The First Big Bleed

I’d been awake for less than 30 seconds, yet my nightmare was just beginning. Blood. So much blood that there was no question – things were not ok.

Pregnancy Big Bleed


“I was given the worst case scenario by the on-call, emergency nurse. She delicately explained there was a good chance I’d lost the baby.”

It was 2:00 am. Rain on the roof, head on my pillow, blankets over my body, in a matter of seconds, my eyes jolted open into the dark room, my brain recognized horror and I lurched my body into the bathroom. I’d been awake for less than 30 seconds, yet my nightmare was just beginning. Blood. So much blood that there was no question – things were not ok.

What do you do at 2:00 in the morning when your pregnant body gushes blood? How do you tell your husband? How do you reach any sort of peaceful rationale?

The blood seemed to have come like a tsunami – one quick, massive tidal wave that left behind immense devastation.

We decided I’d return to bed and deal with the trauma in the morning when I could reach my doctor, but sleep was no longer an option. I laid there for four hours, mind frantic, eyes wet with tears. My doctor’s office opened at 8:00 am, but at 6:00, I gave up on pretending I’d be able to sleep and willed myself to get ready as if I would go to work that day.

After an hour and a half of mindlessly pacing various rooms of my house and unproductively “getting ready” for work, I called the number for the on-call, emergency nurse. Through teared attempts to swallow the lump in my throat, I explained exactly what had happened and awaited her response. She didn’t need to use words – the tone in her voice could have said it all, but two of her words will forever haunt me – threatened abortion.

The nurse gracefully warned me that our doctor would be referring to our situation as a threatened abortion, that I needed to get an appointment immediately and that there was a good chance I’d lost the baby. Our conversation took us to 8:00 am, when I could call my doctor’s office to make that appointment. By 10:15 am, my husband and I sat in a waiting room, minutes away from learning if our baby was still alive or not.

Our appointment began with the surest way to answer that question – an ultrasound. In a matter of seconds, we let out the breaths we’d held for what felt like minutes. Inside my womb was a baby; squirming, doing somersaults, living.

There was no explanation for the blood. It seemed to have done nothing to our pregnancy other than give it the title “high risk”. My husband and I left that appointment with a nervous reassurance. We parted ways, and went to work as if it were any other Thursday. When we reconvened at home that night, it was as if we’d dodged a bullet. For eight hours, a third of our day, an eternity in the land of worry, we’d wondered at a whole new level if this pregnancy was done.

In the stats: 
Gestational Age: 15 weeks, 5 days
Days of blood: 5
Days of bedrest: 1

Doctor’s Appointments: 3
Ultrasounds: 1

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