At the time of writing this post, I’m 19 weeks and two days along, so I have hindsight and 20/20 of the chaos that is the first trimester. For most moms, the first trimester is stressful and hard. For us IVF moms, the anxiety is just a tad higher. I heard this quote once and it’s so true with the entire IVF pregnancy journey (and IVF in general): hurry up and wait. But let’s get into baby #2 first trimester recap and essentials I needed/loved.
During this time, I was still under the care of my IVF team. They were monitoring bloodwork and ultrasounds weekly.
At week 5, I did start spotting a dark brown/red and although this didn’t initially worry me because I had dark blood with Savannah the entire first trimester, I called my doctor to let them know.
As soon as I called them, they wanted me to come in the next morning for an unscheduled exam and likely administer a Rho Gam shot early.
Rho Gam shots are usually given around 28 weeks for moms who have Rh- bloodtype. I am Rh-.
However, if your first pregnancy had a baby who was Rh+, the Rh- mom may bleed during proceeding pregnancies if the current pregnancies have Rh+ babies growing. It’s an incompatibility response, so they will give you the Rho Gam shot early… and possibly continue to give it to the mother every 6-8 weeks if spotting continues.
So, at 5 weeks along I got my first Rho Gam shot and that lessened the spotting.
At 5 weeks, they also gestational sac and fetal pole.
Then, at exactly 6 weeks, I started morning sickness and vomiting. I was getting ready for church and had to run to the bathroom and everything came up. Which continued to happen a few days a week for several weeks.
For my 6 week appointment, we got to hear and see the fetal heartbeat which is always the most fun part of IVF/early pregnancy.
Then, the last IVF appointment is your ‘graduation’ appointment where they reconfirm heartbeat and bloodwork/hormone numbers then send you on your way to the OBGYN for the remainder of care! It’s a very bittersweet appointment.
Up until this point, I naturally was cautiously hopeful and optimistic and was truly trusting things were finally working in our favor. It was probably the most positive I’ve felt in this entire infertility journey.
Then one Saturday morning (8 weeks, 6 days along)… just two days after I had my first OBGYN appointment and all was well, I was watching some Hallmark movies and I had this familiar sensation of a gush of blood coming out of me. Looked down and bright red blood was coming out of me like a faucet.
I ran to the bathroom and just felt huge clots falling out of me.
Nobody else was home because my husband was running errands with my daughter, so I had to call him panicked to come home ASAP.
I called my IVF team first because I know they’re always working. They remained calm and told me I could just rest and come see them in the morning for an exam, or head to the emergency room.
I then called my OBGYN’s on-call line, and they advised the emergency room trip… so as soon as my husband got home (within 15 minutes), the three of us sped off to the E.R.
I was still bleeding badly when I got there with the biggest pad I could find in my house. They immediately got me into a room, ran bloodwork (which came back all normal), but then I sat there in the bed with my husband and four year old for SIX AND A HALF HOURS before we had an ultrasound.
Hindsight 20/20, this was extremely traumatizing and I wish I spoke up more for my own mental health.
They tried to do a urine sample and couldn’t even use it because my sample was ALL blood. So much red.
When I finally got into the ultrasound, I went alone and was completely sobbing in the room with the tech. She had to do her standard explanation that she couldn’t tell me anything but the doctor would be in shortly to give me the final update. I explained I understood but this was an IVF pregnancy and my stress levels were through the roof.
She felt so bad after that because she said her cousin went through this, that once she did the ultrasound, she did move the screen over and showed me that Baby Girl was doing just fine. Little heartbeat doing great and she was measuring on schedule.
I had a smaller subchorionic hematoma.
Subchorionic hematomas are very common in IVF pregnancies… also pregnancies in moms who are over 35, and 2nd/3rd/4th+ pregnancies. So, I checked off all those boxes. They tend to resolve on their own by the end of the first trimester. A mother could have NO bleeding, one bleeding episode, or she can continue to bleed off and on the entire time the hematoma exists. There’s absolutely nothing anyone can do about it but just take it easy until you know the hematoma has resolved.
The hospital staff advised me to not exercise or lift anything heavy and to be on pelvic rest… but then at my next OBGYN appointment, my OB said that was not necessary and there’s very little I can do (or not do) to cause further bleeding. It will likely resolve on its own.
At my 12 week NT scan, they no longer saw the hematoma. Thank goodness.
Needless to say, that was the highlight of the first trimester for sure. **Sarcasm**
But besides that, I was simultaneously also managing the standard first trimester issues many women face: the regular vomiting episodes (either after breakfast or before dinner), food aversions (everything I loved before pregnancy was now disgusting.. even my favorite morning coffee), exhaustion, acne breakouts and bloating.
Here’s some of the things I used that provided SOME relief: