Health · Miscarriage · Pregnancy after loss · Research

Checks and keeping measured

I had a small bleed last week, which freaked me out a bit. This was at the same time as having a hacking cough that kept me awake all night and ended up with me coughing up blood as well as having a four-year-old with gastroenteritis. Yeah! 

I rang the maternity unit and they asked me to keep an eye on it. As it was old brown blood, they weren’t too concerned but told me to ring back if it continued, which it did. So I ended up in the hospital at 4am in the morning with husband and son, who managed to go back to sleep standing slumped over a chair (son, not husband). We even paid for parking, which I think was a bit too conscientious – as if a traffic warden would be creeping around the car park at that time in the morning. I was monitored for about half an hour, and the baby’s heartbeat was fine, before having what I’ll call here a short, sharp internal, which showed the cervix was closed and all was ok. The blood possibly was from burst blood vessels – probably from all that coughing.

At six in the morning, we were in Tesco doing the weekly shop, an interesting place at that time in the morning, mainly full of taxi drivers and strange old women.

Anything that deviates from my last pregnancy brings up a lot of worry but I’ve started pregnancy yoga and the last session helped me get into a positive frame of mind and not dwell on what ifs. It’s difficult to decribe how I feel, but it is like a sense of being over-burdened with responsibility for something going wrong, with the onus on you to report and highlight anything abnormal, so you are on constant high alert. You have to try and get things in perspective but it’s hard. I am still having a bit of spotting but I was told unless the blood turned bright red, then not to worry, so I am trying to remain calm.

I blocked out finding out too much out about labour and birth in my last pregnancy as I couldn’t believe I would actually end up with a baby at the end of it all. I’m trying to read more this time and The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill, which has recently been published, is a great new resource to help you take control and remain positively focused, whatever sort of birth you choose to have.

The Tommy’s team in Coventry still ring to check I am doing ok. I get a lot from talking to them and always find out new things they are trying – such as researching whether yoga before pregnancy helps outcomes. They have also set up their first London miscarriage group for parents who need support at the National Centre for Miscarriage Research in the capital, with help from the Miscarriage Association. It encourages people to talk about loss and hear the experiences of others. You can find out more here.

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