Pregnancy/Babies | Family | Women's health | Health

After A Healthy Delivery, Doctors Take One Look At Her Placenta And Decide To Leave It Inside

Kristen Terlizzi / Vox

When Kristen and her husband discovered that she was pregnant with their second child, they were thrilled.

The young mother had delivered her first child by cesarean and was preparing to do the same with the second when an ultrasound revealed something disturbing.

Doctors diagnosed the 32-year-old mother with placenta accreta - a condition that causes the placenta to grow out of control.

A condition that could kill her.

Doctors couldn't see a separation between her placenta, her uterus and her bladder.

Kristen's placenta had grown outside of the uterine wall and begun to invade her other organs. Since she had a cesarean section for the birth of her first child, she was at risk of developing Placenta Accreta in this pregnancy.

When it was time to deliver little Leo, he was safely born by cesarean at the Stanford Health Care Hospital in California.

But Kristen was not so lucky. When it was time to assess the severity of the placenta's growth, the doctors made an unprecedented decision to abort the surgery.

The invasion had become so extensive that they didn't want to risk an infection, or spontaneous hemorrhaging. So they closed her up and left the placenta inside.

Doctors hoped that at best, her body would deal with the placenta, now that the baby was out. But, after six weeks in the hospital, she began to show signs of liver failure.

When Leo was seven weeks old, doctors decided that Kristen needed an emergency operation to remove unnecessary organs, repairs and interventions to other critical organs and the transfusion of 26 units of blood.

Thankfully, she has fully healed and Leo is happy and healthy. She is one of the lucky ones who was able to receive the extensive, life saving treatment.

Listen to the story in her own words below:

[h/t Vox / WifeWine]