32 weeks into my pregnancy and I wake up at 4:30 in the morning. My underwear felt wet, I head back to sleep though thinking, great, now I’m incontinent as well as heavily pregnant. I get up again at 6:30 head to the toilet and to my surprise, my undies are covered in bright red blood. They’re soaked and I panic. I head back to bed, immediately change my underwear and put on a maternity pad. JUST in case I think.
I lie back in bed for a few moments to calm my nerves and quickly Google the reasons I could be bleeding so early on. I knew it couldn’t be good but still, I try to calm down. I try to tell myself panicking would only make the situation worse. Then I cry, the baby’s movements seem dull, my baby is unusually quiet. I find my midwife’s number and call, my midwife is away that day but thankfully the call is automatically forwarded to another midwife at the practice who tells me to get to the hospital immediately. It all seems so slow, but this from the time of the bleeding to the time I get to hospital takes around thirty minutes. I’m thankful the baby’s father (despite not being together) takes me to the hospital. By the time we reach the midwifery unit I am far calmer.
I am soon shown a room and a nurse comes in to monitor my progress. She looks at the blood on my maternity pad, it is only old blood now but still, any bleeding at this point means I have to be monitored. The baby’s heart rate is fine, my ECG is fine and I am feeling a lot better after spending a further half hour in hospital than I was early in the morning. Still, the decision is made for the nurses to keep me overnight to ensure there is no further bleeding or complications.
I lie in the uncomfortable hospital bed wondering why this was happening. I have had a relatively healthy pregnancy with no complications until now. Why now? I’m already so far along. This felt like I was almost at the finishing line about to win the race before I trip over and fall flat on my face. It all felt so unfair. I wondered what, if anything I had done for this to happen.
I still hadn’t prepared for the baby, before this I was confident. I still had two months, probably a little more IF my family’s history of always being late was anything to go by. I had some nappy and baby wash samples, maternity pads and breast pads. Beyond this, I had delayed buying anything. I was uncertain as to how big my baby would be, so I thought, I can stock up on clothes and other gear JUST before the baby is born. Now, here it was, I could deliver today. I realised that pregnancy can be unpredictable. I had been over confident and arrogant. Now, I was being punished. I live in a rural community, the midwife informed me that if the baby were to be born at 32 weeks he would have to be moved to a large hospital many hours away. All I could think about was how small and unprepared this made me feel. I had nothing, no crib, no nappy bag, clothes, breast pump, bottles or even a dummy. I hadn’t been prepared for a premature baby… I guess few mothers are.
The day drifted by slowly as I allocated a different room and had further monitoring from the obstetrician and more midwives. I had an ultrasound to check my cervix. It was still closed, however I was having a small contract. The technician diligently wrote notes regarding the baby’s size, my placenta, cervix and the baby’s overall health. So far, all good. Nothing major to report. So, still no cause for the bleeding. Afterwards, the obstetrician performed a speculum exam, there was only old blood. I was fine apart from very weak contractions and the baby was fine.
The baby did not come that day, in fact I am still pregnant and happily so. I have to have more monitoring as the midwives and doctors are still unsure of why, if any reason I had bleeding to begin with. Still, so far all is well and I am now preparing to get all my baby’s necessities JUST in case.
Posted anonymously, 8th May 2015