I’ve toyed with the idea of not sharing any details of this outside of my friends and family. I was just diagnosed two days ago, so for some, sharing this prognosis at all may seem premature. I worried that many would think I was seeking attention or that some wacko would start a benefit drive in my honor. I was afraid I would look weak. Afraid. Incapable. But-after weeks of counseling I have learned, deep to my core, I am an outward processor. I have to talk about things to make sense of them, or else I begin to self-destruct. I want to do this in a healthy, safe way for both my heart and that of my family, so I am choosing to blog this experience rather than write a social media post explaining the situation, and effectively opening the door to unwanted comments and conversations. However, my ability to be authentically transparent in these moments, through writing, has served as my ministry for the past 5 years. So in light of my weakness, I pray this post magnifies the strength of Jesus in some mysterious way, even if just for myself.
I went to the OB/GYN on Wednesday for my 20 week appointment. I had an anatomy scan (ultrasound) followed by a consultation with my doctor. The anatomy scan seemed routine at best. I saw a spine, a brain, a four chamber heart, and blood flow in and out of the umbilical cord. Ten fingers. Ten toes. Good heart rate. Lots of movement. Baby Boy looked healthy as can be. The ultrasound tech made a comment that my placenta was low, asked if I had a previous cesarean, and stepped out to call the radiologist. Jon seemed concerned, but I assured him a low lying placenta didn’t really affect us because I was not having a vaginal delivery. He left to return to the car.
I made my way back to my nurse, Emily, and began the normal appointment process: urine sample, weight, medications, heart rate, blood pressure, etc. I settled in my familiar chair in the exam room and waited for Dr. Samples to arrive and talk for a few minutes before heading out to the cold parking garage once again. Dr. Samples arrived, sat across from me and began asking about my experience with Covid-19 (three weeks ago our whole family was diagnosed and has since recovered). We chatted about new symptoms, and then she moved to the radiology report.
As expected, Banks was healthy and thriving, weighing in at 1.3 pounds. No issues. I silently congratulated myself for being so aware during the ultrasound that I too noticed no issues. Except there were issues….just not with the baby. Dr. Samples explained that I had developed a condition known as placenta accreta. You can look up all of the gory details yourself, but to put it bluntly, the baby’s placenta has attached too deeply to my uterine wall and is growing out of the uterus. As the baby grows, the placenta could grow into my muscle wall and even to my bladder. Several years ago, this was a death sentence for many women. Thankfully, we are in the days of modern medicine.
Because the removal of the placenta in this case causes hemorrhaging, I will have to have a complete hysterectomy at birth to control the bleeding. I will be typed for blood and will likely have several transfusions. I will also likely be asleep for the entire birth as the hysterectomy process will begin immediately following the delivery. I may have to spend time in the ICU, depending on the severity of the accreta and intricacy of the surgery. In addition, because of the risks at hand, I will not give birth at term but will deliver at 34 weeks at the very latest. Banks will receive steroid shots for lung support and will be in the NICU. I will also have to stay in the hospital for monitoring, at a minimum, four weeks prior to delivery, if I do not begin bleeding spontaneously beforehand. And this is just what I know right now.
In the next two weeks I will meet with a high risk doctor and as well as an OB Oncologist/Surgeon. I will have an additional, more invasive from my understanding, ultrasound to determine exactly what we are dealing with. I will also talk with the anesthesia team to determine if there is any way I can be awake for the birth but put to sleep for the hysterectomy (Dr. Samples noted that the spinal simply wouldn’t last long enough for the whole process and also, I probably didn’t want to know what all was going on at this point. )
To say I am overwhelmed is an understatement. I have so many emotions that the primary emotion taking over at the moment is simply numbness. Obviously, as with any serious complication that involves bleeding there are risks of severe blood loss among other life-threatening scenarios. However, I have a fantastic team of doctors whom I adore and trust-literally-with my very life. And… I spent a majority of the day yesterday on the phone assembling my prayer warriors to pray over the baby, me, Jon, and my family as we navigate this. I even shot a message to some of my former high school friends who made me feel seen, loved and held even 10 years post graduation.
There are a lot of things I’m grieving right now. And I’m wrestling with both the relief of the hysterectomy (no more periods can I get an amen?) and the intense loss it brings along with it at 26 years old. Jon and I planned to discuss a tubal with the doctor that day, so my heart was somewhat prepped for the “no more babies” conversation…..but it was not prepped for the finality of the procedure ahead.
I have a lot more to say-that I am sure I will put into words over the course of the next few weeks and months-but I think this is all I want to say today about the whole thing. I don’t have a spiritual outlook to share. In fact, I mainly assembled my prayer warriors to intercede for me as I don’t have words or emotions to even express right now. I don’t have a “positive outlook”, a “God’s got this” or an “I’m going to be okay” anthem to even muster up right now. I’m about to get up and clean the house and decorate for Christmas and place a grocery order-because that’s the weird thing about all of this, I still have to live life as normal until it’s not anymore. I have people surrounding me-rallying for me-declaring life over me and this baby-and I appreciate it all. Because right now? I’m spinning. And much like a dancer, I’m just trying to find a spot on the wall to focus.
Ashlee Sexton says
Praying for you, precious girl! I’m glad you’re giving yourself grace to reach out on social media! Much love!!!
Thank you so so much!
Morgan T says
Thank you for your courage and transparency. This is so hard. This situation stinks. I am so sorry that you went in to see your precious son and walked out with life changing news. Your thoughts, feelings, fears are all completely valid. I will be praying for you and your family. I pray for continued protection over you and your baby.
Thank you so much!
Thank you so much Morgan! It is definitely a difficult set of circumstances. I appreciate every single prayer!
Angela Knee says
You, Banks and your whole family are in my prayers! 🙏❤️
Pamela Wiggins says
Praying for you sweetie! I had the same thing with my daughter but back in 1981 the doctors was not as familiar with it. We almost didn’t make it! God has a special calling for you and He will keep you around to see that His message has gone forth. You have many friends and we all will be praying for you and you special little one! Sending love to you and your family!
Oh Ms. Pam-I am so sorry to hear that but so thankful to know you and LOVE you. You are such a sweet blessing in my life. Thank you for every prayer and every bit of love!
Praying for all of you!!
Sending prayers and love from Mark and I! 💙💙💙
Thank you Ms.Gina!
Love y’all so much. I will go into prayer warrior mode on this. I to had to have a hysterectomy young. After the procedure and your feeling strong I would love to talk to about what to expect. I sure wished for someone to talk to after mine.
Thank you so much Ms. Ella! We love you! It’s definitely overwhelming to even think about and I would love to talk with you soon.
Shirley Bates says
I have not been on here for a while. I know everything will work in your favor because GOD got you and your family. Will be praying for y’all
Thank you Ms. Shirley! We love you and appreciate every prayer!
Candy Mcdonald leeman says
Prayers for you all. I had a hysterectomy at 26. 6 months after my youngest was born. I know that feeling of not having any more children. If you need to talk or have questions I’m here for you!
I am praying for you and your family as you walk through this time. I can’t imagine all the emotions that you must be feeling but just know that each one is real and valid. You will make it through all of this mama and be even stronger. Prayers for you all during this time and especially you!
Thank you so much sweet friend!
Pam H says
Covering you and this precious baby in prayers. This includes Jon and the boys. You will now be on another list at our church.
Thank you!! Love you so much!
Hannah B says
My heart is grieved for you😭Just the complication of it all—the hysterectomy…please know, you are in my heart and our prayers. Sending many many virtual hugs.
Thank you so much!
I found your post through the women’s OB Instagram. I just wanted to commiserate with you and let you know you are not alone. I delivered at 33+6 after 8 weeks on the antepartum unit at St Thomas for the same diagnosis. My baby girl is 7 weeks old now. If you want to reach out and have someone to just listen please let me know. Praying for you and banks.
Oh Kristen, thank you so so much for reaching out and commenting! I would love to talk to you more as I am really starting to dread everything about all of this. Thank you so much for the prayers as well ❤️
Tracy Martin says
I had the same thing 16 years ago. Mine was not detected before giving birth. It was an adventure but we (baby and I) made it! I will be praying for you and your baby. If you want to chat with someone about it, I’ll be happy to send you my email address or phone number.