A new pregnancy is an incredibly exciting time! It can also be quite scary. Particularly in the first few weeks when miscarriage rates are so high. This time can become even scarier when you are diagnosed with a Subchorionic hemorrhage. When I first heard the diagnosis, a million things ran through my head. I had never heard of it before and the information I was given was vague and unhelpful. I would like to share my experience with you in the hopes that this may help someone who is going through a similar situation.
I found out I was pregnant on a Sunday, when I was 5-6 weeks along. I visited my doctor on Monday, excited about my new journey ahead! On Wednesday, I began to feel cramping. Since I had never been pregnant before, everything was new to me and I assumed this was normal. However, while in line at the grocery store I had some very painful cramping. It didn’t last long, but it took me aback with how painful it was and just didn’t feel right. As soon as I got home I went to the bathroom and noticed some drops of blood. I called my city’s health care line, who told me that bleeding during early pregnancy can be normal, and unless it gets worse to stay calm and make an appointment with my doctor the next day. So, I tried my best to stay calm as I looked up everything I could on Google. I learned that bleeding in pregnancy can be completely harmless. I also learned that it could be from something much worse, like an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage.
About an hour later I began to bleed a lot more. If I hadn’t known I was pregnant I’d have thought for sure I was starting my period. I even doubted myself for a minute that all those pregnancy tests were positive as it felt just like how my menstrual cycle would. I began to panic – I felt awful and scared. I immediately called my husband to let him know what was happening and that we needed to go to the Emergency Room.
After hours of sitting in a room at the emergency and many blood tests later, the bleeding had stopped and the doctor came in to tell me that he did not believe that I was actively miscarrying. Such a relief. However, he still had no real answers for me. He couldn’t tell us what was going on or if I was starting to lose my little baby. Because I was still so early on in my pregnancy, a transvaginal ultrasound would be needed to determine what was happening, which could not be done until the next day. So we went home, uncertain and very nervous, but incredibly thankful I was not miscarrying.
On another note – before leaving the hospital I had to get a needle stuck in my butt because I found out I was RH Negative…. but that’s a whole another kind of awful.
So the next morning I had my ultrasound and the technician, unable to tell me anything, was able to show me my beautiful little baby on the screen, heart beating and all. I immediately felt better! Then I saw the doctor to find out why the bleeding occurred and what that meant.
He told me that I had a Subchorionic Hemorrhage. Of course I had no idea what that meant nor had I ever heard of that before. He drew me a drawing, much like the one below. It essentially was a “blood bubble” between my uterus and the placenta that was causing the bleeding.
He told me that the bubble most likely formed when implantation occurred and that instead of implanting into tissue that it may have hit a vein. He said that it can happen to anyone. Anyone from any nationality, any weight, healthy or not is susceptible to it and that there was nothing I could have done to prevent it from happening. He told me there was a 50/50% chance that my baby would survive. Either the bleeding would stop and everything would be okay, or it would continue to bleed and get worse until it caused the placenta to separate from the uterine wall, resulting in a miscarriage. I just had to wait and see.
Finding out you have a subchorionic hemorrhage (or hematoma, as it’s sometimes called – I assume by nicer doctors that know saying the word hemorrhage makes it sound 100X scarier than it is) makes you feel helpless. You now know what is wrong, but there is nothing you can do about it. Much like how there was nothing you could have done to prevent it, there is now nothing you can do to stop it or make it go away.
I then went to see my regular doctor to talk to her about what was going on and try to get any more answers that I could. What she said to me confused me even more. She told me that Subchorionic hemorrhages are actually fairly common and that it was not something she was worried about. That completely contradicted the scary message the emergency room doctor gave me and all the things that I had been reading on the internet.
She told me that often the hematoma will stay there throughout your entire pregnancy and be fine and only come out when you give birth.
I continued to bleed on and off with two larger episodes until I was about 16 weeks along. Then the bleeding just stopped. My hematoma, technically hematomas as it turns out I had two, never “reabsorbed or dissolved back into my body” as happens to some other mamas, but instead came out presumably when giving birth as my doctor predicted.
I would like to share with you some of the most important/helpful advice and things I learned from having a Subchorionic Hemorrhage. I am in no way a medical professional, these are just some things I learned throughout my personal journey that I would like to share with you in hopes of helping others.
I would love to connect and hear from other mamas who may have gone through this or are going through this now! Let’s help support one another on a subject that seems to be talked very little about!