A mother became very close to death after losing almost all of her blood due to complications from her fifth C-section delivery.
It was linked to multiple C-sections
35-year-old Katie Holly Edwards suffered from a condition called placenta percreta, a deadly condition that was linked to multiple C-sections. Placenta percreta happens when the placenta goes through the wall of the uterus and gets attached to another organ, usually the bladder.
Women who suffer from placenta percreta usually need blood transfusions to survive giving birth. In Katie's case however, she not only needed to have massive amounts of blood to help her survive, she also needed to be hooked up to a machine that kept her blood circulating back into her.
"It has taken me almost a year to recover from the nightmare"
Katie thought that her pregnancy would be smooth sailing, as she has had 4 children before, all delivered through C-section, and there were no complications. She was expecting the birth of her youngest son, Lucas, to be the same as his other siblings.
“It has taken me almost a year to recover from the nightmare of almost dying and leaving my children motherless. I suffer from post-traumatic stress (PTSD) with flashbacks to the ordeal.” She claims.
With regards to the risks of multiple C-sections, Katie has this to say: “My four children were delivered by caesarean section yet I was never told of the complications repeated surgery can pose in terms of placenta percreta." She adds, “They saved my life. But other mothers have died.”
The risks and benefits of C-sections
Nowadays, C-sections have become commonplace in hospitals. Medical science has also advanced in that C-sections are now safer and are even recommended over vaginal delivery in some cases. However, there can still be some complications such as:
- Endometritis - This is inflammation and infection of the uterine lining and can cause fever, pain in the uterus, and a foul-smelling discharge from the vagina.
- Bleeding during birth - You lose more blood from a C-section birth compared to a vaginal delivery, however, blood transfusions are rarely needed except for very rare instances or complications.
- Blood clots - The chances of having a blood clot is higher for mothers who have had a C-section. If the blood clot migrates to other parts of your body, such as the lungs, then it can possibly cause a pulmonary embolism, which can be life threatening.
- Higher risk of infections - C-sections also have a higher risk for wound infections compared to vaginal deliveries. The infections are usually found where the incision was made or within the uterus.
- Higher risk for future pregnancies - Like in Katie's case, multiple C-sections can increase the risk for future pregnancies. Complications include placenta percreta, as well as tearing of the uterus.
Thankfully, these complications are very rare and doctors can help ensure that these can be avoided. On the other hand, here are some benefits that C-sections have over vaginal delivery:
- Planning a C-section lets you know when your baby will be born - This means that you can schedule your birth and get everything planned and arranged beforehand.
- Less bleeding after birth - Women who undergo C-sections are less likely to have heavy bleeding in the days after they give birth.
- Less risk for the baby and the mother - In some cases, such as when the delivery is taking too long, or if the baby isn't getting enough oxygen, a C-section is the best way to go to reduce the risks for both the mother as well as the baby.