If you’re pregnant or have already had a child, you know that during your journey your body will do some really weird shit (excuse my language- but its true!). I mean, seriously, sore nipples, changing of hair texture, nausea and vomiting, hair in places you’ve never seen, growth of skin tags, insomnia even though you’re exhausted, awful leg cramps, discharge, lack
One of the first symptoms to hit me when I was pregnant with Lily was sore boobs. My GOODNESS were they sore. The entire pregnancy I could barely lay on my side because the pain was so severe. I would beg Andy for “boob rubs” even though I had zero intention of getting frisky. I still remember how heavenly those were. I wasn’t much past 6 months along when I was getting a prenatal massage and the therapist told me I was “leaking”. I said “leaking? What do you mean?! Did my water break?!”. She chuckled and said that my breasts had leaked while I was on the table. She pulled the sheet back to reveal a
Not much longer after the embarrassing leaky boob incident, I was taking off one of my bras and noticed a small amount of blood on the fabric my right breast’s cup. I examined my nipple and noticed that it had dried blood crusted around the pores. Yes, “holy shit” was my first reaction. I started on the anxiety trip trying to figure out what the hell could be making my nipples bleed. I ruled out friction because my bras were soft and supportive. I decided to try to squeeze my nipple to see what would happen. Clear liquid came through quickly followed by dark red blood. I consulted with my midwives, the practice’s OB, my doula and family and NONE of them had ever heard of something like that before. So, off to the breast care center I went. I sat in the waiting room fear for an obnoxiously long time before I was given an ultrasound and then asked to wait for a doctor. The first topic of conversation was cancer. This isn’t my first brush with the C word. I had a calcified thyroid tumor removed with I was 18 that the doctors were convinced was cancerous (thankfully, it was not). Then, a few years later when I was living in Tennessee I had a hard lump in my left breast removed to get biopsied. Again, luckily all good. This time, the doctor explained to me that the biggest concern was that only one breast had something weird going on and that would make them wonder if something bigger was going on. She reviewed the ultrasound with me and assured me that they saw nothing they were concerned about. She said she had never seen a woman leak blood from her nipple during pregnancy, so she wanted me to keep an eye on it after I had the baby and if I was still bleeding (the same way- not from irritated nipples) that I should come back for a mammogram. Oddly enough, as soon as I had Lily the blood disappeared. Of course, our breastfeeding journey was not without major bumps in the road with my oversupply and fast milk ejection reflex, but no blood to be seen. Just like that it was a thing of the past.
I honestly kind of forgot all about the blood thing. When I switched healthcare providers this pregnancy, I didn’t even mention it to my new doctor. Well, that is until it came back. I just stopped physically nursing Lily (she is still getting pumped breastmilk from earlier in my pregnancy) and basically as soon as I stopped nursing her I noticed the blood again. This time around the blood is coming from BOTH of my nipples and it is a bit more than last time. If I try to hand express now it’s almost 50% blood and 50% colostrum. Super weird, right? I checked with one of the OBs in my practice at my checkup this week (my OB is out of town) and again, another person who had never heard of it before! His instant first concern was also cancer but luckily, I’m much more confident now that that isn’t the case. He told me it’s “probably” nothing to worry about if I’ve already had it checked out and sent me on my way.
I don’t know about you, mamas, but it’s slightly unnerving to know your body is doing something totally strange that no one you know has ever heard of before. On top of that, knowing that there is nothing you can do about it. It is, though, a perfect representation of pregnancy. You can eat well, exercise, or not exercise, read all the books, follow your doctor’s recommendations and listen to your body but when it comes down to it, you’re not always in control. Your hormones and your baby will determine a lot of what your body goes through in those long 9 months and sometimes you just have to surrender. I know it can be scary, mommy, especially when you feel a complete lack of control but know that this journey is different for everyone and you can only do the best you can. You are your baby’s mother for a reason and you will be the best mother that baby can have.
I’d love to hear more about your journey- did you have any weird symptoms that no one could explain? Have you ever heard of breasts leaking blood during pregnancy? Let me know!