Hi friends! My first trimester has been over for a bit now, so I figured I’d give an update on how it went, including the scary beginning to my pregnancy. If you’re following me on Instagram, you may have already heard some of this, but I wanted to share my story for those of you that may have gone through the same thing!
It is incredible how many of you have reached out via Instagram DM and told me that my story has touched you or given you hope because you are going through the same thing. If my story can help just one person, it has made it worth it so I know I needed to share this!
Heads up- this story might get a little wordy, but trying to remember as much as I can to the best of my ability.
Going back a bit, Conor and I always knew we wanted to have a baby, but for years we didn’t think it was the ‘right time’ and wanted to travel more and just do more things before settling down with a child. We knew it was a big commitment. When the pandemic hit, we had already had talks of starting to try, but didn’t know when or even if we could get pregnant. Since we are in our thirties, we decided that now would be a good time because we kept thinking of all of the ‘What ifs”. What if it takes years to conceive, what if we can’t even have children, or what if we waited too long? It’s hard to think about the what if’s, and we knew we would never be fully “ready” to have children, so we went for it! I will say that we are extremely lucky that we were able to conceive quickly. We were honestly both shocked!
Finding out We Were Pregnant
We found out in December of 2020 that we were pregnant and we were ecstatic! I was about 4-5 weeks along when our first positive test was taken, which was very early! Little did we know of the craziness the next couple of months would bring!
About a week after the positive test, I had some spotting and wasn’t sure what to think. This being my first pregnancy, I had nothing to compare to. So on to google I went… I read that it was probably implantation bleeding so I figured nothing of it, until it happened again a few days later, but there was more blood, along with clotting and tissue. I immediately messaged my doctor to let them know I may be pregnant and what had happened. They recommended I come in to get a Hcg test to see if it was consistent with a pregnancy. I went in and did the blood hcg test, and levels were consistent with a 5 week pregnancy. I went in again within 48 hours and the levels went up, so they assumed I was still pregnant. Fast forward another week and I bled again. I remember this one clearly because I was standing in the kitchen cooking and all of a sudden something warm was rushing down my leg! I panicked and ran to the bathroom. Blood was everywhere. I called the doctor the next day and they scheduled an ultrasound for the following day, which was New Years Eve. They also did more blood tests in the days following the ultrasound. I felt like I was living at the doctors office at this point.
Conor and I went to the ultrasound on New Year’s Eve, not knowing what to expect. We were only able to see the ultrasound tech so they couldn’t tell us much, other than that there was a gestational sac, but no fetal pole. The doctor called that evening and said it was still too early to know anything. I could still be pregnant, or I could’ve lost the baby! She then said I needed to come back in 2 weeks for another ultrasound to compare. 2 WEEKS!!!… That seemed like the longest 2 weeks of our lives!
Before that next ultrasound, I bled again and this time was WORSE! It was the most amount of blood and tissue and I assumed the worst. I messaged my doctor and she said we had to wait until the ultrasound to know more. It was still another week before that ultrasound and it felt even longer than the week before. I asked if I could go in earlier and they said it was the soonest appointment they had. My doctor then let me know that what had been causing the hemorrhaging was a subchorionic hematoma, which had never been mentioned before.
My Subchorionic Hematoma Story
I had no idea what a subchorionic hematoma was, but they informed me that my placenta detached from the uterine wall, causing a build up of blood (basically a bruise). I took to google again, and that was a BAD idea! There wasn’t much on there with any positive stories. I read that if the hematoma continued to grow, it could cause spontaneous abortion. eek!! From that day until the next ultrasound, I went through the stages of grief, assuming I had already lost the baby. I mean, there was no way with that much blood and tissue loss that the baby would have survived?! I remember a few days where I just sat on the couch and stared at the wall…zoned out completely and incapable of doing any work. Those days were awful!
No one prepares you for the feeling of loss, for the feeling of going through this without being able to talk about it with anyone. Especially those that I speak to daily on stories (YOU GUYS)- it was so hard to act normal and happy on stories and I know some of you could tell something was going on. I did end up talking to some of my friends and family to tell them what was going on with hopes that someone would be able to help me find comfort in knowing that it might still all be okay! That helped SO, SO much and for those that continued to reach out and check on me during that time, I appreciated it so much! It was the BEST comfort!
Onto ultrasound number 2! This appointment was when I was about 7 or 8 weeks along. Conor unfortunately wasn’t able to come to this one, but I told him I’d be okay and went into the appointment hoping for the best, but already prepared for the worst. As they started the ultrasound, the tech says, “there’s the heartbeat!”…. I was honestly SHOCKED! I then said “No, I don’t see anything…” and she proceeded to zoom in and there it was… the tiniest pitter patter and I was SPEECHLESS!!! Baby was alive in there! The tech confirmed there was still a subchorionic hematoma and that it grew a tiny bit, but baby was looking good other than the heartrate being a little lower than they liked to see.
I remember leaving there and sitting in my car and just staring! I was still in shock, and then the tears came flooding! After taking a moment, I FaceTimed my husband to tell him of the news! If you watched my YouTube video, you may have seen his reaction! 🙂 I didn’t get audio, but the expressions tell it all!
Another week went by and I had just gotten used to going to the bathroom and not thinking there would be blood. I woke up in the middle of the night and felt a gush! Another round of bleeding and this time EVEN MORE than the last. I had been using pads to determine how much blood came out and I filled over 3 pads that night in a span of 4 hours. I called the doctor the next morning and she was able to get me in that day to her office.
I went in that afternoon to the clinic. They don’t have trans-vaginal ultrasounds at that clinic, so they tried to check heart tones on a doppler. They couldn’t find anything but my heartbeat, but said it was still too early. She checked my cervix and said it was closed, so it was doing what it was supposed to. She then grabbed an external ultrasound with a tiny little monitor and we got to see the baby on it. I was relieved to see movement and a heartbeat, but the doctor said the heartrate seemed extremely low again. She said I needed to get another transvaginal ultrasound ASAP. I left the clinic and got a call that the soonest appointment was in a little over 2 weeks! 2 weeks… again!!!! 2 weeks of waiting with a potential low heartrate… With all that had happened, I decided to think the best instead of the worst and the 2 weeks went by a little faster. That is, until I bled again!! Not as much as the other times, but there was still blood. I still kept my head up and said to myself that if the baby survived that last few bleeds, then this one was probably nothing.
The Next Ultrasound
Onto ultrasound number 3. Conor was able to go to this ultrasound and he got to see the heartbeat this time! It was STRONG too!! But, we found out that the hematoma DOUBLED in size, which I knew was not good!! The tech wasn’t able to give us much information and said the doctor would follow up with a phone call in 24-48 hours. 24 hours went by and no call….48 hours came and still nothing. I called and asked if I was going to hear from her and they said she was out and that she’d call the next day. The next day rolled around and still no call…I finally got a message from her (not a call) at the very end of the day stating exactly what the tech had told me.
I had had enough and felt that I wasn’t being prioritized. Being a new mom, I was scared and had no idea what to think of the situation. My friend Nina had told me about Madison Women’s Health. She had been going to them for her recent pregnancy and spoke so highly of them. I decided it was time to switch. I checked with my insurance and it was covered there, so I called to see if they would take me. They had a doctor taking on new patients that specialized in abnormal uterine bleeding and also said that there was a cancellation the following week for an ultrasound and they could get me in. It was like it was meant to be! I transferred everything over and started the onboarding process.
The experience with Madison Women’s Health was night and day compared to my previous pregnancy visits . They were so informative and made me feel prioritized. They specialize in OBGYN, so this is why! There’s more to the story, but if you listened to my SCH highlight on Instagram, I talk a little more about what happened with my old doctor and switching to the new and how amazing it was!
I had my 13 week ultrasound the following week and it went SO WELL! The hematoma had grown a tiny little bit, but nothing crazy. My new doctor said this was on the larger size of hematomas she had seen, but that she was hopeful my body would absorb it. We decided to schedule a 16 week ultrasound to check on the hematoma and keep a better eye on baby. They also said I could call anytime and come in to check heart tones if I was worried. It made me feel so relieved.
The next few weeks I had started my second trimester and was feeling GREAT! Honestly, I was still scared to wipe when going to the bathroom, but I got less and less nervous as the days went by. At one point I was thinking something was wrong because NOTHING bad was happening. My husband had to keep reassuring me that everything was okay and that I was overrreacting!
I wrote this story just after my 16 week appointment. We are now at 19 weeks and more has happened, but I’m going to save that for another post! If you want to keep up to date on all things Baby C, head to my Instagram and watch my Baby C highlights. I will be sharing a 2nd trimester post eventually, so be sure you’re subscribed to my email list so you’re notified when that one goes live! Hopefully none of the future posts are this long! 😉
If you’re still reading, thanks for being here and I hope this has helped those of you that may be struggling with the same thing.
First Trimester Cravings/How I Felt
I wanted to note how I felt during the first trimester. Other than the issues with the bleeding, I thought overall things went well! My mental health is what was most affected, but the other common first trimester symptoms didn’t seem to arise. Below are some of the notes from what I remember during the first trimester.
- Swollen, puffy and sooo bloated!! The bloating was the worst!!!
- Tired!!! All the time! My energy was so low! But then some days I would get tons of energy.
- I didn’t really crave anything other than fruit and some more sweets than usual. I LOVED ice water! Blueberries and clementines were a go to! It was weird because I didn’t really WANT any food until I was actually eating it. Nothing sounded good.
- No morning sickness other than some slight nausea that would go away if I drank or ate something right away.
- COLDDDD – I could not get warm! Later, I found out this was due to being slightly anemic.
- Crazy dreams just in the beginning and occasionally thereafter.
Thank you so much for reading.