So I’m pregnant again! Baby #2 is on it’s way. HIS way. It’s a boy!
It’s no big secret that I kind of hated pregnancy the first time around. No real reason, I just felt fat and tired and gross.
I promised i’d enjoy pregnancy much more this time. PROMISED. And it was all going really well, it was.
Until our 20 week scan.
Which seemed to kind of go well too? Baby was perfect, he was kicking around but also super relaxed, well ‘behaved’ and easy to scan. Perfect baby – tick.
I could tell the sonographer was a little uneasy about something though. She started asking about our first pregnancy and any bleeding? Whether we’d had any miscarriages or other issues. She then began kindly explaining that my placenta is covering my cervix.
‘Most move throughout pregnancy but your won’t’. OK.
She also asked when we were next seeing our midwife and looking back, she seemed uneasy when I said it wasn’t for another 6 weeks. I didn’t think too much of it all, but she said the report would be sent off to the midwife that afternoon and once I had time to start replaying the conversation over in my head, I started to read between the lines a little and realise there was more to her questions.
I called the clinic back around 2 in the afternoon asking about the results (it was a Friday, of course) which they said would be in the ‘app’ by the next morning. Of course I checked said app every 10 minutes from that point onwards. Meanwhile I also texted my midwife to mention the results and she asked me to come in the Monday at 845. I said I wouldn’t be able to as I was heading away that weekend so she booked me in for 845 on the Tuesday.
I woke up Saturday morning and checked in the app again for the results, still nothing. I called my GP to see if the results had come through to them which they hadn’t so of course I spent the weekend continuing to furiously check the app and wonder about what this would mean for the baby and me.
I of course did some googling and whilst the placenta previa (thats what I self diagnosed this to be) didn’t sound great, it really didn’t sound too bad (maybe some bleeding, maybe a 37 week delivery by c-section) so I felt OK-ish.
Monday morning finally comes around and I hesitantly check the app again and the results are in. I start to read them:
Placenta Praevia (as I suspected)… somewhere between a partial and complete covering of the cervix (a grade 3 or 4 out of 4)… and possible placenta accreta?
I’d never heard of accreta before so consulted dr google and let me tell you, it is NOT something you want to be googling.
‘…is a serious condition’ ‘…often results in hysterectomy…’ ‘…potentially life threatening condition’ along with stories from ‘real’ people ‘I survived placenta accreta’ ‘survivors of placenta accreta’.
I texted my midwife again to tell her the full results and she booked me in to see the head of obstetrics, unfortunately not until the WEDNESDAY. How could I possibly wait until then?
I also texted my husband the results of the scan and we decided to discuss once I was home.
I spent the rest of the day cuddling my 2 year old (trying to hide my tears), whilst continuing to read the horrific articles which sent me into a spiralling panic, convinced I was going to die and leave my gorgeous little lady (and this little man I am creating) motherless. I was in an absolute panicked chaos.
I decided to go to work on the Tuesday to ‘take my mind off things’. Whilst it kept me somewhat busy throughout the day I spent a lot of it sipping tea to try and subside and hide my tears and staring blankly at the screen. My GP called me at 1230. She said she’d just read the results and was wondering if I could come in to discuss.
I was sitting in her office by 130.
She explained that due to the position of my placenta, both being so far over the cervix and being posterior it was unlikely it would move enough to have a natural birth and if this was the case it would be a c-section @ 37 weeks. But that a lot of women have significant bleeds prior and depending on baby’s gestation and how bad things are, baby may be delivered earlier than planned.
Plan for the unexpected.
She then explained accreta. Unfortunately, the use of the word in my report ‘accreta’ is used as a ‘blanket’ for three separate types, Accreta, Increta and percreta, which explain the varying degrees of implantation into the the uterus, the muscle wall or right on into other organs.
They’d need to assess further.
I would have another scan and MRI to confirm the accreta and its severity at approx. 26 weeks. Either way, if it was accreta, it would be a very large, very well orchestrated surgery with a room full of people. She promised that the hospital I was at was well equipped for this type of ‘condition’ and that I would be taken care of, she also said their NICU was wonderful and that my baby would most likely be spending some time there.
She was surprised that I had been possibly diagnosed as I had not had any ‘trauma’ to my uterus previously (eg. a C-section, D&C) however said my sonographer was very senior and trusted in the community and that she could clearly see the connection on the ultrasound pictures.
We discussed the need to not have sex, the need to stay close to home / the hospital and not travel, the need to plan for the unexpected, and the likelyhood that I would have a significant bleed and I should make my way immediately to the local hospital.
This was a lot of information to absorb, but she assured me that the doctors would have a number of plans in place prior to having to resort to a hysterectomy and that my fear of dying was really very very very unlikely.
She was so kind and caring and explained both conditions in full detail to me for over 45 minutes. She was honest, frank and realistic but also thoughtful and kind in her delivery.
I met with the hospital the day after who really reiterated the same information, perhaps a little less informative and frank than my GP had, but I was glad to have two opinions / perceptions.
From here, its just a waiting game.