Mellow Mummy: Six Weeks Pregnant And Bleeding. Miscarriage? : Taking life as it comes...

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Six Weeks Pregnant And Bleeding. Miscarriage?

I never expected to be blogging about miscarriage. I had hoped to have wonderful news to share with you this month. In fact, I had already started planning pregnancy-related blog posts and reviews. But, last month, having known for no more than 4 days that I was pregnant, I found myself googling the phrase “6 weeks pregnant and bleeding” looking for some tiny glimmer of hope. In my head, I was hoping that the bleeding was normal. In my heart, I knew it was a miscarriage.

I had suspected that I was pregnant for about a fortnight. The nausea was overwhelming, far more so than last time. Other than that, I felt amazing. One sweltering afternoon at work I realised that where everyone else around me was stressing, sweating and swearing, I was smiling, bouncing and beaming. It could only mean one thing. I let things sink in over the weekend and took the pregnancy test before work on a Monday morning. Positive. Result!!!

Now I just had to sit back and wait for a few weeks before all the clinical stuff kicked in. Midwives appointments, scans, blah blah blah.

On the Thursday morning I went to swimming with Lara. Afterwards we got on a train to London. During the afternoon I felt really light-headed but I figured that was the way pregnancy went. I noticed ever such a slight tinge of blood when I went to the toilet but thought nothing of it – I know plenty of mums who experienced bleeding all the way through pregnancy. By the evening, the blood was more noticeable. My very first instinct was to ask the internet for help! The search for “6 weeks pregnant and bleeding” produced a number of results on forums from worried mums like me and a mix of experiences.

At 5 or 6 weeks it is very common to experience a small amount of bleeding as the egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. That was good enough news for me, so I went to bed feeling less stressed and convinced that I wasn't experiencing a miscarriage. As I drifted off to sleep, I experienced some slight cramps. It felt just like the night before a period. I felt sick to the stomach with worry but managed to convince myself that everything would be fine when I woke up in the morning.

By 7am on Friday, the blood flow was heavy like a period but I still held out hope. I read blog posts and forum entries from women who had been though it all and had still come though pregnancy with healthy babies. This wasn't a miscarriage. Was it?

At about midday (when I would usually be sitting down to a pint and a burger at the pub) the blood flow became very strong and I felt weak and emotional. My weekly pub lunch was ruined. I burst into tears in front of my colleagues (try explaining that to a group of blokes). I knew now that this was the end of it. The nausea and weakness became so bad I had to leave work. I slept for about 4 hours that afternoon and woke up feeling a lot more positive. If a miscarriage is what life had dealt me then I had to cope with it. I had to stay strong for Lara (I had a 2nd birthday cake to bake that night).

The blood lasted for less than 24 hours after that. It was like the heaviest period I'd ever experienced. By the end of Saturday, I felt like my normal hormone levels had returned. No more mellow high. No more nausea. The pregnancy was over before I had really got my head around it. Of course, we'd talked about plans. About work. About cars. About whether or not to tell our parents. But we hadn't had time to put any plans in place.

On the following Monday morning, I took a pregnancy test again, just as I had done 7 days before hand. Negative. Arse.

It has taken me a while to write this blog post. Even though I'm not grieving for a foetus (it was only 6 weeks after all); even though I haven't written off the chance of future babies; even though I'm still feeling really mellow about the whole debacle... I'm finding it hard to put into words. I went through all of the thought processes you'd expect; What did I do wrong? Is there something wrong with me? Can I no longer have a baby? would I have kept the baby if I hadn't drunk so much wine last week?

My own GP congratulated me for my mellowness and level-headedness. I could have rushed to my local early pregnancy centre (where I'd have had scans and invasive examinations) but by letting it all happen naturally I avoided the stress and the potential of an Anti-D injection. My own body reset itself naturally. And in answer to the questions I asked myself... the GP said “you didn't do anything wrong”, “no, probably not but we won't bother investigating unless it happens 3 times in a row”, “almost certainly not; in fact early miscarriage is normally a good indicator fertility” and “who knows”!

Miscarriage, I've discovered, is FAR more common than people think. As many as 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. In the days before high-sensitivity pregnancy tests, people may have just thought that they had a late period.

And so, I'm back to square one. Just with slightly less enthusiasm for the whole baby thing.
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