From Placenta Previa To Placenta Accreta

Every time I receive good news at the doctor I’m afraid to enjoy it.  That’s because it always seems the next appointment comes with bad news. 

Last week I had my monthly ultrasound to measure how the baby is growing, and that went well.  She’s growing just fine, but my uterus is measuring a week behind.  Otherwise the maternal fetal specialist said everything looked fine and the placenta previa had corrected itself, too, meaning I can try for a VBAC.

The MF specialist did want to go ahead and start doing a weekly biophysical because this is about the same time Ellie started measuring a bit behind, too.  It could be that I just have small babies like my mom and grandma did or my smaller uterine growth could be a sign of impending growth restriction due to the blood pressure meds or preeclampsia. 

Anyways because of all that I had my first biophysical profile yesterday like I will have every Friday until delivery.  As far as the baby is concerned she looked great.  When the ultrasound tech finished everything to do with the baby she said, “let me get the wand, and we’ll do a vaginal ultrasound real quick to check that placenta.”  She was out of the office the week before, so I let her know the other tech had checked it, and the MF doc in the office last week said had moved up enough.  She looked at the screen again, wrinkled her brows, and said, “honey that doesn’t look like it’s up enough to me.  Let’s double check.”

I’m not complaining that she wanted to check again.  In fact I’m extremely glad she decided to give it another look.   It turns out not only do I still have placenta previa (although mild), she spotted something that made her question whether or not I also have placenta accreta.  That’s when the placenta attaches itself too deeply in the uterine wall.  The main risk is heavy bleeding or hemorrhaging when the placenta is removed.  In most cases a hysterectomy has to be performed to safely remove the placenta and keep the mother from bleeding to death.

The MF specialist on duty spent about 30 minutes in the ultrasound room with us going over every nook and cranny of my placenta with a proverbial fine tooth comb, and he’s still not sure one way or the other.  Basically we’ll keep an eye on it during my weekly ultrasounds, and if we can’t tell one way or another by the end of the month he’ll send me for an MRI.  Because of my prior c section and the previa I already have a 1 in 4 chance of having it, but some of the things they saw are even more worrisome. 

I really hope they’re being overly cautious. I really really really hope I don’t have accreta.  I’ve had a hard enough time going back and forth about getting my tubes tied this time.  I really don’t want to think about the possibility I could need a hysterectomy during delivery. 

I sat down last night and cried for awhile.  At bedtime I cried myself to sleep, not just about the possibility of accreta but over everything.  I’ve really wanted to enjoy this pregnancy, but I feel like it’s been almost impossible.  All I want are healthy babies and to make it through everything ok myself.  It seems as if it’s not one thing causing complications it’s another, and I really just want it all to be over with.  I want to hold a healthy baby girl in my arms and reap the rewards.  I have to keep reminding myself we’re trying to get to 35 weeks, and that’s 5 1/2 weeks away.  If we can keep her inside to full term I can hold my baby girl in 10 weeks.  Patience Mama!