My Own Pregnancy Advocate by Unnati Patel

A medical term that I had never heard of before. I knew what a hematoma was, just not a
subchorionic hematoma.

I found out we were pregnant with our second baby on February 14, 2019! VALENTINES DAY!
It was the perfect surprise gift for my husband. I gifted him a positive pregnancy test for him to
unwrap as I unwrapped some Alex and Ani bracelets he bought me. It was a day for the books,
for sure.

My second was planned and was also a frozen embryo transfer pregnancy, just like my first. We
were just waiting for the bloodwork and positive tests to come back, and it had that day! So I
went ahead and surprised him with the exciting news.

We thought it was going to be smooth sailing from here on out because my first pregnancy was
fine even though it was still considered a high-risk pregnancy. But we were wrong.
I was about 8 weeks pregnant, and at my daughter, Samaira’s, music class, I suddenly had the
urgency to go to the bathroom. When I made it to the toilet, I passed a blood clot the size of my
palm. I. FREAKED. OUT. I immediately called my husband and told him what happened. He
advised me to call the reproductive endocrinologist ASAP. They were able to fit me in that same

That appointment gave us no answers. We were not told why I passed a clot, or even if the
baby was going to be okay. All they did was check on the baby, who seemed fine at the time. I
left that appointment with so many unanswered questions and doubts. I came home that day
and put myself on bed rest.

A few nights later, I felt a gush of blood as I was sleeping. I woke up to blood everywhere – on
the sheets, all over me, everywhere. It felt like I had miscarried. I called my mom to come over
to the house to stay with Samaira while my husband, Darshan, and I went to the ER.
After hours at the ER, we were told that it MIGHT be a subchorionic hematoma. They did
another ultrasound, and the baby still appeared to be fine. THANK GOD! I left the ER with little
guidance and waning hope. So what did I do? I searched Dr. GOOGLE and PUBMED for
everything related to subchorionic hematomas.

I found research showing that bedrest was helpful, so I put myself on bed rest for a few weeks,
then modified bed rest until I was about 30 weeks pregnant. Let me tell you, this was not an
easy time for me. But every two weeks, when we went in for an ultrasound to check on the hematoma, it wasn’t getting bigger. That was reassuring to me, so I continued to do what I was
doing. It was the only thing keeping my baby safe and alive.

The pregnancy took a toll on my mental wellbeing and physical health. I couldn’t be as active as
I was with my pregnancy with Samaira. I was unable to provide Samaira the best experience in
the last few months of her being the only child like I had intended to. I felt like I deprived her of
this special time because we relied more on our nanny and television. The bed rest was saving
my baby, but it was interfering with all of my pre-pregnancy capacities and plans.

Sometimes I look back and think if there was anything I could have done differently to not get
the hematoma, but I always come up with nothing. There was nothing I could have done to
prevent it. NOTHING. Subchorionic hematomas occur in so many pregnancies, but our
healthcare system fails to even mention it to women, much less, equip us to manage it.
After my first gush of blood, I had two similar episodes. Luckily, that was all the bleeding I

experienced. I know that I owe the success of my second pregnancy to my advocating for
myself and doing what was best for my body and baby. This experience made it clear that
women need help and guidance in advocating for their own, and their babies’, needs. It led me
to form my own company where I coach women to feel more confident and empowered by
offering evidence-based guidance on trying to conceive, pregnancy, postpartum, and

I consider myself lucky that I found a way to advocate for myself and educate myself on my
situation because, in the end, I got my gift- MY SWEET BOY, SAMARTH.

One thought on “My Own Pregnancy Advocate by Unnati Patel

  1. I relate to this so much. I had HG my entire pregnancy, and even now there is still so much that is unknown about it. I felt that as much support as people tried to offer, it was hard for them to understand at times. I had to ask the questions, I had to do more research than the information I was given. It was an extremely anxiety ridden pregnancy.

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