12 weeks: Great NT scan, but placenta previa and “bleeding precautions”

12 weeksMost important things first: Went to my 12 week nuchal translucency scan yesterday, and the baby is measuring right on track, has a strong heartbeat, and all neck-fluid measurements show an extremely low risk for abnormalities like Down’s. All of this, combined with the fact that the baby’s nasal bone is clearly present, points to excellent health! Yay!!!

The not-so-yay news is that I have placenta previa and have been placed on bleeding precautions. I’m pretty sure “bleeding precautions” are some of the worst words a newly pregnant woman can hear. But. I think everything’s going to be okay. The doctor says (and all of the first-trimester placenta previa ladies out there in Google-land say) that although my placenta is over the cervix now, it will most likely move up as my uterus grows during the next few weeks. You do not want the placenta over the cervix; you want it up, up, away from the birth canal. Worst case scenario: The placenta stays where it is, I stay on bleeding precautions for the  whole pregnancy, and I have a C-section. I’m totally okay with this. As long as the baby is healthy and can be safely brought into this world, that is all that matters to me. I’m not attached to the idea of a vaginal birth, even if it is my preference. Health, life, surviving—allllll that is needed here.

Still, “The problem commonly resolves itself,” says the doctor, and I will be checked in 4 weeks to see if that has indeed happened. If so, bleeding precautions removed.

In the meantime: 1) No intercourse, 2) No orgasms, 3) No exercise. Normal activity is okay, but do not go to the gym, and do not go to prenatal yoga.

Wellll that sucks. Prenatal yoga and exercising has made me 1) Less crazy, 2) Less crazy, and 3) Feel more comfortable in my body. But it is what it is, and I’ll follow all orders to a tee.

The thing is, I haven’t had any spotting, bleeding, or cramping whatsoever. And I’ve been having at least one orgasm a day and exercising 30 minutes a day. But I’m not going to be an idiot. The doctors know more than I do. I shall take it easy and use the increased sedentary time as an excuse to write, write, write.

I had a good cry over the placenta previa yesterday. I was scared. I kept picturing the baby’s blood and oxygen supply hanging precariously over my cervix, waiting to be ravaged in some way, blood dripping down. But after crying, I felt better, and this morning, I was pretty much back to normal and not that worried.

I did, however, have some vestigial hormonal/emotional shit going on this morning, and I flew into a rage in the kitchen over something I’d rather not admit, but it may have involved five glasses that DH did not do when he promised to do the dishes for me last night as a treat. And it may have had to do with picking up his socks again (and again and again and again) and throwing them the laundry basket. And the fact that he asked me to drive him to work at the last minute, when it is only a ten-minute walk through the gorgeous woods, as if, because he is working and I am not, I am to drop my agenda no matter what and be his chauffeur. As if because I am not working, and he is, I am his servant and chauffeur and sock-picker-upper, even though I am growing a human being, am exhausted past speech, often, and am also often nauseated, uncomfortable, winded, and emotional. This was the basis gist of what was running through my mind.


It’s not that that stuff is totally off-base, but overall, I have the most sensitive, loving, supportive husband a girl could ever want. And I know it. He might be slovenly and unorganized, and he might be a little clueless about what I’m going through physically, but he tries. If there is one thing about DH that I can always count on: He will try. All I have to do is talk to him. And I appreciate his working to support both of us so much that my heart very well might one day explode all over both of us. It kills me, how lucky I am.

But I raged nonetheless. And he forgave me (of course).

But damn, I’m feeling touchy! Sometimes I just want to go into a little box, where I can’t be affected by anyone or anything and I can’t affect them either. Just go into my box, shut down, and say hello again when all the crazies have skittered their way out of me like the annoying ants that they are.


So the scan. The appointment.

I have to say, it wasn’t the greatest one. I was nervous. Luckily DH was there (he took off work) so he could hear everything the doctor was saying about the placenta previa. Lucky because later he could help me dispel any crazy thoughts and supplant them with the healthy, wholesome thoughts of a rational human being.

But the doctor—hrrrm. Not so much. Not my cuppa tea. She kept looking at me like I had 14 heads when I asked questions, and that is one of my pet peeves with doctors—don’t look at me like I’m idiot. Don’t try to make me feel dumb about my questions. Just don’t. That said, she had excellent answers and was very informative. But I think from now on I’m going to try to schedule with Dr. McKenna, who is like a giant, comforting papa bear. I prefer papa bear to super-smart tense person.

No. I know she wasn’t that bad. I’m telling you, I’m like a live wire lately.

But DH was there to confirm: There does seem to be a great deal of miscommunication amongst the staff at that clinic. That is a big uh-oh for me. Also, it seems like there is tension amongst the staff, too. A double uh-oh. It wasn’t off-the-charts, but just enough to make me go: hrrrrmmm.

And the ultrasound tech sucked ass. She was cold and completely non-reassuring. (I’ve had other techs there who are wonderful, though.)

I miss the tech at Dr. San Roman’s. Man, that woman had it down to art, and she knew what a sensitive experience getting an u/s is.

The truth is, I miss the well-oiled machined of Dr. San Roman’s office very much. I miss their warmth, humor, professionalism. I miss the way the entire staff seemed like they got along well with one another.

We talked about shopping for a new clinic, but I don’t want to give up yet. I love Dr. McKenna, for one thing. And every practice is going to have its pitfalls. We are going to go to their affiliated hospital this Saturday for a tour of Labor & Delivery, and if we love it, we’ll definitely stick with what we got.

Did I just say that we are touring Labor & Delivery this Saturday?

Holy freaking shit, people. I still can’t believe this is me.

How will I feel doing that? Will I wear the tightest shirt I have, to make sure everyone knows I’m not a fraud? Hang my ultrasound photos around my neck? Say: “Look, look! I’m pregnant, I swear! With a real live baby! One who has decided to stay with me! I swear, it’s not dead!”

Not to be morbid. But you know. Sometimes my mind will just turn a scene into a super-dark SNL skit. Because some part of me is still just in shocked territory.

But happy. Deeply happy and grateful. God, when I look at that little pot-bellied, lollipop-headed teddy bear, I scrunch my eyebrows together, pout, make an “awww” face every. single. time. My little lovebug. Looks like a little cartoon character. Just chillaxing. Just hangin. Just laying back in what looks to me like pretty comfortable digs.

This is the week that we said we’d announce the pregnancy to “the world” via Facebook. I think I want to wait one more week. Just…one more. I’m a little scared to come out. I have carefully written an announcement that mentions our pregnancy losses and points to resources for women who are going through pregnancy loss and infertility, but DH is not comfortable with that. He wants our announcement to be simple and celebratory. As with all things in this journey, I won’t do anything he is not comfortable with, because it is his personal life, too. So we’ll keep it simple and celebratory. After all, I have plenty of other plans for being an educator and advocate.

If you’ve made it through this giant post, I heart you hard. I’m going to go chillax with my belly now. Let me know if you’ve had placenta previa—as always, it’s so helpful to hear your experiences.

Leave a comment


  1. L

     /  May 23, 2014

    A good friend from my Resolve group had placenta previa. She had no bleeding episodes. She delivered a healthy, wonderful baby girl via planned c-section at 37 weeks. I will say they cautioned her to be prepared to call an ambulance if she began to bleed towards the end, but it was totally unnecessary. She has an adorable 10 month old daughter now.

    As for FB, my husband posted something brief and celebratory. I chose to be vague, but did say that it had been a long, long journey to get here. No one ever said anything so I’m not sure if it went over people’s heads or not.


  2. I had placenta prevaria with my first pregnancy (currently doing IVF to try and give him a sibling). I was just told at my 12 week scan that the placenta is lying a little low (wasn’t given the technical placenta prevaria term so I didn’t go away and madly google). She told me that it’s perfectly normal and that the gestational sac is actually designed to expand from the bottom to ensure that the placenta moves out of the way in case the baby implanted low. Wasn’t given any stressful warnings about ‘expect bleeding, no exercise, no sex, no orgasm’. Was just calmly booked in for a 16 week scan to follow up and ensure it had moved out of the way – and sure enough, it had’

    • This is very reassuring! Yeah, to be honest, I’ve been feeling a little bit like the doctor was overly precautionary. Then again, if she hadn’t been and something went wrong, I’d wonder why she hadn’t warned me more. But yeah, I’ve read the same—that it isn’t considered a cause for concern this early in the pregnancy. Thanks for chiming in!

  3. I heart you hard, too! I’m glad the scan was normal for everything else, and I am so sorry you have to deal with placenta previa, if only for the worry it adds to an already worried mama. I had a friend who had placenta previa after IVF, and she delivered a healthy baby full term (although with unrelated preeclampsia complications to herself). Hers didn’t resolve, which I hope yours does, and she was frustrated because with the placenta down and in front she couldn’t feel as much when the baby grew bigger. But, at each scan the baby was dancing all over the place, so that was good! I’m glad DH is understanding of the rages. I have been a bit ragey myself without any pregnancy hormones to blame, but it helps so much when the man of the house gets that you just need to get it out and maybe laugh a bit when you don’t feel quite so stabby. I’m excited you’re at the announcement point, and totally get that feeling of wanting another week for the people who haven’t seen you yet! Short and celebratory sounds good to me. I am excited for your tour (less excited for the less than stellar medical staff this last go round) and excited for each of these milestones! Go, little pot bellied teddy bear, go! :) (grow, grow?)

    • Thank you Jess! Yeah, it’s not ideal, but keep telling myself it could be much worse. The important thing is baby’s normalcy and health. I’m so glad to hear everything worked out well for your friend! I’ve heard that fertility treatments put one at higher risk for placenta previa—that and advanced age and previous D & Cs. Yep, check, check, check. (:

  4. Julia

     /  May 23, 2014

    Sending you lots of positive thoughts!

  5. Woo Hoo! 12 weeks! Congratulations!
    I hear you on the moods too… I’m a ball of hormones lately.
    Em xx

  6. Yes to the tight shirt (heck, make it a kid drift,belly showing one) and have you and the hubs wear a necklace with positive pregnancy tests and ultrasound pics ;). Praying the placenta moves up. My friend had that last year and we prayed and prayed… Even sang songs to God that we made up that used the words “rise! Rise! Rise up!” She was healed and had no more issues ;)

    • Oh wow, that’s powerful! I love the Rise Up song. Sing it for me, Elisha. Belt it out. (:

      • I actually just did while typing it! LOL! They were never the same words each time…it mainly started out as a joke but then when she went in for a check up they said it had moved a little bit…so we sang some more that week and she sang those words constantly and when she went in for another appt. the placenta had went up some more…each week, it kept getting higher :)

  7. Huge hugs sisterfriend. No placenta previa for me but I’m at risk of pre term birth due to super short cervix. Same precautions taken and you know what, it’s ok. Whatever gets him here safely right? I’m so excited for you, and I understand your frustrations with your clinic. The doula has already helped to dispel many of my fears. Sending love and light to you and your little munchkin. So cute xxx

  8. No placenta previa stories, but I have heard it can resolve itself during the 2nd tri, so fingers crossed that’s exactly what happens.

    And I have for sure raged at my darling husband over some seriously stupid shit. I spent about 15 minutes crying in the parking lot of Home Depot about a month ago because I was tired, and frustrated about something and we weren’t communicating very well in the moment. The hormones, with the tiredness and always the background anxiety, which is there most of the time whether we acknowledge it or not, it can sometimes all just come to a head over glasses and socks. Don’t beat yourself up, I’m sure your sweet husband handled it in stride. Most important you recognize your reaction might not have lined up perfectly with the offense :). I find it’s always helpful when I can acknowledge that, even if it’s a day later…

    So glad the NT scan went well!! I hope Papa Bear can see you next time.

    • Me too!

      And that’s what my yoga teacher said: don’t beat yourself, don’t be hard on yourself, think about what your body is doing. Oh my gosh I’ve cried in so many parking lots at this point. I don’t what it is about parking lots—I’m either sleeping in them or crying in them Cried in one today, as a matter of fact. I kind of wonder if pregnancy would have felt this emotionally crazy if I were younger? If being 40 has anything to do with it? More aches and pains…Who knows…

  9. Geeta

     /  May 23, 2014

    Hi there,
    Do not worry about bleeding. I had major bleeding a few times. Once I had to go to ER due to that. I have a hematoma . The ER said my placenta is low but they also said by 20 weeks it will go up the uterus. I am already 17 weeks.
    But stay away from infection. …, my doctor told me several times. That is imp to prevent preterm.
    Also did u do materniT21 test? It has more accuracy than nuco . (Also it can tell the sex of ur child) all by just taking blood from u after 10 weeks. I did it on 10 weeks and 4 days.

  10. A friend of mine and my SIL, both who just had babies, had placenta previa earlier on and both were able to have vaginal deliveries (placenta moved up). I do have another friend who had a c section due to placenta previa, but everything was fine with all three moms and babies :)

  11. You are such a tough and wonderful cookie! I can’t even imagine hearing the whole bleeding scenario and not freaking out! So hugs for all of that! I’m praying that biology does indeed shift things around, lady!
    Now, I’m not going to lie, I definitely laughed about the rage episode. Hahaha, poor guy! It’s okay though, hormones are finicky hussies and pregnancy is just full of them.
    Also go for the tiny shirt! And I am so excited for the announcement!

    • Thanks for the reassurance sugar! Biology is a wonderous thing. Sometimes we can actually count on it to do what it should! Hey—You’ll be at announcement point soon yourself…..xo


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