I was 24 weeks pregnant when I learned I developed a bilateral pulmonary embolism (PE). I had been suffering from shortness of breath but had no other symptoms. Blood clots aren’t in the family, and I am young, fit and healthy, so my midwife was certain I wouldn’t have this condition.
She referred me for tests to rule it out, so I didn’t think anything of it, I just thought maybe it was the position of my baby. I had an ECG and chest X-ray and everything was normal. Then I was sent for a VQ scan, which detected the PEs.
At this point, I had no idea what that even meant. While I was waiting to be seen, I Googled it. All I could find were horror stories and I suffered from anxiety for the rest of my pregnancy. I was put on tinzaparin (a low molecular weight heparin) until the birth of my baby, Nellie.
After the birth, I was on an oral anticoagulant, apixaban, and I am now clear of the clots. I want to raise awareness among pregnant women because shortness of breath can be so common and sometimes nothing at all. However, sometimes it can be a symptom of a life-threatening blood clot. Even though no one suspected me to have the clots, I did. I’m so grateful for my midwife who pushed me for the tests.