Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Spots of Terror

It was Monday morning and I still had the energy to get up at 0525 to go swimming even though I was six weeks pregnant. Six weeks pregnant. It seemed so hard to believe I could actually say that. Just for fun, I flipped on my fertility monitor to see that I was on day 43 of my cycle and the display was flashing that it needed to be reset.

I arrived at the pool and our instructor announced we would be doing sprints. I'm the best sprinter in my lane, but I knew I was supposed to be taking it easy, so I told my lane mates "these are going to be some pretty weak sprints." However the coach whistled and I got a good start off the block, after the first 50 yards I looked over and saw I was matching strokes with a male swimmer in the next lane. It just feels so good to beat a guy and I felt I had it in me to do so. I pushed the tempo and touched the wall ahead of him. "1:18!" exclaimed my lane mate "Weak sprints, my ass!"

At the end of practice, I went off to the showers to get ready to go to work, and I noticed there was a drop of water in a perfect circle on my bag. I'm not sure why, but this drop make me think I needed to check for spotting. My instinct was correct, there was a slight pink tint to the toilet tissue when I wiped. I nearly burst into tears at that moment, but quickly calmed myself down as I went to the shower. Think about what you would advise your patients, spotting is quite common at this time. I felt a slight stinging sensation when I started to wash my hair and I looked at my thumb. There was a small scratch. I must have grazed it when I was on the diving block, and that probably explained the pink tinge on the toilet tissue. I let out a deep sigh of relief -what a funny story to tell!

However, I kept pressing on my thumb and there was no blood expressed. I got out of the shower and went back to the stall -this time I wiped with my left hand. The pink streaks were still present. I told Co-worker (who is our advice nurse) as soon as I got in. "How many times to do see this and it's nothing?" she reassured me. I agreed. The light pink stuff wasn't concerning, but it worried me as this is exactly how AF presents herself. I feared this was merely heralding heavier bleeding. I sent a message to my RE, admitting that I probably pushed my heart rate more than I should have during my sprints, which may explain the spotting, but I wanted his thoughts. I received a prompt call back from the receptionist who offered me an appointment for an ultrasound. "We always hold slots for situations like this so we can relieve anxiety" she explained.

Anxiety. That's really all it was. I knew at this point the pregnancy was either viable or it wasn't. There wasn't anything that could be done at this time. I asked her to hold the latest appointment for me. I would have to shift around my own patients, but maybe the spotting would stop and I wouldn't need to come in. I looked at my schedule, I would need to reschedule the last two patients. One was a brand new patient; never a good impression to cancel at the last minute. The other was a new OB. She had a prior miscarriage and just had a baby seven months ago. Still breastfeeding, she had no idea how far along she was. Here was another woman just as anxious as I was, and I was about to cancel on her. The guilt was overwhelming. Husband and Co-worker tried to reassure me that I needed to take care of myself. I couldn't bear to hear my medical assistant call to reschedule my patients, so I went off to the bathroom. The light pink streaks had now turned to bright red spots.

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