First, let me start this off by issuing a much needed apology. To the friends who I chastised during their own pregnancies with phrases such as:
“You’re feeling nauseated? Eat something!”
“Well, if you would only move around a little more, your back wouldn’t be hurting as bad as it is.”
“It’s not as bad as you are making it out to be. If you had a better attitude, then you would feel better!”
I must tell you something… there is a reason for the expression, “KARMA IS A BITCH.”
I said these idiotic things because I had an incredible pregnancy with my first son, Benjamin. I can only remember one day I ever felt sick. My first trimester, if my stomach felt a little strange, I’d pop some salty pretzels, and call it a day. I was working as a leasing agent for an apartment community, and I showed apartments (on the 3rd floor, mind you) all day and had no issues, whatsoever. This is where I could easily regale you with my own tales that are similar to “and I walked five miles in the snow, BAREFOOT, to school, both ways mind you, while there was a raging blizzard swooping around me, and not once did I complain about it!” Don’t worry though, I won’t. I think you get the idea. Good pregnancy. CHECK. And, as we can all imagine, the delivery of Benjamin was just as incredible. DOUBLE CHECK.
So here I am, years later, pregnant with my second son, Nolan. At six weeks, the nausea started. It would begin every morning. So, I would do what I assumed was the correct way to handle the situation: I’d eat something. Which, would further worsen the condition. I’d eat pretzels, foolishly assuming that what worked with Benjamin would work for Nolan. Of course, it didn’t. Morning sickness is the biggest misnomer known to man. I had ALL DAY sickness. Which would then lead to heartburn. Which would then lead to pressure in my abdomen caused by gassiness. And gassiness never led to poopiness, because that would mean I could poop, which of course, I couldn’t. Constipation, gotta love it!
This lasted for a few weeks, and then started to subside. Only to be replaced by a little friend of mine that has plagued me for years: BRONCHITIS. I was hacking up a lung every night. Maybe I should issue more apologies to my family, who had to endure the month long cough fest. And because I was barely pregnant, my doctor didn’t want to put me on an antibiotic, which is understandable. Robitussin-DM and I became fast friends, often spending some alone time together in the wee hours of the night. And, because of all the coughing I did, the entire left side of my ribs developed inflammation in the cartilage and so every time I did cough, I felt a searing, burning pain, so painful that I assumed I’d cracked a rib from all the coughing, and had x-rays taken. (Don’t worry, the hospital wrapped me up around the abdomen THREE TIMES to ensure the safety of Nolan).
I was MISERABLE. But sometimes in order for you to better appreciate what you have, something worse needs to happen. I was closing in on 12 weeks pregnant, when I had gone to the bathroom late one night (as pregnant women often do) and discovered bright pink spotting. The first words out of my mouth were, “OH NO.” In my head? “Oh shit. Oh fuck. What the hell is going on?!?” And in my heart, I was very sad and troubled. I immediately assumed the worst. My husband Kevin and I had tried for five months, which I know isn’t a long time in terms of babymaking. But, this was it for us. I went to bed that night putting on a brave face. Kevin asked me, “Should I be freaking out right now?” I assured him that there was no need to, women do this all the time. But inside, I was FREAKING OUT. And I said so to my doctor the next morning. He acted as though he didn’t hear me say “I’m bleeding.” He must have heard, “It’s a nice day outside.” He was very nonchalant about the situation, and we scheduled an ultrasound. He assured me that many women bleed in their first trimesters. The hell you say! THIS woman didn’t!
But I did. For four weeks, off and on, I bled. First pink spotting, then brown/dark brown/wine colored spots. Sometimes, a few clots would make their way out. The ultrasound confirmed that the reason for the bleeding was a condition known as Subchorionic Hematoma. Have you ever heard of this? I hadn’t. Anyone who knows me, knows I immediately went on the computer and looked up every possible link I could find on the condition. Bottom line (and the simplest way to explain it) is this type of Hematoma is a blood clot that forms in the folds of the uterus. There’s no known cause. The placenta decided to tear a bit away from the uterus, and where the tear had been, a clot had formed. This is a GOOD thing. My body was clotting a boo-boo that didn’t belong. But as with any sore, it needs to heal. The blood caused by the tear was passing from my body, and it took a long time for it to pass. I was put on modified bed rest, which means I could still go about my day, but I couldn’t work out, couldn’t do much walking, no lifting, and frequent rests. Some women aren’t as lucky, due to the size of the clot. Mine was very small, but others are at high risk for miscarriage, placenta abruption and pre-term delivery, so they are put on strict bed rest.
I was given the green light to resume my normal activities at my 16 week check up. Due to this experience however, I am very careful with my body, and with my growing child. I don’t take this pregnancy for granted.
Some websites that I sought out for advice and information:
/>This one in particular has a fantastic chat board for women with SCH:
I was briefly part of this chat board to obtain information from other women going through this condition, but I became what they call a “graduate”, because my condition healed up.