Over the last several months I have been supporting my best friend and client with her devastating discovery that she would not only not be able to have another HBAC (Home Birth after Cesarean), but is also mourning the loss of her uterus and plans for future children.
Midwifery can be beautiful, triumphant and inspiring, as it was with Desiree's last pregnancy and successful HBAC But can also mean listening to loss, heartbreak and very scary and difficult choices. This is all that much harder when the woman is also your best friend. After doing her research, finding her team and grieving these losses, my beautiful friend posted the following on Instagram for her followers. Desi is not only a loving wife and mother of two beautiful boys (Fox in green and Jupiter-next to Papa Reidar) but also an amazing artist and mompreneur of Fox and the Traveling Gypsy her clothing company that she started after Fox's birth.
I asked her permission to reshare her words here. We are both very motivated to educate families about the increasing statistic for placenta accreta,increta and percreta. Her story and words are powerful. If so inspired, follow her on Instagram to continue to follow her journey and help us educate by sharing as well. Please keep her family in your prayers.
"Fox’s birth story and how I ended up with placenta percreta.
I feel the need to share from the beginning, because what I have is scary and I don’t want women to just be afraid. I have gotten so much support and I feel lifted up in all your love. You women are so powerful. You need to know how I ended up with Placenta percreta. It’s not one of those things that just happens. The rate of Placenta accreta is on the rise. It is one of the many things that can happen due to a c-section!!! Now before I go on I want to be clear, I realize that c-sections can be very important and also save lives. I know that they are BIRTH. This is only my story, how one sentence broke my heart, gave me strength and then broke my heart into a million pieces again. I labored long and hard with Fox. We were 30+ hours into opening up. My water had broken and I was so tired. Transferring for me felt like the worst case scenario. At some point my body started to push on its own. I couldn’t stop pushing. I was only 5cm. I got out of my birth tub, I got myself dressed and I said. “That’s it take me to the hospital” now I could and sometimes feel like I should have just stayed home right there in that moment. I should have tried harder. I should have trusted my body. Blah blah I can come up with a million things I should of could of done but I didn’t, so really there is no point in feeling bad. I left to the hospital and pooped and peed myself on a bed they had strapped me to for hours while I waited for a room. HOURS!!!! I cried, my mother cried it was hard for anyone to watch. 4 hours later I was given an epidural and slept for hours. When I woke up I felt ready to do this. Let’s push this baby out right!!??? Well the hospital midwife started in on us pretty soon after I woke up saying things like, I still wasn’t fully dilated. That my baby’s heart rate was low, that even if I started to push she could not guarantee he would survive and so on. Now I will say this, I thought I was prepared for the fear that sometimes takes place at this stage. I was ready to fight for my vaginal birth. At this point though we were tired and scared and my voice wasn’t as strong as it normally is. My husband turned to me with tears in his eyes and said “I love you and just want my baby, please. “ I agreed, I wanted my baby safe and in my arms. In we went for a c-section. I had a reaction to something I was given so I was vomiting all over myself while I was on my back being cut open. It was just as horrible as I imagined. I was scared, tired and sick. As soon as the dr cut me open he said, “why are we cutting this woman open? She could have pushed.” That sentence nearly killed me. There I was in the last place in the world I wanted to be. Doing the last thing in the world I wanted to be doing and this guy is shrugging his shoulders in confusion???!! I was DEVASTATED!!!!! As soon as Fox was in my arms all was well again. I was happy. I was safe, He was safe, but every time i even thought of my birth I sobbed. It felt like the wound that would never ever heal....Until I was pregnant with Jupiter. I talked through the trauma with my midwives. I was very clear what this birth was going to look like. THIS BABY WAS GOING TO COME OUT OF MY VAGINA AT HOME!!!!!!! I even made affirmations with those words on them that hung in my bedroom. The words that had haunted me “why are we cutting this woman open? She could have pushed “ no longer haunted me. They empowered me. They were a gift. I knew my body could do it, and it did!! I had the best home birth with Jupiter wolf. Fast forward to today. I had plans for another beautiful home birth. I craved pushing this baby out. I just knew it was going to be the most beautiful thing on the planet. Until of course we discovered the Placenta percreta. Now That sentence lingers, it haunts me. Those words break my heart. The consequence feels so unfair. I will be losing my uterus, a part of my bladder and whatever else this Placenta attaches itself to before my surgery. I will never be able to carry life inside of me again. That decision was made for me years ago when I had a unnecessary c-section hidden behind a non existent emergency. I am strong, I have a voice, I am clear about my needs and this still happens. We need to protect our mamas, our babies. The consequence to Placenta percreta can be death. How do we change this? Where can we help? So many questions. Again, I know c-sections can be helpful, but now I also know first hand that years later they can be the scariest thing that has ever happened in your life.
Here is a clear explanation:
Placenta accreta, in its broader sense, describes the condition during pregnancy in which the placenta attaches too deeply to the uterine wall in varying degrees. The mildest form is called accreta, where a part of the placenta adheres superficially into the uterine wall. The intermediate form in terms of severity is referred to as increta, where the placenta invades more deeply into the muscles of the uterus. The most severe form is called percreta, wherein the placenta grows through the uterine wall and invades surrounding organs, such as the bladder and intestine That bulge that the second dr had noticed was actually my Placenta trying to make out with my bladder.
Despite all of the medical advances of our time, devastating conditions still occur, and some remain very difficult to treat. This is one of them.
Our family has been processing this news. For weeks I was crying about not having a home birth and the fact that I will be losing my uterus. No more babies for us, which is heart breaking to me. I will say what I have discovered during this process is that
1. When people say sorry good intentions and all I feel really small and for some reason it actually makes me feel worse. 2.when people tell me that I already have 2 healthy babies and will possibly have a 3rd it is extremely triggering.
I would never tell someone who just lost their mother that at least they still have their father. Of course I am grateful for my beautiful, precious children but I am in mourning and that’s ok too. What I have found helpful is someone that can listen without bringing in their stuff. I know it’s a lot to ask but I feel the safest in this place today.
I still have so much to share as I process and I wanted to thank this community for its love and support. You mamas are the end all be all!!!!"
Weekend Adventure -Midwives in Maui
March 16, 2018
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