Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Who Knew???

"Don't do too much research online; you'll scare yourself!" I usually listen to the advice of my dad. This time, thankfully, curiousity got the better of me and about two weeks after I found out I was pregnant, I started the whole, "what's the worst that could happen...." game with myself. ALL pregnant women know this game--it's the fun, 2 am game we like to play when that crazy weird dream wakes you up and we can't get back to sleep.

So, in my anxiety-surfing, I stumbled across the laughable term, "incompetent cervix". I actually chuckled out loud. I have incompetent co-workers, I have dealt with incompetent sales and customer service people. I have definitely had my hair cut by incompetent stylists....but a tiny little donut hole of muscle in the reproductive system? Just how "competent" did it need to be? What skill, spefically, did it need to perform to be considered qualified to do it's job? How would one even know if their cervix was qualified for the job or not?

Apparently, a competent cervix is that over-achieving donut hole that stays closed and longer than 3cms for the entire duration of one's pregnancy...apparently, if you've had anything done to it at any other time in your life, it might just not want to fulfill that responsibility later in life. It's kind of a one-trick pony--it can either stay closed and long during pregnancy, or you can fuss around with it earlier in life. Not both, I guess...

Hey, didn't I have laser surgery twice back in the 90's after some wonky pap results? Yeah, I did. Maybe I should tell my doctor...

So the anxiety-surfing found it's way into my 12w check up with my doctor. It didn't occur to me to make a big deal of it ( ie: mention it at all) until during the pap, he commented, "wow, you have a tough cervix to find. It's way up there." Just what every girl wants to hear about her cervix (does a girl ever want to hear anything about her cervix, really??) I mentioned the laser surgeries from my 'past life' and he decided that I should be monitored by ultrasound (the fabulous "transvaginal" kind) from week 16-24 to see if my cervix was up for the job.

The first trip to the perinatologist My mom went with me, we got to see the peapod (disgustingly sappy nickname assigned to the baby by my husband and I) in his first "I look like a real baby now" appearance and truly, I was kind of enjoying being "high risk"--it meant a LOT of attention and several chances to see my baby in action. My cervix was 2.8cm. Not great (see aforementioned definition of "competent"), but not red-flashing-light alarm bad. "We'll keep monitoring it". I wasn't even told not to have sex....if only I had taken advantage of it when I could (but the 2nd trimester horny-hormones hadn't kicked in yet....)

At 19w, my husband and I went to see our peapod at the "big" ultrasound--anatomy, length, weight, gender--all those things parents get all hopped up about. And hopped up we were. Between 16 and 19w, we had seen the cervix one other time and been told that it was well over 3cm (highly, highly competent, thank you, very much). So it never occurred to me to be concerned; I was all in love with my baby and that was all I was focusing on...

The doctor, however, was focusing on my teeny, tiny cervix. 2.1cm tiny to be exact. How did that happen? Seriously, how? How does a cervix get small, get big, get small again. they sent us to the "bad news room" (my name for it, not theirs--can you imagine?!) and had us wait for a call from my regular OB. So we sat on the "early french whore" settee amid the calming neutral patterned wall-paper, the side table with a box of tissues on it and the "we have some bad news" chair for the doctor.

When my OB did call, he asked us to be at his office within the hour and we would talk about our "options". Ha haha, options. There were two: insert a cerclage (read: gigantic fishing wire type stitch) into the cervix OR wait to see if the baby spontaneously falls out of my uterus as I go about my life...hmmmmmmm; you don't have to be in the running for mother of the year to realize that there is no option there, especially when you are in your 19th week of pregnancy.

I will spare you the details of the cerclage procedure. If you are interested, I strongly recommend reading Amy's blog (, as she went through the same thing and describes the procedure down to the smallest detail (I also remember trying to see what was going on by looking at the reflections in the OR ceiling.

That started on January 16th. The cerclage was put in on January 19th. It is February 8th, now, the middle of my 4th week at a 45-degree angle. I am not supposed to sit up beyond that during the day. I am allowed to use the bathroom and take showers. Oh, and go to the doctor's office once a week (hurray--I get to wear shoes one day a week!!). Work (English teacher) is now a thing of the past; although I still check in daily via email to see how the department is doing.

here's a list of the things I do to occupy my time:

1. Watch way too much TLC and Discovery Health--you can watch a baby being born almost every hour if you switch back and forth at the right times...
2. Read---but not as much as you'd think for an out-of-work English teacher. I think I am still in the "I don't have to work and you can't make me" mindset...
3. Surf the web; I spend far too much time reading message boards.
4. Try to write in my journal--difficult for the same reason that I'm not reading enough.
5. Talk on the phone. And I hate talking on the phone.
6. Feel guilty that my husband has to work 10 hours a day in his home office, make me breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as clean the house and do the shopping.
7. Cuddle with the cats, who I swear, think they have died and gone to kitty heaven that I am home and, even better, in bed ALL day, every day.
8. Contemplate and organize a pregnancy scrapbook. Not sure if I have the "artistic" ability to pull it off and right now I"m not allowed to sit up straight enough to really do the work on it.
9. Vist with friends who come over bringing food and magazines to entertain me

and that's about it...

I will say one thing about bed rest--everytime this little baby moves inside of me, I get to feel it. Granted, I'm sure there's a lot I don't feel (and some I wish I didn't--stop kicking my cervix!!), but rather than missing most of it due to running around and going about life as usual, I get to feel even the lightest little taps b/c I have nothing else going on in my life. I have to admit, i LOVE that...

All right; for a first post, that is enough. I have 3 movies to watch (hurray Netflix!), a kitty to cuddle and a book to ignore. My day is complete...


Amelia said...

Hi Sarah! I found your site from the BOTB board. I am a huge blog addict and enjoyed reading your post. I am 36 wks and on partial bedrest (I get to go to work in the mornings), and I am so sorry that you have to be cooped up for so long, but whatever's best for the baby, right? Anyway, keep up the blogging, it's a great distraction! Best of luck to you and your little one!

Patricia Hooper said...

Hiya Sarah

Judy invited me to read your blog (I never heard of blog before). My husband worked with Judy in SPS. We met Pedro Cesar in 2001.

This is just to let you know that I was confined to bed rest during my first two pregnancies so I know what you are up against!! The worst thing is when you DO get up, the aching of unused muscles.

Take care and we look forward to your news. Love to PC

Trish Hooper