It’s amazing how our priorities change as circumstances change. Last week, my most heartfelt prayer was that my placenta would move up and I could have the natural birth experience I wanted. Last Friday, as we rushed to the hospital, my prayer was for safety. “Just please keep him safe. Keep me safe. Just stop the bleeding and let everything be OK.” The non rushed actions of the hospital staff reassured us that the situation was not an emergency. As hours and then days passed in the hospital without a decision one way or the other, the prayer was to be able to go home. But what are our priorities really? When it comes right down to it, it’s still safety – safety and time. While I could go home and do my bed rest there, worst case scenario is 10 minutes. Just 10 minutes to get the baby out if my placenta ruptures before he suffocates. Aside from the clear danger to the baby, the severe blood lose for the mother carries its own set of risks. With a 30 minute drive from home to hospital, it was a no brainer. You don’t risk the life of your child if you have the choice and resources for it to be otherwise.
What I have is unpreventable and untreatable. It’s called Placenta Previa. It is when the placenta implants low within the uterus and blocks the cervix. It’s not uncommon, but most placentas migrate over time as the uterus grows and it is not an issue. Mine hasn’t and to top it all off, it is a complete previa condition. My placenta is essentially capping the cervix. Not only would a vaginal birth be impossible (he would have to literally push through the placenta to be born), but the position of the placenta is incredibly vulnerable to tearing. Any changes / growth of the uterus has the potential to tear and – worse case scenario – rupture the placenta. There is no way to move the placenta and no way to know what action may cause a tear. When I bled Friday, I was sitting down and opened the sliding door to our dessert refrigerator.
So . . . here I am – on hospital bed rest for three weeks. In three weeks, I will be 36 weeks along. We’ll test his lungs (the fun belly button shot) and if they are developed, schedule a C-section before any early labor signs kick in and instantly tear the placenta forcing an emergency C-section. We’ve had the steroid shots to jump start Baby’s lung development. Everything has been done to safe guard us both.
It’s just a waiting game.