early yesterday morning i woke up with bleeding. i’ve had a little bit of spotting earlier in this pregnancy, so i didn’t worry about it too much (it’s always stressful to see blood when you’re pregnant, even if it’s only a little bit). i just put a liner in to monitor he quantity, and went back to bed.
when i got up a couple of hours later there was more blood than expected on the liner, and more when i went to the toilet. i tried to remain calm, but didn’t like what i was seeing. by 10:30, i decided to call my ob/gyn’s after hours number (it was sunday) to discuss it with them and ask them what they thought. my ob/gyn works with a small practice of 5 doctors, all of whom are women, and one of whom is always on call to directly answer questions or deliver a baby. i didn’t get my own ob/gyn but one of her colleagues. she asked me a bunch of questions, gave me a list of symptoms to watch out for, and said that there wasn’t anything to worry about at this stage, but that i should take it easy and try not to worry.
but it was a worrying and stressful day. every time i checked there was more blood. i got more and more anxious. it wasn’t the bright colour that indicates miscarriage, but there was just too much of it. i couldn’t understand why it wasn’t stopping. i cried a lot.
by the evening, i was pretty sure i needed to see a doctor, so we went to the women’s hospital. we waited for about three hours to be seen, and when we were, the doctor gave me an (incredibly painful) internal exam. she ascertained that my cervix was closed (good sign), but agreed the discharge was a bit worrying she said “you might be having a miscarriage, you might not. go home and call your ob/gyn in the morning.” i lay there on the bed for about 10 minutes crying. then cried all the way home. s was worried and upset too. neither of us knew what to say.
when we got home s suggested i call the ob/gyn again to let her know what had happened and ask her if i could come in first thing in the morning. the same doctor was on call, and she could hear that i was upset, and told me to come down to the labour ward at frances perry, where she had an ultrasound machine and could check the baby was ok. it was 11:30pm on sunday night at this point, so she was definitely going above and beyond to reassure me. we got in the car and went down there.
the nurses were lovely, and they made us comfortable straight away. the doctor was there within minutes. she had a look at the baby, and we could see straight away that it was moving about, and that it’s heartbeat was strong. she explained that the blood was most likely from a small clot on the placenta, or from a broken blood vessel in my uterus, but showed me that there were no big dark sections in the scan which would indicate a large amount of hemorrhaging. she said that the baby was big enough and strong enough to cope with this kind of bleeding without being harmed in any way. she told me to keep an eye on it over the next few days and to make an appointment with my regular ob/gyn in a few days if it didn’t stop, so we could have a closer look.
we left feeling incredibly relieved. i’ve since had a pretty good sleep, and the bleeding appears to have stopped for now. one in five women experience varying degrees of bleeding during pregnancy, so there is an extent to which it is quite normal, but it’s so hard to know how much is too much, and when to ask for help. i am very worried about being an over-anxious patient (oh yeah, i’m so hardcore i do meta worry), and pissing my doctors off with too many concerns and fears. but i also want to be responsible about taking care of myself, and i want answers when i am feeling frightened. it’s a difficult line to walk.
it’s now 10am, and i just got a call from my ob/gyn who wanted to check in and make sure i was ok. i’m so glad we chose these people to look after us during this pregnancy – they are really excellent doctors, and extremely understanding people. which is a less common combination than you’d expect.