I found out I was pregnant with Andrew, my second child, just before my daughter’s first birthday. We were thrilled because we wanted our children close together. My first pregnancy had ended in a miscarriage at 10 weeks, and after a year of trying, we conceived my daughter. So, we were surprised this pregnancy came so fast.
Everything went smoothly at first. I didn’t even have much morning sickness. When I was seven weeks pregnant, we went abroad for a few months. About a week after arriving I noticed a bad leg cramp. Within 24 hours, I could hardly walk and the pain was excruciating. After two trips to the ER, it was determined that I had a Deep Vein Thrombosis, or a blood clot, in my lower calf continuing up past my knee. I was in the hospital for about five days so they could monitor my blood in order to adjust my medication.
When we returned to the United States a month later, I was told I would continue the Lovenox therapy for the remainder of the pregnancy and at least six weeks after birth. The clot started the first of September, and in December I was still having a lot of leg pain. I wore a compression stocking up to my thigh and took two shots a day to treat my clot and prevent new clots. My blood tests revealed that I am heterozygous for the Factor IV deficiency, which means that my blood could clot faster than someone else’s blood. I had no problems with my first full-term pregnancy, so I didn’t suspect this at all. I will have to do Lovenox therapy for each pregnancy.
My pregnancy was wonderful, other than the shots and having a blood clot. Because of the medication I was on, my doctor induced me on March 15 when I was 37 weeks. Six hours after the induction began, Andrew was born at 2:39 PM. My first pregnancy was a long labor, and my daughter had to be vacuumed out as she weighed over nine pounds and was 10 days overdue. This time around, I was very happy to go early and deliver a six-pound, 13-ounce perfect baby boy. Labor was a breeze compared to my first. I used the birthing ball, rocking chair, and finally got an epidural about two hours before he was born. My husband and I were playing Phase Ten when the nurse told us it was time to push! I started my Lovenox shots again six hours after he was born and continued them until he was about two months old. I am now on Cumadin and will be until a year has passed from the time I developed the clot. I can still breastfeed, which was very important to me.
Overall, a scary situation turned out as best as it could have and I look forward to having more children in the future with the great blessing of modern medicine! My advice to all women would be to ask your doctor for a simple blood test to see if you have Factor IV. It could save your life! Women who do have this should never take hormonal birth control and will need medication when pregnant. Also, get up and walk on long car rides and plane rides. I had never heard this before but that advice is good for anyone who is pregnant. If you have a blood clot and are pregnant, I learned things will be fine as long as you communicate with your doctor and take your medicine. Aren’t we so blessed to live in a day when this can be treated?!