Riding the Roller Coaster

I was pretty excited after Tuesday’s OB appointment, especially the news that the subchorionic hematoma (SCH) had started to shrink down. With my next OB appointment scheduled two weeks out on Dec. 16, I just wanted to relax as much as possible.

Yeah. That didn’t happen.

Thursday morning, I was in a great mood. The bleeding was slowing down, the mild cramps were subsiding, and I was still fairly psyched about Tuesday’s appointment. I browsed online for maternity clothes.  I made a quick post to Facebook updating my progress, and went about my day.

At about six o’clock in the evening, I found myself with a sudden, severe ache in my lower abdomen that lasted a couple of minutes and then subsided. I told myself to calm down. An hour later, I was noticing small, achy pinches that usually precede bleeding episodes. Since I’ve been bleeding fairly often, I just waited for the inevitable. When the bleed came, it was of the usual quantity and I almost instantly felt better. I headed back to the couch to rest a bit.

Except that the pinching pains started up again shortly thereafter. That was more unusual. I gritted my teeth as the pains got a bit stronger. Another fairly small bleed came after about 45 minutes. I felt better again, and went back to resting.

This time, the pain only subsided for about fifteen minutes. I decided it would be best to go ahead and turn in for the evening. I finished the book I was reading, turned out the light, still noticing the pain which was continuing to get stronger. Just go to sleep, I told myself. Maybe that will help.

I dozed off for about a half hour, at which point I woke up in severe pain. The pains were cyclical, coming and going, circling around my lower back and abdomen. Sh*t, I thought. I got up to check, and sure enough, a small amount more bleeding. This time, however, the pain didn’t subside. It kept getting worse. I staggered back to bed. Arthur, who had awakened when I’d gotten up, put an arm around me. I started sobbing, less from fear for once than from pain.

“Do we need to go to the ER?” asked Arthur.

“No,” I sobbed, “I don’t want to. It’s just the stupid SCH again, but it hurts really, really bad right now.”

Arthur wasn’t buying a bit of it. I was more or less curled in the fetal position whimpering. He kept asking what to do, and we finally compromised: he’d call the OB department at the local hospital, and we’d do whatever they suggested. The nurse on duty, who could hear me sobbing in the background, told Arthur that at this point, I needed to be seen in the ER.

I had Arthur toss me some clothing, which I managed to pull on. Another hard pain hit as I walked out of the bedroom, and before I knew it, I was on my knees. Arthur got me down to the car, to the ER, and into a wheelchair where I was quickly wheeled back and triaged.

I was both in awful pain and starting to wonder if the thing I had been refusing to consider all along – that these were contractions – was the truth. It terrified me too much to even really dwell on, but I knew with the way the pain was hitting, there was at least a chance I could be in labor and miscarrying.

Finally, once I was on the ER gurney and changed into a gown, the blood gushed out. It was amazing. My pain, which had been fairly severe only seconds earlier, suddenly dropped to a mild ache. I checked the pad. There was just the same dark blood I’d been seeing all along, but in a larger quantity. Throughout the next several hours, I’d go through similar cycles – lots of pain and cramping, then a gush of blood. The ER doctor told me he was not optimistic.

The ultrasound tech came in to check the baby. Somehow, and I have no idea how, the baby was okay. Kicking and moving all over the place. I was so, so relieved.  She measured the SCH again, and then we waited on results.

The upshot is that the SCH has grown again. It is, fortunately, on the opposite side of my uterus from the placenta, but the fact that it’s grown again only over a couple of days scares the heck out of me. My cervix was, thankfully, tightly closed still, so I wasn’t in labor. The cramping was probably from the blood accumulating at my cervix. The ER sent us home and told me to consult my OB office in the next few days.

By the next morning, I was back to my typical, occasional mild aches with the small bleeds. Of course, having been up most of the night, I wasn’t feeling the best. I called my OB office to let them know what had happened, and they told me to just keep them updated for the time being and to call if I started getting dizzy or felt like I might pass out when I stood up or if anything changed.

Just after five o’clock that evening, I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. Curious, I picked it up. It was my family physician’s office. “You have a urinary tract infection,” said the voice on the other end, “so the doctor is calling in a prescription for some antibiotics.”

“What?!” I said, totally alarmed, trying to do the mental calculations of where that particular bit of information might have come from. Then I remembered doing a urine specimen in the ER on Thanksgiving. They’d probably looked at my records, noted my family physician and sent the results to that office instead of the OB office. “Look,” I told the phone nurse, “I’m 14 weeks pregnant. I think these results should have gone to my OB. And they’re closed for the weekend now.”

The phone nurse went to consult with the doctor, who was actually one of my family doctor’s partners, not my normal doctor. Fortunately, the doctor who was in the office that evening happens to be one of the few family practitioners in our area who still does OB care/deliveries and thus has a decent frame of reference for what would be safe to prescribe a pregnant woman. They called in a prescription of antibiotics that would be safe for me, and I’ll call the OB office on Monday to let them know what happened.

The UTI does possibly explain why I’ve felt sort of under the weather and more exhausted than usual. It also might explain some of the extra achiness and tenderness I’ve been feeling around my abdomen.

It feels like I’m on one of those enclosed roller coasters, one of the ones where it’s dark and you can’t see all the dips and turns in the track.  Mostly, I’m just trying to hang on and keep the baby healthy.


9 thoughts on “Riding the Roller Coaster

  1. So scary–a rollercoaster indeed. I am so glad that somehow that baby is hanging on, showing all kinds of spunkiness and movement despite all the scary things happening around him/her. I hope for peace for you, for a smoother ride, and for this freaking SCH to resolve already and stop wreaking havoc on your body and your mind. Thinking of you.

  2. I was holding my breath as I read. What a nightmare for you! I’m so sorry for this roller coaster (excellent analogy, by the way) you’ve been on. I’m glad to hear Baby is active and unbothered by the SCH.
    I think the UTI must be a contributing factor – hopefully the antibiotic will knock it out fast.
    I’ll be thinking of you and praying for a calmer and more relaxed second trimester.

  3. I honestly cannot imagine dealing with bleeding as much as one of these SCH cause – it would be such a mind-fuck. I work in the medical field and I had a doctor tell me she bleed profusely because of one the entire nine months of her pregnancy and delivered a happy healthy baby right when she should. My hope for you is that the bleeding clears up but, if it doesn’t, it leads directly to a happy, healthy baby and your biggest concern is he or she keeping you up at night 🙂

  4. tiffany

    I don’t usually comment but I had a sch with my daughter. I started bleeding at 11 weeks… Big time bleeding. By 16 weeks, the sch had been absorbed and caused no further problems. I know that every case is very different as is every outcome. But sometimes a good news story helps. My daughter is 8 months old now.

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