She Says… Emergency Tissue Situation

I’ve had a lot of them recently. Those emergency tissue situations. And since it’s warm now and I don’t have a constant runny nose like I did in January, I have been completely unprepared almost every time.

And I’m not just talking snot. No, I have the pleasure of dealing with a strange pregnancy affliction: Bloody Noses.

This is not a new problem for me. As a tween/teen I remember getting them regularly until I actually had to have a vein cauterized inside my nose. Maybe I have weird nose veins. Who knows. It is also something I struggled with in the first trimester of both of my pregnancies. Not major bleeding, but just often enough to be annoying, and to catch me off guard in public places with no tissue available.

The last few weeks, they seem to have started up again. This week alone I’ve had 3. And it’s Thursday. Yesterday I was getting Owen out of his carseat to drop him off at school and without any notice, blood poured out of my nose, narrowly missing my white pants. (One of the only 2 pairs of work-appropriate pants that still fit… so that would have been a real disaster). I walked him into school clutching my nose, freaking out his teacher and searching for a tissue before the blood made an even bigger mess. Gross. A few days ago we were out for a walk around the block. A street away from my house I felt the warm fluid rolling down my face and had to walk all the way home pinching my nose and encouraging Owen to ride a little faster on his scooter. On our Florida vacation we were having drinks on the patio and watching the sunset and the blood started flowing.

Thankfully I’m not really bothered by them and am very calm, so Owen hasn’t been scared. In fact, he always demands to see the blood (he also likes to watch me do my 4x/day blood sugar tests when I have to prick my finger — we’ve talked a lot about blood recently!). On our walk/scooter ride he patted me gently and said, “It’s ok, Mommy. Just blood. We’ll go right home and I’ll get you a tissue.”.

I know, I know. I need to put tissues in every pocket of every pair of pants/shorts I own. You’d think I would learn my lesson by now.

I don’t think it’s related to dry air (we have the windows open whenever possible and I don’t feel particularly dry right now), and it’s definitely not related to trauma. My midwife said it’s not an uncommon pregnancy side-effect given that pregnant women have a dramatic increase in blood volume to provide for the baby. She checked my blood count a few weeks ago and isn’t worried about any sort of clotting disorder or blood levels being out of whack, so it seems like something I’m just going to have to deal with.

But 3-4 more weeks of dealing with spontaneous bloody noses doesn’t sound like fun. Anyone else dealt with this strange symptom during their pregnancy? Or do I just have a weird body?

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11 responses to “She Says… Emergency Tissue Situation

  1. I had a lot of nose bleeds with my first pregnancy in particular. I have had a few minor ones with this one too. I think it has to do with all that extra blood we have flowing around.

  2. This is going to sound crazy… but there’s a syndrome that runs in my family called hereditary hermorrhagic telangiectasia (which sounds scary, but 95% of the time isn’t). My grandpa had it, my dad has it, and so does my sister. The main symptom: Nosebleeds. The capillaries in certain parts of your body don’t form right, and nosebleeds is one of the main symptoms. It’s actually a pretty common disease, but hard to diagnose. And, generally speaking, it won’t impact anyone super negatively if you do have it (besides nosebleeds). So, don’t be scared or anything by me mentioning it. If you have red tiny birthmark dots elsewhere on your body, that’s one of the other main symptoms.

    I only mention it a) because my dad made me PROMISE to if anyone I heard of had recurring nosebleeds, and b) because if you do have it, it’s good to know later in life if something else presents itself. My dad had something misdiagnosed because it was actually malformed capillaries!

    So, I’m putting it out there. As I said, it’s not a biggie if you do have it, but it’s helpful to know. And it is super common, just not commonly diagnosed. Hope I don’t sound crazy.

  3. PS: Don’t googleimage it, because those are the ridiculous cases.

  4. I did!! For me it happened any time my blood pressure was even slightly elevated (for me, just in the “normal” range, but that was higher than mine usually ran), which meant every day for the last week I was pregnant :-(. My best advice is to just be prepared, because especially with it being so warm outside you just don’t feel it starting, like you said! Good luck – thinking of you!

  5. nurse here! nosebleeds in pregnancy are SUPER common. increased blood volume can play a factor, but mostly it’s related to increased estrogen causing hyperemia of the mucous membranes in the nose! a humidifier and normal saline nose spray can help.

  6. (hyperemia = increased blood flow)

  7. Caroline s.

    My strangeness during pregnancy was awesome…
    1. Weird awful itchy eczema all over ONE finger and ONE toe…. (still have it…)
    2. Total aversion to ALL meat, no chicken, beef, fish, nothing for 9 months…
    3. Then I had the charlie horse muscle spasms at night which would wake me up screaming and leave me gimping the rest of the week.
    4. I had NO hair fall out at all, during the whole pregnancy (but holy cow the shedding afterwards!)
    5. Delivery- when my contractions started, they came 5 minutes apart, right from the get go… yeah…

  8. I did! Second pregnancy, but not the first. It WAS during the winter, so I was a little dry, but the midwife told me it just had to do with the fact that you have more blood volume during pregnancy so everything is plumped up and a little closer to the surface. I think?!? Nothing wrong with it, for me at least, but it was a pain in the rear!

  9. I had bloody noses all the time with my first. This time around the only strange thing I’ve had happen is a random greasy spot on my scalp. I’ve switched shampoos and conditioners, tried only conditioning my ends, doing two to three rinses, nothing works. It has to be pregnancy related.

  10. I didn’t have nose bleeds, but I have had weird side effects. I think everyone is different! I had trouble controlling my left leg at the end. It wouldn’t lift or bend. And I had numbness in my left thumb. But the OB said it was normal so I went with it. This time, the hyperemesis is kicking my booty.

  11. I had trigger fingers later in my pregnancy where my fingers would catch or “trigger” when I tried to straighten them. It was only for a little bit in the mornings but it was different. My big time weirdo thing is that I lost my hearing in my left ear. The doctors don’t really know what causes it and it can happen at anytime but it is seen in pregnancy too. Took some steroids to try and treat it but still gone to this day. 🙂

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