Saturday, July 15, 2017

First Trimester Placenta Previa

Just hours after my last post I had an ultrasound appointment for prenatal screening. I was starting to second guess getting this voluntary testing done at all (it includes bloodwork + ultrasound) but decided to go through with it and now glad I did.

Nothing is wrong with the baby, so that's the very good news. We got to see him/her flopping around (it literally did a 180 for us), moving limbs, and heart beating... it made my heart melt.

However, the ultrasound tech saw a gap by my uterus and said that it shouldn't be there. On the screen it looked like an inch-long black hole. She said she'd run it by the midwives and they'd contact me to talk it over. She was also asking how much I exercise, etc.

The midwife called me right away, in fact while we were driving home, and said the baby's fineeee but that I have placenta previa, meaning I have a low-lying placenta that's partially covering my cervix (not fully covering). I've had zero signs or symptoms of this; symptoms normally entail bleeding.

The midwife said it's soooo early on (12 weeks when I found out) so there is an incredibly strong and likely possibility this will self-correct on its own and never pose a real problem. Self-correcting means that as the uterus grows, the placenta will essentially migrate up and away allowing the cervix area to open back up, and everything will be back to normal. The placenta doesn't actually relocate since it's implanted, but when my uterus is bigger it'll have more room to live away from my cervix. From what I've been reading and also what my midwife said, this is actually incredibly common in the first trimester since the uterus is still so small and often the placenta has nowhere else to go. So what usually happens in cases like mine (i.e. when placenta previa is detected in the first trimester), it'll get out of the way long before labor and it's a non-issue. If this issue were found in the third trimester, it'd be a whole other story.

In the meantime, though, to be safe there are some things I have to adhere to:

  2. NO SEX

If you think I'm freaking out, I'm absolutely not. Not over the placenta previa diagnosis, not over the no exercise, not over the no sex. Ok, so I cried and worried for like 10 minutes but then I got rational about it.

It is what it is. The condition is 100% out of my control. What I CAN do is whatever it takes to make sure that everything remains safe, this baby is healthy and he/she stays in my womb as long as possible (pre-term births are an associated risk if the previa were to continue). I really didn't even bat an eye when she told me that exercise and sex are out (I won't tell you what John said lol). I mean, it sucks, for sure, and I was especially enjoying my #fitpregnancy routine so far, but hey this is real life and I'm a mature mama-to-be.

I'll have another ultrasound at 18-20 weeks to monitor progress and reassess the plan as needed. Until then, i.e. 6-8 weeks, I can walk but not much more than that. The instructions to avoid exercise may extend to even longer depending on how things evolve. I've never not exercised for months at a time, so this will be very interesting, but I'm looking at it as an opportunity to do life a bit differently and learn. I'll have more time to meditate, more time to work on that book I've been procrastinating on, more time to just chill out and rest this body, more time to do things for others... the list goes on.

Hopefully it clears up. If not, and it's still an issue in the third trimester, there's a pretty good chance I'd have to get a C-section, which would royally suck, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Let's put it this way, my midwife was not suggesting that I start researching hospitals and OBs ;) I'm not even thinking that far ahead. So much will change in before then.

The best I can do is live in the moment, repeat positive affirmations, treat myself with kindness, say loving things to my little one in there, be gentle and stress-free.

All these lessons pre-conception and since have been amazing for my soul and life outlook.


  1. Sending good thoughts. (from a C-section preemie baby :)

  2. Both of my wife's pregnancies had this condition in the first trimester and it worked out completely fine. Natural childbirths, healthy kids, and mom. As you know, everyone's journey is a bit different but there is a lot of evidence this often works out fine. All the best Tawnee and Gibson clan.

  3. Don't worry Tawnee !!! You're going to have a healthy happy baby and you and John are going to be great parents ! Lots of things are simply discovered earlier and more often due to technology.. Trust your gut and your midwife... Rest.. You've exercised enough ... And no boom boom!! :)

  4. I'm 100% sure that everything will be fine Tawnee. I had a low lying placenta at my 20 week scan and as my doctor predicted, it got back to normal closer to 30 weeks.
    I ended up having a natural, drug free birth which lasted about 8 hours in total and I now have a healthy, thriving 4 month old baby girl :-)