Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Menace to South Central

So you all thought I would come back here with some stunning pictures of my new-ish painted rooms and the nursery in all its hardwood floor glory (goodbye smelly carpet!). Alas, that is not the case, though that post is on my mind and will make an appearance shortly. Things must be tweaked a bit more before I can feel good about the photos.

Anyhow, the rest of this post is going to contain words like placenta, uterus, cervix, vaginal, etc. so if you are feeling a tad squeamish or uninterested in my inner workings, please take your leave. For those of you with your sea legs, here is the news. My doctor calls today and is all like "Hey! What's up?". Completely casual and flippant. Maybe that is her way of throwing me off the scent of Danger! and Unforeseen Complications Ahead! I know her game though and am on to her from the first breath. She brought up my Level 1 ultrasound results, the ultrasound where the tech took a looky-loo at my cervix and the location of my placenta and declared the placenta to be "a little low, though nothing to worry about". Ha. Famous last words.

So now, my doctor is "concerned" about the placenta. It has, in fact, implanted itself a mere 2 centimeters above my cervix. So what? you say. Let me explain for all you non-pregnancy obsessed folks. When the placenta implants over and touching the cervix, it is called placenta previa and almost always results in a c-section delivery. When the placenta covers the cervix, it means that the placenta would deliver before the baby in a vaginal delivery, which would be very BAD and could result in all manner of birth problems and even death for the mother and/or baby. Let me be clear that I DO NOT have placenta previa.

Instead, my placenta is what is called a low-lying placenta, which means its implanted 2-3 centimeters above the cervix. Most times, the placenta implants along the top or sides of the uterus, which is good and safe. When it is so near the cervix, as in my case, there is the possibility of delivering the placenta before the baby, with the same results as above. So, a c-section delivery would be necessary, if the placenta does not move upwards in the uterus. 70-80% of the time, when a placenta is diagnosed as low-lying at the Level 1 ultrasound (at 20-22 weeks), it moves up and far enough away from the cervix before delivery to have a safe vaginal delivery with few to no complications. This can happen as the uterus and baby grow northward into the mother's body. So, that is news of the positive variety. But, I won't know for 5-7 more weeks until we have the next ultrasound whether or not my placenta is behaving and has moved itself into a safe place.

In the meantime, my doctor has prescribed the following: no exercise, no "relations" with my husband (Gah! Mom and Jojo, don't read that! I feel so weird even saying that.), and feet up as often as possible. This is definitely not bed rest, which is excellent, because bed rest for 16 weeks might just push me over the edge. But it is a modified form of "don't do much else but hang out on the couch, possibly make a Target run every once in a while, and read gossip blogs all day". Or at least that is my interpretation. But what do I do about my two days a week at work? Not to be all dramatic (seriously), but I am concerned about it. I'm lucky to have the option to not work, and I don't plan to once the baby comes. But now that this diagnosis has been made, I feel weird about continuing to work even these two days, if there is any possibility of danger to the baby. Most likely, all will turn out fine, but if not, I will always wonder if I could have done better for my boy and stayed home.

I want a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery that results in a happy baby. I don't even care about delivering vaginally vs. a c-section, because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how he gets here, just as long as he gets here safely. But do I spend these next 5-7 weeks until the ultrasound just working and wondering or do I nip it all in the bud now and make myself a permanent indentation on the couch at home?

1 comment:

becoming-mom said...

Oh no, I have my fingers crossed for you that your placenta migrates upward over the next few weeks.. also, I love your interpretation of the dr.'s orders :)