We have 4 boys…and one on the way! We have been so excited since we found out we were expecting. I knew right away it was a boy–couldn’t imagine it any other way. We were lucky enough to get confirmation on his sex at just 10 weeks. Being “older” has its perks! So we have been anticipating AJ’s arrival for a while! Our boys have been so excited to have a new guy on the team!
My pregnancy was completely normal, actually smoother than any of my pregnancies. At 18 weeks things changed a bit…. We went in for our anatomy scan, the one where they count fingers and toes, and got some additional news. My placenta appeared “suspicious” (a word that was used from here on out). The ultrasound tech spoke with the doctor and they decided to send me the high risk doctors for additional testing and scanning. My doctor explained that they were concerned that my placenta may have attached too deeply and possibly into the uterus. She was very careful to say that this was rare and they were just being cautious.
I had an appointment set for 20 weeks. During that appointment, we started to hear what would be our new pregnancy vocabulary- placenta, vascular, transfusion, previa, hysterectomy, and accreta. I had done enough preliminary research to know that accreta was an ugly word even though it sounded pretty. The doctors said it was still suspicious and they wanted the doctors who specialized in accreta to examine me. That gave me some hope– we had 3 weeks before we would see the specialist. But a few days later things would change with an unexpected phone call from our regular OB/GYN. They called to bring us in for an appointment. Our OB/GYN explained that she had read the report and was transferring our care to the high risk office. That made things real. Have you ever had a doctor tell you that they don’t think they can care for you? I cried, she cried. Now, we had to face it. This was really happening. Enter: Dr. Google. My husband and I googled our vocabulary words until exhaustion…we were officially scared.
After several appointments with the accreta specialists, they confirmed that it was in fact an accreta as well as a complete previa. Baby AJ w
ould be delivered before 36 weeks and I would most likely have a hysterectomy as soon as he was born. And probably the strangest shift was in the way the doctors treated and spoke to me. They were no longer as interested in AJ. They were confident in his growth and health, all the concern was for my placenta and my health.
So, what do you do? Go to bed and cry, pretend it is not happening, read heartbreaking stories of other women who have had it… My husband and I handled it together, as well as on our own. I joke a lot to handle tough situations, and I told him as long as I can pretend that I am NOT the new series on Discovery Health, I will be fine. He researched and read every medical journal he could find. He read them all the time, without me knowing. He also checked on me in the middle of the night while I slept, every night.
We were entered into an Accreta Clinic with a group of specialized doctors who handled this condition more frequently. By more frequently, I mean they had about 20 accreta patients per year. We asked a lot of questions when we saw the doctors and they made sure we were prepared for what could happen. With previa, yo
u are at a high risk of bleeding, big bleeds. They would quiz us before the end of each appointment about what to do and not to do if I started bleeding. As much as it scared us, it made us feel like we could handle this.
Last Saturday, we had to put our knowledge into action. I started spotting on Saturday afternoon. My husband calmly called the doctor and they told us to come straight in. After an exam, they determined there was no active bleeding but with accreta, any bleeding puts you in the hospital for minimum 72 hours. They gave me steroid shots to get AJ ready in case he had to come earlier than planned. After 72 hours, one of the nurses slipped and let me know that we would not be going home until AJ was born.
Today I am exactly 34 weeks pregnant. We have 11 days until the planned surgery. I will be in the hospital until then. Netflix, Pinterest, Facebook, and online shopping are my new hobbies.