Sunday, 16 March 2014

Anthea’s Story - Placenta Accreta.

Celebrating My lovelies first birthday giving back. 
We had been trying for a baby for some time. I had waited a long time before we started trying. There was always something that had to be completed first. Finally in May 2012 we were pregnant with our first baby.  I remember I was at a wedding – a Greek wedding – it was a beautiful day and the Great-Grandma of the Bride said  something to me in Greek. I had no idea what she said. Later I was told that she said I was with child. Naturally that night I did the pee on a stick, I nervously waited and yelled out to my husband to tell him the news! I was roughly all of 5 weeks pregnant. 

At 6 weeks we confirmed with my GP that we were in fact pregnant. That night I had my first bleed. I remember curling up in a ball crying on the floor as my husband was on the phone to Health Direct. I thought I had lost the baby. We spent the night in the hospital being told there was nothing we could do but wait. On the following Monday it was confirmed that the pregnancy was still in fact viable but there was no guarantee that we would not have bleeding again.

At 7, 8, 10, 14 & 16 weeks we had more bleeding. Every time my heart sank a little more but I never gave up. I wrote notes to our little baby every time it happened asking this little being to just hold on. It was figured out at 8wks by my OB that there had been two babies but one obviously never developed. I will never forget how I felt once my OB told me that we had lost a twin. It was an answer to the bleeding but the sadness of what could have been never leaves me.

The remainder of my pregnancy was deemed normal. I was scanned at every appointment and everything had gone well. I was eating healthy, keeping fit and enjoying being pregnant. I had no further bleeds and the 20 week scan was all clear. Nothing unusual. Just a normal first baby. I worked until 36 weeks and enjoyed almost 6 weeks of doing as little as possible. In fact I went well past my due date to the point that I was induced.

On the 25th of Jan 2013 I had a wonderful 5 hour labour once my waters were broken. I used gas until 9cm dilated and then the Epidural had kicked in. Thank god for the Epi is all I can say. My baby had crowned and decided to not only move slightly transverse but also twist her shoulders. She was delivered via Ventouse with the help of an episiotomy. Once she was delivered (my husband had to even help push my stomach to get her out!) they immediately wanted to deliver the placenta and placed my baby on my chest. Oh that was amazing – it just took my breath away. Then things were not sounding great, although the Epi took away most of the feeling – I could feel a gushing sensation and thought there was no way I could be peeing as I had assistance there as well.

Then I could hear my OB saying the placenta was not fully coming out and that he had to manually go in and remove it. Then all of a sudden I remember hearing my OB calling for Code Blue and telling everyone to get in there. My baby was taken off of me and they were jabbing me with needles left right & centre. My husband watched the entire thing but stayed and held my hand asking me to just keep squeezing his hand. I switched off to everything else that I could and just remember trying to squeeze his hand so he knew that I was going to be OK. Code Green (I think) was also called – from what I understand this meant get the states Blood Supply on alert.

I was rushed out of the Delivery Suite with a Team of Drs fussing over me. I remember getting to a door way and they had to slam the stirrups down and hold my legs up to get the bed through. Then I remember the lights on the ceiling and feeling like everything was so fast. It was, they were rushing me straight to Theatre. They say you see the bright lights when you are close to death and I know what this means now.

It was a complete shock to everyone, there was no inclination that this was going to happen. It certainly gave my OB a massive fright. Theatre was around 3 hours I think and they did the same surgery twice after I started bleeding again. They had to basically pack & re-inflate my uterus so that my body thought I was still pregnant. I had a surgical balloon and so much packing to help everything and control the bleeding.

My OB was 5 mins away from considering a hysterectomy but the bleeding managed to slow due to Factor VIII blood product being administered to me. If a hysterectomy was what he had to do to save my life I would not have cared. I had over 8 litres of blood transfused and that does not include Plasma, Platelets and any other blood products. I was put into an Induced Coma and on the respirator in effort for my body to deal with the shock. Then I was transferred to CCU and it was just watch and see. Obviously I had no idea what had happened.

My husband was advised that I would be on the respirator for at least 5 days and that there may need to be further discussions if I was not responsive. I must have decided I was not going to wait that long to see my baby girl and by hell did I put up a fight. Just over a couple of days later I was able to breathe on my own, although I still had oxygen to help. I woke up and had every limb attached to some kind of machine, be it a monitor, drip or god knows what else – it was on me. I could not move and was very puffy from all of the fluids that were being pumped back into me. It was the ultimate detox. My husband waited until I was able to talk again. Once I could, we announced our little girl’s name – Vivienne Quorra Childs. Vivienne means lively and Quorra means heart. She is a lively heart Childs.

I did what I was told, I was patient and I was positive. I managed to only cry once, because I overheard the nurse saying they would not bring my baby down. I had to be in CCU – my family was on the edge and not coping very well. If I could prove to them that I could fight this, then they would cope with the trauma of it all better. My mum did not leave my side the entire time; she was focused on her daughter so my husband could be focused on his. I made a remarkable recovery – one they did not expect. When I asked for my baby, to try feed her, they prepared me that my milk may never come in. I didn’t care – it was my only way that I could bond with her. I thought that just the motion of skin to skin would keep me fighting. Again, I proved them wrong and I am still breast feeding my little girl now at almost 13 months old.

I was lucky - I still have my uterus intact and after further surgery in May 2013 - by OB is hopeful that another child is definitely a possibility. It is just up to us to decide if we want to go down this path again, even though it would be managed next time around.

Today, the 20th of February 2014 was the day I was allowed to give back. For the first time ever I made a Blood Donation. It is part of my road to recovery mentally. There is still a journey to go with that but I will get there.

Placenta Accreta was a very small article I read about in my baby book - I never thought it would happen to me.

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