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23.11.12

An Important Cause {Flashback Friday}

Todays post is going to be brief and a break from my love story.
The reasoning behind this is that yesterday I had a tweet from a Sky News Producer, and today I will be interviewed live on Sky News.
The topic.
Vasa Praevia.

Not many people have heard of Vasa Praevia. This is an issue within itself. There needs to be a lot more done to get this condition to be recognised and known.
What is it? It's a condition which occurs when blood vessels (placental or umbilical) block the birth canal.
These vessels can easily tear causing major blood loss to the baby.
The vessels can also be compressed as the baby drops into the pelvis which can then affect the baby's blood supply and/or cause oxygen deprivation.

It's a really serious condition and in most cases causes the loss of a perfectly healthy baby.

We found out at the very last minute that I had this condition.
I was fully dilated and wondering why my huge pushes were not quite able to deliver my baby. After voicing my concerns my midwife performed an internal examination and felt a vessel.
With another midwife then feeling the same thing and then a consultant the decision was made to try and deliver Harry safely, and naturally, or take me to theatre for an emergency c-section.
I was so tired, scared and not fully with it due to the ridiculous amount of gas and air that I had consumed through the 12+ hours of labour I had already been going through.

We were lucky. The vessels remained intact and Harry was delivered safely.
But others aren't so lucky.

A lot of people think I over-react about what I went through. But although we were lucky, what-ifs follow. You think about what could have happened if it wasn't detected or what could have happened if the vessels had torn at any point in the pregnancy.
What if I had had the home birth that midwives so eagerly pushed?
The flashbacks I suffered were horrid and although to some it may seem as though I am over the trauma of the birth, I am not.
I have learnt to not talk about it because of peoples reactions, and peoples clear feelings that "you were very lucky, others aren't so".

If I can do anything for those who aren't so lucky then it's to campaign to make Vasa Praevia known and recognised, and to get screening introduced within the 20 week scan.

Currently Vasa Praevia isn't screened.
The UK NSC have this policy:

Policy Position

A national screening programme for vasa praevia is not recommended.
This policy was reviewed in Nov 2008 but no significant changes were made. It is due to be considered again in 2012/13, or earlier if significant new evidence emerges.

Evidence Supporting the Policy

Although the current literature suggests that vasa praevia is now detectable by ultrasound there is insufficient information on the case definition, natural history and epidemiology of the condition. There is also uncertainty on the accuracy and practical application of the test and there is no agreed management pathway for those with confirmed vasa praevia and for those with some risk factors in the absence of vasa praevia. In this context there is uncertainty about the balance of benefit and harm to be derived from screening all pregnant women with a view to offering caesarean section to those at risk.

And this is what needs to be changed.
Please, if you see an article or a feature on the news at any time about this pay attention, and see if there is anything you can do to help with the campaign to bring in the screening. Be it as simple as just signing a petition.
The screening would simply take 2 minutes, so it's not even a lengthy procedure.
And more importantly, it will save babies lives. 555 pregnancies a year are affected by Vasa Praevia, and if the majority of those pregnancies end in the loss of a baby, well, it's clear, that's a lot of lives gone.

Remember a flashback can be from any time whether it be yesterday, last week, last month, last year or yesteryear! It can be a flashback of your own, your children, your partner or your friends. And if you don't want to write a post, then just link up a photo with a date. If you don't have time to write a new post, no problem simply link up a post you have already posted.

Next week's theme is  CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS.
Please interpret this theme however you wish. Did you have any traditions growing up? Or none at all? Do you think you should have done? Do you have any Christmas traditions with your family? Visiting Santas Grotto, making decorations, visiting church, having special shopping days?
You can even link up previous posts you've written around Christmas time last year, the year before or the year before that!