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Deiva

Marginal placenta previa and vaginal birth

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Steggles66

Hi Deiva,

 

I was in a very similar situation to you in relation to the low lying placenta. I had my 20 week scan where they stated it was low but was told it almost always moves up. I therefore went along to calm birth classes and completely prepared myself as much as possible for a vaginal delivery. Long story short by 36 weeks my placenta was only 10mm from the cervix. I was somewhat given the option to do a trial delivery at my public hospital but was strongly encouraged to have a C-section.

 

I eventually chose the C-section but was crying as I agreed that it was probably for the best. Not having the birth you had planned and hoped for can be a grieving process so let yourself grieve if you do decide to go for a C-section. The good thing was that even though the C-section was strongly encouraged I still felt that I had autonomy and was able to make a choice myself.

 

My planned C-section was a really lovely experience. I did skin to skin practically immediately, as in whilst they were stitching me up, and (apologises if this is too much information) but did give my baby a vaginal swap from me within the first couple of hours. The other reassuring thing was that the OB performing the surgery stated that my placenta was huge and in all likelihood would have come out before bub and I would have ended up with an emergency C-section.

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PooksLikeChristmas

The natural birth and breastfeeding experience I wanted so badly, after a pregnancy that was nothing like I had dreamed of, ended up being a total sh*tshow without any warning. I think when part of our journey doesn’t go the way we imagined for whatever reason- IVF, pregnancy complications, whatever- it’s natural to cling to the other parts of the journey we can still hope to experience. It is in fact one of the reasons that you and I are more prone to postnatal mental health issues purely because of those experiences and the emotional impact of them. I think your feeling of disappointment and concern to give yourself and your baby the optimal start is very understandable, and wish you all the best with finding a way to gently rewrite your narrative about welcoming your child and early parenthood. Remember that your love story with your baby is unique and will never be optimal- it will be messy and flawed and complicated like all humans and all relationships, and it will be yours and yours alone. All my best.

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Deiva

At 19 weeks, it was anterior and completely occluding the internal os (cervix), so a complete previa. I had bleeding at 23 weeks and was in hospital for a week, then on light activity, no lifting my older child, etc. I was upset at the initial idea of a caesarean, but after the bleeding episode, I was ok with it. At 29 weeks, I was given the ok for a VB, but I don’t know how far it was from the cervix at that stage. Presumably it only got further away if it was moving in that direction.

 

That must have been hard to not be able to pick up your kid..

It's better to be safe than sorry in the end though, isn't it? I'm definitely coming round to the idea of a c-section, so will most likely book it in at my next appointment, just to have it as a back up if it goes down that route.

My placenta is posterior and I haven't had any bleeds so far (am 35+5 today), and I have another scan to go at 37 weeks.

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Deiva

Wishing you all the best. From someone who’s had 2 VBs, literally the only good thing was when they ended- I didn’t feel like an empowered earth mother or anything, it just bloody hurt- in no way is a Cs “lesser”

I hope you get the birth you want

 

Yeah, i figured it's not a walk in a park and it HURTS! I'm definitely not an earth mother waiting to be empowered by giving birth vaginally, trust me. I'm actually quiet scientifically minded. Definitelly expecting the pain part of it and wouldn't shy away from pain killers if I needed them.

 

experience in itself, putting in the effort and have the sweet reward (and the euphoric feeling of relief apparently) in the end, not having to have an epidural if I didn’t need it, and

 

 

It ain't that great :-). You get a baby either way that's the only reward.

You are right - you do get the ultimate reward either way.

Still wanna try a VB though as I can't agree or disagree with you without having had the experience myself first :p There are lots of different ways a VB can go, bad or good.

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Deiva

I’ve had two c-sections, first emergency, second by choice. They were both wonderful, beautiful births. In recovery baby and I had skin to skin, and the midwife encouraged me to let baby find his way to the nipple both times. Both babies I’ve had a great breastfeeding relationship, first until almost 2yo, second going strong (apart from some nipple biting) at 7mo.

 

Hi Fruitmincepies,

That sounds like two great experiences!!! It seems like a lot depends on your frame of mind in the situation. Thumbs up for taking the positives out of the emergency c-section too, I imagine that would have been quite stressful.

It's also nice to hear that breastfeeding went well after the c-sections, that is one of my worries. Would you mind me asking if you got to have some contractions before your planned c-section? I'm wondering if those would have helped to start off the hormones that helped with breastfeeding..

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Deiva

I haven’t had the same experience as my placenta did move. But I have had both an emergency c-section, which is what yours would be if you laboured first and a planned c-section. The latter was so much better for so many reasons. I would only have gone for a vbac if I’d had a good chance of seeing through. But I had twins with one breach so nope.

 

Also please don’t see it as your body letting you down.

You grew that baby from a few cells, your body is amazing!!

 

Edited to add it was the recovery time that differed the most for me, and for every single person I have ever spoken to who has done both emergency and planned. After 20+ hours of labour the last thing your body wants to do is go through emergency surgery

 

Yeah, being whisked off for an emergency c-section would not be fun, especially after laboring for a long hours... I would definitely prefer to have a planned one if I had the foresight of not being able to see through VB.

Do you reckon that the emergency c-section was very rushed and perhaps you ended up with a larger incision because of it?? I guess the OB wouldn't have time to be too pedantic about it all if it was a matter of life or death...

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Deiva

I had a very similar situation with my first pregnancy, OP, and went with my OB’s recommendation of an elective CS. I wanted to try for a VBAC for #2 but the previous CS ruled that out (he was overdue etc). To be honest, between the two births there were a lot of ‘what if?’ feelings, as if I’d missed out on the authentic birth experience the first time around and needed to make up for it. But now, a few years on, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. My kids were both born safely (both had ended up with the cord around their necks which could have been serious problems) and calmly and basically pain-free. I have more than earned my motherhood badges with sleepless nights and sore boobs and everything else - not having gone through the particular experience (and pain!) of a VB doesn’t take away from that.

 

Thank you for sharing, Blue Shoe,

another downside of having a c-section is that there are higher chances of having previa again and accreta too (which can then lead to hysterectomy...), both of which will likely lead to another c-section, so i feel like if I don't get to do VB now, it's even less likely to happen the next time.

But you are right, giving birth itself is only a small part of being a mum - can't wait for those "perks" of motherhood once you get to take your baby home :rofl:

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Deiva

I am sorry things aren't going the way you hoped.

It maybe worth investigating a swab for micrbiota, I am sure I read of that happening.

 

In terms of expectations being different from reality , unfortunately that is the nature of parenthood. Not necessarily better or worse but certainly different.

Good luck. However it happens, it will be special and euphoric just to finally hold the little person you have made.

 

That's a good idea, Anon100! I will look into the swab, maybe my OB would be up for it - he seems pretty progressive.

I will certainly be taking parenthood as an adventure and deal with things as they come up. I hear you can't plan for anything apparently, not even being on time for things. To a degree this little person is going to be in control of my life for the next 18 years.

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Deiva

I was in a very similar situation with DS1 - IVF pregnancy as well! In the end my placenta didn't move out of the way and I had a c section at 39 weeks. It was not what I wanted at all - I had very much wanted a vaginal delivery, no/few interventions, but that wasn't to be. There is literally nothing that can be done to prevent or "cure" placenta previa. That thought has brought me some comfort because it makes it harder for me to have regrets (something I am otherwise very prone to!).

 

Being a planned c section meant that it was very calm. DS1 stayed with me the whole time - he was on my chest within I think a minute or two of being born, we did skin to skin in recovery and he started breastfeeding there.

 

In my case, my OB would have been happy for me to have a VBAC with DS2, but I ended up with another c section after going overdue.

 

Wishing you all the best either way :smile:

 

Thanks for that Hope28 :smile:

It sounds just like what I'm going through. I'm on the way to feel exactly like you once I process it and have the planned c-section at 39 weeks. It's awesome that you got to do the skin to skin straight away. My hospital won't give him/her to me until I'm in recovery (about 45 minutes after) as the theater is apparently very cold and the bub would be distressed. I guess I can't do anything about that..

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Deiva

Go easy on yourself, your body hasn't failed you. I know it's disappointing but from what I gather, 15mm is still very close. At 20 weeks mine was 18mm away and my ob who is pretty easygoing and very pro VB where safe said that was still a definite C-section at 18mm.

The most common minimum I've heard of for a VB is around 25mm...maybe less conservative obs might say 20mm...but I'd be worried myself about the risks involved with anything less than that. Give yourself some time to get used to the idea of a C-section, perhaps you're just in shock and upset about it at the moment but might be more open to the idea with time.

 

Thanks sara030,

I'm definitely feeling a little better about it, so will just wait another week or so for the scan and then make a plan with the OB. Let's be it either way, hopefully we will end up with a healthy bub. My OB said he would let me try a VB if I reach 20mm, sounds like he's less conservative than others as it is. In the end I will listen to him :yes:

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Deiva

I hope my post didn’t come across badly, OP. I just feel like we often put so much pressure on ourselves for things that are out of our control!

 

Like a pp I had a vaginal birth, but very long, 2 hours of pushing, very nearly a cs (they had the theatre prepped) before DD made her appearance. It was horrible, so much pain and misery! I spent a lot of time thinking about how I ‘should have done better’, not helped by my sil having a textbook birth three months later. But even she feels there are things she would have done differently, so there you go!

 

Good luck and I hope you feel happy and content, however it turns out.

 

No absolutely not, I appreciated your post and trying to change my negative frame of mind.You are right, I was pretty hard on myself - feeling better now though. Need to get back on the self-care horse - maybe I'll have a bath tonight!

I think births that go to plan to a T are like unicorns - they don't exist!

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Deiva

Hi Deiva,

 

I was in a very similar situation to you in relation to the low lying placenta. I had my 20 week scan where they stated it was low but was told it almost always moves up. I therefore went along to calm birth classes and completely prepared myself as much as possible for a vaginal delivery. Long story short by 36 weeks my placenta was only 10mm from the cervix. I was somewhat given the option to do a trial delivery at my public hospital but was strongly encouraged to have a C-section.

 

I eventually chose the C-section but was crying as I agreed that it was probably for the best. Not having the birth you had planned and hoped for can be a grieving process so let yourself grieve if you do decide to go for a C-section. The good thing was that even though the C-section was strongly encouraged I still felt that I had autonomy and was able to make a choice myself.

 

My planned C-section was a really lovely experience. I did skin to skin practically immediately, as in whilst they were stitching me up, and (apologises if this is too much information) but did give my baby a vaginal swap from me within the first couple of hours. The other reassuring thing was that the OB performing the surgery stated that my placenta was huge and in all likelihood would have come out before bub and I would have ended up with an emergency C-section.

 

Hi Steggless66,

My goodness, you must have good intuition, to have chosen the c-section despite being offered a trial VB. And then being told that it would have ended in an emergency one anyway! Well done, even if it was hard at the time, you listened to yourself. I completely get the grieving process, it's really important - helps to come to terms with the situation. I hope you are ok now.

May I ask, was the theater cold when they did the skin to skin? I was told that that at my hospital it is and the baby won't like it, being all wet and cold...

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22Fruitmincepies

 

 

Hi Fruitmincepies,

That sounds like two great experiences!!! It seems like a lot depends on your frame of mind in the situation. Thumbs up for taking the positives out of the emergency c-section too, I imagine that would have been quite stressful.

It's also nice to hear that breastfeeding went well after the c-sections, that is one of my worries. Would you mind me asking if you got to have some contractions before your planned c-section? I'm wondering if those would have helped to start off the hormones that helped with breastfeeding..

 

I was induced due to preeclampsia with the first, DD was unhappy every time they turned the drip. Eventually she was really distressed and so when my OB walked in I suggested a c-section, and she said that had going to be her suggestion. So I felt like I owned that decision.

 

Second baby I had at 38 weeks, due to him being big and my OB felt with the history of PE, there wasn’t any point waiting the extra week (I was feeling awful). No contractions at all.

 

I think BF can be a matter of luck to a degree. You can do all the right things and it not work, or do everything wrong and it can still work. It is a relationship between you and the baby, and it can take a lot of work. For me it’s been fairly effortless both times, it seemed that my babies knew what they were doing, and that we fitted right.

 

I recommend going to an ABA class if it’s important for you. But just like birth, if it doesn’t work, it’s not indicative of your effort or self worth. It doesn’t always work out. Babies do fine on formula, and mums’ mental health is more important really.

 

One thing I’ve learnt is that babies don’t do things to plan. I wanted to babywear DD and she hated it and loved the pram. She would only eat bought baby food. Anyway, she’s fine. DS loves being worn. Babies are so different! Very little seems to be about us as parents, and it’s all about the baby’s needs.

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Deiva

Quick update and apologies for radio silence over the past few weeks - had been a fair bit busy and then awfully TIRED the rest of the time.

 

So I had a re-scan at 37+4 weeks and guess what??? It appears that miracles happen and my placenta has moved from 14mm to 4-5 cm away from cervix!!! :excite:

 

That happened in 3 weeks! And I even had the same technician so it was less likely that either scan was erroneous.

So stoked that I decided to push my OB for a late scan. I was comfortable with this as I didn't have any bleeding at all, so I felt relative safe to push the boat a little.

 

My hubby was a bit gobsmacked as he really didn't expect things to change and he got quite comfortable with the "easy" planned c-section. And truth be told, I also already accepted not having a VB...so it was a bit of a shock to go back to VB preparations in the end.

 

I'm very happy the way things turned out though, now I will have the choice of VB and if things don't go well at least I got the hormones started before a c-section or whatever will be needed on the day to deliver a healthy bubba.

 

I'm now 39+4 and having Braxton-Hicks left-right-centre! Hopefully not long now :thumbs:

 

Thank you all for all of your insights and reassurance! It was nice to talk about this so openly. I hope all of you super mums are well.

xx

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Chief Pancake Make

You get a lot bigger between 32 and 39 weeks. Your uterus is like a giant balloon. The bigger it gets the further away from your cervix the placenta will get so there is still hope.

 

 

Told you so :b. Good luck with the birth.

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