I wrote my first blog entries in candid word documents that I emailed to my family and close friends while I was pregnant with my daughter. I found that it was an easy way to keep people updated on my progress without having to talk to them regularly. I loved sharing pictures and stories about the whole process with the idea that one day I could share the posts with my daughter (as a woman you don’t realize how much details about your mother’s pregnancy with yourself will mean to you until you are ready to get pregnant yourself).
I knew when I started blogging that I wanted to have another child, which ultimately meant that the next time that I got pregnant, I would be sharing my personal baby blogs with the public. I was okay with this. I felt that active pregnant/fit women could use my blog to better understand how normal you can actually go about your life with a little one growing in your belly. Since my first pregnancy was a breeze, I had no doubt in my mind that round two would be even easier (I mean I had already trained for this right?).
Here is where I spill the beans. I’m pregnant with baby number two, and it hasn’t been as picture perfect as I imagined (which is probably more relatable now than before). My husband and I have loved (almost) every second of being a mom and dad. In fact, we had no plans of preventing another pregnancy from happening as early as my body was ready. We were elated when we got our first positive pregnancy test (I will admit that getting pregnant was not as easy as I thought that it would be the first go round). I scheduled a doctor’s appointment almost immediately to confirm that we were on track with baby number two, and the doctor was happy to confirm.
That was at four weeks. I knew what my body could handle physically during the first trimester based on my experiences with my daughter. I continued teaching/riding, running, lifting and spending time with my workout group, FiA. I will never forget the first day of my fifth week. Friday, July 25th. I taught my regular 5:30AM Flywheel class before coming home and getting everyone ready for the day. After a series of (graphic) events, several hours later, I found myself on an examination table in my doctor’s office, in tears, scared and scrambling to figure out how to handle the rest of my priorities for the next several days.
After an ultrasound, it was determined that I was experiencing a subchorionic hematoma (basically a blood clot between the membranes of my placenta and the uterus). Very rare (see the black shaded area to the right of the big black circle – that’s the clot). Even worse, there is no explanation for why it happens or information on how to make it go away. Trust me. It wasn’t the exercise. I was advised by my doctor to “rest” for a week, before coming back to see if the size of the clot had changed. At this point, I advised both Flywheel and my full time job that I would need to be at home for a few days (working as much as I could). They both obliged.
I shared the good (I was pregnant!) and bad (I was higher risk) news with immediate family members and friends that I knew I could lean on immediately for support. I’m tough, but not as tough as I thought. I spent several days at home praying, processing both positive and negative outcomes and letting some tears flow before my daughter got home from daycare. While I was going through a lot internally, she needed me more than anything. Sweet girl.
I went back to the doctor the following week and found out that the clot had in fact gotten smaller (you can’t even see in the ultrasound). I was cleared to go back to work, start walking and doing some light exercise. I took a deep breathe. Baby steps. Just so you know, my “light” exercise involved a lot of walking, elliptical and Tracey Anderson pregnancy DVD’s. Hence, why I was not posting much. The biggest risk of having a subchorionic hematoma is that the clot will interfere with the placenta, ultimately restricting nutrients to the baby, eventually causing the baby to miscarry. If the clot is still present after 20 weeks, the risk increases for placental abruption (i.e. my life is in danger).
I was told that I needed to come back to the doctor the following week. This time we made big strides. The clot had decreased in size from over 2 cm to a little over 1 cm. I was cleared to add a little more exercise to my routine before being told that I needed to come back after our trip to New York. Since I had not experienced any additional bleeding since the first incident (it had been almost 4 weeks), I started doing higher intensity exercise in New York. Think running, pushups, abs and leg exercises. I was almost back to my regular routine. Better yet, the baby was still growing on track.
In what would end up being my fourth and final ultrasound of my first trimester (week 9), the ultrasound technician had a hard time even seeing the clot. Still there, but continuing to get smaller. Again, the baby was on track. I was cleared to resume all normal activities (including teaching at Flywheel). At this point I was relieved but still scared. I didn’t need to come back until my first trimester was over (week 13), but I wanted more reassurance that I was going to be okay over a four week period. I continued to communicate with my doctor during the month. I ultimately reached the highest intensity that I would ever work out during pregnancy during this period.
I carried a smile on my face and worked hard throughout the entire time. If you look back at my posts over the past several weeks, you can see what kind of exercises I did during my first trimester, and most importantly, a lot of what I ate. There wasn’t much of a change from my regular routine. I am already showing, but I haven’t put on much new weight. If you were already wondering, thank you for not asking until I was ready to tell.
I went back to the doctor today for my first ultrasound of my second trimester and a follow up appointment with my physician. The clot is gone. The baby is healthy. God is good. My anxiety has started to subside. I will never forget all of the special things that people have done for us when they could tell we were struggling. As we start to share this wonderful news, I hope that we can start to get our lives back to normal. Look, I have learned that real life isn’t always what it seems to be. This is real, which is why I wanted to share my story. I hope that someday someone can find some support in reading this story. I told you it would be an exciting week of news. This is just the beginning!