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!

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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!!   

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. 

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.  

Relieved

So, I still don’t feel awesome… But, they squeezed me in early and the cervix measurement was just under 3 cm. Everything looks great!  What a relief!! No surgery for me! (This week anyway)

I feel a little like the girl who cried wolf… but everyone at the hospital assured me that they’d rather me come in and it be nothing, than not say anything and it be something really bad.  They’re right… my baby is not worth that risk.

Why am I still experiencing some pain? A couple of guesses… this little guy is growing fast! 

imageGreat profile shot… head is on the right.. body to the left. 

He’s measuring in the 89th percentile for growth.  They’re guessing he weighs around 12 ounces.  Because he’s growing so quickly, my uterus is accommodating by stretching, and that’s causing more round ligament pain than I’ve experienced thus far.  Round ligament pain can be a shooting pain that travels places you really don’t want to think about. 

Also right now, he’s head down.  I’d prefer he stay that way, but we’ll see. He apparently is quite the mover.  He would not sit still for the ultrasound.  I can guarantee I’m going to be sore tomorrow based on the amount of pushing and prodding we had to do to get the pictures we needed.  So, it’s very likely he’s also been punching and kicking my cervix, which like round ligament pain, is not a joyful experience.

He had a great heartbeat, all of his organs were in tact, every finger and toe was accounted for and he had normal measurements in every area they looked. 

The doctor said he looks perfect.  It looks like I’m off the hook for another week! 

19 weeks… Not a great day :(

Trying to take it easy between hits at work today. 

Well, we’re at 19 weeks… about the same time we found out I would need a cerclage while pregnant with my daughter.  And I’m not gonna lie.  I don’t feel good this morning. The baby feels really low.

I’m just uncomfortable.  Sometimes I feel sharp pains down low… but mostly I’m uncomfortable, especially when I’m standing or walking.  I’ve talked with my doctor, and she wants me to try and take it as easy as possible.  We’ll see what it means for my cervix at my appointment at 1:30.  Quite honestly, I don’t know what it means.  It could mean my cervix is shorter… maybe it’s just round ligament pain.  But I do know that this is the worst I’ve felt so far.

This scares me.  I’ve been thru it all before, but it still scares me.  I just want everything to be ok.  

I’ll have an update later today on how the doctor’s appointment goes.  On the positive side… we get a full scan of the baby today! Measurements and everything! They usually let me look at the baby anyway, but this is the first size update I’ve had in a while.  Yay!  

Resting with my fingers crossed.

18 weeks

18 weeks

Well, I didn’t get the greatest news yesterday. And of course it comes as I’m headed to Steamboat with my parents. My cervix has shortened quite a bit.

First, let me say the baby looks great! He is such a little active guy! I’ve been feeling him kick a ton, and you can definitely see it on ultrasound. My favorite is when he kicks the ultrasound wand, for lack of a better term. I’m not sure if it’s because he likes it, or because he doesn’t, but his sister did the exact same thing.

He’s breech… And that’s different from Hannah. She was head down most of the time. Head down is ideal for women like me, with uterus didelphys. So long as the baby is head down, you can deliver normally… No c-section. Unless, of course, you have other complications.  But a breech baby can’t typically be turned in someone who’s uterus is a fraction of the size of a normal one. There’s just not enough space.

Labor and delivery was the BEST part of my last pregnancy, because it was the easiest. I was in labor for about 6 hours after my water broke, and only had to push for 26 minutes. The epidural worked beautifully.  I’ll admit that I was scared to death going into it.  I mean, I know women have been doing it forever, but it’s still hard to get your mind around the whole thing.  I believe my exact thoughts were… “That 6-9 lbs baby is going to come out of where??? You’re joking, right?"  But it was WAY better than I ever thought.  And my fear was really the fear of the unknown.  So, I don’t want a c-section this time round. If this baby could please turn by the time he’s ready to meet the world, that would be awesome. Thanks.

But for now, that’s a secondary worry. My cervix is measuring 2.6 cm in length. We’ve set the threshold for this pregnancy at 2.5 cm. Anything lower than that and I have to have the surgery to put the cerclage in.

It’s news I’ve been prepared for. It’s news we expected. But it still hit me like a ton of bricks, like I had been punched in the stomach. I wanted to cry the whole way home. My body is still not working right.

At least we’re watching. At least we’re prepared. The cerclage worked great with Hannah. Hopefully it does the same this time around.