My early pregnancy (and placenta bleed)
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
As I sit uncomfortably as always these days, with my ever growing and currently aching bump in bed, at 3pm during our second lockdown, I thought I might share my pregnancy so far, which may ease a mind or two one day for a Mum to be!
Weeks 8 - 14
I will never forget most of these weeks that were spent in lockdown at home feeling sorry for myself or home schooling the boys I nanny trying to act normal with a constant headache or not to vomit as they whine! At around 4 weeks pregnant I had started taking Elevit pregnancy supplement recommended to me by my GP. After taking it for a week or so I began to have a headache that lasted all day long, it gradually got worse and lasted 3 weeks long. I would sit in a dark room for most of my days, wear a hat and sunglasses outside for a short walk and always needed a water bottle by my side. When I arrived at 8 weeks pregnant (the third week of my headache) and was finally able to have my first midwife appointment (over the phone during covid), I explained my symptoms and said I thought it might be the supplement as it’s the only change to what I put in my body She agreed to stop the Elevit and lone behold the headache subsided after a few days! I then changed to taking just Folate and Iodine tablets seperately. My body just didn’t agree with the supplement and I’m glad I decided to listen to my instincts.
Once the headaches were gone, I just had to get through the morning sickness! My diet was mainly baguettes with butter, crackers & cheese, grapes, juicy fruits, ice-lollies and some carrot sticks. I could only stomach plain, raw foods. I told myself once I reached 12 weeks I would stop feeling nauseous and somehow not long after my first trimester ended I had pysched myself out of the sickness!
After a few weeks of easy living and slowly eating a normal diet again we were struck with an unwelcomed bleed one sunday morning at 3am. After going to bed with mild period pain cramps I woke up thinking I had wet the bed and dazed in and out of sleep dreaming of kegel exercises - related to the thought of bed wetting! I woke up a second time and popped to the bathroom in the dark, went to the toilet and realised how sodden I was. When I switched the light on I realised I had bled, a lot! I rushed into the bedroom in a panic to find some period underwear I had stored away and woke up Sam. We were in shock and both just froze.
I cleaned myself up and sorted out the bed sheets (a priority being a Monica type!), then called my poor midwife around 3.30am. She told me if I bled again before the morning to get myself straight to A&E, otherwise she would refer me for an emergency ultrasound the next day. Luckily I didn't bleed heavily again and so waited for our referral to come through, which couldn't be done until 1pm. Sam took the day off work and we had a very anxious wait until we went for the scan. The worst thoughts raced through our minds, as you could imagine but we both agreed to relax and deal with the problem when it came to it.
When 1pm slowly rolled around and I laid down for my scan, we were greeted by a sumersaulting baby! All was fine with the little squish in there, but after a long scan it was noted that the edge of my placenta had bled 50cc (50ml). There was no explanation for why it bled, apparently these things just happen. My placenta was prosterior, not blocking my cervix (which could indicate placenta previa) and growing fine. I was sent home feeling a little confused and anxious, not wanting to make any movements at all. After speaking with my midfwife she again explained that sometimes the placenta has a bruising or a tear and bleeds out. The baby is still getting nutrients and I can go about life normally too.
I took every day carefully for the next week and still had some bleeding which was normal. I then spotted for several weeks after, right up until around 21 weeks.
At my anatomy (20 week) scan baby was measuring well, a little bigger than the average 20 weeks old. We even discovered mini Henley was in fact a girl! She was being camera shy so we didn't get a good look at her face, though everything else was fine. The sonographer showed I still had a pocket of blood in my uterus from the placenta bleed. It's no cause for concern, as the bleed was quite big at 15 weeks it just needs time to soak up or slowly bleed out. However, if it's still there later on in labour it could mean I would loose a lot of blood if delivering naturally. My midwife has me set for a scan at 32 weeks to check on any sign of blood, if that is the case she might decide on an elective cesarian, so baby is delivered safely and I am as healthy as possible. It's daunting to think I might need a c-section, as I am very curious what it's like to deliver naturally, but as long as baby and I are safe that's all that matters.
Since my 20 week scan I stopped spotting which was a blessing and mini Meg has continued to grow and grow! I now see little feet popping up under my ribs and feel lots of twists and turns as she gets comfortable in the mornings and evenings when I am most relaxed. Since the placenta bleed, it's been an easy ride, no swelling, no sickness, I'm still doing short hikes and generally enjoying watching my bump get bigger! Let's see how my third trimester goes...