Author: Jenny Cutting
I’m writing this to make other mothers aware of multiple caesareans and Placenta Accreta. I never knew the dangers until it happened with my last child. Here is my story.
My twin birth
2004 I was blessed to have given birth to two beautiful little twin boys via caesarean. This was my third caesarean but no complications other than my twins were 7 weeks premature but they were healthy. I wasn’t planning on having any more children.
Finding out I was pregnant again
Early 2005 I discovered I was pregnant again. To be honest my first thoughts were to abort my child but I couldn’t do that. Weeks went past and my first anti natal appointments started. I had a scan that seemed fine around the 7 month mark.
33 weeks pregnant with my 4th child
Around the 33 week mark I had a problem urinating. It seem like the baby was just pressing on my bladder and I had to rock myself back and forth while on the toilet, for me to start the number 1. I mentioned this to the anti natal nurse but she didn’t seem fazed.
35 weeks pregnant with my 4th child
At 35 weeks it was 8pm I went to the toilet and walked out. Next I felt a pop feeling (like my waters broke. I quickly grabbed my privates in a reaction and I pulled my hand away to realise I was bleeding and bleeding bad. I called for my partner, and as he saw me he freaked. I sat myself down, knowing full well “he” is not going to be a good help, simply because he’s male and he doesn’t deal with blood issues the best of times, sigh! So, I grabbed my phone and called 000.
I was losing a lot of blood, plus losing parts of my placenta. The doctor requested an emergency scan, after they rushed me straight through to theatre. I was told by medical staff, that the Bundaberg Hospital only had 9 unit of my blood type and I may end up in Brisbane. I was given paperwork to sign and straight in the operating room.
The nurses were prepping me and the thoughts of why I may need blood was running there my head. I look over to my left to see my surgeon with a serious face, like some bad was wrong. At the time, I didn’t know exactly what was happening to me. This sent me into shock and this is all I remember before as I slipped asleep. This was Sunday 18th September 2005.
I woke 3 days later in the ICU in the Royal Brisbane women’s hospital
When I woke, I woke up alone, other than Doctors and Nurses. I had tubes and IV’s in both arms (one for fluids, the other for the blood transfusions). I had a central line in my neck, oxygen tubes up my nose, I also had one down my throat while I was under. There was a drain type “wick thing” that was draining old the blood for my scar line and those things, they put on your legs to circulate my blood. Omg it was scary. Somehow I knew my baby was ok though. I woke up telling the nurses. How I knew this? My mother chanted to me while I was under that my baby was ok.
Once I woke I learnt of the major complications that happened and that the Doctors almost lost me a few times. The Bundaberg Hospital had to call in 6 private head surgeons in the area and worked 6 hours just stabilise me to fly me to Royal Brisbane women’s ICU. The Tuesday after 2 days later, 1 day before I woke. The Brisbane hospital had to reopen me and again try to stop the bleeding as it hadn’t stopped.
What happened was I had Placenta Accreta, the scarring of my previous caesareans had made my uterus scar paper thin. The placenta of my baby attached itself to the uterus and grew through. My placenta had attached to my bladder. When the doctor opened me up, I was a total mess inside. This resulted in a partial hysterectomy and in total 23 units of blood was transfused.
I was strong and determined to get back to my baby, who was in hospital in my home town. A full week and a day later I was able to leave. The doctor removed my last thing, my catheter, and gave me a ok to leave. I was desperate to get back to Bundaberg and my baby. I got straight in a taxi to Roma St Station and booked myself a ticket home on a train, with my mum beside me.
5 hours later I met my beautiful little baby boy. He was so tiny and the nurse knew both myself and baby were going to be ok. Apparently he rarely opened his eyes while I was away. As soon as he was in my arms his beautiful eyes opened and he was trying to peek at me. He became so alert and he knew me straight away. I fell in love and again I’m falling in love all over again remembering.
Placenta Accreta rates
This is a warning about multiple pregnancies. I’m not sure of the percent rate in Australia, but in America Placenta Accreta affects approximately 50,000 women and children. The mortality rates are very high for both mother and baby.