TMI Warning: This post contains details about pregnancy that you may consider to be too much information. I'm going to use lots of female anatomy words and everything!! Don't say I didn't warn you!
We had another ultrasound yesterday - where we got to take a peek at our growing little boy. Check out his profile and his little button nose!!
The point of the ultrasound, however, wasn't really to look at our baby (though we were delighted to see him again!). The point was to look at the position of my placenta. Four weeks ago, when we found out we were having a boy, we also discovered that my placenta had implanted too low in my uterus - partially covering my cervix. If the placenta ends up covering (or partially covering) the cervix, that's a complication called placenta previa (or partial placenta previa).
Four weeks ago, the OB told us not to worry, there was still plenty of time for the placenta to "migrate" out of the way. That's why I got checked again yesterday - to see if the placenta had moved at all. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have moved much yet. It didn't get worse (which is good), but it also didn't get better (which is less good.) I'm not due until mid-June, so there's still potentially time for the placenta to get out of the way. I'll be checked again in another four weeks to see if there has been any progress.
In the meantime, I've been put on "pelvic rest" (which is pretty much what it sounds like - no sex, no orgasm) and advised not to do any "vigorous activities" like jogging (which I almost laughed in the OB's face about. I couldn't jog before I got pregnant!!). These precautions are to avoid any potential bleeding right now, because if I do start bleeding I may end up needing to be hospitalized.
If my placenta doesn't move out of the way, I'll end up needing a c-section. With complete previa, the placenta physically blocks the baby's way out, so vaginal birth simply isn't possible. And, even if it isn't completely covering the birth canal, if the placenta is too close to the cervix it can cause profuse, life-threatening bleeding, so a c-section is still the safest way to go.
When the c-section occurs depends on how the baby and I are doing - and whether there is any bleeding. If we both do ok, the c-section will be around 37 weeks (happy anniversary to us??) This is still an early delivery, but the point is to do it before there is any chance of natural labor, which could cause the life-threatening bleeding. If I have bleeding when I am less than 34 weeks, I might be giving corticosteroids to speed up baby's lung development and prevent other complications - in case he needs to be delivered even more prematurely. Either way, we'll have to weigh the benefit of giving the baby extra time to mature against the risk of waiting and the possibility of heavy bleeding and other complications.
I'm trying to remind myself that this is all a great big "IF" right now. This is only an issue IF my placenta doesn't move out of the way. So far, I haven't had any bleeding whatsoever - which is a good sign. And there is still theoretically plenty of time for my placenta to migrate out of the way. And my doctors are on top of it and I'm being checked for progress every four weeks.
I must admit that it's still a little bit scary, though.