Sunday, 29 June 2014

Stephanie's Story - Placenta Previa and Percreta

Baby Sienna
I fell pregnant with my second child when my son was about 7 months old, I had a c-section when he was born. The second pregnancy wasn't planned but naturally we were very happy. At 25 weeks pregnant I began bleeding I didn't really panic because I bled a little in my first pregnancy. So I rang the hospital and they told me to go in. They decided to keep me in over night because the blood was not stopping it was much like a period. I was scared but once again didn't think a lot of it and was pretty much thinking everything is going to be ok. The bleeding increased in amount over night, and the next morning my OB breaks the news to me that she was moving me to a high risk OB and will be transferred to King Edward Hospital as we may need to be prepared for our baby to come out now. I was in disbelief and I can't tell you how hard my husband and I cried. So off I went to KEMH, bleeding continued and I started passing clots of blood at the end of every bleed cycle. My new OB Craig Pennell (absolute star) broke the news to me that I would need to stay in hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy, this was a shock how could I leave my just turned one year old behind, it was by far the most painful experience of my life being away from him and my husband. Through tests it was then confirmed I had Major Placenta Previa and Placenta Percreta - the worst my OB has ever seen and he deals with this stuff all the time. Oh and I also had a blood disorder ITP my blood was not clotting properly.

Days just turned into nights, I did everything I mentally could to survive my time in hospital. I saw a psychologist, I listened to relaxation music, I journal wrote all my fears. I knew if I was going to survive this that I would come out of it without depression this was my goal! So I was 32 + 6 weeks woke up in the night to go to the toilet and a rush of blood came out, all my worst fears in that moment became a reality and I had to push that emergency button. Not having control of your own body has got to be the most scariest thing in the world I was a ticking time bomb and I just went off! The bleeding ended up stopping but they needed to deliver our girl that day. I had a double epidural in which I had to do with no support only the doctors hands to hold because of contamination reasons, my husband then came into theatre with me. It was like a movie scene doctors EVERYWHERE and machinery everywhere by that point I was screaming in my head I can't do this I don't want this make it stop! But of course it couldn't they had to deliver Sienna straight away because as soon as they cut me I lost 2 litres of blood while awake my poor husband was watching, she came out perfectly beautiful. I had no idea of anything but I started feeling very sick and I remember telling them to put me asleep. My poor husband in a distraught state was taken out with Sienna and told I wasn't going to survive he then had to tell my anxiously waiting family that their daughter/sister had a baby girl but was not going to survive... 

I was in surgery for around 4-5 hrs and lost around 7-8 litres of blood, anything that could go wrong did. They had to pump my main artery to keep the blood flowing to my brain, I had a hysterectomy which I was aware that was more then likely going to happen. My lifeless body was put into ICU and I was under close watch for the next 48 hours as I was at a high risk of having a massive bleed again. Recovery was a struggle I couldn't walk or sit up or stand because I didn't have enough oxygen in my blood so it felt like my body weighed a ton, trying to talk while standing was virtually impossible for me, I just couldn't carry myself after surgery. 

Meeting Sienna properly for the first time was a beautiful moment however I felt so very hopeless I
Our first meeting
didn't feel like a happy mum that just had a baby, I felt like I just had this major surgery but didn't have a baby. I would struggle to get down to the neonatal unit to see her, I was so exhausted I had to prepare myself each time I went down to spend time with her. I had to have a sleep, take pain killers then 30 min later I could see her. But then I couldn't stay with her for too long because I got so tired and weak very quickly. I was released from hospital after 9 days amazingly, Sienna had to stay in hospital for a further 3 weeks so she could learn to feed from a bottle. Going home was very surreal, I laid on my bed that I had missed so much but my mind couldn't work out if I was living reality or if I was really dead, it was very confusing and upsetting.

Even though this experience has been by far the worst emotional and physical pain I have ever endured, it has opened my life up to new possibilities and because of it I found myself and I continue to live a happy life because I was shown just how quickly it could of been over. I use to sit in my pain everyday of the what if's and replay everything, grief was the most important part of my process of healing. Crying like I had never cried before ,thinking about it constantly was so important as it helped me to decide when it was time for me to heal. The decision came on my daughters first birthday. I decided that I could no longer do this to myself anymore, that I wanted to be happy and free in my mind so I made a decision to stop wondering about the what if's, because it almost happened but it didn't I'am here. I have my beautiful family and I have learnt so many valuable lessons that could of taken me a life time to learn.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Sandra's Story - Surviving undiagnosed Accreta

I had a great pregnancy. At approximately 6.30am on the 23rd of October 1992 my water was leaking it didn’t break.  I was over due on my birth they believed as the dates kept changing. We rang the hospital and they said come in as I had Step B.  I had no contractions.  They induced me at the hospital at around 7.30am the process of contractions took a while and they put a heart monitor on my baby’s head.  After a few hours they gave me pethidine as the gas made me sick.  When it came to pushing it didn’t go well the pethidine had run out and they couldn’t give me any more as it was time to push. I pushed for 2 hours and 52 minutes (I read the report) my baby was face up and not moving through the birth canal and his heart rate became a concern. The doctor said I needed forceps and they had to give me a cut to give my baby more room. They got me all ready and I remember the force was so strong when they were pulling that the bed moved away from the wall.  Out came my baby facing me he was a chubby one with heaps of hair, Beautiful.  He was just over 9 pounds and 52 cm long. He was born at 10.52pm. Then that’s when it went downhill.  I remember them pulling on the placenta when all of a sudden I had the worse pain, I remember pleading with them to stop (I didn’t know at the time but my uterus had inverted and they were pushing it back in and it kept coming out with the placenta still attached) at this stage I became very restful, no pain and at peace.  There was a lot of movement in the room and then I remember the lights on the ceiling going fast as I pasted them on the bed.  I had surgery where they said I required 6 pints of blood. They took my uterus and stabilized me. The surgery took all night and into the morning.  The hospital didn’t have an ICU unit so they set me up in a birthing room with a one on one nurse and machines and tubes everywhere.  This was all because of placenta accreta.  Which was not known until I gave birth.  My cut was from my bellybutton to my pubic bone.  My son was taken to a children’s hospital for surgery as he had a small problem too.  He was there for a couple of days. I was in hospital for 2 weeks other complications were surgical infection, Bowel and bladder in shock and not working.  They had to remove some stitches so the infection could weep and intravenous antibiotics. I was still on iron tables when I went home.
Over the next 5 years I still had some problems because of the damage to my tummy.  I had incisional hernia twice which required major repair.  So twice for periods of months I was unable to hold my boy and on the last surgery I slept in an arm chair for 7 weeks.  My son had some minor medical problems which required doctor visits and treatment.

When my son was 8 I returned to school and worked hard and found a new career in working with children with special needs.  My son and I have been through a lot.  I am so proud of the young man that he is.  I now have 3 other boys in my life who also mean the world to me as does my son. I also have a very supportive partner.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Overcomers of Placenta Accreta

The journey to survival is not an easy one, there are many bumps in the roads. We are overcomers! 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Meagan's Story - Placenta Previa and bi-lobed placenta

5 Day old embryo
My first baby boy was born in 2011 via c section and I had an ectopic pregnancy in 2012 which required a D&C and removal of my one working (or not maybe lol) tube.  IVF was to be our only option to conceive. 

I started my IVF journey in November 2012 and discovered I was pregnant in December.  I started bleeding at just 3.5 weeks and was put on modified duties. A scan at 6 weeks showed a happy baby with a strong heartbeat.  I was still spotting and my dr told me to take it easy and continue pelvic rest (which I had been on since 4 weeks).  At 9 weeks I was at work and had a significant bleed and was convinced that I had lost the baby.  An ultrasound showed a happy baby who was growing perfectly.  I did 15 weeks of bed rest and at my 12 week scan I was told I had a placenta previa that was not likely to move.  When I saw my ob he said it was not previa as it was too early to diagnose and told me to just keep taking it easy and see him every 3 weeks.  I continued to spot but continued life as normal.  My 20 week scan showed that my placenta had not moved and was bi-lobed and completely covering my cervix.  The MFM sonographer and my OB both said it was unlikely to resolve.  It also revealed that we were having a little boy. 

At 21 weeks my section was booked for a month before my due date- I would be 35&4.  Just 5 days later I had a bleed.  I will always remember the day as it was our wedding anniversary.  I rang my OB (it was 5pm and he was grocery shopping lol) and he had me go straight to the hospital.  Bub as checked and was happy and I was admitted for  monitoring and spent a week in hospital and another week at home on bed rest.

I saw my OB at 24 weeks and we discussed steroid injections and what to do if I had a massive bleed as I was an hour from hospital.  He prepped me that if I had another bleed I would not be leaving the hospital until baby was born.  I started steroid injections at 30 weeks and had one a week.  At 33 weeks I had another scan with the MFM which showed I still had CPP but no Vasa was detected (we already knew this as OB has a ultrasound machine in his office so we were seeing it every 2-3 weeks).

On 11 July 2013 I arrived at the hospital for my scheduled section, which was to take place in the main theatre.  I met my OB, a special care nurse, the pediatrician, anesthetist and the heap of others who would be there for the birth of my baby.   The anesthetist had blood on standby and discussed that they would let me be awake but would put me under if needed after baby was born.  Hubby was with me and at 9.35am our beautiful baby boy Fletcher James was born weighing 6lb12. 

Baby was taken off to be cleaned up and checked out and I laid there anxiously listening to the sounds of my OB.  After a little while (it seemed like forever) he announced that he was happy.  Placenta had come away easy and bleeding was minimal.  I was taken to recovery while baby was taken to special care for some breathing issues.  
My first feed

Fletcher was put on CPAP and I got to see him on my way back to my room.  It was a shock to see him but the nurses assured me that he was a great size and would be fine.  I was checked every 30 minutes for the first 5 hours and then hourly for the night to monitor bleeding.  I was up early the next morning, showered and off to special care to see my baby. 
Fletcher in his humidcrib

Fletcher was off CPAP within 24 hours, in an open crib day 2 and allowed into my room by day 3 during the day.  We were released together day 6.  My pregnancy was not how I would have planned it but the end result was worth it- Fletcher is perfect!  We have decided that we have two healthy amazing boys so our family is complete but I still question if maybe Fletcher's pregnancy was different we would have had another.