Monday, 12 May 2014

Jess's story with Grade 4 Placenta Previa

My fourth pregnancy (my son was born when i was 26) was smooth sailing until 20 weeks. I had no morning sickness, no bleeds nothing. After my third pregnancy i thought i had got off lightly. Then the 20 week ultrasound said i had placenta previa. By 23 weeks I had big bleeds.   
at 31 weeks I went to my check up with my ob, there i had a bleed in the waiting room and contractions. The ob and head ob (who later became my ob) decided it was safer for me to be admitted. I had steroid injections.  I remember ringing  hubby scared,  i was alone, being told all this information and everything seemed overwhelming. 

The head Ob set me the mini goal of reaching 34 weeks. I couldn't go home. I was having too many bleeds. No drs or midwives were allowed to touch my stomach for fundal height measurements, the only time my stomach got touched was by the head OB or for  the monitor straps to be put on.  I was stuck in hospital . 

Hubby had to take time off work to care for our older 3 boys. Every day that passed made me cheer. It was one day closer to my goal.  34 weeks would mean my baby wouldn't need to go to melbourne.  I was too unstable to go to the melb hospital while still pregnant.  Once I reached 34 weeks (after being in hospital for now 3 weeks) the OB hi5'ed me . 

I had monitoring after every bleed to check how my baby was going. I was told if i got a big bleed or  had any further regular contractions  i would be taken down to have an emergency csection then and there.   I spent a night in birth suite being monitored once. being wheeled in  and seeing all the IV stuff ready for me  made me burst into tears. I texted hubby who knew to be on standby for a call from the hospital just in case.  I watched tv and read a few magazines, the monitor tracking all my contractions. As the contractions stopped after being given medications I was whisked back to my ward room.  I would be back in birth suite at 35 weeks. Again, monitored and then eventually sent back to my room. 

I had an ultrasound at 36 weeks to do a final check on bub and placenta. The ultrasound showed bub would be on the small side of average, and he was breech.  The night before my csection a midwife came and chatted to me and watched tv shows with me, a lot of the ward staff had grown fond of as i never whinged.  

the day of my csection, i was so anxious. I tried putting on a brave face. I'd never had a csection before. It was all new to me. My ob had agreed to follow my birth plan that had delayed clamping in it, and what i wanted to happen if i was separated from my baby.  As soon as I was in the prep room of the theatre I burst into tears. Hubby tried to reassure me it was ok etc, but I recall telling him it wasn't ok. 

then the spinal block attempts started, first attempt failed. I cried.  then attempt 2 failed  and I started to freak out, i knew if the next one failed It was GA for me.  Attempt 3 worked. but that was with hubby holding one hand , an anesthesiologist holding the other and a midwife talking to me all trying to keep me calm.  I have a history of anxiety attacks, they wanted to avoid that happening.
Once the csection started, the anesthesiologist showed me that i couldn't feel below my breasts by holding an ice block along my body.  Lots of IV's and tubes were in my arms. One was measuring my BP and pulse.  I recall the anesthesiologist saying " can you feel anything? its started now" and I said " oh really? i thought i'd get a count down or something "   my baby was out within 15 mins of the csection. 
A healthy baby boy.  He was 48cm and 8lb 2oz, everyone said he was a good size for a 37 weeker.  Then , the Ob turned his attention to me, the midwife ushered hubby to come with her to recovery room to do measurements etc, i knew she was following my birth plan  and it meant something was going bad.  Then I blacked out.  I came too with the anesthesiologist talking to me and saying "stay with me jess"  and  i recall hearing  voices asking how much bags of blood was on stand by.

I told the anesthesiologist as he sat next to me, i felt dizzy and sleepy , he told me to stay awake and it would be ok.  after 45 min of entering the operating room, i was stitched up and in the recovery room.  I finally got to hold my baby.  All my fears and anxiety over how scary the csection would be etc vanished.  It turned out , that hubby was sent out as soon as my PPH started  and he was sent out as a precaution in case it went really bad.  Hubby wasn't even aware that I had requested he be kept with our baby at all times. 

Our son didn't require SCN or NICU.  He took to the breast within 20 mins. and He breastfed all the way back to the ward from recovery room. 

Alistair Ryan
48cm 8lb 2oz


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