I woke this morning around 5:30 and had to urinate. I saw spots for a moment when I noticed that my toilet tissue was pink. Oh, God, please no!
I could feel my heart beating faster and I wiped a few more times to be sure my eyes weren't deceiving me. No such luck, it's definitely vaginal spotting. I willed myself to calm down and woke my husband to tell him that I found a little blood after going to the bathroom.
My OB is out of town until Friday so I knew he couldn't squeeze me in to do a quick check. From my experiences with spotting in my previous pregnancy, I know that the on-call nurse always advises a trip to the ER if there is any bleeding in pregnancy. We decided that I would go to the ER by myself and my husband would stay home so our son could continue sleeping.
Thankfully the ER was nearly empty and I was seen within a few minutes. After reviewing my medical history, the ER doctor immediately performed an abdominal ultrasound. I stared intently at the screen and could feel tears beginning to well up when I didn't notice the flicker of a heartbeat. I blinked hard and the doctor repositioned the screen so I saw a different angle and he pointed out the flashing heartbeat.
I burst out, "Oh, thank God!" Tears flowed without care because I was so relieved in that moment. I was so afraid of hearing the worst once again and, even worse, hearing again when I was all by myself.
Then I noticed that my baby wasn't moving very much. Compared to last Friday, my baby was barely moving at all. But movement is movement and the most important thing is that the heart is still beating. I suppose it's possible that my baby might have been resting or sleeping.
The doctor indicated that my baby's heart rate is around 130-140, which is in the normal range. I can't help but remember that it was 165 just five days ago, but I guess that it stands to reason that the heart rate would increase with activity and decrease with rest. Again, normal range is good even if the rate is slower than it has been at other times.
He performed a quick pelvic exam and found that my cervix is tightly shut. He found evidence that I had bled, but noted that the bleeding had definitely stopped. He's puzzled why I bled at all and gave me the standard speech that I've heard so many times that I could probably give to a patient by now:
Many pregnancies have unexplained bleeding and it can sometimes happen throughout the pregnancy. Approximately 50% of pregnancies that have threatened miscarriage (unexplained vaginal bleeding) will continue and yield a perfectly healthy baby. Yes, that means that the other half do end in miscarriage. There is nothing that can be done to save such an early pregnancy. Though there is no evidence that it helps improve the outcome, continue with pelvic rest, avoid heavy lifting, and rest as much as possible. The doctor this morning wasn't as conservative as the other ER doctors I had seen previously and he did not recommend bedrest or semi-bedrest, but he definitely told me to take it easy until I can be evaluated by my OB.
I gave a urine sample when I arrived at the ER and one weird thing showed up. I have white blood cells in my urine. That would typically indicate presence of an infection. The puzzling thing is that I don't have a fever, any pain, or any burning from urination. My urine is being cultured so hopefully a result will be available for my regular OB at my appointment on Friday, but the ER doctor started me on antibiotics in the meantime because normally urine does not have white blood cells and he's certain I have some sort of low-grade urinary tract infection. It doesn't exactly explain the vaginal bleeding, but definitely should be treated anyway.
Want to hear a crazy side effect of the antibiotic I was prescribed? The pharmacist says it can make my urine a reddish color. Great. Because seeing reddish anything in the toilet isn't likely to freak out a pregnant woman who has a history of unexplained vaginal bleeding, right? I took my first capsule around 90 minutes ago and, uh, it made my pee bright green.
I'm hoping that this is just an isolated episode. I'm hoping that my doctor will find a feisty and active baby with an awesome heartbeat on Friday. I'm hoping that history isn't going to repeat itself. . .I can't help but pray and plead that I don't lose this baby too.