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thick, damaged placenta - anyone else?

Forum: High Risk Pregnancy


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July 26th, 2007, 03:01 PM
rabbitranch's Avatar est. 2000
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: central FL
Posts: 13,912
Our little preemie, born at 30 weeks, is now a happy, healthy 5 month old, but I still have so many questions! I just wondered if anyone had ever experienced anything like this; the doctors during my pregnancy had no idea what was going on, or why, and tests since then haven't clarified things one bit.

I have 2 older children (ages 6 and 4) who were born from totally normal pregnancies. Then right before Christmas, 18 weeks pregnant with our third child, in addition to finding out she was a girl the tech noticed the placenta was about twice as thick as it should have been. I was sent to a maternal-fetal specialist for further ultrasounds, and over the next 8 weeks the placenta grew to be 4 times thicker than normal (it measured 14cm thick at 29 weeks!). It also began to split apart into fluid-filled layers and calcify. The baby looked perfectly fine; I was sick as a dog. By 29 weeks, not only did I measure at 42 weeks, but I rapidly developed severe preeclampsia, my platelet count plummeted, and I had cholestasis - all presumably from the placenta. I was sent to the hospital at 29w6d to go on bedrest, but was already in premature labor and dilated to 3cm. Drugs held off delivery for a day but I labored right through them and it was decided my body was simply finished being pregnant. I was given pitocin and she was born shortly thereafter. She was 30 weeks along and weighed 3lb 3oz. The placenta abrupted during labor - unknown to us. It was disgusting. Most of the placenta was dead. I had grown a new portion somehow and the baby had survived on that for as long as we both could tolerate. Six weeks in the NICU to grow, and we brought home our baby girl. She's a happy, healthy, completely normal 5 month old (for her adjusted age) but none of the whys have been answered. I was tested, she was tested, the placenta was tested, and NOTHING ever showed up. I just want to know what happened - could it happen again? Has anyone else been through this?

Also wanted to say, as a sign of hope for those facing the potential of premature birth, that little preemies are amazingly strong and can do very very well. Have hope! Here's our sweetie from 2 days ago (she's 5 months old and about 12 pounds)


Heidi, mama to 5 kiddos and an lost 11.25.13 at 11w5d
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July 26th, 2007, 03:23 PM
Cindermella's Avatar Freakin Know it all
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 13,606
Awww she is precious.

I have never experienced or come across anyone with a too thick placenta. But now I am have to look it up to be in the know. Very interesting.

I am the "who" when you call, "Who's there?"

I put the "D" in lysdexia

Sanity is a cozy lie.

Click here to remember Donovan
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July 27th, 2007, 09:24 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,449

She's soooo pretty!

I have stuff going on with my placenta. I've been told that all that is behind me but I'm not too sure I believe it. I was told at 22 weeks that everything was okay and a week later, I was back in L&D for 2 days bleeding. All I can say is there needs to be more research when it comes to the placenta. I was told so many things when my placenta started bleeding back at 16 weeks. "you have previa...its complete...no it's low lying...no...it's complete! you have placenta abrubto...no...it's just a blood clot...oh wait! you don't have a blood clot...oh yes you do!!!! I advise termination. You'll most likely deliver a micro preemie with all sorts of problems...bla bla bla bla bla bla...it's all a bunch of crap.

I'm 30 weeks, have had 4 level 2 ultrasounds, baby is normal,blood flow in placenta is normal, haven't bled in 7 weeks, and it looks like I'm going to go to term with a normal delivery providing she gets out of breech. So, in short, when it comes to the placenta, the docs know jack.
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July 27th, 2007, 05:06 PM
8miraclez's Avatar Formerly Halfbaked
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,472
If you hadn't been seeing a perinatologist, who surely would have checked, I would say it sounds like you had diabetes. They would have picked up on glucose in your urine though. I just know that that is something that can happen if you have type 1 or 2 diabetes. They have always told me that if I make it to 36 weeks, they would start checking lung maturity for the earliest time they could induce me.

The placenta in a diabetic can become large from all the extra sugar. It also starts to break down and will start acting like it is old. I don't know what other conditions could have caused that though. Maybe just a fluke?

To read updates about our baby born with major birth defects, like our Facebook page
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July 27th, 2007, 08:45 PM
rabbitranch's Avatar est. 2000
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: central FL
Posts: 13,912
Thanks ladies for the input! Yes, I was seeing my OB as well as a group of perinatologists every other week. Both places had the newest high-tech equipment. I was tested for all sorts of infections (rubella, toxoplasmosis, CMV to name a few), diabetes, the baby underwent genetic testing and was totally normal, the amniotic fluid was normal. The placenta, although grossly abnormal, was chromosomally fine and there wasn't a sign of a molar twin. It was just so weird! I have never smoked, don't drink alcohol, and take good care of myself. Nobody ever suggested we might have a baby so early, but to be fair they had no clue what was going on. I just happened to have:

4x too thick placenta w/premature aging
excess amniotic fluid
placental abruption
severe preeclampsia
HELLP syndrome

All they can tell me is it seems to have just been 'one of those things.' I tell you if we ever decide to have another baby, my heart is going to be in my throat!

Heidi, mama to 5 kiddos and an lost 11.25.13 at 11w5d
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