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SCH vs. Miscarriage

Updated on January 31, 2020
Baby Lou, the best present under the tree
Baby Lou, the best present under the tree

I found out I was pregnant in December 2018. I shared the news with my husband by wrapping up a tiny Christmas stocking, and telling him we need to add one more stocking to the mantel. The plan was to reveal our big secret to our families on Christmas day, but something went terribly wrong.

Since taking several at home pregnancy tests I’d been anxiously awaiting the special moment when my husband and I would reveal this surprise to our families. This will be our first child, and the news has brought me more joy than any gift I would receive for Christmas. My mother and step-father spent the holiday in Florida with my sister, so I mailed my sister a special package, and advised her not to open it without them. Less than 72 hours after mailing the package I experienced one of the scariest moments of my life.

What started out as a typical Sunday morning of waking up, making coffee, feeding the dog, and going to the gym turned into a horrific night-mare. Shortly after completing a 5k on the treadmill which consisted of brisk walking, and jogging I experienced light bleeding. Within one hour of returning home from the gym it became heavier, and more frequent than any period I’ve had before.

I called my doctor, but she couldn’t give me a definitive diagnosis over the phone. It was a Sunday, the practice was closed. It was pouring, my husband was out running errands, and I felt so alone. I called him and he rushed home from the grocery store. Due to the scary, and disgusting amount of blood I was losing I panicked, and we went to the ER. For five hours my husband and I waited as the perishable groceries thawed in his back seat. I was poked, prodded, and told to wait. The ultrasound tech’s blank stare at the screen only made me assume the absolute worst.

With tears pouring from my eyes I looked up at my husband, and said “we can try again.”

After another hour of waiting, and pacing the results came back. The doctor came in, and explained the cause of the bleeding. It was due to a subchorionic hematoma. I had never heard of such a thing. The doctor continued to explain there is a heart rate, and the baby is still there.

I was in complete disbelief; I thought all of the signs, and symptoms pointed to a miscarriage. I left the ER with happy tears pouring from my eyes. This truly was a Christmas miracle.

Since being diagnosed with this subchorionic hematoma (SCH) I did some research. The information I found suggests 25% of all pregnant women can be affected by SCH. The bleeding, cramps, and lower back pain can be mistaken for a miscarriage. SCH can also increase the risk of a miscarriage. If diagnosed with SCH avoid, exercise, intercourse, and heavy lifting. As someone who enjoys exercise; minimal physical activity would be difficult, but the safety of my baby was my motivation. Fortunately after a follow-up appointment a few days later I was given the green light to exercise.

I hope my story can give other pregnant women hope. SCH symptoms and miscarriage symptoms are so similar. I had never heard of SCH until this happened. I hope my story lets other new moms know you have to have hope, be strong, be ready for the worst, but know there is more than one cause for excessive bleeding during pregnancy.


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