A week ago, when we were still in Oklahoma City getting ready to go out for the day, I went to use the bathroom and noticed a slow, bright red drip in the toilet. When I wiped, I saw bright red on the toilet paper. I froze, and my heart nearly stopped. All I did was stare into the toilet, looking at the bright red droplets and wondering what the hell was going on. How could I be bleeding? I just had my 16-week scan two days ago, and the doctor’s actual words out of his mouth were, “Everything looks perfect.” Am I having a late stage miscarriage? I couldn’t even think straight. We literally just told all of Chris’s aunts, uncles, and cousins that I’m pregnant the day before. How could this be happening?
I came out of the bathroom and told Chris that I didn’t know why, but I found blood in the toilet. He asked what the doctor said about this happening. I told him that for this entire pregnancy, I hadn’t had a single drop of spotting, so this wasn’t normal. Unless we’d had sex or my cervix had been irritated, there’s no reason for me to have any spotting. I went to get a panty liner from my backpack in case more blood came. He suggested I call my doctor, so I called, but it was too early, so I left a voice message asking for them to call me back. Chris did some quick searches for bleeding during pregnancy, then calmly reminded me that I just had a cervical exam at my scan just a day and a half ago, so maybe the bleeding was because of that.
Oh. I totally forgot that, I said to him. In my moment of panic, I had forgotten this procedure had been done so recently. He’s right. Maybe that IS what this was. But then my next thought was, why did the bleeding not happen immediately after and instead came two days later…?!
So during breakfast, I went to use the restroom again, and no blood came. There wasn’t even a drop on the panty liner when I checked it. And during our drive that morning, a nurse called back from the doctor’s office to ask about my symptoms. She asked some questions and I told her what I saw. She said that given the blood was bright red and only lasted one bathroom session, it was likely just due to my cervical exam two days before. If I felt any heavy abdominal cramping or fever, or if I had passed dark red blood that could soak a pad or big clotted blood, then it would be a concern, and I would need to see the doctor ASAP. She gave me the emergency number to call in case the bleeding continued but said this didn’t sound concerning.
When you go through nearly two years of trying to conceive and eventually have to resort to IVF to get pregnant, you’re never fully “out of the woods,” even after you’ve survived the first trimester. I know too many women who have had second trimester complications and miscarriages. I’m gradually loosening up and thinking about planning for the future, but I’m still holding my breath a little. I just can’t get too comfortable.