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My birth experience - Placenta Previa - Emergency Caesarian

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#1 Wishing2011

Posted 08 September 2013 - 02:51 PM

My birth experience was a little bit traumatic. But it ended well and the hospital staff did a great job of keeping me as calm as they could and I knew I was in the best hands. I refused to even watch the video that my husband recorded of our little girl being born for the first week because it bought back the vivid memory of how it all started that morning. At the time I honestly thought things were not going to end well...

So I was well aware that I had placenta previa (grade 4). My placenta was anterior and completely covering the cervix. We had been watching it the whole pregnancy with the Ob and by about week 34-36 he said it just isn't going to move like they usually do so it looks like we'll be having a caesarian. He spoke to us about the risks and drew us pictures to explain what I had and why I was considered a high risk patient but some of the outcomes he was telling us about were very rare and he told us not to be concerned he was just telling us how he would approach things if my bleeding would not stop during the operation. I'm really glad he went through it, not just for me but for my husband as it made us both understand what was going on and made us realise that I needed to stay close to hospital in those final few weeks.

On top of that I was on blood thinners as I have some nasty elevated antibodies. So up until 36 weeks I was on daily injections of Clexane. From 36 weeks onwards I was put on aspirin. I did question coming off it but it was one of those things where the benefit of being on the medication far outweighed the risks associated with it.

We were scheduled for an elective caesarian at exactly 39 weeks. I was feeling great and had no signs of anything happening. I hadn't experienced any bleeding at all that I had heard of with placenta previa but I was strongly advised by my Ob to stay close to the hospital in the last few weeks as anything could happen.

Very early on the morning of the day we were scheduled for our caesarian (about 430am) I woke up to go to the bathroom. I had a drink of water while up. As I was walking back to bed I felt something warm trickling down my leg. I stopped for a second wondering if I had wet myself but then it kept coming so I walked back to the bathroom and by the time I turned the light on it was just gushing out like a tap that had been turned on all the way. I was yelling for my husband over and over, grabbing toilet paper and trying to put pressure in the general area but it was just soaking straight through and pouring out everywhere. I was losing a lot of blood very quickly. I could see the look of horror on his face which made me panic even more but then I realised that if we were going to get anywhere I needed to stay calm and instruct him on what to do next .. I somehow managed to talk him through what we needed as I didn't want to get up and run around risking more blood loss than I was already experiencing. I got him to phone the labour ward, they said to come straight in. I also got him to grab the maternity pads, a new pair of pants and to grab his car keys. He also grabbed all the hospital bags as we ran downstairs and threw them all over his shoulder and we ran out to the car.

As we arrived to the hospital we were sent straight to the labour ward where they had the room ready and set up for us. They hooked me up to machines immediately . Took my blood, and put a monitor on my tummy to check bub. Thankfully she was okay. I remember the nurse saying to me to stop for a minute and listen. She told me 'hear this? This is your baby, your baby is okay. You will both be okay'. After being given a solution to drink as I had not fasted for 6 hours before the procedure and being hooked up to more monitors  my obstetrician arrived and they wheeled us straight downstairs to surgery.

I had the anaesthetist asking my husband and I if I would consider a general anaesthetic. I remember telling him I would prefer to be awake if that was okay. He told me that my Ob was happy for me to be awake but there was a chance that they may have to put me under and if that were to happen he had to be sure that my husband would leave the room as soon as he was asked to. My Ob was there so I asked him what he thought and he said that I should be awake to see my baby being born. So we went with that.

They took DH away to get dressed in scrubs and prepped me up. I was in a room for a while with the anaesthetist, his assistant and a nurse that had been with me since the moment I arrived. She was such a great support person talking and whispering to me the whole time. Telling me to take deep breathes and breathe and that I was okay and our baby was okay. And just generally distracting me from what was going on around me. I did hear him requested 8 units of blood to be warmed up and something about me being tachicardic and he wanted something to be stabilised before we continued.

So they wheeled me into the surgery room and got me to bend over for the spinal. I was leaning right into the nurses chest and she was holding my hand telling me I was doing great. I remember at that point my body was shaking uncontrollably, I couldn't stop it.. I was hooked up to so many different drips, I had them going up both arms it was a bit surreal to see. Suprisingly the spinal didn't hurt at all and as it was injected I could feel it going through my body. To me it just felt strangely warm and then numbness.

As soon as the spinal was in they pulled the screen up and started asking me if I could feel cold ice on my chest -which I could- and then again on other parts of my body.. I couldn't believe how fast this was happening. The next thing I could feel tugging and pushing, I didn't realise they had already started. All of a sudden DH was in the room and I could hear the anaesthetist telling him what was happening and to get the camera out because our baby was about to be born. I remember saying to him 'have you already started' and he said 'yes if you hear that suction noise it is normal it is just the fluid around your baby. They are about to bring your baby out, you are just going to start to feel some pushing on your chest to help push it out, Dad get the camera ready'. The next second I felt people pushing down a few times on my chest and they pulled the screen down and they were telling us our baby was out. They showed us bub very quickly. DH was in shock and couldn't even tell me what we had (we had kept it a surprise) and the anaesthetist sat with me holding my hand while DH cut the cord.

The rest of the surgery was a bit of a blur, I remember seeing my little girl with DH being rubbed over and wrapped up and just being in disbelief that she was ours. Once she was wrapped up the nurse brought her over to me for a cuddle. I don't remember how long they were there for but before I knew it DH and our bub were taken up to the nursery to weigh her and check into the maternity ward while I was stitched up and checked into recovery. Her apgar scores were 9 and 9 so she was perfectly fine after everything we went through.

My obstetrician and anaesthetist told me that everything had gone well and they were just stitching me back up. I didn't require any blood transfusions and all went well. I said thank you so much for everything and I just remember him telling me that it was luck that it all went well. He had to cut through the placenta to get her out and it was grade 4 so he wasn't sure how much blood I was going to lose.

It all happened so fast and as scary as it was, I am so thankful that I had an obstetrician who was well aware of my conditions, and a team of staff around him that made me feel safe and helped to delivery our baby girl safely.

#2 podg

Posted 08 September 2013 - 03:05 PM

Wow, I'm an anaesthetist and your story makes me nervous!

Congratulations and thanks for the birth story. Enjoy your little one. Newborns are so special.

#3 k-ko

Posted 08 September 2013 - 03:09 PM

What an experience op, that must have been very scary early that morning.
So glad all went well, congrats on your bubba girl!!

#4 Wishing2011

Posted 02 October 2013 - 03:35 PM

thank you :)

#5 gc_melody

Posted 02 October 2013 - 05:17 PM

Wow, what an amazing entry into the world your beautiful little girl had Wishing2011.

Your medical team sounds amazing ! They sound so caring, competent and supportive and the way you described it they made the experience the best as could possibly be imagined for you, your DH and baby girl given the circumstances.

Congratulations and enjoy this very special time with your newborn daughter.

#6 Wishing2011

Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:57 PM

They really did turn it around into a positive experience even though it was scary at the time. thank you :)

#7 Gruffalo's Child

Posted 04 October 2013 - 11:12 PM

Wow!!   That is an amazing story.   Reading it gave me chills, as I had undiagnosed placenta praevia, despite have my last ultrasound at 36 weeks.    Luckily I was booked in for an elective caesar, but I remember how quickly the atmosphere in the theatre changed when they realised the potential complications after expecting an uncomplicated procedure.  

Congratulations on the birth of your baby daughter, I'm so pleased that the outcome was so positive.

#8 Xmas Debt

Posted 04 October 2013 - 11:30 PM

Congratulations, a nerve wracking start it sounds but a happy ending. I don't have placenta previa but I will be on clexane up until the birth and will be induced at 39 weeks to give me a chance to get it out of my system pre-labour ... that alone makes me nervous enough.

#9 Wishing2011

Posted 11 October 2013 - 02:18 PM

StudyMuffin I think they say if you stop Clexane 24 hours before you are okay.. My Ob only took me off the Clexane and put me on aspirin in case I had a bleed which I did. So I am very thankful for him thinking ahead. I think if things were progressing normally I would have stayed on it until 39 weeks too. Good luck with everything!!

And thanks Gruffalo's Child :) Wow that would have been scary having undiagnosed placenta praevia!

#10 wingnut80

Posted 16 October 2013 - 03:11 PM

So happy for you that the result was a positive one in the end and you & bub were safe.

My birth experience was very similar to yours in that I too had placenta previa, grade 3 in my case and my ob & hosp staff were amazing.
Where mine differs is that, i was in & out of hospital from 29 weeks with bleeds and bub ended up being born at 35+5 via emergency c section the day after my 6th admission, which was also my biggest bleed. Scary scary. The bleed, as all my previous ones, tapered off so my surgery was booked in for the following day.
My original c section was meant to be a week later but ny ob made the decision to deliver sooner rather than later after this last bleed as they were happening closer & closer together.
I also had an anterior placenta so the risks etc during the surgery were explained to me as you mention...thankfully there were no issues whatsoever during it & baby girl was born 2.3kg but perfect with apgar scores of 9 & 10 .

it really is good to hear that there are good outcomes to situations such as this. A good team who know your history is so important because when it comes down to it, they will know the right steps to take to ensure safety for you & baby.

#11 Wishing2011

Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:09 AM

oh wow that would have been scary having that many bleeds. I'm glad everything went well for you too. Your little girl was tiny!! But it's great her apgar scores were pretty much perfect :)

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