I popped over to read a blog a friend had sent me.  The woman, also a Christian, and a mother of 13 children, had a little boy 8 months ago and experienced problems with complete (total or full) placenta previa.

While much of our situations is different with my preterm labor/incompetent cervix,  I did find her blog encouraging.  I did notice that she categorized her placenta previa posts under a separate category for ease of finding.  So, I’m creating another category and hopefully some day this drama will encourage someone else.  We’ll see. 😉

Placenta previa occurs in approximately 1 out of 200 women or 0.5% of the time.  9/10 cases diagnosed in the early second trimester will resolve themselves spontaneously.  Unfortunately those are almost always marginal, partial, or low lying previas.  It is rare that complete previa spontaneously resolves.  Approximately 40-50% of women with previa at the time of delivery will need blood transfusions.

9-10% of patients with placenta previa will develop a condition called Placenta Accreta.  It’s important that if you’ve been diagnosed with placenta previa that your obstetrician be watching for this.  It is VITAL that you watch for it.  While it is not common in people without previa, if you are reading this blog because you have previa, are a mother to many, have had previous c-sections, you have significant risk factors.  From what I can find the hysterectomy rates for patients with accreta is running at 66-71% and this is to prevent hemorrhage of the mother.  The transfusion rate is approximately 90% and the death rate for patients with placenta accreta is 7% or approximately 1 in 14-15 women.  It’s not pleasant, but part of the reason accreta is so incredibly serious is that it is often NOT diagnosed.  When the mother delivers the baby it is THEN that accreta is discovered and it’s often a nasty shock.  Accreta can be partially diagnosed through the use of color mapping and ultrasound, but knowing the risk factors, it should certainly be something to be wary of.   In over 50% of the cases accreta is NOT diagnosed until after delivery.  If  accreta is properly diagnosed there are preparations that can be made.  Not all accreta cases are previa and so some are delivered vaginally.   Obviously it would be better if these were delivered via c-section.  Imagine that, me advocating a cesearean.  I’m waiting for a pig to fly over my head.

And so we shall see………

Next doctor appointment – August 3rd.  They will most likely check cervical length and placental position again then.  We’ll be just over 16 weeks.  I get the feeling this fall is going to be very, very long.

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