Birth Story: I Almost Died During Delivery

Not much is known about placenta previa in Singapore. Hear my birth story on how I almost lost my life because of it.

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I was already a mother of 2 beautiful children and my hubby and I had always wanted more children. One day, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that I was pregnant with my third baby and we were happily looking forward to his arrival. Never did we expect the roller-coaster ride up ahead.

It all started during my 20 week fetal scan. At our regular checkup, my gynae informed us that I had placenta previa, a low-lying placenta which could be because of my previous caesareans.

So I had to be careful not to carry heavy stuff or go for long hours of retail therapy. But come on! How can I not move around much when I have 2 kids at home?

I tried to minimise any manual work and reduce my workload and as the weeks progressed, my hubby and I were hoping that the placenta will slowly move up. But it didn't. To our dismay, it moved further down and eventually covered my entire cervix area.

This meant that I definitely need a caesarean again. It didn't matter much to us then and we were all set to have the operation on the 26 Nov, 10 days before my EDD.

My gynae also advised me that if I were to bleed,  I was to get to the hospital for observation as it's dangerous if that happens. And I did, when I was 31 weeks along. I was admitted into the hospital for a night. When the bleeding stopped, I was sent home with complete bed-rest orders.

Back at home, it was really tough having to be bound to the bed 24/7. I even brushed my teeth and had my meals on my bed.

Two weeks passed and by then, my bleeding had stopped entirely. I managed to walked around a little. One night in my 33rd week, I started experiencing slight cramps in my tummy, which was really unusual.

At first, I thought that they were Braxton Hicks contractions, but I started timing the cramps and the duration between each cramp got nearer and nearer. I quickly called my gynae and she told me to make my way to the hospital immediately.

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At the hospital, the contractions gradually got worse and doctors gave me medication to stop it. By then I was having extremely intense contractions almost every minute, and it really felt like I could give birth anytime.

Fortunately, with the medication, the contractions eventually subsided. Then I started having bad heart palpitations and giddiness, so they had to stop the medication. The contractions started again once the medications were stopped. This time round, my gynae told me to be mentally prepared for that baby coming out early.

We were trying to buy whatever time we could hoping to keep baby in a tad longer. But the contractions just kept coming no matter what the doctors did. Very painful contractions happening every minute. After more than 24 hours of tolerating the contractions, the bleeding started.

The doctor announced that we could not wait any longer. We had to have the operation to get my baby out. We had a long talk on the complications that may arise due to my placenta condition. She told us that in the worst case scenario, I may suffer from placenta accreta- a situation where the placenta is stuck to the uterus and can't be removed.

That would result in massive bleeding and if it happened, they would have to remove my uterus (by hysterectomy aka remove my womb). They had to get blood from the blood bank for blood transfusion in case I needed it.

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My hubby and I prayed really hard for a smooth operation. The doctor reassured us that if bleed too much, they will use whatever way possible to stop the bleeding so that I can keep my womb. Removing it will be the very last resort.

Keeping the faith that God will provide and watch over baby and me, I went into the op with courage. I was given partial anaesthesia initially so when they started the operation, I was awake and knew what was going on. I could feel the tugging and pulling as they operated.

I was waiting excitedly to hear and see my baby being taken out of me. One of the nurses asked me how I was doing, and I told her I could feel the doctor tugging at me. She gave me a mask and told me that it will make me feel better.

The next thing I was lying on a hospital bed in the ICU. The operation was over!

My husband was next to me and told me what happened. Apparently, during the op, I had lost A LOT of blood and true enough, I had placenta accreta and the doctors had proceeded to give me full anaesthesia. I had lost 5 litres of blood (that's 5 big coke bottles!).

The doctor informed my husband of the situation, and to get verbal approval to remove my womb. He said if I did not, I would lose my life. And they had to act quick as I was losing too much blood at a crazy rate. I can only imagine how worried my hubby must have been!

But with God's grace and protection, my baby and I are fine now. He had to stay in the hospital for two weeks and although he is smaller than other babies his age, he is a happy bub and is meeting many of his milestones too.

He just crossed his 1st birthday and is about to take his first steps soon! I feel that this experience has led me to cherish life more and to make every day count.