*Sensitive content warning* There are graphic descriptions of a woman’s experience thinking she was having a miscarriage. We ask that our readers approach this blog with respect for the author’s personal story. If this type of content does not serve you, please browse our other blog categories for inspiring and relatable content.
I had a subchorionic hematoma, also called a subchorionic hemorrhage or subchorionic bleeding during my pregnancy. I thought I was having a miscarriage. It was the most horrifying experience of my life.
It is rarely talked about how you can lose your baby in an instant for no reason at all; that feeling of loss that something so precious can be stripped away from you without warning. There has been no greater feeling of loss in my life than that, but the beautiful part is that I gained a new perspective. I learned to cherish whatever it is that I have; my health, my family, myself.
We are told our entire lives to be careful and not get pregnant, when in reality it can be quite difficult to get pregnant and even then, it can all disappear in the blink of an eye.
During pregnancy, I thought, “If I use this, will it hurt my baby?”. I thought about every little thing my doctors said, my activity, my food intake, etc. It’s not that I didn’t worry about all of that the moment I was pregnant, but after such an extreme event I became hyper aware and worried, stricken with anxiety about it all. I worried about every little “issue” that came up.
It felt like my body was removed from my soul and I became a shell of a human being thinking that my baby was no longer there, with me, part of me. I became motionless, unable to control any of it as everyone around me panicked, calling 911 and family for help.
I was just left with this emptiness, and I simply didn’t want to live without my child, I didn’t know how to. I became hollow and removed from my body looking down wondering how this happened, thinking, what did I do? It all happened so fast without warning. All I could feel was this great sense of loss. It felt like someone emptied my insides emotionally and physically until everything was gone.
Then all of a sudden, with a simple wave of a wand, I heard the heartbeat again. It all just happened so fast and without any control.
Why I thought I was having a miscarriage
It all started when I got off a call from work and stood up to go use the restroom. I had this feeling like I had to pee but as I stood, I lost control of my bladder, or what I thought was my bladder, but when I looked down it was blood dripping from my leg. I ran over to the bathroom to sit on the toilet as blood gushed from me into the toilet. I screamed my husband’s name. Thankfully he works from home as well, so he ran over and saw the blood leading into the bathroom and ran over. As I sat there, with my husband holding my hands as liters of blood gushed into the toilet we suddenly heard a plop.
I didn’t have the courage to look, so my husband did, a large mass was in the toilet of what we thought at the time was my embryo. I am sitting there crying on the toilet with uncontrollable blood gushing from me filling the toilet while my husband comforts me trying to call the emergency care at our OBGYN office and my mom. We both were thinking it, but did not want to say it out loud. That was it, that was our baby.
When you are a first-time pregnant woman, you do not realize what else it could be, so you surmise that was the embryo. It was all so much blood; it was hard to believe anything but a miscarriage. As my husband talks to the emergency OBGYN line, I am talking to my mom screaming that I lost my baby. We truly believed our baby was gone just sitting in the toilet. How do you gather up the courage to scoop your unborn embryo from the toilet filled with blood?
The hospital gave us directions to try to stop the bleeding and get in the car for an emergency ultrasound. Unfortunately, on the way, they called saying it wouldn’t be for a couple hours and to remain home until we could come in for the ultrasound. I couldn’t breathe, I could only cry and scream on the phone to my mom as I yelled that I lost it. I had to lay on the couch waiting to find out the news we already knew, that my baby was gone.
Peace of mind during pregnancy – the ultrasound
As I sat in the waiting room of the hospital, waiting to find out if our baby is truly gone or still has a heartbeat, I couldn’t speak, couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe or really do anything and I felt numb, empty because I truly believed our baby was gone. As we went into the room, we waited for the ultrasound tech to tell us that he would be looking for a heartbeat and that he was very sorry for the reason we were in today. It was a very cold, quiet and uncomfortable room.
I heard a lot about pregnancy and the cravings, but no one ever spoke to me about how it could all be taken away in a single moment. I was never prepared for the moment of thinking I lost my baby.
My husband was watching the tech waiting for the news as he looked at the monitor, then as the tech started his process to look for the baby, he and my husband became silent, I said out loud, what is it?, as I could not wait any longer. He just nods. I start to bawl, just lying there with the ultrasound wand in my uterus believing my unborn baby was dead. I will never forget that feeling, that utter sense of loss.
My husband quickly reassures me that there is a heartbeat and I immediately look at the screen to see the little line murmur thump thump thump. My baby was alive and doing okay. I was 10 weeks pregnant.
The diagnosis – subchorionic hematoma
Later the next morning, we found out that I had a subchorionic hematoma and hemorrhaged blood clots which happens to about 13% of pregnancies in their first trimester, according to the ER doctor on call. It was hard to wrap my head around how something so gory can be so “normal.” That word, “normal” was hard to hear from the ER doctor because that day was so much more for my husband and I to go through. It seemed unfair to quantify it with such disregard. But we are lucky. We feel that every day.
I immediately had a different outlook on life. Pregnancy was the thing in my life that I felt could be gone at any moment. The early hematoma experience made it hard to relax during pregnancy, though ultimately and most importantly, we had a healthy baby. I understand not everyone gets this ending.
I am sharing my story because I had the alarming feeling of blood beneath me and somehow, someway, some 13% of women end up having a healthy baby after experiencing such a thing. I know this is nothing compared to what some women go through or have gone through or are going through.This is my story and I want other pregnant women to understand they are not alone in whatever struggles they face. I share this to give hope to the 13% of women terrified out of their minds when they experience a miscarriage scare due to early heavy bleeding. I hope to give them comfort and strength to get through it.
Whatever your situation may be, whatever results you receive, you have support.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a similar experience, has suffered through pregnancy loss, or is in need of support, below are some resources that may help.