Part Three – Why My Body Feels Like a Like a Ticking Time Bomb

Part Three - Why My Body Feels Like a Ticking Time Bomb

This is part three of my story of being pregnant with placenta previa. You can check out Part One and Part Two.

Since my last placenta post, I have stayed in hospital. I was in a hospital nearly 2 hours away from home but thankfully, so thankfully, I was transferred to a big tertiary teaching hospital about an hour from my house. Closer to home. Closer to Legoman and Possum. And this hospital has everything that could possibly be needed in an emergency. It has a NICU and and an ICU. The ward nurses are also well versed in looking after mums going through exactly the same thing as me. They have even buddied me up with another “bleeder”. Hurray for having placenta previa!

I have basically spent the week reading this book, colouring in this book, watching Community and doing a bit of crochet. If you’re as bored as I am, you can check out my Instagram account as I take photos of the little rays of sunshine in my day.

As I live an hour away from this big hospital, and my local hospital has now said no to delivering our baby, I am here in hospital until delivery. As crappy as it is being so far away from home and having to eat hospital food every day, I actually feel very calm. It is incredibly reassuring knowing that if anything goes wrong, I hit a big button on the wall and people will literally come running. And not random people, but highly trained medical people. Bonus!

I saw the doctor this morning and actually signed the consent form for the C-section. And was told our baby will be born between 20-26th July!!! Exciting!! A date to focus on, the time our baby will be born, the time when this whole ordeal will be over with. This also gives me a bit of energy to start having conversations with midwives and lactation consultants about making plans for delivery day. I am planning on expressing before the birth so that in the event of me needing a general anaesthetic, bub can still be fed my milk. I am also going to make it very clear and written down, that I want skin to skin ideally between bub and myself as soon as possible. Failing that with Legoman if I am needing further intervention during surgery. And there is quite a real risk of that. 1 in 10 placenta previa surgical deliveries need further intervention, as I was told by my doctor. So it is wise for us to plan ahead.

After getting the exciting news of knowing the week baby will be born, my placenta obviously also got a bit excited and decided to get all silly and bleed again. For the fourth time. In 4 weeks. I felt sad and annoyed. As soon as you have a solid few days without bleeding you lure yourself into a false sense of security. Thinking the last bleed you’d had will be just that, the last bleed you’ll have. And then another one comes along. I am so grateful that they have all been small. Very grateful. And I am so grateful to already be in hospital. All that needed to happen was to tell the nurses, have a CTG, have my obs taken and go back onto the oh so sexy task of pad watch. Not many pregnant women have to buy pads multiple times DURING their pregnancy.¬†I’m normally a cloth pad kind of gal but planet earth gets to suffer with me on this one.

So the journey continues. Taking it all day by day. Hoping for the best and hoping for no more bleeds.

Got some ideas on how I can spend my time? I’d love to hear! Post a comment below ūüôā

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Part Two – Why My Body Feels Like A Ticking Time Bomb

Part Two- Why My Body Feels Like A Ticking Time Bomb

This is Part Two. You can read Part One of my story here. 

I’m lying in a hospital bed. Again. I’m now 33 weeks pregnant and last night at 6pm I had my second bleed due to placenta previa. Thankfully this second bleed was a much more calm affair than my first. Legoman was home for starters!! I could tell my little Possum that mummy needed to go sleep at the hospital. The gorgeous thing said “I love you mummy. I will carry your dressing gown for you.” She’s so resilient and brave. I’m so amazed by her.

At 6pm I went to change into my pajamas (I’m pregnant, it’s allowed!). I went to the toilet and found blood on my underwear. There was no sudden gush this time. I had time. We called the midwife (who was probably about to have her dinner!) and called my mother in law to take me to the hospital. Legoman helped Possum get ready for bed. There was no panic. No tears. Just a sense of “here we go again”.

I was expecting them to bundle me up and send me off to the big hospital again, but I was pleasantly surprised when they said I could stay at my little regional hospital. My own room! Close to home! Room with a view!

There was no talk of delivering baby. Thank goodness.

There was the reminder though that I have used up two of my three strikes. Next bleed and there is no going home until bub is born. I could handle those kind of consequences if I had any control or choice over these bleeds. Instead I feel cheated. Dobbed in for something I didn’t do.

You see I have none of the risk factors for placenta previa. None of them!

My placenta is big and fat and healthy. Bub is big and healthy. It’s head down and ready to go. It knows what should be happening. I know what should be happening. This is not what should be happening.

I’m 12 hours into 24 hours of bed rest. Then home time. To wait.

No more work.

*** I started writing this this morning. Around lunch time my family left to go home after visiting me for the morning. All was looking well. The doctor came in to say I could go home! Hurray! After he left, I went to the toilet, washed my hands and then felt it. Felt the gush. Again. I looked and I had fresh red blood on my pad.

Shit.

No going home for me today.

Shit.

I called for the midwife and told her. Back onto bed rest. Back onto the CTG to monitor bub. Doctor back in and I’m told I will be transferred in an ambulance to a larger hospital. Again.

Shit.

My Possum is expecting me home this afternoon and I won’t be coming home.

People keep asking “Is there something I can get you?” and I feel like saying “A BRAND NEW F******G PLACENTA!!!”.

As I lay in bed and waited for my transfer, I cried. Out of exhaustion. Out of frustration. Out of sadness. Out of anger. My midwife sat with me while I cried.

The closest big hospital has no beds for premature babies so instead I will be transferred to another hospital which is a further 40 minutes away from my house. I will be nearly 2 hours away from my home, my husband and my daughter. And I don’t know how long I will be there for.

That’s the thing with placenta previa. You ask a question and the response you get back is “Well that depends”. There are no straight answers. No predictable outcomes. No normal turn of events.

I take comfort in knowing every day helps baby get bigger and stronger and more ready to be out in the world. I take comfort in knowing I live somewhere with amazing medical care. I take comfort in knowing my daughter is well loved and well looked after while I am in hospital. I take comfort in knowing baby is doing well in my belly.

But this waiting game continues and it’s a game I don’t want to play anymore.

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Why My Body Feels Like A Ticking Time Bomb

Why My Body Feels Like A Ticking Time Bomb

Pregnancy is meant to be a time of joyful anticipation. As due date approaches, the “I wonder when” is thought often and with a little smile. Butterflies start to flutter in the very round, full tummies of women around the world as they eagerly await the arrival of their little bundle of joy.

I’m not feeling it.

I am certainly waiting. But not for the arrival of a little person. Or the feeling of those first contractions.

I am waiting to feel a warm gush. To see an unwanted red stain. To have that wave of panic set in again.

This is what it feels like to have placenta previa. You feel like a ticking time bomb.

You wait and wait, for that bleed you’ve been told is likely. You wonder when it might happen. You wonder how big is it going to be. You wonder if it will be the catalyst to you ending up in hospital for weeks. Or maybe it will be the moment your baby is brought into the world, weeks too soon. Will you be alone when it happens? Will you be doing the grocery shopping? Will you be at work? Will it be the rude awakening from a good night’s sleep?

I am currently 32 weeks pregnant. 2 weeks ago at 11pm, as I lay in bed, I felt that warm gush. A familiar feeling to any woman over the age of 13. It’s a feeling you’re not meant to have when you’re pregnant. I jumped out of bed, pulled down my pyjama pants to find a large blood stain on my underwear and through to my pyjama pants. Panic set in.

Legoman was away in the bush, out of phone reception. I was home alone with our 2 year old toddler. She was sound asleep in her room. I called my best friend (who thankfully and wonderfully lives one block away), who was already awake with her 10 month old. She was on her way. I broke down on the phone and she straight away came to my house. I tried calling my midwife, no answer. I tried calling the hospital, an answering machine. I tried my husband in desperation, voicemail. My midwife called me back just as my best friend opened my front door. She held me as I attempted to pack a bag. My amazing midwife was on her way to pick me up.

I was shaking so much at this point. Still feeling the bleeding, not knowing what would happen next.

I kept thinking that my daughter would wake up and I won’t be there. Neither will her daddy. It was the first night I had ever had away from her. Not the circumstances that milestone should happen in.

At hospital they cannulated me, told me I couldn’t eat or drink and gave me the first dose of steroids, in case my baby needed to be delivered. In case my baby needed to be delivered. That was not what I wanted to hear. My husband wasn’t there. This couldn’t be happening.

An ambulance took me to a bigger hospital where I was taken into Delivery Suite. All this time, my wonderful little baby was wriggling around and doing amazingly well. This helped me to stay calm and focused. An ultrasound at 3:30am confirmed that baby was fine and the bleeding had also slowed right down. Everyone started to relax. I could eat again. I could attempt to sleep.

5:30am came and I was woken up by the woman in the room next to me going through the final throws of labour. A few loud screams of “GET IT OUT OF ME!!!” had me giggling in bed, knowing how¬†very close she was to meeting her little person. 10 minutes later the cries of a new life welcomed a quite calm. Life goes on.

6am saw me calling my parents to firstly tell them (but hopefully not alarm them) that I was in hospital. I also needed them 1.5 hours drive away at my house to look after my daughter. Off they went.

7am – phone call from my best friend to say good morning to my daughter. She was handling the surprise of waking up to Aunty very well. The promise of croissants in the kitchen got her out of bed.

10am – up to antenatal ward now that the red blood had stopped. But the cannula remained in my arm until I was discharged, just in case.

3pm – I finally got to speak to my husband. He was calm, way too calm.

6pm – I got to see Legoman.

The next 24 hours involved lots of visitors, waiting, Pad checks (those poor nurses) and nervous exhaustion. I also had to call my work and tell them I wouldn’t be in as I was in hospital. I was discharged home once the brown spotting had stopped and a more thorough ultrasound showed baby was fine and my placenta was still too low. The cannula came out (thank goodness) and I was put on “pelvic rest”. Which basically means nothing goes in. A friend at work thinks this is a brilliant idea and wishes someone would issue her a medical certificate that she can show her husband!

I got through the first bleed. And now I wait for a second one. No one can tell me what the chances are that I will get a second bleed. No one can tell me if my placenta will move enough to avoid a c-section. All I keep hearing is “Every placenta previa is different”. Helpful.

Hearing the stories of other women in a similar situation has been amazing support. I have joined a couple of Facebook groups and a forum where women support each other through these exhausting, emotional pregnancies. There is so much power in sharing our stories. One common thread is we are all hopeful. Hopeful to reach close to our due dates. Hopeful for no more bleeds. Hopeful our child comes into the world in a calm way and not through an emergency. Hopeful for those very first cuddles.

I would love to hear from you if you have had placenta previa or are going through a similar experience at the moment. Together we can all get through this.

After my bleed I made an Emergency Phone Numbers list to stick on our fridge and to share with family and friends. I am hoping we never have to use it. You can grab a copy for yourself here.

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Emergency Numbers For Pregnancy – Free Printable

Emergency Numbers In Pregnancy - Free Printable

Pregnancy is such a miraculous state, yet it isn’t always smooth sailing. My first pregnancy was a dream run. Textbook. A bit of nausea. Tiredness. Sore boobs. I then went on to have a completely intervention free natural delivery at 40+5 weeks. So when I fell pregnant this time I expected a similar experience. It wasn’t to be.

I still physically felt fine. Until I went to my 20 week scan and was diagnosed with placenta praevia. My placenta was actually covering the cervix. This caused me a huge amount of emotional stress as the prospect of bleeding, hospital stays and a possible c-section delivery loomed. But weeks passed, life carried on as normal, and I thought “Hey, maybe I can still make it to the end¬†and have the natural delivery I’m hoping for”. Everything was going tickedy-boo, until I went to bed a week ago and felt myself bleeding.

Frantic phone calls later, I ended up in an ambulance being transferred to the nearest large teaching hospital, 1 hour away.

I ended up being in hospital for just 2 nights thankfully, but as a mother of a 2 year old, that’s a really long time! It was also the first time we had had a night away from each other, and it certainly wasn’t the circumstances I was hoping that milestone would happen in.

A few things became apparent during this whole series of events.

1. I wish I had a bag packed earlier. I did have a moment to pack a bag but in the panic forgot things like toothbrush, slippers, body wash. The little things that help make you feel a bit more human when you’re in hospital.

2. I don’t have all the phone numbers I need in my phone!!!

3. The people you want to answer their phones aren’t always able to. My husband was away and out of phone reception while this was all happening. So I needed to have a team¬†of people lined up ready to look after both me and my daughter.

On coming home Legoman and I decided that I needed to:

  • Pack an emergency bag which may involve also being in hospital for an emergency c-section (hello breast pads)
  • Make a list of all emergency contacts should this happen again. And to share that list with family/friends.

So to make your life a little easier too, instead of just scribbling the phone numbers on a scrap of paper, I have made a free printable for you. Simply print out the list and fill in the blanks. For a few of the people on the list there may be multiple numbers. For example, Legoman has both his work and mobile number. My parents have their home, mobiles and work numbers.

I’m hoping you and I never have to use these numbers, but just in case, it’s always good to be prepared!

Best of luck in your pregnancy! Here’s to chubby bubbies!

Emergency Numbers In Pregnancy - Click to Download

Looking for more free printables? Check out my free meal planning template and my family favourites printables.

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Why your first pregnancy is luxurious

Why your first pregnancy is luxurious

I am pregnant. I feel that summarises a second pregnancy to a tee. I just am. The end. Yes I have a belly. How many weeks am I? Um, let me think….

Rewind 2 years and 9 months and it was a very different story. I bathed in my state of fertility. I carried my belly with the pride of a first time pregnant mum. I luxuriated in my state of pregnancy.

I went to pregnancy yoga, every week. Yes, every week. And was on time. And had clothes without stains.

I also went to the pool. Every week. After work. And never felt rushed to get home for bed time, bath time, dinner time, cranky afternoon time.

Oh and I did African dancing. Of course! Until I was 7 months pregnant! How the hell did I do that???

Did I feel like going to a pregnancy massage? Sure! I will be there in a jiffy! Now? I had a friend call and say she needed a case study to complete her pregnancy massage certification and would it be okay if she gave me two free 90 minutes massage. Best call ever! But then reality hit home. Baby sitting. Where was I going to find baby sitting? Trying to book a time suddenly became like trying to organise a UN Peace Summit. But I have one booked, and boy oh boy am I looking forward to it! 4 more days, just 4 more days.

First time around there was also this endless time (or what seems like it now) to just sit and be pregnant. To really tune in and appreciate the magic that is happening in your belly. I remember every week checking to see what developments were going on. Knowing when bub could start smelling, tasting. How big it got each week. I had every pregnancy app under the sun and would check them all every Monday, even though they all said basically the same thing.

I have actually deleted all the pregnancy apps from my phone this time around because they are taking up valuable space that could be used for the 208839524975634975 photos and videos I have of Possum!

My real life bubby (well she will be 2 next week!) is now what consumes my world. I don’t need to read a book or check an app to know what she is doing because it’s all happening right in front of my eyes! And the day to day learning and discovery that she is doing astounds me more than the measurements of my belly baby. And that doesn’t bother me one bit. Because I know once this belly baby is born, that’s when the wonder will grow even more!

So this pregnancy is just that. A waiting game, until I get to meet this little person inside me and let life truly explode with joy and wonder. In the mean time, I will tolerate wearing hand me down maternity clothes that kind of fit. I will sleep as best I can because my toddler still wakes in the night occasionally. I will not squeeze too much in my week to prove that pregnancy and babies won’t change me. Because it already has. I have no points to prove. I have succumb joyfully to the life of a mother.

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