well it's safe to have it retain unless you get a fever and cramping or hemorrage. I can't remember the actual timeframe, but I think its like 3 days normally for the entire WHOLE placenta to be safely delievered. as long as there is no fever or cramping, signs of distress, blood-loss etc, pay close attention to what your body tells you and how you feel ie sick or feverish, abnormally tired, etc. Also, immediately hold baby skin to skin and nurse directly after he/she comes out, this tells your body to let go of the placenta and causes afterbirth contractions, and contractions are what opens your cervix. Google!!!! Learn all you can about EVERYTHING pregnancy and birth related before baby comes so you're ready for anything!
and NEVER EVER PULL ON THE CORD, PLACENTA, let anyone else do it, or let anyone put there hands up there to try to loosen/pull pieces out!!! you can massage and push on the uterus, as shown in various educational childbirth books and even gregory white's emergency childbirth handbook, but NEVER pull on the cord. it causes retention and hemorrage. thats actually usually the reason women who go to hospitals after hemorraging after birth because the doctor pulled on it or stuck his/her hand up there and fished around for pieces.
It happened to my aunt, they caused her to hemorrage by pulling the placenta out, then they soaked it up with cotton/gauze, and left pieces of that inside, then she got infected and died. So, when I had my first, my dad was very adament about not letting them up there at all.
Probably nothing new since you've UC'd before, but refreshers are always good, and there's always new information out there about everything under the sun.
Are you seeing an OB this time for prenatal? Do they think you'll retain again?
HTH!!! So scary that it retained! I hope everything goes perfectly when you do give birth and you were worried for nothing :) HUGS!
With my first that would have scared me to death because I was so uneducated about the process, my first was a hospital birth, so naturally I was forced to hopethe hospital knew everything. Then I bled for the next 2 months and was told it's normal everytime I called freaked about it never stopping. Now I read about UC moms everyday who only bleed for a week or two. Hmph. They pulled my cord, pushed my stomach, stole my placenta, and told me bleeding for 2 months is NORMAL. hmph I say! The best thing I've learned is that it's my body and I have rights and instincts that shouldn't go unnoticed, and I shouldn't be scared into worrying that the body can't do everything on it's own.