I was driving home after doing some shopping for my daughter's birthday when I felt like I slightly peed myself. I thought: "oh great, now I'm peeing myself without even feeling the need to pee." I was 5 minutes away from home when it happened and figured I would use the restroom soon and all would be fine.
I got off the car and as I carried my sleeping daughter home I started to feel like I was peeing myself even more and started to feel it coming down my legs. I rushed to the bathroom and sat on the toilet, heard a gush of liquid fall into the toilet and I thought to myself "how am I peeing and not feeling it?" That thought was immediately gone once I looked down to my underwear and saw it filled with blood. There was blood everywhere. It was my worst nightmare coming to life. I screamed for my mom and told her "I'm losing the baby."
I started sobbing like crazy as my mom checked to see if I had passed any tissue. She said it didn't look like a miscarriage and to go lay down. I called my husband and could barely speak. He rushed home. Our PCP told us to go to the emergency room but once I laid down the bleeding stopped so I waited for a call back from my midwife. While I waited I just laid in bed, drank lots of water, cried, googled and prayed. My baby had made it to 10 weeks and I could not believe I might losing her.
Blood stopped coming out and I only had some when I wiped after I peed. I didn't have any cramps nor any other symptoms. The midwife told me to take it easy and come into her office early next morning. She reminded me I have her cell phone and to call her if anything changed. I wasn't feeling sick nor had any other signs but wiping blood every timed I peed broke my heart a little. "Why? How could this happen? Is my baby alive?" So many questions... and I had no answers.
That night as I was putting my daughter to bed she pointed to the hallway and told me there was a baby. She blew the baby kisses and said "bye baby" -- as in good night. I freaked out even more -- out of all the nights she does something like this it had to be that night. I thought our baby was saying good-bye to her forever.
Finally it was time to see my midwife. The entire car ride to her office I cried. I just couldn't help myself and was so scared of the possibility that my baby could be gone.
My midwife tried looking for baby's heartbeat with a doppler but warned us it was too soon to be picked up so not to worry if she couldn't find it. She didn't find it and immediately sent us to get an ultrasound. Luckily we didn't have to wait long and the moment came when I was lying on a bed waiting for the worst and hoping the best.
The first image we saw on the screen was our baby moving. Our baby was moving! Our baby was alive! I cried out of happiness. They checked me for about 15 minutes to make sure everything was normal and to figure out why I was bleeding. The baby's heartbeat was strong, my placenta was forming and everything looked right on track. They found the source of my bleeding: I had a subchorionic hemorrhage (SCH).
According to New Kids-Center:
A subchorionic hemorrhage, also known as a subchorionic hematoma or simply SCH, is created when blood gathers in the space between the placenta and uterus. The technical term is chorion, but many doctors will simply call it a blood clot. These clots can be serious because they might grow large, and thus cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall. This is especially true if the clot or bleeding becomes too large, cannot be reabsorbed by the body, or develops in a spot that makes separation more likely.
In other words a SCH is like a pool of blood that forms between the uterus and baby and to this day its cause is unknown. However, it's pretty common and most of the time, with bed rest, it reabsorbs itself without threatening the pregnancy or baby.
That day, my baby measured 3.5 centimeters long and was lying on a blood clot that was 5 centimeters long, so the blood pool was bigger than the baby. Luckily the SCH was close to my cervix and not close to the placenta, which could cause even more issues with the pregnancy. Unfortunately, there is nothing the doctors nor I could do. This would resolve itself on its own or not.
A SCH is not something most women know about but once you go through this you realize it's very common. Most doctors aren't even that concerned nor surprised by it. If you're diagnosed with a subchorionic hemorrhage the odds are in your favor and most likely the baby will make it but it's all a waiting game and while you're going through this the wonder is heartbreaking and stressful.
I had to see a high risk doctor from the 10th week of my pregnancy all the way to the 33rd week when I no longer was considered high risk. I was on bed rest for a total of 8 weeks. I had one episode where I bled for a week, then I didn't bleed for almost 2 weeks and suddenly I started bleeding again and bled every single day during 4 weeks straight. It was the hardest time of my life because I didn't know if the bleeding would get so bad that my baby wouldn't make it. Luckily for me I had a positive outcome and gave birth to a healthy baby girl a few days after her due date.
Bleeding in pregnancy, in large or small quantities is scary, but it doesn't automatically mean a miscarriage. The only way to know and to diagnose a SCH is by an ultrasound so if you ever find yourself bleeding (which I hope you never do) try not to get too scared before you see a doctor. I was surprised when I joined a SCH support group and learned about so many pregnancies that had bleeding, some less than mine and some a lot worse. This group helped me get through my most dark days and fortunately most of us had a positive outcome despite the rough pregnancies we went through.
Pregnancy is a mysterious thing and although medicine has advanced a lot there are some things they just don't know much about. Subchorionic hemorrhage is one of them. This has been a huge reminder for me that we can't control everything. Things happen for a reason and sometimes all we can do is have patience and be positive. If you ever find yourself in my shoes, please look for support and ask for help. The emotional rollercoaster you go through is not something anyone should go through alone and don't forget that the odds are in your favor.