· By Tiny Hearts Education
After having two pretty uneventful pregnancies, my third pregnancy was pretty eventful. Early on in my 3rd pregnancy, I was diagnosed with Placenta Previa and that I would have to have another c-section (this would be my 3rd c-section) due to the placenta's position. This would prevent me from having a VBAC.
At our 20 week scan, we decided to find out the gender of the baby (mainly because my partner was really hoping for a boy) and we were so excited to find out that we were pregnant with a boy! Everything seemed to be going along fine, then at 25 weeks I woke in the morning and went to the bathroom to find I was bleeding.
I started to panic but tried to remain calm in front of my two girls and quickly took myself to A&E at my local hospital as I couldn't get hold of my GP OB or my OB in Adelaide as it was too early in the morning. It was a nervous wait in A&E, and as I waited, I remember just rubbing my tummy and talking to him and begging for him to be okay. The on-duty midwife came and got me and hooked me up to the heart monitor, and it was such a relief to hear his nice strong heartbeat. My GP OB came in and said the baby was okay, but I would have to go to the hospital in Adelaide via ambulance to be furthered assessed.
When I got to Adelaide, I was taken to the labour ward and seen by the on-duty OBs and then was eventually transferred to the maternity ward as I didn't look like I was going into labour. Over the next few days, the bleeding was only spotting and got less and less. I was told I would be able to go home when the bleeding has stopped, which should be only a few days.
But after a more few days in the hospital, I was eventually told by the Head OB that I would have to stay in hospital in Adelaide until the baby was born as it was too risky being an hour away from a major hospital if I was to have another bleed as next time it could be bigger.
That news was so hard to hear as that meant I would be away from my family and two little girls for months! I cried A LOT and felt so alone. I asked if I could be transferred to the private hospital so that my kids could visit and I wouldn't have to worry about my girls disturbing the other patients in the room and also to have some privacy since I was going to be in the hospital for so long.
Luckily I was able to find a new OB to take on my care as my original OB didn't consult at the hospital I was in and was transferred to the private hospital. It was good to have just the one OB again looking after me. Over the following weeks, I had numerous more bleeds, some bigger than others which were quite scary. My OB decided that bubs would have to be born no later than 36 weeks as any longer would increase the risk of a massive bleed.
I also had to have an MRI scan to see exactly where the placenta was and that it hadn't attached itself to my previous c-section scars. Luckily it hadn't attached to any scars. But my OB explained that there was the risk of needing a Hysterectomy if they can't stop the bleeding during birth.
Thankfully bubs continued to bake until 36 weeks. The night before the delivery, I had one last ultrasound to check on the placenta's position. It was so nice to see him on the ultrasound once last time before meeting him the next morning. Of course, the night before the birth, I couldn't sleep as I was too excited but also really nervous due to the complications that could happen.
Early the next morning, I was prepped for the c-section and taken down to theatre; I had so many lines ready if I needed blood transfusions. When bubs were born, I got to see him briefly before being assessed by the Neonatologist/Paediatrician. He was taken to the Special Care Nursery for monitoring as his blood sugars were a bit low. I told my partner to go with them and be with our little man, and I would be okay.
I lost approximately 1.5L of blood during the birth I had to stay in recovery for a little longer. I was then taken back up to the maternity ward, and I was taken into the Special Care Nursery in the bed and was so lucky to get some skin to skin contact and was also able to give him his first breastfeed, which was amazing. It was so strange not having him in my room with me to feed him, but my partner was constantly going up the hall to the special care unit to see him and check on his progress.
I was also able to express some colostrum for my partner to feed him. The day after the birth, the nurses helped me out of bed for the first time, which I dreaded as I remembered how bad that was from my previous two c-sections. I got to the bathroom and sat in a shower chair and had a nice shower, but when I was dried and dressed the nurse started to help me back to bed and the next thing I knew everything went black then I remember waking up on my bed, I had passed out as my blood pressure had dropped from the pain medication.
After that, I requested to be taken off the strong pain relief so that wouldn't happen again. A few days later, when I could get up and about, I started getting terrible headaches. At first, I put it down to taking my pain meds a little to late, but they didn't improve, and at one stage while I was sitting in the special care nursery I vomited from the pain.
The OB and anaesthetist saw me. I was diagnosed with Spinal Headaches and required a Blood Patch procedure to patch the hole that spinal fluid was leaking from following the spinal anaesthesia for the c-section. Thankfully a few hours after the procedure, and I was allowed out of bed again; the headaches had improved and disappeared completely over the next few days.
I was discharged from the hospital seven days post-birth, but my little man had to stay in special care a bit longer due to Jaundice. It broke my heart to have to leave him, but we decided to stay in Adelaide at my mum's house for the weekend so we could go in to feed him and cuddle him.
On Monday when we were back home, around lunchtime, I was sitting expressing milk ready to take to Adelaide, and when I stood up, I noticed that I could feel blood and my pad filling up. So I went to the bathroom, and the blood would not stop, it was like a running tap. I yelled out to my partner, he wanted to call an ambulance, but I said let's just get in the car and get the hospital as it would be quicker than waiting for an ambulance as we only lived 5 mins away.
When I got out of the car, I started walking across the road when I felt a massive clot come out along with a huge gush of blood. I freaked and continued to waddle into A&E where I was rushed in and in no time was surrounded by numerous doctors, midwives and nurses. All I kept thinking to myself was I'm not going to see my baby boy and my family again, but I wasn't going to give up. I was told I had lost 3.5L of blood. I was then sent to Emergency in Adelaide via Ambulance. After numerous tests and an Ultrasound, it was determined that an infection caused my Secondary Postpartum Haemorrhage.
Once I was stable I was transferred to the maternity ward where I stayed for another week and received, and an iron transfusion and three blood transfusions as walking a short distance or having a shower would tire me out so much, and I would feel breathless. Finally, when I recovered and was able to be discharged, my little man was able to come home with us.