Wednesday, March 4, 2015

20th Week Update Blog

I don't know what this post should be called. A look into my highly in inefficient coping mechanisms due to (potentially) life altering medical situations? Something like that.

So, last week we learned that we are having a boy. Yay, a boy. Now lets move on to what's been making me hyperventilate for the past few days. During the ultrasound the technician discovered I have marginal placenta previa. What is that? You are as clueless as me? Well, it means that my placenta is to close to my cervix. A normal placenta (according to my goggling) is supposed to be halfway between the top of your uterus and the bottom (cervix) at your 20 weeks appointment.

I have grade two placenta previa right now, categorized as minor.

This is scary because I remember them saying at my first ultrasound in my first trimester that my placenta was fine. Which means it has moved down, not up like a normal...person. Why can't I ever be a normal person?!

Anyway, I wish someone had told me I was as a higher risk for placenta previa, due to the multiple miscarriages I've had. The other factors that put you at risk are being over 35 (I'm not) having had a c-section in a previous pregnancy (I haven't) and smoking and drugs (never). So perhaps I wasn't that high of a risk. But I wish someone had mentioned this. Maybe. I don't know.

It's never happened to anyone I know. Don't people always say that? But yeah.

Anyway, I have another ultrasound in 8 weeks to find out if my uterus grows correctly and pushes my placenta up. (the placenta doesn't actually move...but my uterus grows and this can change where it happens to be) There are three things that can happen at the next ultrasound.
  • If it moves up, I'm okay. I will have another ultrasound before delivery to make sure it didn't move back, depending on how far my uterus has pushed it to make sure I can go ahead with my vaginal delivery. This would be the best option.
  • It might stay in the same place. This means I would have to wait another 8 weeks, putting me at 36 weeks gestation--and I would have to check again. If it doesn't move I'll have a low risk c-section close to my due date.
  • It might go lower. This would put me basically into a full placenta previa. I would need to have a c-section before going into labor, and could have other complications like bleeding and needing to be hospitalized.
I am terrified of surgery and needles. Absolutely stone cold terrified. A c-section is basically my worst fear. I don't even know if I will need one yet (but they were pretty sure I might, because of how it has grown lower since the first ultrasound) but after I learned about this I basically cried. All day.

And the next day. I honestly don't know what I will do if I have to have a c-section. I've researched and written a birth plan for my dream birth (totally natural) and now I'm going to write one for a c-section because I want to be prepared and informed. But the thought of having one fills me with fear and terror and makes me want to run away and hide in a corner but I can't because this baby boy has to come out somehow, and I would like to live to see him. But instead of looking forward to meeting him I feel like I'm carrying a ticking time bomb.

Anyway, please don't leave me a comment about how I should "just be happy about having a healthy baby". I am very happy about having a healthy baby. I am not happy about having major surgery and a c-section that requires needles, antibodies, pain medication, increased risk of failing at breastfeeding, harder recovery, increased risk of hormone imbalance, and more expensive bills. Oh, and also increased risk of me dying. Because placenta previa is very serious when it is fully covering your cervix at stage 4. This thing I'm going through isn't really about my baby. He will be okay. He has my husband to take care of him, and I WILL be bringing organic formula to the hospital in case it is needed. It's kinda about me. And my dreams of me birthing my baby myself drying up before my eyes. Of being the first one to see him. The first one to hold him.

Oh, and did I mention that you can't have sex when you are diagnosed with any stage of placenta previa?

Well now you know. I would love some prayers on this issue, that God's will is done and that I am able to cope with whatever is necessary. Because I know I'm being melodramatic. Help.


Elizabeth Ewing said...

I feel like this explains a lot. And it's amazing that you're having a boy! Sounds like this is something doctors have seen before and can walk you through things when the time comes. I'll be praying that your wishes on birth come through for you. It might be helpful if you ask staff from your church to be praying with you every week. I've made appointments with my pastors in the middle of the week several times this year. That alone has made a huge difference for my anxiety. Much love to you!

Brita Long said...

*hugs* I will keep you, your husband, and your boy-to-be in my prayers. If anyone deserves a happy and healthy pregnancy, it's you. xoxo

Brittany Arpke Meng said...

Carolynn, if you ever want to get together and talk, I can share my pregnancy complications, c-section story, breastfeeding after c-section story, and anything else you would like to ask! Thinking of and praying for you. :)

Carolynn said...

wow, I didn't think about that! We just joined the church last week. I've never been a member of a church so it was super fun and interesting experience to be interviewed :P Thanks for the suggestion! I've been contemplating counseling.

Quinault Squatting Bear said...

Marginal previa almost always moves up as the uterus grows. I've had it during past pregnancies. Did your doctor put you on pelvic rest, or did you decide to do so because of reading things on Dr. Google. Unless you have been bleeding, or other factors, you are virtually never put on pelvic rest with a minor marginal previa. Partial previa, or complete previa require special care. Marginal just means that your placenta is within a certain distance of the cervix. As your uterus stretches, there is a high likelihood that your placenta will move out of that area around the cervix, and you will be just fine. Many doctors and ultrasound techs don't even tell the mother when they have marginal previa precisely because it scares them without cause. I know it scared me when i heard it, and I wasn't a first time mother!

Carolynn said...

My doctor said no sex. There is no way in crazy town I would suggest that on my own!! She said I could still swim though. They said it was a fair chance that anything could happen. I googled a lot and saw that a lot of people's did move, but some didn't. I do hope mine does and I feel more positive about it now! I was just really scared when I heard it. I have not had any bleeding but I have had cramps. No idea if that is related but I did tell my doctor!

Quinault Squatting Bear said...

Oh, I've known plenty of women that put themselves on pelvic rest because they were just so scared. It is a relatively normal reaction when you have experienced pregnancy loss.

In practice, they should do a repeat ultrasound to check position of the placenta a 6-ish weeks after detecting the marginal placenta. Don't be shy about asking for one if they don't offer. A lot of doctors seem to forget that some women actually *want* to have sex when they are pregnant. ;) I didn't know until recently that sex can mess up a routine protein/creatinine urine test. The doctors just assumed I wasn't having sex, so they didn't account for how it can effect the test and didn't ask.