You’re Never “Out of the Woods”


When you’re pregnant, everyone tells you that once you’re through the first trimester, you’re in the clear, so to say. “Just get through the first trimester, and then you can start telling everyone you’re pregnant”, they say. But even once you reach that 12 week “promised land”, you’re still not out of the woods. In fact I feel like I’m lost in the woods, like I need to just set up camp and stay a while, because I’m not getting out any time soon.

The other day I had my 12 week sonogram, and I was so excited! I just recall from my first pregnancy how clear and amazing the sonogram was at that stage, and how moving it was to see my little boy waving to us and moving all around, looking like a real baby at only 12 weeks. But at the end of the appointment, the sonographer informed us that I had what’s called a subchorionic bleed. My heart sank. What does that even mean? She couldn’t really tell me much because she is not my doctor, and recommended that I speak with my doctor about it directly. So I called my doctor, but she was out of town until the end of the week. I ended up talking to the doctor covering for her, who reassured me that this does happen, and for the most part it is not something to worry about.

But of course I got online and tried doing my own research. Never do that, by the way. Because the only people who write on those message boards are the people with the doom and gloom stories. And doom and gloom is the last thing you need when you are pregnant and emotional. I did learn, however, that a subchorionic bleed (or subchorionic hematoma) is the accumulation of blood in the folds of the outer fetal membrane (next to the placenta), or within the placenta itself. It is usually caused during implantation. And it seems that there is really nothing you can do to prevent it, make it better, or make it go away completely. However, most often this condition resolves itself – you either bleed it out, or it gets reabsorbed by your body. But of course, in my frenetic search to learn as much as possible, I came across these message boards where woman after woman was writing about how she lost her beautiful baby at 20 weeks. It’s just so sad because you can have a perfectly healthy little baby, but if the hematoma grows, it can separate the placenta from the uterine wall, causing a miscarriage. It does seem that this is pretty rare, but still not the thing you want to be reading when your emotions are teetering on the edge of reason.

And at the present moment, I have not had the opportunity to speak with my doctor, and won’t be able to until some time next week. So until I can speak with her about my exact sonogram, and the likelihood of this condition getting better, worse, staying the same, etc., it’s hard to feel any better about it.

Will I ever be out of the woods? Or will I just feel lost for the next 6 months, hoping someone gives me a compass, so that I can emerge from the other side victorious, and not lose what I fear losing most.

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