My cerclage

It took a couple of days, but I’m finally out of my drug-induced haze!  (No drugs were used that could harm the baby.  They just made me REALLY drowsy.) All of last week happened so fast, the whole thing just feels surreal… like I’m going to wake up and this will all have been a dream.  Despite that, the procedure to put in my cerclage could not have gone any better.

The decision was made last Tuesday.  My cervix had been shortening, much slower than last time, but enough to worry my doctors that I may, in fact, deliver a preemie.  So, after an anxious night of no sleep, we dropped our daughter off at daycare and arrived at the hospital just after 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning.  It was snowing. Hard. Sorry (kind of) news friends who had to work through that without me!  But we arrived safely, and then the waiting game began. imageDr. Donnelly prepping me for surgery.

imageI hate taking medicine!



When you make quick decisions, you don’t really give yourself time to realize the full scope of what’s going on.  So my nerves were doing pretty good that morning.

FAIR WARNING: If you do not believe in women and flatulence, (my husband) do not read any further. STOP READING NOW.

In fact, much like last time, I was much more worried about flatulence than I was about my doctor’s ability to put in the stitch.

You see, when you first enter into operating room, everything looks “normal”. Then, after the doors close, they hoist these things that make it look like you are about to participate in an olympic event… The rings! One of my best events in elementary school.  I so got this!

Sadly, that is not what they would be used for that morning.  Long story short, they give you a spinal to numb you from the waist down, then strap your legs in, and everyone gets up close and personal.  It is my worst nightmare to be THAT gassy pregnant lady who breaks wind in all of my doctors’ faces.  I mean, I was going to be awake for this!!  MORTIFYING!!  

At least last time they assured me they’d blame it on the only male in the room… the surgeon. hahaha.  This time, it was all ladies who would be down there, so I felt it would be best to just give them fair warning.  

Fortunately for me, I was a lady even while numb from the waist down.

This time, I actually slept through my surgery.  Thank goodness… because by the time we made it all the way to that room I was one anxious pregnant lady! I had gotten so little sleep the night before that the “happy” drug they gave me knocked me out. Cold. When I woke up, they were finishing up.

Dr. Donnelly ended up sewing both cervixes together since the other one was so small comparatively.  She felt that tying the two together would cause the least amount of bleeding, and least amount of risk.

You do spot red blood afterwards.  But it’s not much, and totally normal.  In fact, it is 2 days after surgery and I’m not spotting anymore.  I feel a lot more tired than I did, and my back is sore.  But otherwise I feel pretty good! And now I wait.

The reality is, I still could go into labor at 24 weeks.  If your body wants to have the baby, you’re going to have the baby, cerclage or not.  Milestones are BIG for me from now on.  24 weeks, 32 weeks… And my goal is to make it to 36 weeks when the stitch will come out.  Wish me luck!!   

Done! Surgery went great!

Surgery went great. Started a little late due to some emergency c sections, but it’s finished!

I got a fantastic nap while they were putting the cerclage in, so I don’t remember anything. But I now measure 4 cm. they ended up sewing both cervixes together.

More pictures to come… But wanted to keep you updated!

Hooray for being finished!

Surprise! Surgery tomorrow…

To my sweet boy:

Tomorrow mommy goes in for surgery to make sure you stay in her belly for as long as you need to.  For a while there, it seemed as though my pregnancy with you would not have the same fate as with your sister.  But the doctors aren’t so sure anymore.  Mommy’s body is slowly giving out.  And it’s time to do everything we can to help it along.

I’ll be honest, this was not how I envisioned my 22 week appointment to go.  Every other time, I’ve been prepared for the worst.  This time, I totally figured I go in, they’d tell me I was doing great, and then I’d head home.  

We waited in that room a little longer than usual, your sister and I.  Your poor sister was battling pink eye in both eyes.  Something I pray you never have to go through!  We had even found time to have a dance party in our room while we waited.  It’s our thing. 

Then the high-risk doctor came in and said… let’s talk about what’s different today and surgery options. I’ve been making a few phone calls on your behalf.

Say what? My surprise quickly turned to reconciliation. We were doing better this time around.  It just wasn’t good enough.  Mommy’s doctors said it was time talk about stitching me up.  My doctor said he’d rather do this now, rather than wait… go to 24 weeks and 5 days and then find out we should have done something.   Especially considering my past history. Best rest is not for mommy, and I will do everything in my power to make sure you don’t have to go to the NICU.  You can stay in there as long as you want thankyouverymuch.

So here I am, the night before… watching it rain outside my window, hoping I get a good night’s rest.

I’m nervous. I’m scared. But I believe this is the right thing to do.  Being nervous before surgery, is normal.  It’s always the fear of the unknown.  I’ve certainly had enough surgeries to know that it doesn’t get easier with practice.  And this particular surgery is interesting because I’ll be awake the whole time.  I’ll know if something starts to go wrong.

I’m crossing my fingers everyone in there tomorrow wants to have a good time, too.  Getting stitches isn’t fun… but sometimes people around you in the room can change how you see it.  That’s what happened when your sister and I went it.  There was understanding, and there was laughter.  For that, I’ll forever be grateful.

That’s how mommy deals with stress… through laughter.  So I’m telling you now, make mommy laugh, and it’s a lot harder to get in trouble.  (That’s the first and last time I’m sharing such secrets!)

I’m also nervous because I have NEVER met the doctor who will be doing the surgery.  It’s hard to believe… I feel like we’ve met almost the entire OBGYN department, we’ve been there enough over the last several weeks! Ha! But Dr. Huguelet says this doctor is awesome, and she has never led me astray. 

We’ll get through this tomorrow! Mommy’s done this before.  Your sister and I did great! And one day soon, you’ll join our dance parties! You’ll make us laugh.  And we’ll be so thankful for the help we’ve had along the way. 

Yesterday was National Doctor’s Appreciation Day… and I couldn’t get to this post, so here it is today!  The doctors you pick can make a big difference in your care… and I don’t think I could have done any better with mine!

A HUGE thank you to these doctors for helping bring our beautiful little girl into this world! Dr. Tricia Huguelet with University of Colorado Hospital, Dr. Deb Smith with Rocky Mountain Fertility Center, Dr. Jaime Arruda with UCH, Dr. Nick Behrendt with UCH, and Dr. Joel Schwartz.  Many more thanks to come when our son arrives! We really couldn’t have done this… and stayed sane… without you! – oh, and I apologize for no makeup.  Been a little busy taking care of Hannah’s pink eye!

Only human

Christina Perri sings her song “Human”… mainly about a relationship, and sometimes faking your way through it.  But every time I hear it, it reminds me of my own life right now… having nothing to do with relationships and everything to do with putting on a front. 

I’ve said this before, my job on tv is not to be “Debbie Downer”.  So I’ve created a fun little place where I can bury a lot of the stuff going on in my life. I admit, I overuse it.  I’m really good at stashing away my problems at work, and keeping them stashed so I don’t have to think about them the rest of the day.  The trouble is, that box gets too full and I start feeling the effects mentally and physically.

A horrible head cold took over my house last week.  I’ve been so busy stashing away the things that stress me out, and finding new projects to keep me busy that I didn’t give myself time to stop, sit down and rest.  The result was a head cold so bad that I couldn’t breathe or sleep for a week, and the onset of overnight anxiety attacks.  I’d wake up to blow my nose, then couldn’t fall back to sleep for 3 or 4 hours.  When you have to wake up at 2:30 a.m. for your job everyday, that’s not a good thing.  My throat hurt so bad that eating and drinking were not appealing.  I got dehydrated enough that I had a few contractions.  Nothing consistent, but enough to make me bring it all up at my doctor’s visit Monday.

I nearly broke down in tears at her office (thank you, in part, pregnancy hormones) because I then started listing all of the things that were going on in my life and stressing me out.  I opened the box.  

I’m glad I did.  It was a good reminder that I’m only human.  I can only put on an act for so long, before my problems build up and break me. 

Too much anxiety is not good during pregnancy.  And when you’re at risk for preterm labor, like me, it only adds to the problem.  Some studies have even shown that extra stress can lead to a preterm delivery.  So, my doctor says time to stop adding on projects, and if the anxiety continues, then seeing a therapist would be a good option.

I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make sure my son is healthy when he arrives.  So, as hard as it is to take a few steps back… it’s time to do that.  I can’t keep burying my problems, because I’m only human.

Every pregnancy is truly different

It’s so true, every pregnancy is different.  Even with uterus didelphys! And who knows why.  It finally looks like my morning sickness is starting to go away! I’ll go several days now where I don’t throw up in the morning, before having another sick day.  At 20 weeks I’ll count that as a win.  I was sick through 24 weeks with my daughter Hannah.

My last doctor’s appointment went really well, too! Every week I’ve just been waiting for that other shoe to drop.  But so far, nothing.  It was around this time with my last pregnancy that I had my cerclage put in.  And it’s not like we’re dealing with a different side.  This is the same uterus I was pregnant in last time.

At my appointment, the perinatologist said, “Your cervix is not the longest in the world, but over the last 3 weeks it looks the same.  So I’d say it’s stable.” Honestly… that’s shocking news to me.  I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around it.  My pregnancy with my daughter was just SO different.  But I’ll take it… it’s holding strong at 2.6 cm.  

When I asked her why it’s so different this time around, she said because every pregnancy IS truly different.  We don’t know why.  We can guess… but we really will never know why.  I also readdressed my concerns about getting past the 24 week mark, and then not being able to have surgery.  My doctor told me that there’s a lot of evidence that suggests that making it through 24 weeks without your cervix giving way is a sign that it’s not going anywhere until that baby is ready to come.  

If I do make it to that 24 week mark, then just like last time, I’ll count my milestones as I get them.  Celebrating as I make it to 28… 32… 36 (hopefully). 

All of that being said, we still have to get to 24 weeks.  I hit 21 weeks in a couple of days… so we have a little ways to go.  But this is promising news!  

It’s also very nice having doctors who have been through a tough pregnancy.  They get it.  I feel like they truly understand my feelings, because they’ve been there.  And for me, when they’re not freaking out, it’s easier for me to not freak out. It’s not that I don’t trust the other doctors that I’ve seen… I just trust these people more, because I can relate to them.

So here’s to another week! Maybe this time around will be a lot different form the last.  Goodness only knows I could bear a pregnancy that had a little less drama! 

Oh, one last crazy fact I recently learned… My next huge milestone is to make it to 24-25 weeks.  That’s when my baby will have a chance to survive, in case he decides to come early.  In other places, babies have a chance of survival as early as 22-23 weeks, because they’re at sea level.  Even with all the special equipment, we just don’t have enough oxygen to support those little guys here in Denver, CO.  

Disappointed watching “Discovery Fit and Health”

It’s taken me some time to sit down and write this after I watched a program on Discovery Fit and Health over the weekend.  Mostly because I was so angry while watching it, I wanted to throw my tv out the window. Plus, I’ve been trying to figure out who or what I’m most upset at.

It’s not a channel I usually watch.  My guess is my daughter got a hold of the channel changer and randomly put it on there.  Regardless, I happened to catch the program “Strange Pregnancies”.  This time, they featured a woman with Uterus Didelphys.  Obviously I was intrigued.


Like many women out there, this woman, sadly, experienced a miscarriage.  She rushed to the hospital, only to find there was nothing they could do.  But, she did find out she had two uteri! Her doctors then explained to her that this was the reason for her miscarriage.

What?!?! This was the first point I started yelling at the television.  Here was a young woman, devastated after losing her child, finding out something that is quite shocking, and she now believes she can never have children. All of this happened after one visit to the ER??

Every uterine anomaly is different.  Two people with Uterus Didelphys will have slightly different variations.  So, it’s plausible that someone’s uterine lining is too thin, and that there could be problems, they could micarry.  But finding something like that takes time.  My problem is with the blanket statement of “women with Uterus Didelphys can’t ever have children”.  

Many women out there desperately want to have a child.  The thought of never being able to carry a baby tears into your soul.  I remember after my first two miscarriages how awful I felt.  I felt like less of a woman.  My body couldn’t do what women are genetically made to do… carry a child.  Having severe endometriosis, I know what it’s like to be told “you may not be able to get pregnant on your own.” So, I get angry when women are told information that just isn’t true.  

I wish someone could have told this woman, who was in tears explaining her condition, that there are many, many women out there with Uterus Didelphys who have been able to carry and have healthy children.  Sure, we have a riskier pregnancy, and we have to be watched because no one can be sure how your uterus will react… but it’s not impossible!! Far from it! 

I remember, when I first moved to Denver I went to a specialist at University of Colorado Hospital… just to get my foot in the door there.  He told me that of all the uterine anomalies, having Uterus Didelphys was the most extreme… but the best anomaly to have if you wanted to have kids.  I was never told that I could never have children.  I was, however, told that because of my anomaly when it was time to start trying to have children, that I had a different time frame before seeking help.  Most women have to wait through a full year of trying before a fertility specialist will see them.  I only had to wait 6 months.

I ended up seeing a fertility specialist.  It was taking us a while to get pregnant, and in the process I had 2 miscarriages.  But those miscarriages had nothing to do with my two uteri. I had a lot of other things going on.     

The woman in the show went on to have twins! One baby in each uterus… which is VERY rare!! And she carried “miraculously” to 33 weeks. Her doctors were shocked and thrilled.  

In the end, I wish this woman had been better informed.  And I REALLY hope “Discovery Fitness and Health” stops playing this story.  I’ve already posted a message on their facebook page.  As it is, it continues to misinform women who may be newly diagnosed with Uterus Didelphys.  Women who don’t need to sit there, feeling scared and hopeless. 

Stinky McPooperson and Her Fabulous Fashion Sense

Early yesterday morning, young Hannah had to go to the bathroom. Still in diapers, it was an easy thing to do, yet made her feel slightly uncomfortable. To make herself feel better Hannah decided, “I’ll clean it out myself!” So she stuck her hands down her diaper and pulled out what felt like sticky, mushy goo. “Oh my!” Thought Hannah “this is interesting… And it’s colored! I bet it would look awesome on my clothes!” Like finger painting, it went on with ease. Hannah was having so much fun, she decided to decorate the floor while she was at it! 

Then, All of a sudden she was getting swept off the ground! “No Hannah!” Said her teachers as they vigorously washed her down. “Poop is not for play. Now we have to change your clothes." 

Hannah had no other option but to dress like a child from the Sound of Music (minus the suspenders). We think her make shift tail so the shorts don’t fall off really completes the ensemble. The end.

I am so glad I was not the one who had to clean that up!!