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The Time I Bled on Vacation….

34 weeks pregnant with my first...right around the time this happened!

Okay, so pregnancy’s filled with a lot of uncertainty as it is.  Especially the first time.  There are certain “red flags” to look for, and bleeding is definitely one of them, at any point in pregnancy (note: slight spotting or brownish blood, especially very early or very late, is often completely normal).  I mentioned in my recent post about activities during pregnancy that I had one scary bleeding incident in my first pregnancy.  On vacation, no less.

Today I’ll tell you what happened…and how it all turned out.

It was right around Christmas time, 2007, and I was about 34 weeks pregnant.  I was so nervous to travel, because when we’d traveled two weeks earlier I’d had some contractions.  Yeah, they were just Braxton Hicks from being busy and so forth, but I was a rather nervous first-time pregnant lady.  After this incident, I refused to travel anymore at all until well after my baby arrived.

Anyway, we were hanging around my in-laws’ house with family all day long.  Although this may be TMI, I was constipated…which was not fun.  When you’re that pregnant, your stomach muscles are kind of spread out anyway, making things…um…a little harder than usual.  This was not helping.  I mention this, because it is probably what caused the bleeding.

All day I kept going to the bathroom…and trying to go…with no luck.  It was annoying.  Finally I decided I would just stay in there and try to “make” it happen (umm…don’t.  It can lead to hemorrhoids or worse).  I kept trying for awhile…then reached down and my hand came away bloody.  Uh-oh.  I grabbed for toilet paper to see where it was coming from — was it just hemorrhoids, or was I bleeding?  The toilet paper confirmed — bleeding.

Not good, not good….  I finished up, wiped off, put a pad on, and went to find my husband.  I pulled him aside and quietly told him what was up (I did not want anyone else to know).  I called the doctor, who, unfortunately, was rather cold — “Well, you’re two hours away, what do you want me to do about it?  Just go to the hospital.”  Gee, thanks, doc.  (Sign number 1000 that she wasn’t the right doctor for me!)

Anyway, so, there was a hospital about five minutes away, so we gathered ourselves together and left, telling only my husband’s parents where we were going.  We were sent immediately up to L&D since I was so far along.  I knew the worst case scenario was that I would meet my baby that night.  I wasn’t ready for it.  I’m pretty sure that I had actually packed the car seat and a diaper bag (like I said, freaking out first-time preggo), but still.  Six weeks early and away from home??

They made me change into a hospital gown, hooked me up to various monitors, took a urine sample, examined me.  The bleeding had all but stopped by this time.  The examination revealed it had only come from my cervix, not inside (the placenta tearing is one possible cause for bleeding and that is bad, but that wasn’t my situation).  Baby was fine, I wasn’t having any real contractions.  They decided I was just stressed and a little dehydrated, so they brought me lots of water and made me drink.  When everything stayed fine for the next hour or so, they sent me home.

Ultimately, they said they didn’t know what caused the bleeding.  They did think the constipation could be the reason (I’ve since learned that my cervix bleeds very easily, under a variety of circumstances…pushing in the bathroom could have caused this).  They advised me to stop taking my prenatal vitamins because the iron in them could have caused the constipation.

Luckily, this meant everything was fine.  I breathed easier once I was home and had been checked by my own doctor, but I had no further bleeding nor any other signs of issues.  And I later went into labor on my own just past 39 weeks and had a healthy baby.

Bleeding isn’t always bad.  It should always be checked by a doctor or at a hospital, just in case (or at least call the doctor and ask what you should do).  But it doesn’t mean that something *is* wrong in all cases.  Take it seriously, but don’t panic.  I actually bled a little bit in both my first two pregnancies, although the other episodes (two others) were minor spotting, not like this.  I haven’t had that happen this time.  I’m healthier than I was before, so perhaps that’s why — I don’t really know.

Have you ever had a scary incident while pregnant?  How did it turn out?

What to Expect: Common Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

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