After two weeks of being away from my office PC, I feel a little relieved to be back. Although I have tons of work to complete today, I really don't mind since the 14-day bedrest was enough for me to revitalize my energy.
Now, you might wonder why I was gone for so long? The reason: I had a threatened abortion. Yes, it's true! Thursday, April 9th, I experienced vaginal bleeding which almost scared me to death. I had a miscarriage during my first pregnancy so I very well knew that the bleeding could be a sign of a more serious pregnancy problem. I immediately seek for medical advice and when I underwent a trans-vaginal ultrasound, my OB-GYNE and I found out that indeed what I was experiencing was rather serious - it was placenta previa.
Placenta previa? I've heard of such condition before but I didn't really understand what it was. So, my OB-GYNE explained to me why it caused me to bleed and what I should do to at least make the placenta move away from my cervix, so as not to endanger me and my baby. Of course, I got scared and asked my doctor how come my placenta is totally covering my cervix. Was it from stress, from strenuous activities that I've been doing for the past three months, or from traveling long distance everyday to and from work? She said it was not actually caused by any of the three. So, what I did was make a thorough research about placenta previa and here is what I found out:
Here is an image of what a normal placenta and complete placenta previa look like:
Placenta previa is a complication of pregnancy in which the placenta grows in the lowest part of the womb (uterus) and covers all or part of the opening to the cervix.
The placenta is the organ that nourishes the developing fetus.
During pregnancy, the placenta moves as the uterus stretches and grows. In early pregnancy, a low-lying placenta is very common. But as the pregnancy progresses, the growing uterus should "pull" the placenta toward the top of the womb. By the third trimester, the placenta should be near the top of the uterus, leaving the opening of the cervix clear for the delivery.
Sometimes, though, the placenta remains in the lower portion of the uterus, partly or completely covering this opening. This is called a previa.
There are different forms of placenta previa:
(sidenote: Mine is complete placenta previa. :(huhuhu!)
- Marginal: The placenta is against the cervix but does not cover the opening.
- Partial: The placenta covers part of the cervical opening.
- Complete: The placenta completely covers the cervical opening.
True placenta previa at term is very serious. Complications for the baby include:
Risks for the mother include:
- Problems for the baby, secondary to acute blood loss
- Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) due to poor placental perfusion
- Increased incidence of congenital anomalies
- Life-threatening hemorrhage (in short, death)
- Cesarean delivery
- Increased risk of postpartum hemorrhage
- Increased risk placenta accreta (Placenta accreta is where the placenta attaches directly to the uterine muscle.)
Illustration from: health.yahoo.com
I got really scared upon learning about placenta previa, especially about the possible complications that it can bring to me and my baby. Now, I'm back to work, and after two weeks of bedrest, I still don't know if my condition got better or got worse. I'm off to a second trans-vaginal ultrasound in a next day or two. And oh by the way, baby is doing ok. I saw him during the ultrasound - he's so cute with those little hands and feet, and he's moving already. Though we couldn't see the gender yet, I'm still hopeful that he's a he this time.