Friday, May 27, 2011

Confessions of a Mama Diagnosed with Placenta Accreta

©Kirsten 2011. Kirsten shares her perspective of a successful homebirth that comes with a transfer for a diagnosis of Placenta Accreta.

“I had my son, Boden, at home. He is my first child. I had two midwives, a midwife in training, my best friend as my doula, my husband, mother and my mother in law present. My contractions started late at night on July 17th, 2010. I called my doula and let her know I was in labor. She drove from Savannah, GA down to central Florida to be here with me.

My water broke soon after calling her and I started to get really excited. I called my midwife, who told me to go back to bed and that it would be awhile. I wish I would have listened, but I was so full of energy, I couldn’t help but stay awake! We walked around our neighborhood and I could feel Boden moving into place. I meditated to get in tune with him.

By 6pm, my labor had started slowing and I knew I was getting tired. I tried to sleep, but it was too uncomfortable. So my husband and I got into the shower and I swayed under the water, trying to get some energy back and get in tune with Boden again. I rocked on the birthing ball, squatted and rocked on my hands and knees. He was getting lower but I was feeling myself getting weak.

I pushed for 5 hours and at one point really wanted to just give up birthing. My midwife gave me a pep talk and I pushed through the pain. Boden Andrew was finally born at 2:53am on July 19th, 2010. He was a perfect at 7lbs, 5oz, 18 1/4 inches long. We started breastfeeding right away and it came to us both naturally. I completely forgot about all the pain and had an amazing burst of energy!

My midwife told me I needed to push to deliver the placenta, but my contractions were getting too far apart. I tried pushing, but got no result. I got up to have gravity help me, then I tried sitting on the toilet. I had a midwife on each side of me when I heard a ringing in my ears. I remember saying, "I don't feel good" and apparently I stood up and passed out.

I woke up with my midwife's hands on my face and her telling me not to move. My husband sat next to me, giving me sips of gatorade and bits of food. My midwife gave me a shot of Pitocin and called the ambulance. When the paramedics arrived, I was still laying on the floor. They tried sitting me up and the monitors they had hooked me up to started to wail. I started to pass out again as my blood pressure was very low.

I left my son at home with his grandmothers because I didn’t want him poked and prodded at the hospital. I cried, thinking I wouldn’t see him again. Once we got to the hospital, a very nasty, loud mouthed doctor asked me, "Why on earth would you ever want to have your baby at home!?" She told me I would possibly need surgery to remove my placenta if she could not remove it manually. She told me I could lose my uterus as well. I thought to myself, "I'm only 22, this can't be happening."

She manually removed my placenta in about three pieces. Removing the placenta was far more painful than anything I've ever experienced. I had 4 units of blood replaced and was put onto two very strong antibiotics. I was then told that I wouldn’t be able to have my son with me in the hospital because he wasn’t a patient.

I was completely heart broken! I begged and pleaded with the nurses to let me have my son with me. I was so worried that breastfeeding wouldn't be possible. I needed my son and he needed me. They finally agreed and we were reunited, 12 hours after he was born. After 4 days in the hospital, we finally got to go home.

What happened with my placenta only happens 1 in every 2,500 births. It’s called Placenta Accreta, where the placenta grows into the uterus. Mine was a very mild form, but wow did it cause damage! I always wanted a natural homebirth and thankfully I made it that far. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. My son is healthy and I've overcome so much more than I ever thought possible!”

Kirsten meets her baby


  1. "Why did I have a home birth? To get away from loud mouth doctors like you! Can you please do your job, minus the snarky attitude? kthanx." SO glad things turned out okay for you, Kirsten!

  2. That would have happened regardless of where she was, so that woman can keep her sass to herself.

  3. lol She definaly got a mouthful from me and my husband! I told the nurses I didnt want her in my room! She only came in once after that, when I had to tell her I wanted the blood transfusion. Thanks, I wish I would have been able to go into more detail about his birth, but I honestly only remember bits and pieces. I want to think that it is being I was trying to meditate. I remember everything very clearly from the time I woke up on the bathroom floor and beyond. ~Kirsten

  4. I had the same thing but in a hospital. I had wanted a homebirth but insurance wouldn't cover and we couldn't afford out of pocket. But, they couldn't save my uterus. We are still grieving. Grateful to be alive but so sad we cannot have more babies of our own. The hospital staff was, actually, wonderful. I was in a good place. Not all are like this, I know. Here's my story if you are interested.