I am about 20 weeks pregnant now, so I am already half way through! Unfortunately, I may be more than half way through. I have been diagnosed with placenta previa. “What the heck is that“? I had never heard of it, but apparently my placenta, which is similar to a flat pancake, decided to grow so low in my uterus that it is covering my cervix, blocking the baby’s way out!
About Placenta Previa:
There are 3 types of placenta previa: Normal, where the placenta is too close to the cervix, Marginal, where the placenta is partially covering the cervix, and Complete, the worst of the three, where the cervix is being covered completely.
Well, it just so happens that I have complete placenta previa. In the other two cases, there is a better chance that the placenta will move up as the baby grows and stretches the uterus upward. That chance is much less likely in my condition 🙁
So what happens now? There are a lot of possible risk factors, so I will have to take it easy. Excess strenuous activity could cause the placenta to bleed since it is so close to the cervix.
- Bleeding from a placenta previa occurs when the cervix begins to dialate and disrupts the surrounding blood vessels in the area. Bleeding can be light to severe and requires monitoring.
- Any blood or contractions will require immediate hospitalization. Dependent upon the mothers condition and how far along the baby is, I may be sent home or kept for a long period of time. Some cases require that the baby is delivered immediately, even if he’s still premature.
- If the placenta does not move and clear the baby’s exit path buy the time I am ready to give birth, a cesarean section will be required.
- Most c-sections are scheduled at about 37 weeks to prevent the mother from going into labor naturally, which would cause dialation of the cervix and contracting of the uterus. Once that happens, the placenta will be disrupted and may bleed profusely, risking vast amounts of blood loss to the mother and baby.
- Too much blood loss could lead to premature birth of the baby, high risk of hemhorrage, blood transfusions, hystorectomy, or even death of the baby.
This is all very new and scary to me. What if I have to be hospitalized for weeks at a time to monitor my bleeding? What if I start bleeding next week and have to deliver the baby immediately? I will lose the baby. Now I have to have an ultrasound every month to watch the placenta and it’s progress. Also, I have been told not to exercize, have sex (boo), have pelvic exams, do strenuous house work or anything else that involves possible strain to the pelvic area.
My OB says that most mothers in this situation rarely last through the full term of their pregnancy. Let’s just hope that the placenta moves it’s little flat self out of the way so I can give birth naturally. I have an OB appointment next week, keep your fingers crossed!