During the early stages of my pregnancy, I experienced some light brown bleeding, accompanied by some small clots and light cramping. I was on Christmas holidays in another city, and I was unable to get into contact with my health care practitioner, so my husband took me straight to the local hospital to ensure that everything was ok. After waiting for 6 long hours in the waiting room, the doctor took blood tests to check my HCG levels, and arranged for a sonographer to conduct an abdominal and transvaginal ultrasound. The sonographer advised that I looked approximately 5 to 6 weeks pregnant and stated that the yolk sac looked nice and healthy. She suggested that the pregnancy looked to be ongoing.
However, blood tests came back indicating HCG levels of 14900 IU/L. The doctor immediately advised me that I was going to miscarry. She stated that the levels indicated a baby of 8 weeks, yet the ultrasound revealed minimal embryonic growth, meaning that the baby had most likely stopped growing at 5 or so weeks. She told me to expect more blood, and advised that I would miscarry in the next few days to weeks. I was absolutely heartbroken. The doctor recommended that a D&C be performed, so that it could be over and done with, as opposed to waiting it out. After she left, I told my husband that I didn't feel right about having a D&C, and suggested that my dates could be wrong. When we returned to where we were staying, I went straight onto the computer and did some research about HCG levels. I was surprised to learn that HCG levels are very broad, and my dates may very wel have been wrong. Either way, having a D&C just didn't seem right, and I wanted a second opinion.
I refused the D&C and requested another ultrasound a few days later through a different doctor. My bleeding had stopped altogether, and although my cramps still persisted, the doctor advised that early pregnancy cramps are normal as they indicate growth of the uterus. Prior to my second ultrasound I felt strangely calm - I didn't have a bad feeling about the scan at all. I think a mixture of my research on the computer and the second doctor's positive outlook assisted with my composure.
During the scan, the sonographer stated that all looked well, and she was able to locate a little heartbeat, beating strongly away
I feel sick thinking about what would have happened if I had of listened to the doctor's advice and gone ahead with the D&C. To this day, I always take doctor's advice with a grain of salt, and I do my own research as well.
Unfortunately, our troubles didn't end there. A bit over a month after that ultrasound, I started bleeding heavily at home, and losing clots. The blood was bright red (apparently the worst kind you can have during pregnancy) and the clots were quite large. I was certain I was miscarrying, and we once again went to the ER, where the doctor told us that it didn't look good, and gave me some information about miscarriages. I cried on my husband's shoulder, but remembered about the positive outcome earlier in my pregnancy and tried to hold on to the hope that all would be well. An ultrasound was conducted shortly afterwards, and there on the screen was our tiny fetus, lying happily inside with a strong heartbeat. They were unable to give me an explanation of the bleeding, and they still don't know what caused it.
I went on to have a healthy pregnancy, with no further complications. My son is now 6 months old and is the most gorgeous, happy and healthy little baby. I'm so glad that I did some research after receiving my doctor's advice - I can't imagine life without my little boy!