Shannon's Success Story

Miracles do come true……Shannon’s Post AS Birth Announcement!

Our miracle baby was born on July 4th weighing 7 lbs 5 oz. We are both doing great! I had an uncomplicated birth and as far as we can tell all of the placenta detached and came out easily…phew!

Some background: I have a 3 year old son Toby, no problems with pregnancy or delivery and he is perfect. I got pregnant again in 2008 and lost the baby at 20 weeks. At the time the doctors thought it was a fluke, but we now know I have an incompetent cervix. I was found to be 4 cm dilated at 19 weeks and delivered the baby, a boy named Connor, a week later. A month after delivery I started hemorrhaging and was found to have placenta stuck in my cervix. A follow up ultra sound showed “something” in my uterus and I was told I needed a D&C. My periods did return, but they were light. My periontologist picked up on my light periods at a pre-conception consult a few months after my loss. I was transferred to an RE and had a hyst was found to have moderate (30% scarring with 1 tube blocked) ashermans followed by 1 month of HRT. Follow up SHG, HSG and mid cycle scan were all good and I was given the green light to ttc. Four challenging months later I found out I was pregnant!

The pregnancy was problematic and high risk from the start. At 6 weeks I had fifth disease, which increases the risk of miscarrying and can take up to 12 weeks to lose the baby, very scary period of time but the baby did fine. Then I had spotting and passed a few clots through week 14 due to a hematoma on the placenta. I started having weekly cervical scans and progesterone shots at 16 weeks and my cervix shortened to 1 CM by 19 weeks. I was given an emergent cerclage and placed on strict bedrest until 32 weeks. Cerclage was removed at 36 weeks and I didn’t go into labor until 39 weeks and 5 days. Wow a full term baby who would have thunk it !

To top it off the baby was born with the cord wrapped around his neck twice and had a knot in the cord. As soon as he was born my midwife called him a miracle…and he truly is our little miracle who overcame so many obstacles to get here safe and sound and perfect in every way!

Just an FYI for those going to deliver in the future I don’t know if this is the appropriate protocol but I feel like the potential for placenta issues was taken very seriously so I figured I would share what they did. First I transferred out of high risk at 36 weeks to a midwife practice at a birthing center. I really didn’t feel I would get the birth experience I wanted at the high risk hospital and wanted an all natural birth just like my first with a midwife. I did make sure that the midwife was well aware of the potential placenta issues and all precautions were taken incase I needed a blood transfusion, or emergency D&C or hysterectomy. Everyone agreed, even my periontologist, that these issues could be handled at the birthing center which is in a regular hospital as well as at the larger hospital. As soon as I got to the hospital the midwife ran blood work for blood type and put blood on hold from the blood bank. She insisted on an IV which I didn’t want “just incase” which of coarse I agreed to. Once the baby was delivered she gave me a shot of pitosin to help the placenta a long and it came out within 10 minutes. We all inspected it and it looked intact I even took pictures of the sack, placenta and the very long cord with the knot in it. As soon as it came out the nurse said “did you know you had a hematoma on your placenta” which was neat to see what had caused al of my early bleeding. It almost looked like a separate lobe of the placenta that was sort of detached. It was really neat to see!

If there is one thing I have learned throughout this process it is that I am not in control. And for a total control freak that is a hard thing to swallow but I have had no choice. I don’t know who is in charge god, my doctors, buddha? I may never know but I have accepted that it is not me and after many years of trying to control everything around me I have given in a bit and tried to relax and take it as it comes because really that is all we can do…

I wish everyone the best of luck ion this AS journey. It is a tough battle and even for someone like me who didn’t have it that bad and already had one child it was a torturous couple of years. When I was first diagnosed I was given a 50% chance of having another baby (and that was just due to AS and not all the other complications) so I am sure you can all imagine how lucky I feel right now to have 2 perfect sons and my uterus in tact. It was a very hard battle and there were many times I felt hopeless and depressed. Thank god for Poly for starting this site!!! Without it I am sure I would not be where I am today with this beautiful baby in my arms.

If I had one piece of advice I would say educate yourself and advocate for the best health care you can find and afford. Do not assume you are getting the proper care because you are seeing a doctor, know what the care should be and be pushy to make sure you get what you need. Be open to switching doctors and spending money you don’t think you have to make it work out because in the long run sometimes you get what you pay for and when you get your baby it will all seem so minor. And the squeaky wheel gets the grease my friends!!!

I don’t know what the future holds most people would think I was crazy to attempt pregnancy again but I might just be that crazy! Probably not but I will keep my options open as best I can.

Keep the faith miracles do come true!

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