In the past I’ve shared my fit pregnancy journey with all of you to help motivate other moms and show that it is possible to continue exercising and eating healthy during pregnancy.
I was planning on doing the same thing with baby number three, but God had other plans for me this time.
This pregnancy is giving me a new opportunity to share the struggles I’ve had so far with hopes that I can help other women who have been diagnosed with a subchorionic hemorrhage.
At 6 weeks pregnant (about a week after I found out), I was working out at the gym and experienced heavy bleeding. Since I never experienced any bleeding with my last two pregnancies, I was sure I was miscarrying and was devastated.
After an emotional day at my midwife’s office and a couple of ultrasounds later, my mind was put at ease when I saw a heartbeat. However, my midwife was very concerned because I had a large blood clot surrounding my baby’s sac. She said the blood clot, called a subchorionic hemorrhage, was so large in comparison to the baby at that time, that there was a very high chance of miscarriage.
Her words were, “Now we just wait and watch to see if you miscarry.”
This was probably the most unsettling thing I’ve ever heard from a healthcare provider. I know she sees this all the time but her attitude was so insensitive and she was very nonchalant about it.
At this point I was told to, “take it easy.” I knew exercise was off the table for the time being and that was okay with me as long as my baby was healthy.
Of course when I got home I started to do research about subchorionic hemorrhage and to my surprise I found out that 20 percent of pregnant women have it at some point in their pregnancy.
The good news is that most of the these blood clots are small and resolve on their own, and the body will just reabsorb the blood. Most women go on to have healthy pregnancies and babies.
However, the chance of miscarriage remains high even after the 12 week mark because the blood can irritate the uterus and cause pre-term labor, which can result in a miscarriage later in pregnancy.
After my first episode of bleeding everything seemed to be fine and I was confident that my baby was healthy due to my awful nausea and extreme exhaustion.
However, when I was 10 weeks I had another scary experience, but this time the bleeding was much worse.
We were out looking at houses when I started to bleed and this went on for a couple of hours. I lost a lot of blood and did not feel well at all. This was also paired with extreme lower back pain and mild cramping. I was so scared that this was it and I was at risk for losing my baby.
We were not close to home but headed to the local hospital where I was admitted to labor and delivery right away. We had to wait several hours for an ultrasound, and the wait was torture.
While we waited we were seen by several doctors and nurses who were trying to prepare me for the worst, and told me that I was not allowed to eat or drink just in case I needed to be taken to the operating room for a D&C.
We finally got taken down for the ultrasound and cried at the sight of our little baby kicking around like crazy.
However, the blood clot was still large and this doctor was very concerned about the size of my subchorionic hemorrhage. She told me I would need to be on modified bed rest and that I needed to get help with my children since I shouldn’t be lifting them or chasing them around.
Since I lost a lot of blood I was absolutely exhausted and had the worst headache imaginable, but I was so relieved that the baby was still okay despite the risks we faced. It wasn’t until this point that I learned that I remained higher risk beyond the first trimester and well into the second.
Also, I learned that having a subchorionic hemorrhage increases the odds of pre-term labor. I was told to do my best not to stress…OK :(.
At 12 weeks we went in to see Dr. Lu, the high risk doctor at the hospital where we will be delivering the baby. Dr. Lu put us at ease with a little joke he played on us about having twins in there (I totally believed him, haha). He then went on to tell us that he was confident since our baby was so strong and also because I haven’t had any bleeding in a couple of weeks.
He also told me if I didn’t have any more bleeding for another week or two that I could try swimming and some yoga.
We head back to Dr. Lu in four more weeks at the 18 week mark to check to see if the subchorionic hemorrhage has gotten smaller or stayed the same and for our anatomy scan (no we aren’t finding out the sex this time :)).
I haven’t had anymore heavy bleeding since the ten week mark but I have had some spotting here and there which is not comforting to see but not abnormal either with a subchorionic hemorrhage.
Statistics show that most women diagnosed with a subchorionic hemorrhage will find that it has dissolved by the 20 week mark on its own and I pray this is the case for us.
However, some women have it present throughout their entire pregnancy and this is when the risk of pre-term labor and a premature baby are present.
Phil and I have strong faith and believe our baby is a little fighter and will be okay. We have nine more weeks until the 23 week mark when we can take a deep breath and at least know that if I did go into labor early that our baby could survive in the NICU…but hopefully we won’t have to worry about that.
Now I just have to do my best not to stress, rest as much as I can and fuel my body with nutritious foods to do everything I can to help this blood clot heal on its own.
There are a lot of great support groups online for subchorionic hemorrhage and I read the other day that watermelon contains healing properties in the white part between the skin and pink flesh…hey, it’s healthy and won’t hurt to try, right?
Nutritious whole foods can help your body in a number of ways and I’ve been researching foods that can help dissolve this blood clot naturally.
I want to share my story with you because I know this happens to a lot of women and I want to be an avenue of support for anyone going through this because it can be extremely stressful.
Did you or anyone you know ever have an experience with a subchorionic hemorrhage? I’d appreciate it if you would share your story with me in the comments below. Thank you!