Unfortunately our placenta scan didn't go the way I'd hoped this week. Through the whole pregnancy I've been told our placenta is low lying and that it would need to be checked closer to delivery. Usually the placenta moves upward as the uterus grows, so low lying at 20-weeks isn't usually cause for concern. This week's scan showed that our low lying placenta had an edge covering the cervix. The obstetrician even pointed out the piece of placenta that lifted when we had the edge bleed (antepartum haemorrhage) that was still hanging over the top of the cervix.
Once I'd seen the scan I thought this isn't looking good. Still, we sat down with the obstetrician afterwards and talked through what he could see and what that could mean if we still wanted to proceed a normal delivery. The obstetrician clinically described the result as a minor placenta praevia. He advised that based on how much placenta is covering the cervix there is a chance we could still have an okay normal labour and birth. The placenta might move out of the way as the cervix opens. However, given that we've already had one bleed, it seems more likely that more bleeding will occur and then just how much bleeding seems to become the problem.
The placenta is an organ made up of blood vessels and is designed to transfer blood. So when it is bleeding, it isn't good. The ob also says you don't know if given the bleeding etc, if the uterus won't start to kind of freak out and then the whole placenta could come away. I can't remember the exact clinical descriptions for these things. But the ob says they are genuine dangers for us given our history of miscarriage, having had four D&Cs and having already had a bleed that required hospital admission during this pregnancy.
The obstetrician then said if I asked what he would advise he would advise we have a caesarean. He did say there are still some issues that can occur with the placenta being delivered by caesarean, that my uterus might not contract as well as it should, but from what I can gather, this risk is much less dangerous for me and for baby.
The ob tells us the perfect time to do a caesarean would be 39-weeks gestation, however there is a chance I could go into labour, which he is now very keen for us to avoid. So 38-weeks is next best time. Baby should be fully cooked by then. So we left our appointment with a due date locked in for 11 October 2013 - exactly 38-weeks gestation.We were pretty excited to have a date set and to know exactly when baby will be arriving.
It is a little strange to go from expecting baby around 25 October, to knowing baby will be here on 11 October. Despite my normal, rational thinking, I was hoping if anything baby would be a bit late because of - please don't think less of me - star signs. Mini Matty could alway have been a libra, but his due date was scorpio and late would have guaranteed scorpio. I've known a few libras in my time and my significant ex was a libra - so I'm a little scarred when it comes to male librans. I know I sound crazy. I've even been googling libra horoscope info to try and find out more good things about the sign. Maybe my ex would have been the same if he were a scorpio. Okay - so that's my little bit of crazy. I have to get over it, as mini matty is going to be libran.
When it comes to genuine concerns, I am concerned about the medical procedure. I was much more comfortable with the idea of lots of pain pre-birth and then (hopefully) a relatively quick, simple recovery. I know this isn't the case for all vaginal deliveries. I am now faced with zero pain pre-delivery and a plethora of drugs to help manage pain while I start a lengthy recovery. I'm a sook when it comes to surgical recovery and am all about the really good pain killers. I hope I'll be able to take the awesome painkillers they gave me after my keyhole surgeries - oxycodone is the business! - even if I'm breastfeeding.
Even as I'm writing about all this, I keep thinking, really what does it matter. I know come 11 October we are going to finally have the hard fought for baby we have been dreaming of. Our little family will grow from 2 (+1 furry kid) to 3 (+1 furry kid). I'm sure it is going to be amazing.