This started out as a very short post; the standard pregnancy books don’t go into much detail about Placenta Accreta. Basically, they say that it is a rare but very serious condition where the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall, and that hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) is the typical course of treatment.
I wanted to know more, so I did some extra digging online. Wouldn’t you know it, there is lots more to know! 👇🏻
From what I learned, “placenta accreta” is the blanket term for the condition, but there are varying degrees. It is classified by the extent of the invasion into the uterine wall.
Let’s back up: during pregnancy, the lining of the uterus changes, and a layer called “decidua” forms - this separates the placental villi from the inner, muscular layer of the uterus (the myometrium). The decidua protects the pregnancy from the maternal immune system, as well as facilitates the exchange of nutrition, gas and waste. In occurrences of placenta accreta, the decidua may be deficient and the villi of the placenta attach to or invade the myometrium.
The 3 distinct types of placenta accreta are:
1️⃣ Placenta Accreta Vera
The placental villi attach to the superficial myometrium, rather than being restricted by the decidua. (75-80% of cases).
2️⃣ Placenta Increta
The villi adhere to the body of the myometrium, but do not penetrate its full thickness. (About 17% of cases).
3️⃣ Placenta Percreta
The villi penetrate the full thickness of the myometrium, and can even invade neighbouring organs such as the bladder or rectum. (About 5% of cases).
Remember when I posted about the placenta? (See Jul 10 post). I mentioned that the doctor or midwife will examine the placenta after it is delivered, and there is a very important reason for this - they are checking to make sure it’s all there.
In some cases, fragments of the placenta are not expelled from your uterus. When this happens, they can disrupt the postpartum contractions. These contractions serve to shrink down the uterus and close off the blood vessels inside; when they don’t occur as they should, the blood vessels at the placenta attachment site continue to bleed. If undetected or not treated, this can lead to excessive blood loss (hemorrhage), or infection. (Hence why that placenta inspection is so critical!)
This situation is typically managed by injecting synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin) to help contract the uterus - sometimes this is given preventively immediately after the baby is born; alternatively, it may be administered only if deemed necessary. (This often comes down to caregiver preference and/or hospital policy). The uterus can also be stimulated to contract by performing fundal massage, and through breastfeeding (which stimulates oxytocin release in your body).
Did you receive the Pitocin shot? If so, did you get it right away, or as needed?
#pregnant #birth #waitingforbaby #placenta #retainedplacenta #hemorrhage #oxytocin #pitocin #healthcare #oakvilledoula #miltondoula #GTAdoula #mississaugadoula #haltondoula #doulalizdaher #PCN
Today is officially Ellie’s due date. Boy oh boy did you surprise us with your early arrival. I’m not going to lie when you ask me what motherhood looked like as soon as Ellie arrived. Our plan was 1-2 days in hospital and then get little one home to start our new chapter and be in the comforts of our own home.
What motherhood really looked like was the first 7 days being in hospital hooked up to multiple IV’s and transfusions, having my vitals checked on a constant basis and fighting a fever as I try to care for this precious little one. Nothing went to plan post delivery. Emergency surgery, a very severe infection that scared everyone and ongoing changes to my care to try to get me home as quickly as possible.
As difficult as that first week was I am so grateful for all the help and support I received from Tom and my parents as well as the amazing team of nurses at St. Paul’s Hospital. As hard as it is to talk about because it was quite traumatic I need to talk about it to grow from the experience. We need to embrace our journeys even if they are not picture perfect and we need to not hide from sharing the difficult times incase someone else can learn and relate to that experience.
So here is to the bright future, a healthy baby girl, a new family adventure and to being open with the struggles that life throws at us. 💗💗💗 #momlife #newborn #ellie #theoneills #postpartum #infection #strongwomen #motherhood #hospital #traumarecovery #wegotthis #family #newchapter #hyperemesisgravidarum #retainedplacenta #postopcomplications #fever #support #junebaby #loveher
Story Time: Why something I thought was normal led me to urgent surgery (this is a reminder to bring even the minor things up with your GP and not be afraid to mention anything even if you think it’s unimportant/normal). Today I had a D&C due to some of Hayden’s placenta being stuck in my uterus, causing an infection that could have lead to me haemorrhaging (having a massive bleed) at any point.
And I wouldn’t have known this if I didn’t go to my GP for what I thought might have been thrush. I was only a week and a bit postpartum, so I thought it was normal to have prolonged bleeding ‘down there’ and lots of swelling and pain as well. But then it started to get itchy, and I was frustrated with my symptoms enough that I went to my GP to see what I could do to manage it until I healed.
The GP gave me an exam, and determined that I had an infection. I was put on antibiotics and referred for an ultrasound ASAP. The ultrasound came back that I had retained product (placenta) from the birth, and my uterus hadn’t shrunk like normal. I was referred to an OB, who wasn’t able to see me within a few days so I was told to present to Emergency. So to ED we went. They booked me in for surgery the following day, which is what I got done today and now I’m home recovering from the general anaesthesia. A bit of pain in my abdomen is starting to kick in, but I’m excited to get rid of the symptoms I’ve felt for the past two weeks. On the road to recovery.
Also, it was amazing to get put under for the surgery, it was the best sleep I’ve gotten since before bub was born 😂 I was out for a solid two hours! So good haha.
But I’m sharing this story because I thought pain down there was normal after pushing out a baby (makes sense) and I wouldn’t have seen a doctor if I wasn’t a sook when it comes to itching. But if there’s any concerns you have, even minor, don’t assume it’s normal. Because it might be normal, but it also might be something to get checked out. It’s always better safe than sorry, especially when you have a little bub relying on you.
&C #postpartumproblems #2weeksold #2weekspostpartum #retainedplacenta #placenta
This was me right before we were released from the hospital after having my daughter.
I felt more terrible than I looked. And clearly I look wrecked. Absolutely wrecked.
I can assure you that you are NOT supposed to feel this miserable. I had hemorrhaged at birth and was on the cusp of needing a blood transfusion but the doctors thought I’d rebound on my own. I am all for minimal intervention. But clearly I was in need. After nearly passing out in my daughter’s first Peds appointment at four days old they wheeled me down to the ER where I was admitted and had a CT scan, a blood transfusion, a D&C and another blood transfusion. I was sent home two days later. And six weeks later came rushing back to the ER hemorrhaging again. I had another D&C.
This is your PSA: Advocate for yourself. If something doesn’t feel right, say something. Tell every nurse and doctor. Some one will eventually listen, hear things differently and get you the help you need. I’m a people pleaser. I was told I was fine so I told myself I was. I was so so far from it. The first two months of my daughter’s life were excruciating, both physically and emotionally.
And for any mama with retained placenta who literally feels like they are on death's door, you are not alone. And there is hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I promise.
Let me assure you that the darkest days which are “supposed to be” your most magical will end.
Progress is slow. It took me weeks to walk up stairs, and stand in the shower. It happens, slowly, far more slowly than I would have liked. But each week I would realize that I was doing something I hadn’t been able to do the week before.
I held onto hope by imagining myself making tiny, tiny progress each day.
I also kept imagining myself two years out chasing my daughter in one of our local parks when I got really scared and really dark. The days when I thought I might actually die I held onto this clip. And guess what, here we are. Two years later. And I’m chasing my daughter around that park. And damn it feels good.
Applying the Solar 7th to my immune points for post surgery care and infection prevention. .
Birth is so much more than birthing the baby. There is also the placenta that needs to be birthed afterwards. Something that is rarely spoken about. Mainly because it is meant to be so effortless and easy to birth the placenta, that it is almost void of any conversation. .
For me, the birth is relatively easy and I emphasis relatively, because no birth is easy. I’m talking relative to not being able to birth my placenta. Something I have now attempted twice and both times ended up in Emergancy surgery for removal. There is nothing quiet as disheartening as a healthy pregnancy, quick and drug free, uninterrupted home birth to only be transported for a full blown 30 hour field trip into the medical system. (Although I am incredibly grateful because without the medical support I would not have survived.) .
So as the solstice sun at 00” Cancer bursts through our bedroom window I self nurture and protect myself with an acutonic tuning fork treatment to further strengthen my immunity for post surgery care. .
#postpartumcare #postsurgery #prevention #healing #acutonics #postpartumhemorraghe #retainedplacenta #theunspokenpartsofbirth #treeoflife #birth #adishakti #solsticesun #gratefultobealive #gchospital #amazingstaff
Happy 1st Birthday to my littlest. Super sassy and such a happy little babe! And thank you to my sweet friend who always takes time out to allow me to step IN FRONT of the camera with my babies 💕
Since having my baby girl 9 weeks ago I have been through hell with my health.
I anticipated been out for 6 weeks after having poppy and I would be able to get back on my fitness and start to get healthy again.
Everything just seems to be working against me. I've been in and out of hospital, I have been misdiagnosed, I am still waiting to be treated and I'm on countless meds all because one doctor gave the wrong decision 1 hour after having my girl!
I am now in a dark place and just want to climb back out and get my body back and my life!
Trying to stay positive.
#postnataldepression #postbabybody #slimmingworldfamily #retainedplacenta #9weekspostpartum #tryingtobepositive
Little update, we’re back in hospital with a suspected retained placenta . Little man is sleeping better in the hospital plastic rocker crib than he does at home! I’m shattered, feeling sorry for myself as I feel that I’ve let my middle son down who is starting his GCSEs today and so tired from a 6 hour wait in A&E. We were offered an ambulance which would’ve come within 2 hours. But we thought we could get there quicker ourselves, makes you think. 🤔 #mum #babyboy #hospital
stay #retainedplacenta #oldermum #northeastmums #followingroman #ninedaysold
My first moments with my baby weren’t recovery and immediate breastfeeding. My first moments of motherhood were not the sweet skin to skin that everyone talks about. My first moments with baby were the doctor continuously working. My first moments with baby were the announcement and fear that after spending the night in labor I would be taken to the OR and put under full anesthesia.
I remember asking after she was born how much longer, and the doctor saying “about 30 minutes” I watched the clock and saw 30 minutes pass, then an hour, then an hour and half. I remember the scared glances we exchanged as Jonathan held Bethany when the doctor quickly explained retained placenta and said “One more try and if it doesnt work we are going to the OR”
Link to full post in bio •
#happymotherday #thankadoctor #thankanurse #mybirthstory #retainedplacenta #retainedplacentaawareness
Happy Birthday my son. Today’s blog post is for you! http://kurrentkhaos.com/blog/