So – I’m half way there! You would think that I’d be feeling better than ever, right? Eh…wrong. Let me start by saying that this pregnancy has been so drastically different than my first, and I am having a hard time wrapping my head around some issues I’m facing, and the changes going on with my body. My first pregnancy shouldn’t even count, it was that easy. I felt pregnant probably 5 days….the last 5. Other than that – I felt great! No complications what so ever…and didn’t get HUGE. And best of all – little muffin Carter came out perfect! I had a perfect delivery…everything was just perfect! And now…all of a sudden, I’m considered “high risk”. Keep reading…
Where do I start? In the beginning I had a subchorionic hemorrhage and bleeding at 6 weeks pregnant. I thought I was miscarrying – heart attack! Luckily, everything was ok, and we just had to monitor the hemorrhage from then on. I had to take months off from exercise, and as a result gained more weight in the beginning than I was ready for. I know that gaining weight isn’t a real concern to most pregnant women – it’s expected. But, I’m having a really hard time with it. We’re all different! You’d have to know my history to understand (check previous blogs).
I didn’t experience any further bleeding or issues after I was cleared for exercise at my 12 week appointment. I thought everything was going great, and was happy to put the issue at my 6 week mark in the past. However – I went in for my 19 week appointment and anatomy scan ultrasound and found out that I’m facing a much larger issue now. The ultrasound tech didn’t say anything. I thought everything was perfect from my interaction with her. For the record, the baby looked perfect. It was such a joy to see that little munchkin squirming around in there. Pure happiness.
I went to my appointment with my OB right after that, and had to step on that dreaded scale. I hate that damn thing. The number shocked me a bit, but I pulled it together for a few minutes and walked back to my room. My crazy brain took over and I decided it was a GREAT idea to ask the nurse how much I weighed at 19 weeks with my first pregnancy. I wanted to compare. She went to the computer to check and was happy to report that I was 129 at 19 weeks with Carter. Well, I weighed in at 139 lbs that day…at 19 weeks…and I had the same starting weight for both pregnancies. I LOST IT. I was 10 lbs heavier at 19 weeks along than I was at 19 weeks with Carter. I was a mess. I think I freaked the nurse out, because she got out of there QUICK. My husband had no idea what to say to comfort me, either. I had a good 5 minutes to calm down before the doctor came in and then I lost it again! My defenses were down and the flood gates opened…and before I knew it, I was a sobbing mess in my doctor’s arms asking her “what am I doing wrong, why am I so fat, what can I do differently?!” Not my most graceful moment. After leaving a giant makeup smudge on her white coat, I pulled away and she looked at me and said she understood my frustrations but we actually needed to talk about a much more serious issue than weight gain. That’s one way to shut me up.
So – the doctor went on to tell me that I have a condition called Placenta Previa. She explained further that my case is a Complete Placenta Previa case, and that my placenta decided to attach completely covering my cervix – centered smack dab in the middle of my cervix. Cervix… AKA – the baby’s entryway into the world. Not only does this mean a mandatory early c-section for me, but it also comes with quite a few possible complications. I say “possible” because I’m staying hopeful that I experience NONE of these. As my cervix thins out, the placenta could tear or separate, since it’s connected to the cervix…and basically the positioning of it just isn’t ideal. The placenta irritates the cervix, and the cervix irritates the placenta. They don’t get along very well. I could experience severe bleeding, be hospitalized on bed rest, and have to deliver too early. These are all kind of “worst case scenarios” for this condition…but all possibilities. Regardless – I’m nervous as all hell.
I’ve had guilt, thinking “what have I done to cause this to happen?”. I’ve done my research and read that certain factors like cigarette smoking, cocaine use, being over the age of 35, a second or later pregnancy, previous uterine surgery and a multiples pregnancy can increase your risk. Um…OK. I fit one of these…I knew cocaine was a bad idea. I’m JOKING. It’s my second pregnancy. That’s it. I’m not a smoker, nor do I use drugs. I am only 28, and I’ve never had previous uterine surgery and I’m not pregnant with multiples.
So- according to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, I could have reduced my risk of placenta previa had I avoided cigarette smoke, cocaine, and elective c-sections. Whew…good to know. Not. Is it obvious that I’m frustrated?!
First and foremost, I want to have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. I am going to follow what the doctor says and listen to my body. My doctor told me pelvic rest last week was my only restriction at first. Well- the day after my appointment, I had my first incident (since my 6 week incident) of spotting. It was scary and frustrating. I called the doctor and she said to keep my workouts “light” and take it easy. I don’t do the whole “take it easy” thing very well. I’m actually horrible at it! So I’ve been TRYING to keep my workouts “light” and “take it easy” but I know I’m not doing a very good job. It’s really a mental struggle for me. I have one side of my brain saying, “What if you go on bed rest tomorrow…you’ll regret not working out today”. And then I have one side of my brain (the smarter side) saying, “Chill out and take it easy, you idiot!”. I know that it seems like an easy decision to most…just to take it easy and follow every precaution…but it really is a struggle for me. But I’m trying.
So…where do I go from here? My doctor and I are practicing expectant management of this. Basically, treatment is withheld until symptoms (bleeding) appear. I am ok with this. I feel like I am educating myself, asking the right questions, and trying to prepare the best I can for an early delivery. I will see the doctor a little more frequently and have more ultrasounds. We will monitor to see what’s going on with my awesome placenta that got lost inside my uterus and decided to attach to the wrong spot (stupid placenta). In the meantime – wish me well!