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Placenta praevia and hospital stays

(12 Posts)
NestingNesting123 Sun 30-Mar-14 14:46:25

I spent a few days in hospital this week after a bleed caused by placenta praevia. I have been let home now but told the plan is to be readmitted at 34 weeks (currently 31+3) until whenever the baby is born by section. While my first concern is the safety of my baby I'm not coping very well with this at all. Those few days felt like an eternity and I can't imagine how I'll handle being stuck in that environment for 5-6 weeks. It's not conducive to health being in an uncomfortable bed with too much noise to sleep, lack of edible decent food, sore eyes and nose from air con etc. It has taken a couple of days for me to feel normal again after such a short stay. I won't even start on the fear for my mental state being stuck away from my usual coping strategies for all that time when I'm usually a very busy person and not one for sitting reading or watching DVDs. Has anyone had pp and a bleed and been able to stay at home longer than 34 weeks? I live 10 minutes from the hospital and constant supervision isn't a problem. Bed rest at home would be preferable to being active in hospital.

Any and all experiences welcome! Whether you managed to avoid a long hospital stay, or how you coped if you had to stay in for a long time. It would be good to hear from anyone else who is going through this just now too.

Dolallytats Sun 30-Mar-14 15:46:54

With DS I was in and out of hospital for most of the pregnancy (low-lying placenta, but when it moved up I continued to bleed heavily). The longest spell was 8 weeks. It was boring...really boring. I watched a lot of telly, books, crosswords even colouring! I was allowed to go for occasional walks (not too far).I was also allowed home for a couple of hours in the evening (like you, not far from the hospital).

I'm not sure the hospital can insist you stay, but it's not that long really. Also your baby may be early because of the PP, mine was by 2 weeks.

The staff were lovely as were most of the people that came through the ward (although hearing some people moan about having to stay overnight when you've been in for weeks is annoying!).

Good luck smile

212smj Sun 30-Mar-14 17:49:52

I have just spent 11 weeks in hospital on bed rest from 24-35 weeks. I expected to really struggle but it was by far the best thing for me. Regular peace of mind monitoring regular contact with consultant etc was so reassuring. I was discharged at 35 weeks to bed rest and let me tell you resting at home is impossible and frustrating and I much preferred the hospital bed rest to the home bed rest.

The best thing I did was take my lap top, earphones and plenty of DVDs. I ordered the entire back catalogue of Lewis TV series and watched a couple of those a day.

At 34 weeks I should imagine you will have your CS at 36/37 so it's really only a couple of weeks.

Ultimately as you say it's worth it and they wouldn't suggest you going if they didn't think it was in your favour.

Good luck.

Boudicca1 Sun 30-Mar-14 20:17:29

I know exactly how you're feeling and it's horrid.... I had PP & after a tiny bleed was admitted at 30 weeks so I ended up spending 7 weeks in hospital. I asked if I could stay at home or rent a place closer to the hospital but was told no; the huge risk with PP is that you haemorrhage and if you do, they need to get you into theatre within literally minutes. I decided that I was quite fond of life (and that of my unborn child) so it was a bit of a wake-up call to be told that and so I decided to stay in hospital. I also had a small bleed one night - it turned out to be nothing but it was really reassuring to already be in hospital and have the midwife there and then looking at me, rather than panic at home.

My "top tips" for surviving a stay in hospital are:-
1. Accept that you are there and don't fight it (that is so much easier said than done at the beginning!)
2. Try and get into a daily routine as the time will then fly by. The hospital that I was in had separate rooms for long stayers, so I wasn't on the ward (thankfully) so I had a radio with me and listened to that a lot. I also read the paper in the morning and the weekend papers with all of the supplements got read cover to cover....
3. I also had my laptop and watched lots of films, something that I would never have done previously. I also got some good box sets and, each afternoon, would watch an episode a day, or two episodes if I was having a really grumpy day.
4. Re food, I could tolerate breakfast and then a sandwich for lunch but nothing more so my DH would bring me supper each night. He would cook the meal at home and then bring it in to me in a takeaway container. That, and a good supply of chocolate, meant that I survived 7 weeks.
5. I took the plastic sheet off the hospital bed and also made the most of the offer of new sheets every day. It's also not every day that you get to sleep in a bed that you can raise your feet up in....
6. Have lots of visitors!

I also found that the midwives were great and would often come in and chat to me as they knew that I was in there for a number of weeks (although I blocked out their horror birthing stories that they all seemed really keen to share with me). You'll also get to listen to your baby's heart beat (twice a day when the midwives do their rounds) and you'll see a lot more of your consultant than you would normally.

I think I really survived by thinking that hospital was the best place for me and once I got my head round being there, it was a lot better. I did have battles with certain midwives who wouldn't let me off the ward even to go to the hospital coffee shop, but I stood my ground and tried to remember that they were only worried about me haemorrhaging (& once the Snr midwife said I was ok to go to the hospital shop, life became easier).

Sorry, I've gone on much more than I intended. There were lots (& lots) of tears from me but I also told myself that it was only a limited stretch of time and at least I wasn't there ill like some others are in hospital. Once you're out, you'll also appreciate your own bathroom a lot more!

Good luck - the time will whizz by.

NestingNesting123 Sun 30-Mar-14 21:11:08

Thanks, that is really helpful. I am finding the acceptance part difficult at the moment because I can't quite believe it - I see all my friends excited to start maternity leave and spend time relaxing and preparing for their new arrival and I have had to quit my job suddenly (I'm a contractor) and am now facing a huge mental endurance test. I know there is no point wallowing in what might have been but it's a big shift from what I expected. After IVF and a difficult pregnancy I thought I was finally on the downhill stretch towards the end. I feel guilty for thinking how difficult I will find this, when it's obviously not half as important as the health of my baby.

It's likely I will get a private room too and that will help with sleeping at night. Radio is a great idea because I'm not a big film or box set watcher.

Having my section at 36/37 weeks would be way more manageable. I was told 39 is optimal for the baby but that they do try to take into account the mental state of the mother. I'll ask more at my next appointment what that actually means.

Boudicca1 Sun 30-Mar-14 22:27:37

Please don't worry as your feelings are perfectly normal here. It would also be very wrong if you weren't upset by it all and didn't feel that there was a great injustice, as that's certainly how I felt about it all.

I had a tiny bleed one Monday evening and went to hospital thinking that they would check me out and then send me home but instead they told me that I wasn't leaving! We hadn't bought a single thing for the baby (aside from the pram) and I had to stop working overnight as HR wouldn't let me work from hospital. I also had all of my friends starting mat leave whilst I was stuck on a hospital ward, so I really know how you're feeling right now.

Trust me, you will more than survive as it is all to do with mental attitude but the most important thing is accepting the fact that you are going into hospital. I also intend to bore my child with stories of how Mummy spent 7 weeks in hospital for her. Btw, she was born at 37 weeks but I would see how you feel once you are actually in hospital; being born at 37 weeks meant that she was tiny which brought its own issues. Even having been there so long, I would have easily added another two weeks to my hospital stay if it meant that she came out with a bit more weight and growth on her. But see how you feel. As I've said before, you'll be more than fine.

Boogles91 Sun 30-Mar-14 22:43:32

Ive never had pp but i find that needleworks are a good way of passing time in hospital as ive spent most of my life in those places long stays at a time. Also pottering on my ipad or laptop. I find hospital beds soooo much comfy lol but everyone has a preference smile sorry to hear of your situation. X

NestingNesting123 Mon 31-Mar-14 07:20:49

Were you involved in the choice to bring her out at 37 weeks Boudicca? Had you had steroid injections? I thought that late would be absolutely fine - I got a scan on the day of my bleed which was 30+5 and the baby's weight was estimated as very roughly 4lbs.

smilesallround247 Mon 31-Mar-14 08:22:06

Heya when I had to go in I found that netflix on a tablet or ipad was invaluable. I had to buy wifi but it was like £6 for 24 hrs.
also an eye mask, a pillow from home and some pillow spray to make me more relaxed.
Facebook and having regular visits stopped the boredom. hope this helps! Uh and home cooked food brought in if possible I hated the hospital food.

Boudicca1 Mon 31-Mar-14 20:14:45

When I went into hospital the plan was to have a section at 39 weeks but once I'd had a bleed whilst admitted, I had a visit from my consultant who told me that the section was being brought forward to 37 weeks. I don't think it was really a discussion, more of the consultant telling me what was happening, which to be honest, I was ok with as I was really scared from having another bleed and me worrying over what was happening / what could happen.

As she was coming out at 37 weeks, I was offered a tour of the Special Care unit (as 37 was just on the definition of term and there was a risk that she might not have fully developed) but I declined; I thought we would face that one if and when... From the scan before the section, I was told she was a good 6 - 7lbs but she came out just hitting 5lb which put her above Special Care criteria. I'm not sure how true it is but I was later told that babies born at 37 weeks can have trouble feeding as their ability to suck isn't always fully developed; either way, she wasn't putting on weight and was put in an incubator. I know there are parents who have been through far, far worse but I wouldn't go through that again. Once we were discharged we then had visits back to the hospital to check her weight / blood sugar levels.

So that's just my experience - personally I would see what your consultant advises and more importantly see how you feel once you're in hospital.

I also had the steroids (which I was told were to enhance lung development?)

gualsa Mon 31-Mar-14 21:04:28

I have total PP and am 29 wks+ 4 days. After spending 3 weeks in shock and worry I decided to just do as much as poss as I wont know if I will end up bleeding. I wonder what the chances are as I would cope badly in hospital. I am an octopus and have lots of pets and 2 other children and I would not feel they would all cope without me.
I may have to start a thread to ask if anyone has had total PP and never bled through to planned c-section.
I feel for you NN23. That is exactly how I would feel sad

NestingNesting123 Tue 01-Apr-14 07:35:36

Hmm so it sounds as though they would be unlikely to do a section even at 37 weeks unless there's a medical need. I have an appointment on Thursday and can ask then.

If I can bring my own pillows that will help with sleeping. Doesn't stop me feeling the dread though!

gualsa as far as I have read it's entirely possible to not bleed. They might still want to manage the condition though. I have posted a link to the NICE guidelines below. It doesn't state categorically that it's necessary to stay in hospital. Do you live close to your hospital?

http://www.rcog.org.uk/files/rcog-corp/GTG27PlacentaPraeviaJanuary2011.pdf

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