So, a few weeks back I mentioned that there were a few complications with my pregnancy that put me in a high-risk category. At the time I really thought that nothing would come of it and the doctors were just having us take the necessary precautions “just in case” so I didn’t really go into any kind of explanation about what the complication was. I thought I’d take a minute now to explain to y’all what the complication is. Just a little warning before reading on: this could be boring for some and TMI for others. Just saying.
I have a condition called placenta previa, which I’m sure some of you have heard of and some of you may have even experienced considering that it occurs to 1 in every 200 pregnancies. Instead of tyring to explain in my own words what this means and possibly mess it up I will just quote BabyCenter.com.
“If you have placenta previa, it means that your placenta is lying unusually low in your uterus, next to or covering your cervix. The placenta is the pancake-shaped organ – normally located near the top of the uterus – that supplies your baby with nutrients through the umbilical cord.
If you’re found to have placenta previa early in pregnancy, it’s not usually considered a problem. But if the placenta is still close to the cervix later in pregnancy, it can cause bleeding, which can lead to other complications and may mean that you’ll need to deliver early. If you have placenta previa when it’s time to deliver your baby, you’ll need to have a cesarean section.”
Usually this condition is diagnosed at the 20 week scan and quite often resolves itself as pregnancy progresses. Unfortunately, mine did not. My placenta has been very stubborn and not at all cooperative. Since being told that I had this condition I have been monitored a little more closely than normal, more scans, more doctors appointments, etc. At 30 weeks we discovered that the problem had not resolved itself, but was, in fact, more complicated than originally thought, hence the no travel restriction.
There are four stages of placenta previa, 1 being minor, 4 being major. I, of course, have stage 4. Nice. Anyhow, the risks are mostly to me and not the baby. Basically, with placenta previa, as the uterus grows the placenta starts to stretch across the cervix and can tear which can result in bleeding. Sometime it is just spotting, but other times it can be a really big bleed and if not stopped right away can be deadly. The doctors gave us all the gorey details and worst case scenarios just to prepare us, but I really thought that I would be just fine and the only negative that I would experience would be having to have a c-section at 38 weeks instead of getting to give birth naturally. Well, as you might have guessed, I was wrong.
A few days ago, my friend Kat and I (who is I have been staying with while Charles is in Melbourne and who is also pregnant) took a tour of the maternity ward at St. Mary’s where we both were to plan to deliver. After that we went shopping for dinner food and then when back to Kat’s flat. Being 35 weeks pregnant and with a bladder the size of a pea I had to use the facilities for the 37 time that day so excused myself for a few minutes. That’s when all the fun began. I sat down to do my business and a few minutes later when I finished I was met with a huge shock. I’m not going to go into great detail, but will just say it wasn’t pretty. I had started to bleed and lost a fair amount of blood and hadn’t even realized it. Luckily Kat was on hand, totally calm when I yelled for her to call the paramedics and helped me get myself situated. The paramedics arrived within 5 minutes of her call and within 30 minutes of the call I was back in the very same room we had just taken a tour of on the labour ward at St. Marys. Kind of ironic, don’t you think.
To sum it all up for you: the bleeding stopped, I was told that if it started again I would have to have the c-section immediately, Charles was called in Melbourne and told to fly home (he arrived 36 hour s later), I was told that I would be camping out on the hospital’s ante-natal ward for the duration of my pregnancy and that I needed to take it easy. So, here I sit, in my hospital bed, my new digs, my blue curtained prison, trying to keep this little baby inside of my for a few more days. The baby is totally healthy and has not been affected at in any way by all the trauma. It seems that his mama is the problem child, not him :o)