I always enjoy having the luxury to obsess over mundane things, rather than actual serious ones. Most of the time, I have that luxury, but sometimes something demanding of real attention pops up. Today, I had another OB appointment so that she could explain to me that as of this week's ultrasound, I have complete placenta previa. This means that my placenta is completely covering my cervix.
Apparently, there are various levels of placenta previa. Partial, marginal, low-lying, etc. Then, there's complete, where the placenta is lying perfectly over the entire cervix. Lucky me, guess which one I have.
She told me not to worry, right before she launched into a whole litany of what this entails. It increases my risk of severe bleeding, increases the risk of fetal death, increases the risk of blood transfusions, increases my risk of having to go on bed rest, and if it doesn't correct itself, we'd have to do a c-section right at 37 weeks.
The OB also said that she is confident the placenta will move. According to her, 85% of all early cases of placenta previa correct themselves, but this figure is based on all cases of placenta previa, not just the ones that are complete previa. So the fact that my placenta is completely covering my cervix might lower my chances of the placenta moving to a safer location.
I listened carefully to everything she had to say, nodded thoughtfully, and then raced to get more information from Dr. Google when I got home. Of course, Dr. Google had lots of scary things to say. Any type of bleeding would put me in the hospital, and if the bleeding couldn't be stopped, the baby would have to be delivered, regardless of fetal age. The bleeding can quickly go from nothing to majorly serious in a matter of minutes, especially if I start having contractions or dilation. Dr. Google also said that placenta previa can be a problem even after delivery, because while pitocin helps the uterus contract after a c-section and stops the bleeding from the removal of the placenta, the lower part of the uterus (where the placenta is when you have placenta previa) is not as good at contracting, so the bleeding is harder to stop. PLUS, one in ten cases of complete placenta previa also have placenta accreta, where the placenta improperly imbeds itself in the uterine wall, making it difficult to detach the placenta. This increases your risk of severe blood loss, and increases your risk of having to have a hysterectomy.
Right about there, I closed the computer and walked away.
I'm starting to believe this baby might really be trying to kill me. First, the surprise pregnancy out of the blue. Then, the crazy nausea, the migraines, the exhaustion. Now, this placenta previa and the scariness associated with it. There is a long time between now and December 19th for me to obsess about all of this.
My next ultrasound is on August 19th, and we're keeping all fingers and toes crossed that my placenta has started its gradual move. In the meantime, I'm not restricted from anything, and I'm welcoming all positive stories about placentas moving quickly and completely and then gloriously easy vaginal births. I'll also take positive placenta moving thoughts. Please.