Threatened miscarriage is bleeding in pregnancy that occurs within the first 20 weeks, which happens to one in four pregnant women.
About 50 percent of the time, the baby will be fine, so having a threatened miscarriage doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose your baby.
Any bleeding in pregnancy, however, should be checked out by a medical professional.
Back in 1994, when I was only 16, I began dating the man who became the love interest of my life. It was one of those tempestuous love and hate relationships with a type of passion that was all-consuming.
All very well when you are in love but like an erupting volcano whenever a disagreement came up.
Like all passionate affairs, it moved very quickly. Three months after "officially" announcing ourselves as partners, we moved in together.
Because I was over 16 at the time, U.K. law meant I had reached the age of consent so my mother could not have me dragged back home by the police, although she asked about it.
Ironically, she was the one who told me to leave. She said I had to choose between him and her and if I chose him I was out of the house.
Well, that is the worst thing you can say to a teenager in love because they will always pick the love interest over the mother any time. I defiantly told her I would never leave him, so she threw my clothes into plastic Asda (UK version of Walmart) bags and told me not to come home after college.
That was how I ended up renting a terraced house with no furniture at the age of 17. We slept on the living room floor with just a blanket and had upturned vegetable crates for chairs and a table that we got from a market stall.
He asked me to marry him almost within a minute and within two minutes said he wanted to have four children (we ended up with five), and what’s more, he wanted to have one right now.
I was still in college studying media so I could become a journalist, but we got engaged straightaway and held the engagement party on my 18th birthday. Four weeks later I was pregnant with our first child, after only "trying" once.
Naturally, all our relatives went mad because of my age and because it was a teenage pregnancy they demanded I get an abortion. What I said in response is not printable on this site.
My mother-in-law-to-be told me I’d need a cesarean section because I’m disabled and I’d "never" be able to give birth the normal way.
So when I started bleeding only two weeks after the positive pregnancy test, I was terrified. I thought all the relatives must be right and because of my disability, maybe I wasn’t cut out for motherhood.
I was convinced my baby was dead. Perhaps it had "heard" my relatives insisting on an abortion and decided to leave me? (I knew this wasn’t logically possible but you can’t bring logic into emotion.)
We rushed to the doctor who couldn’t see what she was doing properly because there was so much blood, but she repeated the test that said I was pregnant and so referred us as an emergency to the early pregnancy assessment unit at the hospital.
I was trying not to cry all the way there. I still had the pregnancy test stick from two weeks earlier because I was so proud of it, I couldn’t throw it away.
I believed life started at conception and had already named my child if she were to be a girl. Sitting in the waiting room I had the most sickening feeling, rather like I was waiting to be told I was going to die of terminal cancer.
They ushered us through to the scan room but could not see anything because I was so early in pregnancy, so they did what is called a transvaginal scan. It is pretty disgusting if you’re the squeamish type, but basically they insert a probe with a microscopic camera on it into your vagina so they can get a better look at the baby.
After they had done this, they could see her clearly, a tiny blob in a tiny round circle that was the water bag. The blob was flashing.
This meant the heart was beating!
They told me I was six weeks pregnant, that the baby was alive and they didn’t know the cause of the bleeding, but they assured me it wasn’t coming from the baby or the placenta. They said it may have been implantation bleeding or perhaps some cervical bleeding that was unlikely to hurt the baby.
I’ll never forget the nurse’s parting words
“Congratulations! You have a little baby!”
I was instructed to lie down and rest. Eventually the bleeding stopped. Eight months later I gave birth to a lovely 7 pound girl (vaginally and not by cesarean as my mother-in-law predicted).
Today she is 16, turning into a beautiful woman who is just finishing her final exams at school and going on to study photography.
So don’t panic if you bleed, and think of the 50 percent positive outcome. You may get a happy ending like I did.
Threatened Miscarriage, emedicinehealth. Web. 13th May 2012. http://www.emedicinehealth.com/threatened_miscarriage/article_em.htm#Threatened%20Miscarriage%20Overview
Ultrasound Imaging of the Pelvis, Radiology Info. Web. 13th May 2012. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?PG=pelvus
Reviewed May 14, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith