When we decided to have another child things were a little different. I was 29 years old. At the beginning of my pregnancy I started to bleed. I thought I was having a miscarriage and was ordered to bed rest for a week. My next doctor’s visit went fine and I heard a strong heartbeat.
Throughout my pregnancy I bled often and changed my OB to a high risk doctor. They found out that I had a condition called Placenta Praevia, where the placenta is attached to the uterine wall, close to or covering the cervix, which can cause massive bleeding during a vaginal delivery. It sometimes occurs in the latter part of the first trimester, but usually during the second or third. I visited the doctor more often than normal and was told that if it didn’t improve, I would need a c-section. During the second trimester everything seemed fine and I was back to normal.
I wasn’t even eight months pregnant and went into labor. I was seven weeks early – in the hospital dilating – and there was nothing they could do to stop or slow down the contractions. Ella May was born vaginally,on May 4, 2008 at 2:47 am and went straight to the NICU. The doctors decided to give me a D&C after birth just to be sure there was no more placenta. I remember feeling really sluggish and tired after going home. I thought that after a few days I would feel better physically but I never did.
Ella was a month old when I hemorrhaged again. Blood was everywhere and I remember thinking, “Does this happen to someone twice? Am I going to die? Is this it?”
I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. That was the longest night of my life. In the emergency room I sat in the bed bleeding on and off, speaking to doctors, and worrying onlyabout my baby because I was breast feeding. After waiting a few hours, a woman doctor came in to speak about my options. She suggested we perform another D&C. As I sat on the cold hospital bed I asked her if I would have to have a hysterectomy if the D&C does not work. She said (and I still can remember her voice and every wordwas she matter of fact? Cold? Distant? Confident and assured so that you believed her?She seemed very confident about her decision to perform the D&C. “We will not have to go down that road.” With both of my children I heard the word hysterectomy and my heart went numb. I didn’t even know what to think.
The procedure was only supposed to take 10 minutes. After over an hour of the most annoying and exhausting surgery (I had a spinal, so I was awake). I was told it would take ten minutes and after more than an hour I was very annoyed and uncomfortable. the doctor came up to me and said, “We can’t get the entire placenta out. We will have to give you a hysterectomy.” By then I was so tired I think after she told me that I passed out from the surgery.
I woke up in the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my life. My husband was at home resting at the time. I sent him home because I thought I was getting another D&C and when I was done I would call him. He didn’t even know I had a hysterectomy. We didn’t have the time to talk about this. I didn’t have the option. I had to have my mother call him and tell him what happened. No one else was with me at the time of the surgery. The recovery was very difficult and long. My husband and I didn’t get a chance to discuss my surgery until almost a year after. He thought I would be fine and things would go back to normal, little did he know. I was a monster. I didn’t like who I was, I just thought I was crazy. After numerous breakdowns and fights, I decided to talk to someone to get help. My husband decided to attend a support group so he was able to understand what I was going through. I recommend that to any husband or significant other.
I don’t’ feel I was examined correctly. I had a doctor that was supposed to be one of the best in the city, but he rushed through every scheduled visit with me. He said I was fine, but I believe that if I would have had the c-section I would have not had to have the hysterectomy. My doctor was pretty confident everything was going smoothly, but it didn’t. I went to see him on a Friday because I was leaking fluids. I thought my water broke but when he examined me, he said I was fine and to go home. He also said I was not going to go in labor that weekend. I started having contractions on Saturday night and had my daughter Sunday morning. My doctor was “out of town” that weekend so I didn’t even know who was going to deliver me. I am grateful to have had both my girls vaginally but after what I went through I would have wanted a C Section to save my cervix and uterus.
I was not well educated about what would happen physically, emotionally, and mentally after hysterectomy, and I experience this every day since the surgery. I have two beautiful girls and I am so grateful I am alive, but having the hysterectomy changed my life. I just hope that one day I will get over the fact that I can
not have any more children — we wanted, or hoped for a son.
It’s been a year since the surgery and I still struggle every day.
The only advice I have for women with Placenta Praevia is if you have any doubts about anything, get a second, third and fourth opinion. Go online, read and educate yourself on everything you should know about this subject. It might change your life.