I Had a Bloody Show at 35 Weeks Pregnant
I woke up on Sunday morning and found a blood clot with a tinge of blood in my undies. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I knew it was my mucus plug that came off. It was way too soon for bloody show at this point. I’m only 35 weeks pregnant.
I went on with brushing my teeth, washing my face and proceed to prepare breakfast for Lauren absent-mindedly, all the while wishing it was probably nothing. When I finally had a chance to sit down, I googled “mucus plug at 35 weeks”, “what happens when you have a bloody show” and a bunch of other similar keywords hoping to find that everything is ok.
What I saw was a mixture of good and bad news:
“Go to A&E immediately with you have bright red blood and experiencing dizziness and cramps.” (I don’t, so it’s good news)
“Passing mucus plug means labour can start within hours, days (bad news) or weeks (good news).”
“It’s a sign that your body is moving in the right direction (good news) for birth (not so great at this point).”
“It took me weeks before my baby came after I passed my mucus plug (good news)”
“I had a bloody show at 11am on Monday and my baby arrived on Tuesday night (bad news)”
Well, you get the point.
I wasn’t getting any closer to finding out what was going on. It was a Sunday. My gynae was unreachable via phone call. I had been given instructions to go to the hospital if anything happens outside office hours. The nurses will then contact my gynae on my behalf. At this point, I was still hoping all is good and we could probably wait till Monday to call him. But something tells me that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
I went to the toilet again and found more discharge. This time, it was light brown. I told Nick we had to go to the hospital.
I felt scared and numb at this point. I was not ready for the baby at all. I realised I have not packed my hospital bag, the newborn clothes are still in storage and the kicking-Lauren-out-from-our-room-and-set-up a-nice-kids-room-for-the-girls project is still underway. The baby cot isn’t even set up!
I tried to pack my hospital bag. But my mind went blank. I had no idea what to put into the bag. I do that for a living for god sake! I help people plan for the arrival of their baby! Somehow I just couldn’t think.
Luckily the ride to the hospital was quick. We went to the emergency reception at Mount Elizabeth Novena and told them about my condition. There was a sign that said the waiting time was 45 minutes to 1 hour. I seriously thought I had to wait for that long. The receptionist called someone (I’m guessing the birth department) and 3 minutes later, I was wheeled to level 3 where the delivery suites are.
I wasn’t ready to give birth yet! I kept asking the nurse who wheeled me up that I was just going for a check up right? I’m not going into labour right?? She was very reassuring and told me that passing mucus plug may not mean I’m giving birth straight away. They needed to find out if I’m having contractions and if labour had indeed started. Since this is my third pregnancy, I may not feel the early contractions.
I was hooked up to the CTG machine for 15 minutes. During which, the nurses asked a lot of questions. One of them also checked me to see if I was dilated. I was pretty comfortable at this point. Nick had even settled himself in the birth companion chair with his laptop connected to the guest wifi network at the hospital.
This was my condition: My cervix was soft but I wasn’t dilated (good news). I had one contraction within the time frame, which I did not feel at all. Apparently, anytime I feel the tummy tightening, that is a contraction. You think by now (third pregnancy), I would know. But nope, I was oblivious. Also, my gynae was on his way (good news but sounded like a bad one. Because if I wasn’t in labour, does he have to come?)
Why does the mucus plug come off at 35th week?
My gynae arrived 10 minutes later and told us:
There are 3 things to determine the onset of labour: Passing of mucus plug, contractions and water bag bursting. Mucus plug being the least ‘urgent’ sign. I can’t remember the exact word he used but you get the point.
Since I didn’t have difficulty passing urine or doing number two, it is very likely a sign of labour. Apparently, urinary tract infection and bad diarrhea could also cause mucus plug to come off, since it’s all happening in the same region.
What can you do if you pass mucus plug before full term?
The passing of mucus plug is nothing to worry about. But in my case, if I do go into labour now at 35 weeks pregnant, my baby will be a preemie or premature baby. He/she will have 85% to be a healthy baby and 15% to end up in the NICU. Here are my options:
1. Get admitted and be monitored at all times. Any changes in my condition could be dealt with swiftly.
2. There are 3 injections that I can take at this point.
- A steroid shot that helps baby lungs grow rapidly. Usually given to mummies having to give birth around 28 to 30 weeks. It is also commonly given to mothers who opt for C-section. However, mother’s body could go into shock – heart palpitation, blood sugar crashing, shivering, etc. (I thought I’m a likely candidate for that to happen because my heart palpitates when I drink half shot coffee. If my body reacts so strongly to caffeine, I would probably react to the steroid. However, this is my own diagnosis, so it may not be true. Do ask your doctor if you are suitable for this shot, if you ever find yourself in such situation. I sincerely hope you won’t!)
- A weekly shot that calms the womb. Basically, it tells the womb to stop having contractions. No contractions = no labour.
- And I forgot what the third injection does. I tend to not register anything in my brain if I write it off immediateBut yes, there’s a third option. Ask your gynae.
3. Go home and be on bed rest.
My gynae knows me well by now (he was the one who delivered Lauren) and recommended that I go home and take the weekly ‘womb-calming’ shot. He told us the actual names for all 3 shots, but again, I can’t remember any of them. He knows that I prefer to let nature takes its course and have as little intervention as possible.
So after I was given the shot in the butt, which by the way was very painful, I was sent home and have been ‘resting’. Turn out, resting is one of the hardest things for mums because we have so much on our to-do list! I’ve been busy online shopping, making sure we have everything prepared if the baby does decide to come earlier. I also realised how little control I have over my own body and this little one. He/she already has its own mind and it is really up to the baby to decide when it is ready to meet us.
I’m so sorry I have to postpone all of my appointments until at least November and I’m so thankful that everyone understands and had been really supportive. Thank you with all my heart.
I’ll probably be quiet on the blog for a while from now on. Or I may actually write even more now that I’m not allowed to do house chores and go for walks. Either way, I’m mostly found updating my status on Instagram. Do follow me there if you are remotely interested to find out if we manage to make it to full term.