The point of this post is not to scare anyone, but to give you an example of an occasion where heavy bleeding does not always have to mean something terrible has happened.
If you are squeamish then perhaps don’t read much further.
5 days before my 12 week scan, I opened the front door after a trip to the supermarket, and suddenly felt a gush of liquid between my legs. I knew straight away that it was not wee and ran straight to the bathroom. As I pulled my jeans down – blood was pouring out of me at an alarming rate. I sat on the loo and more and more flowed out until there was a plop and something about 4 inches long, dark purple and red, dropped out of me into the loo. There was no pain or discomfort – just the feeling of complete shock as the thing I presumed was my baby just dropped into the loo. I couldn’t bring myself to look at it again. I was so scared I would see arms and legs and a head. Strangely, I couldn’t bring myself to flush the loo either- the thought of flushing my baby away really upset me.
I called the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit at my hospital, who told me to come straight in. I put my son in the car and drove there presuming that my trip was purely so that they could confirm the worst news.
The staff were so professional and straight to the point. I was instantly up on the couch with no small talk and in less than 20 seconds I could see my baby flipping and moving around inside me. The sense of relief was incredible. The baby was still alive! She could not see any reason for the bleeding. My cervix was closed and my placenta was in a good position away from my cervix.
On the half hour drive to the hospital I felt like I had started to mourn the loss of my baby. I had already decided that I did not want to try again for another one for a good while. My head had been full of thoughts like what sex it had been and strange things like if I should fish it out of the loo and bury it?! But suddenly it was alive again..and what WAS that thing that fell out of me? And why was I bleeding?
The sonographer explained that it could have been scar tissue that had been building up since implantation – and whilst most women absorb this back into their bodies – sometimes this does not happen and the womb will expel it. Whilst it can be frightening and traumatic, it does not have to be dangerous for the baby or for the pregnant woman.
I bled for about 2 days afterwards – but felt reassured by the fact that I had seen the baby moving and that I never once felt any pain. I felt a little shaken by the amount of blood I had seen and the size of the clot that had fallen out of me and for a while afterwards I felt nervous everytime I went to the loo.
If the same thing should happen to you, here is our advice –
If the bleeding is not accompanied by pain or cramping then it may not be bad news. Try not to panic.
Always call your Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) if this happens before 12 weeks and is within working hours. Take your maternity notes with you if you have any.
If it happens out of hours then go straight to A and E. Take your maternity notes with you if you have any.
If it happens after 12 weeks then go straight to A and E. Take your maternity notes with you if you have any.
There are many reasons why bleeding can occur during pregnancy, most of which are discussed on our page on “Bleeding“.
For more information on how to stay happy and healthy during your pregnancy, please check out our Online Antenatal Classes.