Phone conversation between Husband and his mother:
DH: This weekend, we ordered a crib.
MIL: Oh! I want to buy you the matching dresser/changing table.
DH: Actually, we already have a dresser for the baby. It was Mrs Whatsit’s mom’s when she was a kid.
MIL: But, what about a changing table?!
DH: We’re going to put one of those curved changing pads on top of the dresser.
MIL: But you need something with a lip so the changing pad doesn’t fall off!
DH: Look, we have a small apartment. If a new large piece of furniture comes in then we have to get rid of some of the furniture we already have and we’re not getting rid of Whatsit’s mom’s childhood dresser.
MIL: Okay, don’t get excited, I’m sure the baby will get changed somehow….
So, on Sat. I started having some spotting (I’m at 25 weeks now, btw) and possibly contractions. So, I stopped moving bookshelves,* drank two glasses of water,** and laid down. The bleeding stopped, the contractions went away and Husband left for his business trip as scheduled on Sunday. I already had an OB appt. on Monday and at that appt., the OB checked the location of my placenta and guess what! It’s right up against the cervix. The OB couldn’t tell if it was going around part of the cervix or covering it. The transvaginal ultrasound would tell her more, but she doesn’t want to do it for fear of causing more bleeding. So–bonus!–no more internal exams either.
This condition is known as placenta previa and I am now at a much, much higher risk of bleeding uncontrollably and dying. The fun never ends. Because I only had that one incident of spotting after I had obviously been overdoing it, my doctor put me on restricted movement instead of bed rest. No exercise! No sex! No lifting! Take it easy at work! (Not a problem there.)
If the placenta is just very near the cervix, as the uterus expands and pulls the placenta away from the cervix it might pull the placenta far enough away to allow for a vaginal birth.*** If the placenta is covering the cervix it is unlikely uterine expansion will pull the placenta far enough away from the cervix and a c-section will be necessary. I’m imagining they would do it somewhat early as well considering that there is a huge risk that you will bleed out and die if you go into labor. It probably depends on how much of the cervix is blocked.
So, I’m pretty much sitting at home and knitting for most of the rest of my pregnancy. I’m not particularly concerned that I will start bleeding uncontrollably any time soon because I’m pretty sure my OB would have stuck me on bed rest if that were the case. But, I really don’t want to do anything that might cause spotting because then I will be on bed rest until mid to late November. And dudes, it’s only August! Can you imagine laying in bed for the next several months???? And, what about my restless legs? They will drive me insane if I get put on bed rest. So. Sitting at home. Knitting. Sewing. Embroidering.
*I have heard there are men who will not allow their pregnant wives do anything remotely strenuous. Husband is not one of them.
**The advice given on my “preterm labor” sheet from the OB. I guess dehydration can cause contractions.
***Or, according to my OB, my placenta might not move at all.