Veralyn’s story

A mom-to-be talks about her diagnosis: Deep vein thrombosis.
Pregnant patient
Veralyn Pedersen experienced deep vein thrombosis while pregnant with her first child. She shares her first-person account here. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

In a recent post, I wrote about deep vein thrombosis in pregnancy. This time, I asked a patient with this diagnosis to share her experience.

Meet Veralyn Pedersen. She is currently 38 weeks and awaiting the birth of her new daughter.

My pregnancy and DVT

This was my first pregnancy and I was about 30 weeks pregnant when I found out I had a clot.

It all began on a Monday. I started to experience pain in my left groin area. I wasn’t too concerned about it since I thought it must be round ligament pain, which is common in pregnancy.

After a few days went by, it was harder to walk because the pain was increasing. A few times I had to ask my husband to help me to the bathroom, since I couldn’t put any weight on my left leg. It hurt to lay down because I was stretching that groin area.

On Thursday I was running errands, and by the evening I noticed my left leg started swelling. Again, I thought, this must be normal in pregnancy and I can just put ice packs on my leg.

But, by Friday evening, my left leg was all swollen and red. I called the obstetrician on call and explained my symptoms. She told me to come in right away.

I started to feel nervous and was praying it wasn’t anything too serious. I had an ultrasound of my left leg and they found a clot. The doctor asked if I had any shortness of breath. I did notice there was a little tightening in my lungs.

They did a CAT scan of my lungs and found a tiny clot.

They told me I would have to give myself a shot called Lovenox, a blood thinner, twice a day. I was scared I would do it wrong, but after a few times of watching the nurse, I relaxed.

I had to pinch the side of my stomach and inject the shot. It’s a type of shot that is absorbed through fatty tissue. The doctors told me it was rare in my case to see a clot—I wasn’t having twins, I wasn’t overweight or obese, and there wasn’t any history of clots in my family.

The doctors also did a stress test and ultrasound on the baby to see if she was all right. She was completely fine!

Sunday I finally left the hospital and noticed my leg wasn’t in much pain and the swelling was going down. It’s amazing within a week of how intense this became. I’m glad we caught it before it could do any more harm.

Did you experience deep vein thrombosis during pregnancy? Share your story in the comments below.

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Comments (4)

  • I had a huge DVT in my left leg when I was 20. I wasn’t pregnant, but I developed the clot due to May Thurner Syndrome. It’s a rare disease that is typically found when a woman is pregnant. Thankfully, there is a cure! It’s an anatomy defect that is corrected through the placement of a stent. Could you possibly have MTS? I wish you all the best in your pregnancy!

  • I gave myself shots twice a day thru out 2 of my 7 pregnancies. I had 2 children and then miscarried 3 babies before finding out I had Factor V Leyden. Shots during my last 2 pregnancies helped me carry my 2 boys to full term. I charish all of my kids and especially my last two. Without doctors finding out my blood disorder I wouldn’t have my two youngest.

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