If you're uninterested in baby stuff, skip this one. I won't blame you!
I'm 34 weeks, 2 days today. At 18 weeks, I had a scan and they noted that I had a low lying placenta (only 1cm away from my cervix) which, if it didn't move, would block the way for bub to come out and would be too dangerous for a vaginal birth. So, they booked me in for another scan at or around 34 weeks to check to see if the placenta moved up as the uterus grew bigger.
I had that scan last Tuesday and the good news was that my placenta is now 5cm away from my cervix! Plenty of room apparently. However, while I was having the yucky internal scan, the sonographer started using colour doppler to look at some blood vessels that were randomly near the cervix - only 1.5cm away. She hummed and hawed and tried to get a heartbeat from them (to see if they were my blood vessels going into placenta or if they were Bub's vessels going from the placenta to bub). Bub's head was RIGHT up against my cervix, and s/he is a super active kid so she spent about a half hour trying but not able to get a clear reading on any of the blood vessels because kiddo kept head-butting the area and ruining it.
She took out the probe and told me to relax a minute while she went and got a doctor as she wasn't sure what was going on with these random blood vessels.
A doctor returned with her and they did another internal, same as before, trying to get readings on the vessels, poking and prodding my lower abdomen to try to get the baby to move away from the cervix, to no avail. Stubborn kid.
They didn't really talk to me but I heard them discussing. I heard "I think they're maternal", "too close to cervix", "can't tell, maybe just placental lakes?", " many vessels"... Blah blah blah. They removed the prove again and the doctor (who seemed to be a bit of a newbie) told me that they aren't sure what the vessels are, nor who they belong to. She said another scan at 36 weeks was needed, and that if they couldn't tell what was going on then (again), that there was a possibility I would need an MRI to map the vessels! She also mentioned that if they are baby's vessels, that it would be too dangerous to allow a vaginal birth and that a cesarean may be a possibility.
I left, but they didn't give me the scan results (that I needed to take to the birth unit after the scan to book a cesarean if my placenta hadn't moved) so Andrew and I went home, a bit confused and disappointed that there seemed to be another complication.
Now, I know LOTS of people have cesareans. I know they save lives. But I was/am looking forward to labour and giving birth naturally to my child and experiencing that whole thing. I know, crazy talk. Also, I'M FUCKING TERRIFIED OF HAVING MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY WHILE AWAKE BUT TRAPPED ON A BED. Ahem.
So that night, I got all cranky and teary and sad about the birth I felt I was loosing, and being scared of surgery, and upset about the long drawn out recovery, AND also the even longer wait to get back in the saddle. Andrew copped my random abuse about silly things and then just held me and talked me through everything. He is an absolute gem, that man.
The next day, the birth unit called me. She said that she saw in the book that they were expecting me yesterday (I didn't have an appointment though) and that they hadn't seen me. I jumped in, explaining the weird scan and how they hadn't given me any results and how I am going back at 36 weeks. She then surprised me when said that she had my results with her (ultrasound, midwife program and birth unit are all at the same hospital), and that she had just spoken to the team of doctors on my case (eh? I've only been seeing midwives as it's been a low risk pregnancy), and that the doctors want to meet with me as soon as possible. She asked me to call their office as soon as I got off the phone and to book in to see Dr Rizvi (I think she's the head doctor?) as soon as they could book me in after she got back from annual leave. I was a bit shocked - why would they want to see me before my next scan? Anyway, I am booked in to see her on Tuesday next week, which was the earliest available apparently.
So that whole "meeting with the doctors" thing got me panicking a little bit. So I googled "blood vessels close to cervix pregnancy" and whoah boy why did I do that?!?
I couldn't find anything on maternal vessels near the cervix, but there is plenty of scary fucking shit on fetal blood vessels near the cervix. It's called Vasa Previa (meaning vessels in the way of the baby) and if that is what I have got, it seems that if my membranes break, the blood vessels are extremely prone to breaking and baby can bleed out and die within 4-5 minutes. It's rare, one stat I saw was something like 1:3000 pregnancies. It's not often diagnosed before labour, and fetal death rates when not diagnosed pre-labour are something like 98%. The only safe option is early cesarean before the mother has a chance to go into labour. Risk factors include low lying placenta. So yeah. Ugh.
But most sources said (I used my uni's account with Google Scholar to read studies on the condition, more reliable, scientific, not as emotive language, less scary research tbh) that when diagnosed at antenatal scans, that survival rates are over 97%. Also, most mothers diagnosed with this are hospitalised as soon as possible.
So what is it I have? Do I have a serious fatal condition and if I go into labour my baby will die and I should be hospitalised now? Or do they really not know what this is and there's little risk at this point and I can just keep doing my thing and attending scans and appointments etc? I keep lying awake at night stressing about it and trying not to google more. I have given up any hope of a vaginal birth and have stopped being so terrified of a cesarean because the alternative is unthinkable. I'm super worried and scared and just needed to write this all out here. I know it's not horse related, but this is the only blog I have for now.
So yeah. That's where we are at at the moment. I've probably (hopefully) way overreacted but this is what I do when medical people don't give me answers. I go looking myself.
I don't know how to end this entry now. Hrm.