulting in a warmer temperature 18 miles northeast of the city, versus in Denver itself. If that happens, the record remains in tact… a record that was originally set at 16th and Larimer in 1939.

You can argue all you want, saying this is not logical. You may be right. But the fact is, the National Weather Service and the Federal Aviation Administration has mandated that commercial airports be the origin of regular weather observations in the United States. And our commercial airport is DIA… 18 miles northeast of the city. So, unless those government regulations change, we’re gonna have to deal with it.

The POINT is we’re watching for a record cold day today, and this is all a part of a month that may be colder than average across Colorado.

The Climate Prediction Center recently released it’s outlook for August 2017. It features colder than average temperatures across Colorado.

August 2017 Temperature Outlook

And above average precipitation.

August 2017 Precip Outlook

Seeing as the average high temperature in Denver this week is between 88 and 89 degrees, that below average temperature forecast is holding true… at least for the next 9 days.