Placenta previa can go jump
It is no friend of mine.
Where do I start.
Placenta previa, is when the placenta is positioned over or very close next to the cervix. It’s main symptom is unexpected, pain free bleeding of unpredictable amounts. Some women with Placenta Previa (PP) never bleed. Some bleed on and off through their entire pregnancy. Unless the placenta moves away from the cervix by at least 2-3cm, women with PP need to have a C-section to safely deliver their babies. Even then, there is a high risk of excessive bleeding with some women also requiring hysterectomy.
Try enjoying your pregnancy with that hanging over your head.
Try feeling grateful when you’ve been in hospital away from your family and child for weeks on end.
I have been in hospital now for 3 weeks. I am 36 weeks pregnant and am waiting for a booked c-section in 10 days time. I have had 4 bleeds, with 10 days since my last bleed.
Last night I listened to a woman go into labour in the room next to me. Her body was doing what my body did with our daughter. It was really hard to listen to her. This time around, I’m not given the option or the chance for my body to do what I know it can do. And that makes me really sad. And jealous. And a whole lot of fed up.
The Good, The Bad, The Heartbreaking
The title of the post is the good, the bad and the heartbreaking. So let’s start with some good.
What have been the good things to come out of this experience of placenta previa so far?
- 3 days before my first bleed, my daughter weaned from breastfeeding. It was a really gentle, loving transition. I truly believe my body knew what was ahead, and suddenly breastfeeding became hugely painful. By the time I ended up in hospital overnight (my first night away from my daughter), she was able to fall asleep without needing mummy milk. She was just over 2 year old when she weaned. Our breastfeeding relationship is something I am so very proud of. We over came poor latch, lip tie, blocked ducts, a breast abscess (that’s a whole other story!), frequent night wakings, return to work and feeding aversion. Go us!
- Being in hospital on my own has given me time to rest and reflect. At home I was hugely anxious, not sleeping well at all and would cry at the drop of a hat. So yes I am away from my family but I feel safe here. And thank goodness I live in an amazing country with amazing free health care. So incredibly grateful.
- Community. I have met some amazingly strong and supportive women who are going through or have been through placenta previa too. They get it, and for their support and friendship I am eternally grateful.
- Knowing how loved my family is. Our friends and family have been beyond amazing in providing love, support, company, food and anything else we need to get through. To everyone who has visited me, fed me, fed my family, looked after my daughter, looked after my husband, prayed and hoped for us. Thank you, a million times over. You all make the days much brighter and happier.
- Seeing the strength and resilience of my husband and daughter. They have found their own rhythm and it is wonderful to know they are okay. And yes, the house is much tidier with me not there….
- On a sillier note, as a mother of a toddler it’s the little things like being able to wee on my own, shower on my own, have food brought to me on a platter (albeit a beige plastic one) 3 times a day. I also haven’t done the dishes or any laundry for 3 weeks. For this I am grateful. I also get a little tub of tinned peaches after dinner. This is just a bit exciting for me. Sad I know.
- Having a bed with a remote. Bed goes up. Bed goes down.
- Being on edge, waiting for a bleed. Every. Single. Day.
- Being scared to do things in case it causes a bleed.
- No sex. Except the doctors call it “pelvic rest”. Some girlfriends think this is a brilliant idea and want to see their doctors for a medical certificate to give to their husbands.
- Never knowing if when you do bleed, will it be just a few drops or will you leave puddles of blood on the floor (this has been some women’s experience).
- The risk of your baby being born early.
- A centimetre or two being responsible for turning everyone’s life upside down at the drop of a hat. One moment you’re at home and getting your munchkin ready for bed. The next you’re in hospital until delivery day.
- Eating hospital food every day.
- Wearing compression stockings. Hot, so hot.
- Having bloods taken every 3 days in case I need a transfusion. Woo. I hate needles.
- Having to share space with strangers. The first few nights I was in a room with 3 other women. The a room with one other person. And now I am in a luxurious single room. But as an adult, learning to sleep with a stranger in the room is difficult. As is being comfortable doing a poo with them in the room!
And the heartbreaking.
- I miss my daughter like crazy. She reads me a story every night over the phone before she goes to bed. She comes and visits me every second day and we curl up on my bed together to draw, paint or watch movies. It breaks my heart when she says “Mummy lives at the hospital”. I also feel sad that these are the last days of her being the only centre of our world. Mummy and Possum time isn’t the same. I can’t wait to get home to her, but it will be so very different.
- I miss my husband. This is probably the last time I will be pregnant and we are apart. He doesn’t have to share his space with a heavily pregnant woman at home. He doesn’t get to see my belly grow every day. And that’s just really shitty. We also don’t have any time together just the two of us.
- I miss being a parent. I got to go out on gate leave yesterday morning and realised it had been 3 weeks since I had to help my daughter into her car seat. She can now get into it all by herself and just needs someone to do the buckle. She also asked to go to the potty the other day. She can now take her pants on and off herself too. I am missing it. To all the mums and dads that have to work long hours, go on deployment, or are in hospital too, I am so sorry you miss things with your kids. It’s crap.
- I won’t get to birth. Possum was born at 7:30am on a Saturday morning after a 14 hours drug free labour. That experience is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. I assumed, when we fell pregnant again, that it would all be smooth sailing. Not to be, sadly. I know what my body is capable of, but it’s not allowed to do it. Me going into labour is the opposite of what we want to happen. It’s a strange and heartbreaking headspace to be in. Tonight I wrote our birth preferences for the c-section and hopefully all goes smoothly. I am beyond grateful that we live in a time and place where we know that I have placenta previa and we have the resources to care for bub and myself safely. So grateful.
So that’s where we are at the moment. My life and times with placenta previa. The good, the bad and the heartbreaking.
Have you had to go through something similar? I’d love to hear your story. x
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