The Secret Trimester (and Complications)

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I used to hate on these so much, but now I’m like “look at my cute baby!” even though I know every ultrasound looks like Voldemort in a garbage bag. Mostly I hate on the ones showing baby’s junk because… it’s still a person… and it’s still their junk…

I found out I was pregnant on June 15. I KNEW it. At five weeks lol. I didn’t need a pregnancy test to tell me. In fact, I had taken one a few days before and it had been inconclusive – not positive or negative, it just seemed the test was a lemon. But I KNEW. A few days later I just had to take one to be sure, because I KNEW I freaking knew. Sure enough, two lines grinned up at me and I was so happy and satisfied. I decided to wait until Sunday (June 19) to tell The Beard, because it was Father’s Day. It was SO HARD. The only things I’ve ever kept from him are birthday presents and sometimes shopping bags that I sneak in after a day of retail therapy has had its way with me. Never anything ~real like this!

I am really glad I waited though (telling my two best friends before I told him is probably something he’ll always be pissed about but I couldn’t just tell no one!), because it made for a very sweet and memorable Father’s Day. We told our families just two weeks later when I was only about 7 weeks along – I felt like my exhaustion was just so obvious that everyone would figure it out #pregnancyparanoia, and we’d confirmed an actual baby in there with a doctor’s appointment.

Last time we announced pretty early (11 weeks I think?). We were SO excited! And I knew it was going to be a pretty big bombshell for a lot of people, since I’d been a known babyphobe for years. Not to mention I was more exhausted than I’d ever been in my life and started gaining weight practically at conception. I don’t take anything back from that pregnancy. I loved it. It was perfect and awesome.

This time, though, I was much less sure about how to proceed. I had no real ideas for announcing, and it’s kind of a smaller deal in subsequent pregnancies. People (~good people) are always excited for babies coming into families. It just has less thunder, you know?

So all through July I just kind of sat on it. Happily, secretly pregnant. It wasn’t ~that secret – we told all of our family and plenty of friends. But I will admit that it was nice to just enjoy being pregnant on our own for a while. I tentatively planned that we could announce when we were in Disneyland in August (I’d be 14 weeks). It almost felt strange, actually, to not have that itching desire to announce and tell everyone right away. Little did I know it was a huge blessing, because we had a couple of bumps in the road ahead, and I was so so grateful that we hadn’t announced yet.

At the very end of July (at 11 weeks) I had some pretty severe bleeding, of course on a Friday night when I couldn’t go into my doctor’s office. The doctor on call told me not to go to an ER because they would just charge me $1500 to either give me a heartbeat or not, and even if there was a heartbeat… it didn’t mean it would still be there in a few hours. If I was miscarrying, there was nothing they could do and it’s a process that can take hours or days. Not exactly the most comforting news, but I did appreciate his frankness. He put me on bedrest for the weekend and told me to come in first thing Monday morning.

It was a fun weekend! LIES. It was not a fun weekend. I am not made for bedrest. I sat on the couch, just freaking out and itching to be doing a million different things and worrying about my baby. What did I do wrong? Did I hurt her? Did I push it too hard? The bleeding has stopped – maybe she is ok? Don’t get your hopes up!

Overall I actually felt pretty solid. My dad & Ryan gave me a blessing and I just felt overwhelming peace. If I miscarried it was because that baby wasn’t going to be ok anyway. If the baby was ok, then great! But I felt ~ok. Still very highly strung and pretty pissed that I missed what was likely to be the very last midnight release of a Harry Potter book… but ok. I can’t say the same for The Beard, as he is a certified helmet in stressful situations. He did better than I expected though. It was a good weekend for our marriage, if nothing else.

That faint, but present heartbeat on Monday morning was the best sound I’ve ever heard. Our eyes filled with tears and our hearts spilled with relief. There was still a baby in there – a live one! I felt so lucky and blessed. I know there are far too many people who walk into those appointments with silence on the other end. A handful of hours and an ultrasound later we had an explanation – a subchorionic hemorrhage.

Apparently it’s pretty common, and it was something I had found in my very amateur and panic-stricken internet searching over that sleepless weekend, so I wasn’t surprised. It’s basically a blood pocket between the placenta & uterine wall that is generally unharmful as long as you treat it nicely and allow it to heal. Mine was pretty big (hence the crazy amount of blood, but I am a bleeder!), so they put me on “moderate rest” for two weeks to give it time to really heal up.

Moderate rest means no exercise, no heavy lifting, avoid going outside in the hottest part of the day, limiting any movements or activity that strains my core, and trying to lift/chase Reese as little as possible. Big LOL to that last one. Like, you know I have an 18 month old, right doc? But I did my very best. I didn’t work out at all besides easy stretching. I switched to online grocery ordering + pickup. I made a conscious effort to lift Reese less. Instead of my aimless, recreational trips to Target or the library or the mall, I stayed home. Of course it’s the very least I could do to make sure my baby is safe and I’m healed, but I’m not gonna act like I liked it. I knew going into the appointment that a miscarriage or extended bed rest was an option, and this was exponentially better than those. But I’m a busybody!

Two weeks later I rolled into my doctor’s appointment feeling pretty good, albeit tired. Did y’all know that doing nothing makes you ~more tired? Doing nothing somehow actually drains your energy to do anything. It’s freaking stupid backwards logic, but it’s real. I was ready to be back to business. It was nice to hear a very strong heartbeat and to report that I’d had no more bleeding, cramping, or other problematic symptoms! We’re out of the woods peeps! Let’s go to Disneyland!

Well that trip was a disaster. Kind of. It was so fun! Reese had a riot! We announced the baby! We ate a ton of great food and hung out with my family and watched the parades and it’s DISNEYLAND. But I was a mess. First, you have to remember that I’ve been living indoors and not exercising for 2 weeks like some kind of World of Warcraft nerd in a dark basement. The heat and walking killed me, and I just couldn’t hang. And that was before the bleeding started. Yep. It came back. Not as bad, but still there. I had overdone it, even with my limping, slow, pregnancy energy. My doctor wasn’t thrilled, though it wasn’t totally out of the ordinary – it’s common for the remainder of the blood pocket to work it’s way out, especially if you’re doing a lot of activity. But it’s still not great.

They put me back on moderate rest – for 7 days after the bleeding stopped. The problem was it DIDN’T. The bleeding continued for almost an entire week after the trip, despite careful rest. I was getting so stressed and paranoid and wondering if I had screwed it all up again.

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I was hesitant to schedule the gender ultrasound, even though we were dying to know and had been so excited about coming home from Disneyland to do it. I was so worried we’d get into that ultrasound and see something terrible, or find there was no heartbeat. Thankfully, that baby was SO alive. Hearing that heartbeat and then finding that I was having another little girl… I felt happier than I had in months. Life was good.

A few days later (this last weekend) I hit 15 weeks and the bleeding FINALLY stopped. We’re now on the countdown to the end of my resting mandate. Except for Disneyland, I’ve been doing NOTHING for a whole month. I don’t even want to know what my cardio endurance level is currently. I am feeling optimistic and grateful and happy, though I know that things could still go sideways on us. They want to be sure that this hemorrhage hasn’t damaged the placenta and threatened baby’s growth. We’ll be getting a few more frequent ultrasounds to monitor the healing/effects.

This has been quite the rollercoaster for us (though I know people have much crazier and more difficult pregnancies of course), especially considering how easy and textbook Reese’s pregnancy was. Although I’m glad we dealt with most of this privately, it was sometimes a challenge to keep things secret and feel like I was being lame or flaky during these “rest” weeks. Thanks everyone for your patience! We feel incredibly lucky to be here at 15 weeks with a healthy baby girl and no more bleeding. We’re very hopeful that the hemorrhage will heal right up and the rest of this pregnancy can go smoothly.

I am also quite anxious to get back to my busybody self. I know I have a long road of endurance to build up, so short park walks and Target trips are on the schedule for next week, God willing. I plan to take it very easy for the remainder of this week and to greet next week with a healthy baby oven and sneakers on my feet.

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Thank you all for the kind words and support we’ve had over this last month – it was a doozy, and between the notes, flowers, and listening ears I felt like my tribe kept me on my feet. You guys are just the best. God is good. Life is great. I’m gonna have two little girls. What more can you ask for, am I right? <3

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4 thoughts on “The Secret Trimester (and Complications)”

  • 9 months ago

    I am so glad that you and the baby are ok! I probably had that same thing at 37 weeks…I bled pretty severely but they never could explain it and I and Rhys were both ok and Rhys was induced two weeks later.
    I’ve been trying not to overdo it this pregnancy, although moving and setting up house practically by myself during my second trimester has been quite the workout–I’ve been having a lot of cramping and abdominal pain, but I feel my baby girl move often every day and she has a strong heartbeat, too. But, as you’ve probably seen on my Facebook page, I’ve been having dreams about bleeding again and it scares me to death. Justin gave me a blessing and I’ve been feeling a lot more calm and at peace recently.
    I will also keep your pregnancy in my prayers in hopes that you don’t bleed anymore, either.

  • 9 months ago

    I’m so glad you and the baby are ok! I hope everything is easier from now on.

    I had to tell you that your “every ultrasound looks like Voldemort in a garbage bag” comment made me do a spit take and then almost pee my pants laughing. It’s funny because it’s SO true!

  • 9 months ago

    That is so scary – miscarriage or not! It’s YOUR baby! And it’s always ultimately up to you how you want to share it. One of the best pieces of advice I was given about announcing early due to the possibility of a miscarriage is this: “Think of what you would need if you were in that situation? Would you want the comfort from all of your friends or just your close family members?” Some people need a web of security from everyone around them, while others rely on close family. You didn’t have to share this, but thanks for doing so!

  • […] a lot of profuse, scary bleeding at 12 weeks. I won’t rehash the whole thing again (you can read it here), but August was a very trying month. Learning to be patient, learning to rest, learning to just […]

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