Who knew that me and Kim Kardashian would have something in common … Placenta Accreta. If I were her and was able to have another baby, I would take my doctor’s advice and find a surrogate to carry my baby.
What is Placenta Accreta, you ask? It is a condition where the placenta, while searching for blood supply, acts like cancer and eats through your uterus. In my case, the condition progressed to its most advance form, Placenta Percreta. It not only devoured my uterus, but it started invading other organs. I had to have my bladder repaired, my uterus removed and cervix removed, and I will never be able to have another baby of my own. I was very lucky to have found out about the condition early in my pregnancy. Those who aren’t aware of Placenta Accreta have a much higher mortality rate of 9 percent.
I went to a specialist at 20 weeks gestation to see how my baby’s heart was developing. My husband’s family has a history of heart abnormalities, and we wanted to make sure our baby’s heart was OK. The baby looked great, but our doctor found the Accreta and Previa. I already knew that I was going to have a C-section with this pregnancy, because my other two babies were born via cesarean, too. Thus, I wasn’t too scared about the Placenta Previa, but what was Placenta Accreta and why did our doctor look so concerned?
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She explained the condition to us and told me that we would be delivering this baby at 34 weeks, if not sooner, to save my life. I was not happy to hear that this baby would be born so early. I even asked if we could wait until 36 weeks to let the baby develop more and have a better chance of survival, but our doctor insisted we perform the C-section to lessen the chance of hemorrhaging and needing blood transfusions. She explained that the longer we wait to remove the baby and placenta, the more likely the placenta will grow through the uteran wall (resulting in a hysterectomy) and invade other organs. After she explained the risks and reminded me that I had a family that needed me to survive this pregnancy, I agreed to the planned C-section at 34 weeks.
At 27 weeks gestation I started bleeding and was hospitalized for the remaining time. I probably bled because I was chasing my 3-year-old and 1-year-old around the playground instead of taking it easy like my doctor had advised. I was stuck in a hospital bed under constant supervision and monitoring for what seemed like an eternity. I would have lost my sanity in that hospital room if it weren’t for my husband, my other two children, friends and family visiting me every day. I also had my new online business to keep me busy.
When I found out I was pregnant this time around, I developed a new product called the Wiggle Worm Wrap. After creating this product, patenting it, and opening an online shop to sell it, I ended up in the hospital. With my husband’s and mother’s help, I was still able to sell and ship products even though I was confined to those four walls. When the eve of my delivery date finally arrived, it took everything in me not to cry when I said goodbye to my two children. It could have been the last time I saw their precious little faces. We worked so hard to have the family we created (both were IVF babies) and it seemed like I was going to loose everything we fought so hard for.
I hardly slept that night. I was so anxious and scared knowing that the worst could happen. My husband arrived early in the morning and was there for most of the surgery. I had a team of surgeons working on me and an oncologist was heading that team. The oncologist was called in to remove the placenta since it was acting like cancer and eating through my uterus. The surgery only took a couple of hours. I lost a lot of blood but I didn’t need a transfusion, and they kept me awake the entire time. I had an epidural to numb my body and didn’t feel anything.
It only took a few minutes for the team to get my baby boy out. I was relieved when I heard him cry. He stopped breathing a few times and they had to get him breathing and stabilized, but once he was stable, my husband went with him and the doctors to the NICU. Everything was going as planned. My husband returned from the NICU to let me know that our son was doing well considering that he was born six weeks early. I was then informed that they would be removing my uterus. I was expecting that they would be removing it, and as long as my baby was OK (and I was going to survive this surgery), I was OK with that.