My husband had left for the UK on business. I was alone at our home. Throughout the day I started to spot. It made me nervous. It was about to get a lot worse.
There was no pain. No cramping. I just started to bleed bright red with tiny clots. I got scared. I could not call my husband because he was still in mid-flight and I could not call my dad because of the time difference. I furiously took to Dr. DuckDuckGo for reassurance that this was normal.
Then the bleeding became a gush and I passed a half quarter sized clot of blood. Scared, I dialed 119 in Japan (their version of 911). I was crying, shaking, and I had the worst Japanese ever as I tried to explain to the emergency worker that I might be miscarrying.
They dispatched an ambulance as I gathered what I’d need in case I had to stay overnight. I didn’t want to go through a miscarriage alone with my husband gone for three days. I’ve heard of women passing out from the blood loss. It seemed too risky.
The worker arrived and were very kind. In the ambulance I called my father-in-law who talked in Japanese to the workers. (I couldn’t seem to speak Japanese at all in my panicked state).
We waited for twenty minutes in the ambulance as they called around for a hospital willing to do an emergency ultrasound at 9pm to see if it was a miscarriage. The worker asked me, “Is there pain?”
“No,” I answered. “No pain.”
I felt no cramps. I was just bleeding a lot and passing large clots.
Finally, a hospital agreed to do an emergency ultrasound. The doctor was waiting near the emergency room. She ushered me into the chair with the stirrups and the ambulance workers left. She closed the curtain and began checking right away. At this point the bleeding had lessened a lot.
To my relief she said, “The gestational sac is still there. It’s still high in the uterus. It does not look like a miscarriage is in progress.”
A big weight left my chest.
I dressed in a hurry and they showed pictures. The GS had grown by a 1.5 mm since my scan on Thursday. It was now just a little over 10 mm. I called my father-in-law and she explained everything to him as I listened along, understanding only about 50% of the conversation.
After they finished, I talked to her directly and asked what caused the bleeding. She didn’t know. Pregnancy was not her field. She agreed to do my emergency ultrasound because there was no one else.
All I wanted to hear was that I was not miscarrying. Instead her answers went like this, “No, you are not miscarrying now. But maybe you will in a week or two.”
“Wh-what?” I said, feeling panic all over. “Why?”
“Well, our equipment is outdated and this is not my field and it’s probably too early, but I couldn’t see a fetus and fetal pole in your gestational sac,” she explained.
“Th-then is it a blighted ovum?”
“I don’t know. Our equipment is outdated, this is not my field, and it’s probably too early, but if it is a blighted ovum you’ll miscarry in a couple weeks,” she said again, changing her words a little.
“Then am I miscarrying.”
“No. Not now. But if it is a blighted ovum you will.”
“Is it a blighted ovum?”
“I don’t know. Our equipment is outdated, this is not my field, and…” she repeated.
This conversation loop repeated about six more times before I gave up. I just wanted to know if the bleeding was because of a miscarriage or a threatened miscarriage. She was clear that she could see no miscarriage in progress and suspected a blood clot may have been passing out. She told me that since I had no cramps, no pain, and the gestational sac was still firmly in place I was not miscarrying. Every time she said that I’d start to feel relieved which would be short-lived because she’d then add, “But if it’s a blighted ovum you’ll miscarry in a week or two.”
Why did she keep suggested a blighted ovum when at the same time admitting there was no way she could diagnose it at this time? She kept bringing my panic right back. I didn’t get it.
It felt like finding out “You’ll live” from a doctor only for them to add, “BUT you might die to tomorrow. You know, stuff happens. A truck might hit ya. Watch out.”
WHY SAY THAT?!
I am aware of the dangers of a blighted ovum, but 10 mm is way too soon to be sure of it. I know from Dr. Duck Duck Go you can’t be 100% sure until a gestational sac reaches 25 mm. 10 mm is just the beginning of being able to see the fetal pole and fetus. You also need decent ultrasound equipment to see that.
So after I left and paid 4,000 yen ($40) for the entire visit, I head home for the late train back and took a taxi from my home train station to my house. I called my dad and let him know. My husband finally arrived to read my panicked messages and he called me right away wanting to know everything. He called his father as well.
Both of us were pretty shaken by it all. I still am not sure why I bled like that.
I’ll go to an another ultrasound at the beginning of the week to discuss at our clinic what happened and what caused the Friday bleeding. I stopped bleeding that night and it never came back at all during the weekend, not even the spotting.
Thanks to the doctor I am now very terrified of a blighted ovum (1000% more than before). I’m grateful it’s not over yet, but very scared of Monday’s scan.
We can only hope at this point that everything is all right.