Incompetent Cervix Fears & Hopes (PAL Journal: 21 Weeks)
This week was all about bedrest. Figuring out how to do it and getting used to it. After the cerclage surgery I was told to be on bedrest with bathroom privileges. Thankfully my pregnancy body pillow arrived the day after I got home as it’s made laying around a little more comfortable. Also the nurse said I didn’t have to wear these uncomfortable and hot compression tights the hospital gave me because I was getting some circulation walking to and from the bathroom.
5/24/17 (21 weeks 1 day)
End of the 20th wk! Wow, this one was a hard one. Pretty much was smooth sailing but then we went in for our 20 wk anatomy scan (see previous post). We had the usual fears but it seemed to be going well. All of Jax’s measurements were normal, but then the doctor tried to measure my cervix. After switching to a transvaginal ultrasound I asked if my cervix was short (something I had heard about but didn’t necessarily think it would happen to us) and he said it was (2.2-2.4 cm). Scared out of my mind, he said to get dressed and he’d come discuss the options: Progesterone shots (didn’t think that’d work for us since mine was already getting short and that’s used more to prevent it when you have prior incidents of IC or catch it around 14 weeks), termination (not at all an option we would ever consider), and cerclage (75% effective, but in his opinion the best chance for saving the baby). So of course we went with the last option and booked my surgery for Saturday morning.
I spent the next two days on bed rest at home and had a friend take Naomi to and from school. Good thing we decided to do that despite the doctor not requiring it because my cervix shortened to 2 cm and was 1 cm dilated by the surgery time. We had a wonderful nurse Juliet who prepped me for surgery with a kind and reassuring anesthesiologist Dr. Hong. I prayed so much for my son’s life. During the 15 minute surgery I didn’t stop praying and asking God to work a miracle through Doctor Tabsh’s hands. That they were His hands, not the Doctors (because humans are imperfect but God could make sure the surgery was successful). Thankfully the Shridokar transvaginal cerclage surgery went well and the cervix length was lengthened to 3 cm.
Recovery was very painful, meds didn’t seem to work. But they said in 24 hours the pain would be a lot less, which was true. By day two I didn’t need the meds after the morning dosage. However that early morning I noticed some wetness and pointed out the discharge to the nurse. She said it had some blood and could be amniotic fluid. We tested positive but they said it could be a false positive. Again totally not what we were expecting and we were so afraid that after all that our baby was still going to come. As we waited for Doctor to come in to check on me (was supposed to be early morning but ended up being 5 pm), we prayed constantly and had many people praying for us. I was watching Hillsong United and the pastor said to write down your goals and prayers specifically. So I did – I declared Jax’s amniotic fluid did not break, he would come to full term and be born healthy, we would Baptize him, we would raise him with our daughter and so on. Then I refused to listen to anyone who said otherwise. By a miracle of God the doctor said it was not amniotic fluid and we asked for an ultrasound to confirm, which he did for us and everything was fine. Stitch looked good on my cervix and there was no fluid in the vaginal area leaking from the sack. I have never felt so happy and relieved in my life! Since that moment, the weight of all the fear of this pregnancy that I’ve been carrying around was lifted. I now knew God’s promise was to help our son live and was so grateful as I walked in the door from the car that I was home that Sunday night with our baby still with us. I cried so many tears of gratitude and held onto hope.
Also since this happened, my mom and dad came to take care of Naomi for us and my mom is staying for weeks. Many of my friends have come by for a visit bringing flowers and food. My Real Life church mom group coordinated a dinner train and have been blessing us with meals all week and next week. Before this I was feeling so alone and like I had no support but God showed me that I have a village ready to help if I am willing to accept it and that many people are so happy for us and eager to meet our son. I will never forget how wonderful they have all been and how God has restored my faith that He can do all things, even in moments when it seems impossible, because He does the impossible! He is a miracle worker and the birth of my son at full term will be a testimony to His greatness.