Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Skinny

First I'd like to thank everyone who helped out last week while I was on bed rest. Friends and family brought us food, came over and entertained Jillian/kept me company, helped clean up around the house, kept Jillian, etc. I cannot begin to say how grateful for the help and support we truly are!

So here's the skinny on what's been going on. And where we are. I'm going to first say that if words like cervix and placenta skeeve you out, you should probably stop reading this post now. Consider yourself warned.

Around 16 weeks, I was diagnosed with complete placenta previa, where the placenta covers the cervix. I was given no real instruction or restrictions at this point. At 20 weeks, I had my first bleeding episode. Understandably, I freaked out. I called the doctor, and into the hospital we went. The bleeding stopped and I was put on what I'm calling "light duty"; defined by the docs as "no exercise, nothing in the pelvis". I spotted on and off for about a week and then it stopped.

I've had cervical surveillance sonograms every other week during this pregnancy (as well as my pregnancy with Jillian) because of a surgical procedure that I had five years ago. During the sonograms, I've been anxiously awaiting new that my placenta has moved (well, it doesn't really move, but it moves with the uterus at the uterus grows, and often the previa clears up). Besides the restrictions and potential for additional complications, I've had my heart set on a VBAC since before we even got pregnant. I probably blogged at some point about Jillian's less than ideal birth story, but suffice to say, we came SO close to a vaginal delivery (aka crowning) and then she crashed, I was rendered unconscious with general anesthesia, and then had a c-section. Anyhow. If this placenta stays covering my cervix, a vaginal delivery is out of the question.

Things seemed to go back to "normal" after that first incident. And things felt normal. At no point during any of this have I not felt good physically, which makes it quite hard to remember sometimes that I need to be taking it easy. Any of you who know me well, know that I'm not a "take it easy" kind of person. Seriously, I was scolded at the hospital for walking to the NICU to see Jillian the day after my c-section. I was up and down our townhouse steps doing laundry the fist week home after Jillian's birth.

The weekend before Memorial Day, I started bleeding again. Nothing heavy, and less alarming since I had had an "episode" before. It stopped immediately, and I waited until Monday to call the doctor. I was advised that if it had stopped, to lay low and take it easy. And to CALL if it happened again. No matter what. So call I did, that same week on Wednesday. I had some minimal bleeding, but with what appeared to be fresh looking clots. Into the hospital we went that night around 9pm, toddler in tow.

I was sent home that night around midnight, all bleeding stopped and vitals fine. On bed rest. The next day, I was laying on the couch, being as bed rest-y as I could for a stay at home mom of a two year old. I got up around midday to grab Jillian some lunch, i.e. to put some grapes and cheese on a plate, and felt a gush of something. That has to have been the scariest feeling ever.

I gave Jillian her lunch, and proceeded immediately to the bathroom to find a panty liner soaked with fresh blood. I called the doctor and into the hospital I went again, toddler in tow. At this point, 26 weeks pregnant, and very frustrated and scared, I was starting to melt down. I'm standing at the desk for Labor & Delivery with the lady working there on the phone. And a tired two-year old running up and down the hallway refusing to listen to me. The nicest nurse ever came over to us and started talking to Jillian. She hugged me, got us situated in a room, and took Jillian with her to get cookies and juice. I think I would have lost it right there if it wasn't for her. Turns out she has five kids of her own - clearly she recognized a fellow mom in distress.

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law came and picked up Jillian, who was going down to stay at her Bubbie's house for the long weekend anyway. During the ultrasound that evening, they had a tough time really seeing what the situation was with my placenta, but it appeared that part of it may have broken off and that the majority of it was not only intact, but had begun moving away from my cervix. Quite good news actually. They kept me in the hospital for two nights, mostly as a precaution since I had presented with bleeding two times in 24 hours.

I was released on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend on bed rest "with bathroom privileges". Again, I can't say how appreciative I've been of the help I've gotten around the house and from friends and family.

This week on Monday, I returned to the hospital for a follow up visit with Maternal Fetal Medicine. The good news is that I've not had ANY bleeding since I was in the hospital. The bad news is that from the latest ultrasound, it appears that I still have a complete previa and my placenta hasn't moved one little bit. Which concerns for a couple reasons:
1. if that placenta hasn't moved by 28 weeks (tomorrow), it likely isn't going to move
2. as the baby grows and gets heavier, she'll be putting more pressure downward on my cervix, and therefore on my placenta.
Seems to me like chances of repeat incidents would go up as the baby gets bigger.

I have been taken off bed rest and returned to "light duty". I am going to try and take it easier than I had been. I was given two shots of betamethasone (a steroid) at the hospital to help the baby's lungs develop in the event that I don't carry to term.

So that's the skinny. I'm feeling fine and everything else is great. My vitals have been great all along, the baby's growth is right on, I appear to have lost no amniotic fluid, and I've only gained one pound so far. It's just this placenta/bleeding issue that we're dealing with...UGH.


Party of Nine said...

I know it must be scary, but I also know your Faith is strong. Good luck with the light duty. Hang in there, girl.

Fake Aunt Jen said...

Hi Mel... thanks for the in depth update!! Please call if I can help, ok?! and TAKE IT EASY!! :) :)

Brenna said...

thank goodness for that nurse! you were lucky!
Glad everything is going better...and hope that it stays that way!