Another 32 week pregnancy drama…

A recent diagnosis of placenta praevia has thrown me a bit.  Third child in, I’d never even considered the prospect of a sun-roof birth after two downstairs.  I thought this giving birth lark was supposed to get easier?

Handstands and cigar burning.

At around 32 weeks, my babies like to keep me on my toes.

Whilst still in the uterus.  I have no idea why they feel this is necessary.  When they keep me on my toes enough once they’ve come out.

With Beaver, I had a pre-eclampsia scare and a few days of hospital monitoring.  This turned out to be just a VERY bad case of swollen, clown feet but still resulted in me having to carry a 5 litre carton of my own wee around.  Not very dignified.

With Godivy, they diagnosed her as breech and I had a few weeks of doing crazy stuff like standing on my head and getting Daddy Pig to burn a cigar on my little toe every evening.  OK it wasn’t actually a cigar but it looked very much like one.  Moxibustion, I think they call it.  It worked.  Until it didn’t.  And Godivy kept us guessing right up until the last hour, when after a blue light trip to hospital, she did eventually emerge, head first.

And now with this one, I have minor Placenta Praevia.  They say that 99% of placentas move between 20 and 32 weeks but not this one.  I have the 1% that is very comfortable where it is, thank you very much.  The sonographer says it won’t move.  The midwife says it can and don’t lose hope.  They haven’t explained it well and what they have said doesn’t actually tally with the guidelines issued by The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists.  So, I sit somewhere in between them, rather confused.  6mm.  That’s all that’s in it, they say.  Another 30mm on top of that would be better but let’s not get greedy.

Anyway, there’s nothing I can do about it.  No amount of handstands or cigar burning can apparently save me this time.

Sod fate.

I can only assume that this most recent 32 week crisis means we are having another girl.  Another girl who already enjoys her share of drama.  Who will follow in succession where Beaver and Godivy already reign.  Be afraid, Daddy Pig.  Be very afraid.

And so I must wait 4 weeks, for another scan and for a consultant to tell me what I am allowed to do.  With my own body.  A possible sun-roof birth after doing two downstairs.  This doesn’t feel comfortable.  I don’t feel fatalistic about it, ‘Que sera sera.’  And it doesn’t matter how many times someone says, ‘How the baby gets here isn’t important.’  For now, it is important.  

Be careful what you wish for.

And the irony is that during this pregnancy I’ve had silly ideas.  Like wanting to stay overnight in hospital to escape the madness at home.  And thinking what date I’d like the baby to arrive, to fit in with our busy, family schedule.  Like I ever really had a say in these things.  Now that they are distinct possibilities, I realise I don’t want them at all.  The lesson here.  Be careful what you wish for.

There is, of course, a part of me telling the other part of me to have faith.  Twice before things have worked out fine.  It could do so again.  Because 6mm is nothing, right?  Says she, the one who knows absolutely nothing about placentas.  Unfortunately, the other part of me is not always very good at listening.

Well, I hope you’re better at it, baby.  Because I need you to listen to this.  Come as late as you want.  However you want.  Crikey, I’ll do it at home if you like, while whipping up a fish pie.  Beaver and Godivy can even watch.  I hereby abstain from being precious and making ridiculous demands I have no right to make.

In return, if you could just give that pesky placenta a shove 6mm to the left, that would be dandy.  I’ll I.O.U a packet of Smarties.  When you’re bigger.

Just please don’t tell your sisters I said that.

They’re already experts in blackmail.

I need your comments.  Positive stories about placentas doing miraculous dance moves past 32 weeks please!  I don’t mind if it happened to your friend’s sister’s work colleague.  Throw them at me.  Reply below or visit Surviving Life and Motherhood.  There’s a pack of Smarties in it for you too…

And if you’re someone in the same position as me, I’ve found a whole blog dedicated to the mystery that is Placenta Praevia.  Don’t be put off by the less than cheery title The Worst-Case Guide to Placenta Previa.  It’s really very funny… Quentin Tarantino even makes an appearance.  Also check out these guidelines from The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists so you’re in the know and not only relying on your midwife’s/sonographer’s advice.


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    6 thoughts on “Another 32 week pregnancy drama…

    1. Dian

      I still remember the LDR staff psiotioning a mirror and encouraging me to watch my baby’s head emerging during my daughter’s delivery. What impressed me was the image of my perineum resembling raw hamburger. Apparently I made it quite clear that I had no desire to watch this miracle in the mirror. My hubby did cut the cord (after the OB got it unwrapped from Jennifer’s neck), but I don’t recall either of us addressing the placenta. I mean, I was busy I had a baby on my trunk, and the staff asked me what the APGARs were!The whole home birth movement confuses me as well. Even if one ignores the risks of childbirth to mom and baby (and women still die doing this), it is INCREDIBLY MESSY. Giving birth in a room that can be easily cleaned by SOMEONE ELSE is of prime importance. There are all sorts of bodily fluids/substances squirting out. Do I really want this happening in my bed or bathtub? And do I really want siblings watching mommy bleed/poop/sweat/curse during what is clearly a painful experience? Seems a little traumatic to me natural, but not desirable.


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