(Disclaimer: Some of you may not care to read this post. It's an attempt to share my experience with a subchorionic hematoma, which causes bleeding during pregnancy. Not an exciting subject, but hopefully an informative one. If you don't like to read about bleeding or pregnancy-related stuff, just stop here.)
Sounds pretty important, doesn't it? Big, fancy doctor-speak which I had never heard of before it happened to me.
At almost nine weeks into this pregnancy I started showing signs of having a subchorionic hematoma (also called a SCH).
Once my condition had a name I wanted to be educated. I looked in the two books I have on pregnancy and neither one even briefly mentioned SCHs. I went to the internet next, looking for reliable sources that were informative. I only found a couple, but they helped me understand things a bit better.
In a nutshell, I discovered that SCHs only occur in just over 1% of pregnancies. There is no known cause and it occurs in women of all ages and races.
Next I searched the blog world. That was actually a mistake. I found that most people who tell their SCH story online have not had a good experience. It caused me more worry and concern than I was already experiencing.
I could only assume that those who have a successful outcome do not tell others about it; maybe they just count their blessings and get on with their healthy pregnancy, which is what I planned to do as well. I'm not usually much for sharing what I consider to be very personal information, but as I thought about it I realized that I should tell my story for those who are searching for positive outcomes. If I could ease someone's worry, it would be worthwhile.
Here is my story...
On a Monday evening I was getting packed to leave for our church's Girl's Camp the next morning and felt a sudden gush. I ran to the bathroom and found that I was bleeding.
I had no idea what was happening so I feared I was having a miscarriage. I debated staying home from camp but after calling a nurse help-line I decided that I would still attend camp and hope for the best. I had mild bleeding for a few days afterward which eventually stopped. I was relieved. Immediately following camp I spent the weekend at a family reunion, where I started to bleed again.
After arriving home I took a pregnancy test which came up as positive. I was still worried and unsure of my condition, and Allen encouraged me to make an appointment with my obstetrician to figure out what was going on. The nurse in the office recommended that I have an ultrasound to determine what was causing the bleeding and (lucky me!) my friend Heidi was able to get me in for a scan that same day. She said that my SCH was moderate in size.
After my first ultrasound (at 10 weeks) I was told to 'take it easy' and not lift anything over 20 pounds. I was also instructed to make time a few times each day to sit down, put my feet up and relax for at least 15 minutes as well as making sure to stay well hydrated. The goal was to have a 2 week span with no bleeding. The doctor told me that most SCHs resolve themselves before 20 weeks of pregnancy - and not to worry.
That was the most difficult part since I am a worry-wart by nature.
At this time I was much more tired than my usual early pregnancy-induced sleepiness. It was a huge blessing that I have older kids who were willing to help out as needed, but I did not change too much of what I was doing on a daily basis. However, I did follow the doctor's advice to put my feet up and relax often - and drink lots of water.
I was still spotting when I went in for my 12 week ultrasound. The SCH had diminished in width, appeared to be clotting (good news), but had grown longer.
I continued spotting for another 2 weeks before the bleeding finally began to cease.
At almost 17 weeks I had another ultrasound which showed that the SCH had completely resolved itself and was gone. There was no trace of it during the ultrasound.
I am now happy to report a healthy, SCH-free pregnancy at 18 weeks with a sweet little growing baby boy!
My next obstacle?
To find maternity clothes that are stylish and do not hug my growing belly. Wish me luck.
Some who read this post may not get to the comments so I thought I'd let everyone know that the rest of my pregnancy went great! I had no more bleeding after the SCH went away at 18 weeks and my darling little X (who I was pregnant with when I had the SCH) is now a healthy and happy 2 year old!