After a 24 hour delay to see our OB doctor, we saw Doctor Graham on Wednesday morning...(her office called to ask us to reschedule our Tuesday appointment to Wednesday, due to Dr. Graham being up all night Monday night performing an emergency c-section to deliver twins....talk about Karma!)
We were very relieved to talk to Dr. G. After seeing the specialist, I have to admit, I have been more than a little pent-up over this past weekend. The 24 hour delay just depressed me. But getting to talk with her, and have her answer our questions and concerns, really put us both back on even ground.
She said that she had experience in treating patients with cases just like mine, and being very successful at saving not only baby but mother as well. She also told us that we will not really be able to tell how bad the previa is until she goes in to do the c-section, but we will have a better idea a little farther along in the pregnancy.
She is so funny. She was trying to reassure us and said "it is really hard to say this without sounding like I'm bragging on myself, but before I entered civilian life, I was pretty famous in the military." She went on to tell the following story:
She was an OB doctor in the military (Air Force, I think), and 'in charge' of the OB department for the National Naval Medical Center (where all of the Army, Navy and Air Force personnel are treated...so to speak). She was coming onto her shift to be On Call, and checking in with the Interns and Residents. It was also the 'changing of the guard' time with the Interns...the old class had moved up to Resident status and a new class of Interns was coming on. The old class Interns were telling her what was on board for the day, which included a scheduled c-section. But upon looking at the patients information, she looked at the Intern and told them they were not going anywhere....the patient had a history of c-section births and had an indication of placenta previa. This patient had never seen her before and the Intern had been taking care of her during her pregnancy. She told him, 'you are staying thru to see this one to the end with me.' She rescheduled the c-section to after lunch, to guarantee that the nursing staff was fully awake and on their game. She also ordered 4 units of blood to be hanging before she ever got started. Long story short, it turned out to be the worst possible case scenario of placenta accreta, requiring immediate hysterectomy to save the mother's life; she delivered a healthy baby and did in fact save the mother....but she ended up putting 37 units of blood into her before the surgery was all over. Her heroic efforts quickly spread throughout the military, and an internal email went around basically saying "if you have a high risk OB patient, send them to Graham."
We are in the Best Possible Medical Hands! She has successfully dealt with patients in our exact situation before. [Whew!]
She went on to tell us that the next 4 weeks are important, as they will get us to 24 weeks, which means viability for the babies. But the following 4 weeks, 24-28 are The Most Important....28 weeks will get us past most of the pre-term labor complications with the babies (for us, this will be Thanksgiving)....she ultimately would like to see us go to 37 weeks, as would we, to ensure the babies are good to go from the moment they are born.
She also reassured us that a hysterectomy would be necessary only with the worst case scenario of accreta. And these chances are small in comparison. In most cases, the placenta just detaches once she is in there, so no problem.
She said that she wants to see us every two weeks, but we will not necessarily do a sonogram every time. But if it will make me feel better, we can come in every week!
She did say that as long as I felt up to it, I could make dinner or do little shopping trips, or do a little laundry...the mundane things of life....but no lifting and no long trips.
We did talk about hospitals, and which one to go to in what type of situation. So the hubby and I are all clear on that plan.
Basically, we are back to being mostly calm, but still careful, and just waiting....
We are just looking at the next 4 weeks....and then will move on to the next 4 weeks...and so on, and so on.
So please keep us in your prayers and thoughts!