I was excited, it was the day of my 12 week scan for my second pregnancy. That glorious day when you get to see your baby for the first time. I laid on the couch, still gulping down water -as you do, just in case – and the radiographer squirted on the jelly. There was my little peanut. I squeezed my husbands hand, big grins on our faces. We were told everything was fine, the placenta was low, but not to worry it would move up as the pregnancy progressed. We weren’t worried, the news sounded fine, so we left with our little print to put in the keepsake book.
The pregnancy went along as I was expecting, and it was soon time for scan number 2! I couldn’t wait, we had decided to find out the sex of the baby this time and we were looking forward to discovering whether it would be another little girl or a boy. The radiographer had a good poke around and confirmed to the best of her knowledge that we were having another girl. She did point out though, that my placenta was still low lying. When I asked what that meant, she said that if it didn’t lift then I would be looking at a planned Caesarian as it was blocking the way out and baby wouldn’t get through. I was a little disappointed that I possibly wouldn’t get another natural birth, but we’re both realistic and happy that the best would be done for baby when the time came.
The next few weeks passed without incident, until week 27, when, without warning I awoke in the middle of the night thinking I’d had a bit of an accident! I went to the bathroom, but when I wiped, my heart sank. It wasn’t water, it was blood – and lots of it. I woke my husband and we grabbed our daughter and rushed to the hospital. I was in such a panic, thinking that I was losing the baby, I was begging him to drive faster. The staff at the Maternity unit were fantastic, I was hooked up to a monitor and baby’s heartbeat was going nice and strongly. The bleeding had stopped by now thank goodness, but I was still worried. The on call Consultant came to see us and said she was going to give me steroids in case I had to deliver fairly soon. It was the Placenta Praevia she said. I was at risk of a serious haemmoragh and we could both die. I would be admitted immediately for bed rest and monitoring. I was in shock. No one had mentioned the risk of this happening at either of my appointments, but I knew I was in the right place. It was 9 days before Christmas and I was going to be in hospital for an unspecified amount of time. A week later, after no further bleeding, I was allowed home with instructions to rest as much as possible.
Christmas and New Year passed then on the 9th of January I started to bleed again. A sense of de ja vu hit us as, once again, we headed for the hospital. I was admitted immediately but told that there was no room in special care, should baby have to be delivered, so I would have to be moved to another hospital and it was looking like one over 100 miles away. I broke down in tears, I couldn’t face the thought of being so far away from family with a possible premature baby. As it happened, the staff found a bed in a hospital in the next town and I was moved by ambulance immediately. I had another haemmoragh at 33 weeks, which fortunately stopped again quite quickly and was finally moved back to my own hospital, which was much easier for family to visit.
At 35 weeks, I was sitting watching TV at my bedside, when I felt wetness again. I hobbled to the toilet and shouted to one of the other mums to grab someone for me. The midwife came in, took one look at me and the next thing, all the emergency buzzers were sounding, I was helped back to bed, and I was surrounded by doctors inserting drips and all sorts of things. I was quite used to bleeding by this time, and could still feel my little girl kicking so I wasn’t too worried, but the staff were. I was wheeled immediately down to the delivery room and the staff called my husband to come in. One of the Consultants came in and told us that if I hadn’t stopped bleeding by 3pm – it was 1pm – then I was going to be having a baby. I was checked regularly and the heartbeat monitored constantly, until at 2.50, the bleeding once again stopped. The emergency C Section was cancelled and I was moved back to the ward later that night.
4 days later it happened again and once again, I found myself in the labour ward. Another Consultant came to see me and decided that at 35 +6 enough was enough and baby was coming as soon as theatre could be prepared. My husband was called and made it to the hospital with minutes to spare and get changed before we were whisked away, numbed up and baby number 2 made her appearance 4 weeks early, but still a not bad 6lbs 2oz. My only wish after going through that, was that someone had explained all the risks right back at the first scan, even though there was a chance that the placenta may have moved out of the way of its own accord, however, the care I got, was amazing and I made a lot of Midwife friends after nearly a total of 7 weeks in hospital.