I had my OB appointment yesterday, with an ultrasound scheduled to check the position of my placenta. I had an uneasy feeling during the ultrasound, with the technician not really saying much beyond asking if I had had a c-section before. She confirms that the placenta is still anterior previa, and then sends me back to the waiting room to wait for the doctor. I did get to see Baby Madeline and she looks beautiful and perfect, with a strong healthy heartbeat.
A good while later, the doctor comes in and does all her normal measurements and Doppler readings, and then sits down. That's never good. She says that the placenta hasn't moved at all since my last ultrasound, and both statistically and positionally, the placenta should have moved. She said that there is absolutely still a chance (albeit a small chance) that the previa will correct itself, and that they will continue to do ultrasounds to check on it. But...she said that in rare cases, and especially with past c-section patients, a condition called placenta accreta can occur.
Placenta accreta is when the placenta attaches itself too deeply into the uterine wall, and then there are different degrees of severity of that attachment. Doc said both she and the ultrasound technician looked HARD at the ultrasound pictures to try to see if an accreta was visible, and they couldn't see anything, which could be good news or it could also very much mean nothing, as apparently placenta accreta can be extremely difficult to conclusively diagnose ahead of time, even with an MRI. But she said that with me already being in the 10% minority of the previa not correcting itself by now, and my c-section history, she said she needs me to be aware of the distinct possibility of there being placenta accreta and to be even more vigilant to watch for bleeding during my third trimester.
She also said to prepare myself for several weeks of bed rest, a repeat c-section, and if there is in fact placenta accreta, I also need to prepare myself for a hysterectomy, as that is pretty much the only treatment for that condition to avoid severe hemorrhaging and possible death to the mother. Doc said she hated the fact that she was having this conversation with me but that she didn't want me to be blindsided during the c-section, if her suspicions of accreta were confirmed.
Obviously the best case scenario is that I just have a slowpoke previa and it will still fix itself. I don't care how low the chance is that that will happen - it's still not a 0% chance so I'm putting my hopes in that. But after spending a lot of time researching online yesterday (and consequently spending most of the day in tears), I honestly feel that the best thing for me to do is to prepare myself emotionally for the chance that this will be my last pregnancy and that we will have a wonderful family of 4, instead of the 3-4 children that we always wanted. If Madeline really is our last child, I will still be eternally grateful to the universe for our beautiful little girls, and grateful to modern medicine that will allow me to get through two pregnancies with complications and be here to see them grow up.
There's nothing else we can do except wait, so in the meantime, please keep sending my uterus good and positive thoughts.