So this week has brought an interesting turn of events. Not with Tera for once, but with my pregnancy with our second little girl. When I was diagnosed at 20 weeks with complete placenta previa, I was told that there was very little chance that it would correct itself and to just plan for a c-section at 36.5 weeks. So we did. We wrapped our minds around the fact that this little girl would be earlier than expected, I had to make accommodations at work because it meant I wouldn’t be able to start the school year, and I had to come to grips with the fact that the one part of my first pregnancy that I actually enjoyed, and yes this sounds very odd to many women, actually giving birth, wasn't going to happen the same way. I will grant you that I had a very easy, very fast delivery so I know I don’t have much to complain about. But now I was having to accept that I wouldn’t be able to experience that again. I was going to have to have a c-section for the safety of myself and that of the baby.
On top of the delivery differences, I also had to understand that the risk for bleeding at any time was increased. I was very lucky for a while and had absolutely no issues, until Sunday night.
Sunday night I had to get up with Tera during the thunderstorm, as she has developed an unfortunate fear of them at night, and when I thought she was back asleep, I stopped to go to the bathroom before heading back to bed; and that’s when I realized what was happening. Since it was the first time, Tom and I weren’t sure whether or not to call the doctor right away, but when Tom got up with Tera again, I decided I shouldn’t wait.
When I talked to the doctor on call, she told me I needed to come right to the hospital. So we called Tom’s parents to come over at 12:30 at night in the middle of a thunderstorm to stay with Tera while we headed to the hospital.
It was pretty empty in the Labor and Delivery ward at the hospital and I had a great nurse who checked mine and the baby’s vitals and reassured me that this was very normal with placenta previa. The doctor came in shortly after and told me they would be admitting me overnight for observation and that we would most likely go home in the morning. I told her that I had an ultrasound scheduled for Wednesday to check on the progression of the placenta previa and she said as long as I was there, she would try and get it moved up. We were able to get small amounts of sleep once we had a room and the next morning the nurse told us that my ultrasound had been rescheduled for 12:30 that day. While we were bummed that we would be stuck there a while longer, at least we would be able to see what was going on.
During the ultrasound they discovered two things that kind of baffled everyone. First, the complete placenta previa that was highly unlikely to move, had moved! Even the technicians were shocked. But then they continued to look through everything and were a little more confused. Upon further inspection, it appeared that there are in fact two lobes of the placenta that are connected by a blood vessel, which is preventing the baby’s exit and therefore, creating almost the same situation as the placenta previa. But now it’s called a vasa previa. It’s a different set of circumstances internally, but really it means the same thing for me. I still have to have a c-section and it will still have to be early. I am on a more restricted physical regimen that means no exercise other than basic caring of Tera and walking where I need to go. Also, it seems that there is a slightly increased chance that this could mean an earlier delivery depending on how things progress so I had to get two steroid shots to help the baby’s lungs develop faster in case that has to happen.
So I went from a fairly unlikely situation of having a complete placenta previa resolve, to having a slightly less common condition of vasa previa. The doctor actually suggested (jokingly) that they should study me. Because I’ve always strived to be a medical anomaly…
So that’s where everything is right now. I’ll see my actual doctor next Thursday and I’ll have to get ultrasounds every three weeks from now until the end to see how the baby is growing and to make sure I’m not approaching early labor. And at this point, nine weeks from this past Monday she will be here…
In the meantime, I have to try and adjust to not overdoing it and feeling kind of useless and frustrated with the physical limitations. I’m really not good at not doing anything, however, I know that it’s in the best interest of both my health and the baby’s. I suppose I should look at it as perhaps the last time for a while that I’ll be forced to take it easy, which still isn’t easy with an overactive three year old with special needs, but I hate having to ask others for help and I hate feeling like I can’t contribute to basic things around the house. And I really hate that more will fall on Tom now even though I know he’s okay with it given the circumstances.
But as always, we will get through this like everything else and in what will be at most nine weeks from now, we’ll be able to hold our newest little girl and revel in seeing her big sister’s face light up when she gets to hold and kiss her new little sister.