Although a surprise, I was very excited to fall pregnant with my son Henry. We took all of our prenatal classes, and planned on a home birth with our midwife Erin.
At 38 weeks pregnant, I began to have some incredible pains. These pains were different than the Braxton Hicks contractions from earlier in the pregnancy. After suffering through these pains for 1 week, I begged my midwife to do a stretch and sweep to encourage labour. I laboured at home for 15 hours, without very much progression, so my midwife suggested that we transfer to the hospital. After another 4 hours of labour and 3 hours of pushing, my son Henry was born naturally.
We began to realize that something wasn't normal when the placenta would not deliver. After waiting 45 minutes, my midwife began to traction the cord. This brought on the start of a massive hemorrhage. For the next two hours, the midwives and doctors tried in vain to manually remove the placenta and stop the bleeding. It was unsuccessful. After I began to show signs of hemorrhagic shock, I was rushed into the OR where the doctors surgically removed my placenta.
I woke up in the recovery room 4 hours later unable to sit up straight due to low blood pressure. I lost roughly 2.5-3 litres of blood and required 4 blood transfusions. I had an undiagnosed Placenta Accreta* & was lucky that the doctors were able to save my uterus.
I fought hard and I am totally healed two years on. The pains that I had in the weeks before I delivered, were a sign of the placenta not developing properly.
Being a mother is so important to me, and my son means the world to me. I would do it all again for him!
This story of Motherhood was submitted by Sarah McQueen, . momstown member, Kitchener-Waterloo. Sarah is a Registered Massage Therapist living in Kitchener, Ontario with her husband John & son Henry.
*Placenta Accreta is when the placenta grows too deeply (or even through) the uterine muscles. Most women with placenta accreta hemorrhage heavily during or after delivery.
For more information on Placenta Accreta, feel free to check out the Hope for Accreta foundation.