I’ve not written about my pregnancy with Little Man before, though I’ve been meaning to, as it wasn’t an easy one. At the time, as I Googled what was happening to me, desperately looking for good news, I did think, if this goes well, I should share it so that others can find my story. So, enough rambling on, here’s the story, and a little more about a subchorionic hematoma….
I suppose I should have known from the very first that it mightn’t be a smooth one. On Christmas Day, I had what I felt sure to be implantation cramps, and I distinctly remember watching Christmas SCD, feeling happy and certain that I was pregnant. But then, a few days later, I started to bleed, a fair bit, too. Me being me, I was still sure I knew my body, so took a pregnancy test a couple of days earlier than I was due on. Negative. Still thought I was right, though. So on my due date, I took another, even though I was still bleeding. Yep, it was a positive. Not great with the bleeding, but I bled a little bit in the early weeks with Boo, so didn’t overly worry. Then, at 6 weeks in, I bled some more. I booked in to have a scan the week after, which is exactly what had happened with Boo, though there was more blood this time round. There it was, the little grain of rice, pulsating with a heartbeat on the screen, so all was well. So far. At 8 weeks, I bled again, and by now, it was more like I’d bleed a little most days, so more scans, more reassurances that baby was staying put. Though, on all of these occasions, it was made clear that it was all very 50:50, and a miscarriage was entirely possible. I was told it was a subchorionic hematoma. When implanting and attaching, the sac had pulled away a little from the wall of my uterus and a pocket of blood had formed between it. It might drain out, it might re-absorb itself or it might cause the whole placenta to pull away causing a miscarriage. No one knew which it’d be. The advice was simply to rest up, no lifting (not easy to avoid with a 2 year old!) and I also found that staying hydrated helped.
The bleeding finally stopped at 10 weeks, and so I started to look forward to my dating scan and relax a little (morning sickness aside, that is). However, a few days before that scan, just as we were about to leave the house for the day on a Saturday, I thought it was all over. The bleeding returned, and my, there was a lot. I’m talking floods of it. I was sure this was it, and shakingly went straight to A&E.
Leaving some 5 hours later and still bleeding, I was none the wiser. I was told I might be miscarrying and to go back for a scan next week. That scan revealed my baby happily bouncing about in there, and I then had my dating scan a few days later, where they checked on and measured the hematoma again.
At 14 weeks and still bleeding, I had another scan. Yep, still there, happily kicking, and the midwife was quite reassuring, telling me it was a great sign the pregnancy had continued this far. The very next day I had a consultant appointment to discuss the birth (following a tear from my first delivery) where I got my C Section request approved and saw the rudest medical professional I’ve had the misfortune to encounter. She was very blasé about the fact that I could easily miscarry still, speaking of it quite dismissively and casually, like it was no big deal. Not keen on her.
There didn’t feel like a safe time, until the bleeding had gone for just over 4 weeks, and at my 20 week scan, they could see no sign of the hematoma any more. Until then, I’d quite deliberately tried not to bond with my unborn baby, as I felt sure I’d lose it. And he was a very early kicker, too, as if trying to reassure me and make me pay attention to him in there.
From around 20 weeks, all went normally, no more bleeds, until he arrived by planned C Section at 39 weeks. To be honest, until he was out and I could hold him in my arms, I’d still expected things to go wrong. It just hadn’t felt quite real, despite his constant squirming and my enormous body! That’s hard to explain, though I’m sure it’s connected to the constant assumption that I’d lose him for the first half of the pregnancy. But lose him I did not. He fought. He hung in there, and he arrived, on that warm day in September, 2012..
Despite being surgical and our second, it somehow felt all the more miraculous than when our beautiful first born arrived quite naturally by water birth. For this one had always felt in danger of never coming.
Since having Little Man, I’ve heard of a couple of other people, friends of friends, who have had a subchorionic hematoma, and I’ve been able to offer advice and a level of reassurance to them, though of course, as I’m very aware, the baby may not always make it. But I want to say to people that sometimes, in spite of all this blood and fear, the baby does make it, so hang in there and keep on hoping. You could have a fighter on your hands.