Update! Read my vasa previa birth story here: Vasa Previa: The Full Story of What Happened
I can’t help it. I read a lot on the subject after how my pregnancy with Zoey went down. But I have to say, I’m feeling a little more at ease as I read about the chances and history of reoccurring previa, even though I know it shouldn’t have happened anyway, I’ve decided to be optimistic. I thought I’d document and share some of my findings from VasaPrevia.org:
What is the likeliness of a reoccurrence of vasa previa or velamentous insertion in a subsequent pregnancy?
This is unknown. No one has data on recurrence risk for vasa previa; nevertheless it is extremely low….You cannot reduce your risk of a recurrence. Don’t worry, the risk is low. See a perinatologist to do a thorough sonogram. There are several other complications of pregnancy that can be dangerous. The risks of any of these are much higher than the risk of recurrent vasa previa. See a good OB/GYN and one that you trust and have good rapport with.
Are there any cases known in which a woman has had vasa previa and/or velamentous cord insertion in more than one pregnancy?
The IVPF has learned of three women who had vasa previa during two subsequent pregnancies; however this information has not been documented. In one case the first vasa previa pregnancy ended in fetal demise and the second in fetal survival. None of the doctors we’ve spoken with have ever known of any woman who had vasa previa or velamentous cord insertion in more than one pregnancy.
Hopefully this guy is right and my risk is low.
I recently had my annual visit with my OB/GYN for every woman’s favorite exam (not). I decided it was a good opportunity to pick her brain on the subject and ask about the previa and preterm labor. With Zoey, I was effacing and dilating by 30 weeks, which is why I was on bed rest. At 33 weeks, I went into labor in the hospital, then again at 34. Even without the previa, this is dangerous. So I wanted to know… what can we do to prevent this from happening? How can we get my next pregnancy (assuming no previa) to at least 37 weeks?
I had no idea that progesterone apparently prevents preterm labor! According to the March of Dimes:
In early pregnancy, the hormone helps your uterus grow and keeps it from contracting. (If your uterus contracts in early pregnancy, this may lead to miscarriage.) In later pregnancy, progesterone helps your breasts get ready to make breast milk. It also helps your lungs work harder to give oxygen to your growing baby.
Recent studies show that for some women, especially if they have a short cervix or if they already had a preterm birth, being given progesterone during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of having a premature baby.
There are two kinds of progesterone treatment: vaginal gel and shots. Studies to date show that gel may help reduce preterm birth for pregnant women with a short cervix. Shots are recommended for pregnant women who already had a preterm birth.
Who can get progesterone shots?
You may be eligible for progesterone shots if both of these requirements describe you:
- You’ve had a spontaneous preterm birth before, when you were pregnant with just one baby. Spontaneous preterm birth means labor began on its own, without drugs or other methods. Or the sac around the baby broke early, causing labor.AND
- You are currently pregnant with just one baby.
Medical experts agree that progesterone shots can help prevent preterm birth, but only for women who meet both requirements listed above.*
*American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee Opinion #419: Use of progesterone to reduce preterm birth, October, 2008.
This makes me feel a lot better about next time. I can’t say for sure when it will happen, but when it does, I think I’ll be able to sleep at night… before the ultrasound can confirm placental location. 😉
And finally, the one thing I’ve been thinking of the most… VBAC. My doctor has confirmed that she 100% supports VBAC and without using drugs to induce (no pitocin, yay!). So if I go really far on my own, she’ll strip my membranes if necessary, but won’t induce otherwise.
Can I get a big AMEN?!
Now to see where God takes this whole thing. It’s in His hands, not mine. It could be this year, next year or the year after. Regardless, I feel more peace than I ever have before and I’m content to wait on His timing, not mine.