Patient Stories:Nicola Dunphy

I was diagnosed with placenta accreta at 30 weeks during my last pregnancy.

I had a low lying placenta all through the pregnancy so it was suspected from around 20 weeks. An MRI scan in NMH confirmed this terrifying diagnosis.

I was admitted to the hospital at 31 weeks in early December 2018. Saying goodbye to my 4 young children at home and my husband was heart breaking, and emotions were heightened by the fact that it was the Christmas period. I was completely lost initially during my long hospital stay but I soon got into a new routine and made some good buddies on the busy ward which helped get through the long days and also kept my mind distracted from the terrifying road that lay ahead.

My baby was delivered on 3 January 2019 and 35 plus weeks and she spent a number of days in the wonderful care of the NICU staff. I was awake during my entire surgery. I had a lot of blood loss following my surgery and I needed a number of blood transfusions. I was stayed in HDU for 2 nights so didn’t see my baby girl until she was 3 days old.

On returning home, I felt very strange and very vulnerable. I was very weak and sore but slowly I began to regain my strength and my confidence and life began to settle back to normal. I am eternally grateful for our 5 beautiful children and to Prof. Donal Brennan and the amazing medical team in NMH who got me and my baby over the line. The establishment of placenta accreta Ireland has been monumental in helping me with my recovery.