Today is a chilling reminder that 8 1/2 weeks really does not equate being out of the woods yet.
After a mellow New Year's Eve with our moms and my brother here at our house, John and I headed to Barnes & Noble this afternoon to hang out and read some books. We had been sitting for a while when I felt what I thought was a little bit of discharge coming out. I didn't think much of it and kept on reading. I felt it again a little while later, and since it was time to go potty again, I decided to see if everything was ok. In the restroom, I was surprised to see splotches (note: not just small spots) of blood on my underwear. I got even more concerned when I peed and felt and saw a large clot and some blood come out. Panicked, I washed my hands and raced to find John at the other end of the store. Upon seeing the panic on my face, he walked towards me and I told him that we had to head to the doctor's office right away and that I was bleeding. My poor husband was so scared and drove like a mad man to get me to urgent care. During the drive, I kept on feeling my abdomen to make sure I wasn't feeling any cramping, and thankfully, I wasn't.
At Kaiser urgent care, they instructed me to get on a wheelchair and a nurse took me upstairs. I tried to stay calm as they took my vitals and led us to the exam room. John and I waited a little while until Cori, the physician's assistant, came in. She examined me down there and said that there was a little bit of blood, but she wasn't too concerned as I had already gone to the restroom when we got there and there wasn't remotely as much bleeding as there was at the bookstore. She said that she would still contact the OB-GYN on call to see what they would like us to do. A few moments later, we were instructed to head over to Kaiser Hospital in Irvine to get a Stat Ultrasound. We headed there, and I was seen not long after we got there. My ultrasound tech was great. He was calm and the first thing he did was to check the girls to see if they were ok. Thankfully, we heard strong heartbeats and saw them doing fine. I went through two different ultrasounds (one on my stomach and one transvaginally) and it took a long time, but all worth it to hear Cori on the phone again, telling me that there's a little bleeding but I'm ok, and that I should just get some bedrest.
The ultrasound tech evidently had a little bit of a sense of humor too:
My concerns were appeased momentarily and we drove home, even stopping by Babies R Us to purchase a fetal heart monitor (John made me stay in the car, as he didn't want me to be walking around). When we got home, I went straight upstairs to get cleaned up and get my PJs on. I was ready to just relax when I went to the potty and suddenly a large amount of clots accompanied with some blood came out! There was so much that I actually reacted with an "Oh my gosh!" out loud. Still, I continued and put on a pantyliner and my pajamas and headed downstairs. I told John what happened and he ordered me to lay down, telling me, "No more doing anything." I was concerned even more because even laying down, I could feel something coming out when I sneezed or coughed, or, pardon me, even when I tried to pass a little gas. My wheels turning, I called the back line for Urgent Care to speak with Cori and I let her know what was going on. I told her that though I understand that the bleeding may continue, at what point do I start to worry? She said she would page the OB-GYN again and let her know what was going on.
A few minutes later, I received a phone call from the OB GYN herself who told me that I had what is called Subchorionic Bleeding. What this means is that there is a blood vessel located behind the placenta that has broken off and is now bleeding. This, evidently, is quite common, but should not be taken lightly. I was advised to be on bedrest this entire week and do absolutely nothing (as she said, "Couch to bed, couch to bed, and only a quick shower"). The nice thing with Kaiser is their technology, as the OBGYN did not have to be physically present to get the images of the ultrasound, but was able to access them from Kaiser's system from her home. She said she was looking at the pictures of the twins and they are doing well, with strong heartbeats. However, though Subchorionic Bleeding is common and poses minimal risk, we cannot rule out the fact that it DOES still pose SOME risk. Nothing can be done to stop the bleeding and only time will eventually cause it to slow and heal, but if not monitored and if I don't take it easy, it could worsen, thus causing the placenta to separate from the uterus, and cause a miscarriage. I have no choice, of course, but to implicitly follow their strict instructions.
Right now I am laying down on the couch, feet propped up by pillows. I'm in no pain, but just worried. John is worried as well. He is on call, so he is working on his laptop on the other couch, but needless to say his mood has been a little sullen as he is worried about his girls -- all three of us.
I ask you again for prayers. We still have a long journey ahead and if this is any indication, it won't always be smooth. Will keep you all posted as the week progresses.