Sunday, 25 May 2014

Amanda and Sophie's Story

I was pregnant with baby number 5 when l found out at my 20 week scan that l had complete placenta previa in my last pregnancy so when l fell pregnant again we were terrified but were told from the start it was highly unlikely to get it again. l was just very unlucky that it happened again! 

I am also Insulin dependant diabetic which caused me to have polyhydramnios basically too much fluid around baby, this in turn caused it's own problems because of the crazy amount of fluid l had my uterus was sooo stretched causing me to go into pre term labour at 30 weeks.

My Belly at 33 weeks

Fortunately after strict bed rest in hospital they managed to stop my labour and l was allowed home but remained on bed rest. I went for a scan at 32 weeks to determine whether or not l had accreta too but they couldnt be sure so l then had to have an MRI so they could get some clearer images. Whilst waiting on the results l had to go into hospital every other day for iron infusions because my iron levels were so low and iron tablets weren't enough. Due to the extra fluid l had niggled for weeks but at 34+5 weeks l lost my mucus plug but wasn't in too much pain so went to bed and hubby left early that morning to work 6 hours away from our home!!

I got up the next day and was in quite a bit of pain but l decided to get the kids off to school and go for a bath to see if things settled but it just felt different this time the pain was more intense so l phoned hubby and told him he needed to get home not knowing if he'd even make it back for the birth because it was now an emergency due to my complications!

My sister took me to our local hospital but they haven't got the best facilities so l was blue lighted by ambulance to a bigger hospital an hour away from home. When l arrived they gave me steroid injections and morphine to try and stop it, l had 3 lots of morphine and by 3 in the afternoon things seemed as though they were settling down, hubby arrived soon after so l was very relieved he was by my side. Around 8pm the contractions started again and were coming thick and fast again tho they gave me more morphine in the hope of stopping/slowing my labour down because the steroids for baby's lungs take 24hrs to work so they wanted at least to get another 12 hours before delivering baby, but by 11pm after yet another dose of morphine my consultant came and said they were taking me to theatre as we couldn't wait any longer, they had the results from the MRI and from what they could see there was no accreta so l could be awake to see my baby being born but at the last min decided it was safer for the baby and l if they put me under general anaesthetic.

Sophie Amanda
They took around an hour to get deliver the baby. (A girl) they had at this point told my husband that l had a fare amount of bleeding but had put a balloon In which seemed to have slowed it down but within 15 minutes l was haemorrhaging and they had no choice other than to proceed with a hysterectomy because l'd lost 9 litres of blood and was very very poorly. I was in theatre for 6 hours before my husband found anything out so he was beside himself with worry, when they spoke to him they told him l was very sick and had to be put on life support and moved to intensive care until l was stable.

All my family were called to the hospital because of how sick l was. Once off of the ventilator l spent a further week in high dependancy before being moved back to our local hospital where we found out just how bad things had been, it turns out as well as complete placenta previa l also had accreta and the reason they missed it was because there was loads of little pockets stuck rather than just one big area. We also found out that my baby girl who my husband named Sophia Amanda McNeil (after me) born @ 35 weeks weighing 6lb 9oz took 7 mins to revive she was not breathing when she was born so had to be revived.

I needed a complete transfusion because l'd lost 9 litres of blood which l believe is more than  all the blood we have! In theatre they used something called cell saver which is a machine that recycles the blood l'm loosing, so by using this they put back 3 litres of my own blood and on top of this l had 12 litres of blood (24 units) and platelets transfused over the 2 days l was on the ventilator then needed another litre (2 units) a couple of days later. I was on life support for around 36 hours. My baby was nearly 3 days old when l first met her. Nobody really went into great detail about how dangerous placenta accreta is l think because they were confident l didn't have accreta that put us at ease so to it was all so much harder because we weren't prepared for how badly things went.

When l first woke up the consultant had told my husband not to go into detail and not to tell me about the hysterectomy until l was stronger, he was told to focus on the positive that we had a healthy baby girl but l knee something had seriously gone wrong because l woke up with the tube still down my throat which had to be left In for 6 hours with me awake because my throat had swelled in theatre and l had to be re intubated so if l started to deteriorate again they were afraid they wouldn't get the tube back In! So l was writing notes in my phone to my husband asking him to be honest and tell me what happened. When l found out about the hysterectomy and the amount of blood ld lost l was so so upset not because ld lost my womb but because ld nearly lost my life how would my kids of coped how would my husband of coped, my kids could of woken up that morning to be told they had gained a baby sister but lost their mummy and that really traumatised me and still does.

So many emotions rushed through me l'd gone into theatre pregnant and came out obviously not pregnant but l didn't have my baby l didn't feel like l'd just given birth l just felt empty and that was very hard to deal with. I was so worried about not bonding with my baby so finally almost 3 days after giving birth l got to meet my baby girl and finally got to feel that bond it was so emotional meeting her because l knew how lucky l was to be alive to meet my little girl. Another big hurdle l had to overcome was not being able to breast feed my baby l tried and tried but l had no reserves left my body was too weak to produce any milk so l never got a drop and it still hurts to this day that l couldn't feed my baby.

Luckily she did so so well and only spent 4 days In special care before coming back to me. Upon leaving the hospital my blood count was still only 7.1 so l am still very weak and have a long road ahead of me both physically and emotionally but l am so blessed and grateful to be home with my husband and our 5 amazing kids. This experience has taught me not to take anything/anyone for granted, enjoy each and every day and most importantly be happy because life is too short.
You never know what's around the corner!
She is well worth it!

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