Thursday, July 02, 2015

What I've been up to. . . placenta previa *and* accreta

I haven't posted much lately.  I will get around to a few things I've been meaning to do - June's Ipsy and Tea Sparrow reviews as well as a Rose Rose haul but today's post is a serious one.  If the formatting looks weird, that's because I've done a copy pasta job with some revision from a message board I post on and, for obvious reasons when you read, am just not up to retelling the whole story again today.

*Warning:  this is really long (that's not a joke).  Also, it might contain triggers for some of you who have also had traumatic births or are nervous about upcoming labours or who cry easily and don't want to right now.  But it has a happy ending :)

So, first things first, Elliott was born on Monday morning as scheduled and he is fantastic.  He was nursing like a champ from the get-go and born at 7lbs, 6oz, screaming his lungs out almost immediately.  For those of you who have followed my story at all, this was a huge relief as this has been a very difficult pregnancy - we thought we lost him at 6.5 weeks only to learn a month a half later that we were still pregnant.  After another scary bleeding episode, I was diagnosed with complete placenta previa - for those unfamiliar, you are lucky!, but it means that the placenta was completely covering my cervix so more bleeding was likely and a c-section would be necessary unless it moved.  After another bleeding episode, I learned a lot about pre-term labour and what would likely happen if I had another bleed (emergency c-section, steroid shots). . . and it scared me a lot.  If you check out some of my earlier blog posts from that time, most of this is in there.

And then, nothing! No more bleeds and everything seemed to be going very well.  Baby was growing appropriately and doing well.  I was making modified bed rest work for me (and our family).  And we reached our scheduled section date.

Although I was nervous, the section went well at first.  My midwife was there for supportive care and stayed with me through the spinal.  She and my husband were by my side as Elliott was born and, after he got checked out, they got him doing skin to skin and he nursed for the first time.

And then things got scary.  It was taking a long time to finish - the entire surgery ended up being over an hour and a half.  The doctors sounded worried.  The nursing students moved from watching the cute baby to watching the surgery - not a good sign.  I started feeling really really cold and tired.  No one was telling us what was going on.  Then my midwife said they were going to give me some blood and I'd start feeling better, which I did (at least physically).  My husband and son had to leave while they finished up.

Afterward, my doctor explained that I had also had undiagnosed placenta accreta - the placenta had attached too aggressively to the uterine wall so it had to be removed in pieces, surgically.  In the process, they had to cut into the muscle and so recovery would be more difficult than with a regular section.  They had given me two units of blood since I lost about 2L during the surgery.  He also warned me that they would have to watch me very closely for a few days and if there was any indication that there was any placenta left behind, I might need a hysterectomy :(

Thankfully, we are both doing well.  My son is thriving and my older son is the greatest big brother.  My doctor is very happy with my recovery and transferred me back to my midwives so it looks like no hysterectomy for me :) Recovery is hard but I don't know what it would be like for a "normal" section to compare.  I am in pain and need to stay on top of my meds but I am home from the hospital, and doing better today than yesterday.  As long as tomorrow keeps being better than today, I am feeling optimistic.

If you've made it this far in the novel that I've written here, thank you for your patience.  What happened to me is very rare. . . but I know I was also very lucky and in capable hands.    Now, to recover and to savour my time with my boys - time I feel blessed to have, given how differently this story could have ended.  I'll still blog here but maybe not often (not that I posted that often to begin with I suppose) and my posts might have a different slant (more parent-y?).  If that's not your cup of tea, there will still be some reviews so feel free to stick around if you like but I understand if there are places better suited to your tastes.  If that appeals to you, see you around :)

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