With baby number 5, I went to my first prenatal appointment around 13 weeks, after waiting for my referral and then another month for the next available appointment.
I was thrilled to get that first peak at baby on the dating ultrasound, and it was equally exciting to see a much more developed ultrasound image than the typical first ones that look like an abstract bean- a lovely bean, don't get me wrong...
Nearing the end, the tech was taking some notes and making some marks. then, I went to see the midwife and do the rest of the appointment.
The midwife mentioned the placenta was circumvallate, which was an "irregularity." I left, feeling great, though still nauseous, and went about my day.
Later, I remembered that strange word the midwife mentioned and decided to google it to learn more. That was a bad idea...
When searching for "circumvallate placenta" across the internet, you'll learn that it's a rare condition where the placenta curls away from the baby, which can lead to poor nutrient transfer, preterm birth, excessive bleeding/hemorrhaging, placental abruption and potential death to mom and baby.
I was paralyzed with fear! Was my doctor doing enough? What could actually be done? If something went wrong before 20 weeks, then there was nothing to do to save the baby, but should I be preparing for a preterm baby? Birth defects due to lack of nutrients?
I just wanted to scream:
SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT TO DO!
I decided to not announce my pregnancy until 20 weeks, in case something happened, I didn't want to be bombarded with questions, and I waited in pins and needles for my next appointment.
I finally had another ultrasound at 23 weeks, and guess what? Placenta looks great. The tech didn't think it was circumvallate anymore, but the ultrasound needed to be reviewed by a doctor. Baby is doing well, though on the smaller 35th percentile (uncommon for me).
The reason for this post is essentially this: if you've been diagnosed with a circumvallate placenta, take a deep breath and let those worries go.
I wish I didn't worry so much about something I had no control over. I spent so much time fretting about potential complications that haven't happened, and reading through forums of other moms, it seems most people are diagnosed, read WebMD, totally panic, then eventually realize their worry isn't needed.
The midwife's term of "irregularity" sums it up the best. The placenta is different, or appears different in shape. For me, it seems to have adjusted- though medical personnel will say it doesn't do that and was falsely diagnosed. I'm not sure what the actual deal was, I just know that I was totally panicked for months about every little ache or pain, kick, or lack of kick, and it was simply fruitless and ducked the joy out of the beginning of this pregnancy- so my advice is to not do the same but embrace the irregularity, and your precious bundle of joy growing within you!
Have you been diagnosed with a circumvallate placenta? I'd love to hear your story in the comment section!
is an author, blogger, and homeschooling mom of four, giving her excellent credentials to run her own circus one day!