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.

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