I wanted to take a few minutes to give an update, get some advice and also document my experience in case others are searching for info in the future.
I've had a very stressful week! I think I last posted a week ago complaining about poor treatment from my midwife practice, an earache and anxiety about who would care for DD when the baby comes. Well, my earache is better, I transferred my care to an OB practice yesterday and at the moment I'll be grateful to anyone who can come rushing to our aid if/when we need them. I don't think I'm actually in a state of emergency-- but I'm pretty certain that many docs would say that I was!
So, I spent the rest of last week thinking about my options regarding my care and how to deal with the placenta previa. I talked with my doula (who is amazing!) and my husband and I decided to a) get an anestheseologist consult to put a good c-section plan into place and b) interview a doc from a practice my doula recommends so that I could consider whether or not I wanted to transfer my care. On Sat. we did a children's hospital class-- which was awful, they were pushing formula, diapers, and babes in the nursery on little kids!-- and we broke the news to DD that I would have to stay in the hospital overnight when the baby came. She was pretty crushed but we started to develop a plan and she was doing well by the end of the day Sat.
Sunday we had a fun day hiking in unseasonably warm weather. When we came home though I noticed that I was spotting again. And, there was a flow rather than dry spots. This happened a few times over an hour and I decided to call my midwife practice. I got a midwife on the phone and she was totally noncommittal. Said something like, well it wouldn't be wrong to go in to triage and get checked at this point... I told her I would wait a little longer and see if it continued. I had one more small gush (like a teaspoon) and decided to go to the hospital. I was told that since the baby seemed fine I would just be checked out, put on the monitor for a bit and then go home. We got my sister over to watch DD and we headed out. (around 6 pm).
I get to the hospital, get into a gown, give a urine sample, etc... and see that there hasn't been anymore blood at all in the last 30-45 minutes. I start to calm down. But, then the hospital craziness starts. A nurse comes in and says, the resident wants me to put two big ivs in you so I think that means you'll be staying the night--> this is before anyone checks anything! I say I'd like to be seen first and then the resident comes in with another nurse and I agree to one hep-lock but not two and no fluids all at the same time that I'm being questioned by the resident. Next thing I know, I'm hooked up to fluids, on the fetal monitor, having my vitals measured and having a speculum exam.
The good news is that everything appeared fine. No obvious problem, but still they kept trying to keep me overnight. I refused and promised to self-monitor and pointed out that I never sleep more than 3 hours at a time, I'm not currently bleeding and I live 10 minutes from the hospital. Eventually my midwife arrived but she was totally defensive and suggested that I was risking killing myself or the baby. They then started pushing me to get the steroid shots and were arguing that I was at high risk of going into preterm labor. I asked some questions about the shots that neither the midwife nor the resident could answer and then did some research (which was hard to find). Eventually, a much more sr. doc came in and talked with me about my concerns about the steroids, persuaded me to take them, and agreed that there was no reason to stay over night as I had been observed for 4 hours without any bleeding.
In case anyone is reading this because they are trying to decide about taking steroid shots. I'd like to summarize that based on my research and talking with docs, they are most effective 48 hours to one week after the first shot, their effectiveness runs out completely after 2 weeks, but many docs (backed up by research studies) find that a third shot after the two week mark can be highly effective. The shots help lung development but also aid in brain development, GI development and decrease the chance of fetal death. I was told that the side effects for the mother were "none". In my experience (3 days after the first and 2 days after the second shot) the side effects were very rapid heart rate, intense emotional reactions, insomnia, anxiety, being incredibly hot, and having rigid muscles and aching pain. I have not found any info about side effects on the baby at all. Though I'm certain that she's been flooded with cortisol based on my own anxiety level.
So, now I'm very nervous. I've been told that based on the location of my placenta it is highly unlikely that this will resolve and my best case scenario is a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks (though if it clears, this new OB practice is totally VBAC supportive) and a possible (but no idea how likely) emergency c-section before that. I'm trying to come to terms with all of this and plan as best as I can. I'm wondering if anyone has any advice for preparing for a potential premature baby, dealing with transfer of care to a new practice so late in pregnancy (I'm 29w5d), things to remember for my current emergency hospital bag or more organized future bag, or anything else.
Thanks for reading this. I feel really frustrated right now. I had been thoroughly enjoying this pregnancy and have felt completely healthy and good about my body. Now, I'm worried about the stress to DD and the baby and wishing this would all go away (one way or another). I'm trying to get back on a path of calmness and peace and I so appreciate having this DDC as one place to connect. Hope you all are feeling well!
I'm still a Feb '12 mama even if she comes early, right?
Edited by parsley - 12/8/11 at 8:00am