My Cerclage

In September 2005, I was pregnant with twin girls. I lost my pregnancy at 19 weeks apparently due to my "incompetent cervix." I became pregnant again and wrote all about it on this blog. I now have a wonderful son. Since bed rest, anxiety and cerclage were so much fun, I've decided to do it all again.....

Friday, March 31, 2006

Yoga! Yoga!

I asked my perinatoligist if she thought it was okay to do some yoga with the doula-pre-natal yoga teacher-bodywork guru (is there anything this woman doesn’t do?) who has been visiting me now and again for massage and good pregnancy vibes. I told her how the doula assured me that the poses would be very gentle, and actually take some pressure off my cervix. My doc totally freaked, and tried not too. She sputtered, "I just don't know. I don't do yoga!" Finally, she agreed, but I could tell it was a hard sell for her. I assured her that I had practiced yoga for years before pregnancy, so I felt comfortable knowing how to listen very well.

In comes Guru, with her blankets and bolsters and ability to be mellow about the dog since she has her own hyper canine at home. What can I say? It. Was. Awesome. I want to write a proposal to my doctor. I mean really, I sit or lie on this couch all day. I lie slumping, crumbling, leaning on pillows to stay comfortable and stay down. Now imagine someone helping you to get totally aligned on your yoga matt, with a bolster under your hips (baby away from cervix!) and your shoulders and heart open and your body stretched fully, arms overhead. Simply stretching this way apparently works wonders. During this eyes closed moment, Gura softly spouts inspirational words, "remember, what feels good for you feels good for your baby". I was so relaxed after, and I felt like my body was probably in far healthier better positions than I (especially considering my tendency to jostle up and down with the peeing at least 2 times an hour) often manage on my own, and I never had to stop lying down. Plus, the mental health got a big boost.

This week, she comes back for massage. It's funny, as much as truly believe everything I just wrote, the worry wart in me says for my 19th week, stay down. All I want is relaxation. I just want to know that if something awful happened, I didn’t do anything that the peri doesn’t like. And she is very okay with pre-natal massage. We can start the yoga again after week 20.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Cervix Hanging in!

Cervix is till over 3.5 cm, with no funneling! I'm glad to be going into our 19th week with a long cervix. I think my doctor is more anxious than we are. The bedrest stuff is still a challeng for me, although, it's great to see how much time has gone by. It truly does seem less overwhelming than it did at the beginning when I felt I had a whole pregnancy to manage. Now, even if I never get off the bedrest, at least I am almost halfway there. Still, I was expecting and hoping that she would tell us that my cervix is doing so well that I can have more outings and more fun! But no!! She wants us to "get through these next few weeks and see where we are." I understand that she has our best interest and baby’s best interest in mind, and that she is extra concerned since we are going into the very week we lost our twin girls. I really get that. But is it bad to have this lingering feeling of the wool being pulled over my eyes about this bedrest stuff? I feel tricked, like a child who is told "soon" when the "how much longer" question is asked on a car ride. The adult knows there is still a few hours left, but they keep that kid just hoping that it is about to end. I think I was told that there would “maybe be some modified bedrest” when I first became pregnant. Huh. I am not complaining though (well I am, but I am not really that miffed). Whatever works. The bedrest might just be the thing that is keeping me in such good shape

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bedrest Medications

Three trashy novels later, and I am back to the good stuff. At least I know that my standards didn't die forever. Maybe for bedrest, three trashy books to one good book will be the proportion. Who knows, it's too hard to figure out how I will feel day-to-day in this situation. There was an op-ed in the times that captured my feeling about bedrest perfectly; that of "a woman descending slowly but surely into insanity." Actually, it was an interesting article:

Speaking of NY, the in-laws were in town all last week from that very city. It was so nice to have people bring us stuff, go food shopping and generally break up my day. So far I have found that visitors are the thing that works wonders. There are several times when I am rapidly descending a downward spiral of self-pity and depression (usually late afternoon, early evening), when a friend comes over. Suddenly, I am animatedly talking about god knows what, but I usually have a lot to say about whatever it is. Hours go by, and yay! It’s almost time for bed and another day gone by. With this in mind, I have actually scheduled several lunches and dinners. Our living room is like command central. This means me sprawled on the couch while I greet my many guests. It really does help. That and 24 on DVD! If Jack Bauer can't get me through the next few months, no one can!

Tomorrow we have an ultrasound after two weeks of no activity with the doctor. I am very nervous. Have we had any funneling (when the cervix starts to open from the inside)? Is my cervix still long? I am now a little over 18 weeks. If I make it to 20, I will be more pregnant than ever before. 28 is the first real goal, and if I make it to 28, aren't I in the home stretch?? I am getting ahead of myself here. I have to get past 18 first:)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Reading Shmeading

I am a reader. I read fiction. Good fiction! In high school I read all the classics for fun. I was an English major in college. I read every night to go to sleep and have my entire life since I can remember being old enough to hold a book. I read books people consider "literature". I have high standards. I debate about current fiction and how low the quality is these days. I admit that I sometimes foray into things that are a little more...trashy. I have been known to read the chic lit book here and there and maybe even a harlequin romance if the airplane ride is more than 2 hours. I admit this with deep shame. But, you know. When the situation fits….

Does the situation fit? I can’t read a well-written literature type book to save my life right now. I have spoken to a few of my brethren who have suffered this bedrest situation, and they admit a similar inability to concentrate on anything that takes any real mental ability. For me, the better the book, the better written or complex with interesting characters and good story telling, the less I can deal. So I have read a few of my trashier books, and they sort of hit the spot. But how do I get to the trashy novel? I am too ashamed to tell people to go buy me something with an illustration of a bodice being ripped on the cover, and people who know me keep bringing "good" books to read. So I finally decided to risk my Amazon profile with a few unsavory bits of fiction. Still, I dread signing back on to and finding other suggestions of books based on previous purchases. Danielle Steel will probably come up right under my name. The shame! I have a reputation to uphold! But what can I say? I cannot wait for my books to arrive.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Wonders Worked!

It worked. Maybe just temporarily, but it worked. My aching muscles being rubbed, the nice energy of calm hands, the attention of someone knowledgable asking all about my pregnancy and not just the cervix—it is so nice. I did ignore a few disparaging comments about doctors, because I like my doctors just fine (I wish they were a little more nurturing, but whatever, they’re DOCTORS). And, I don’t feel any need to have a natural birth at this point so the idea of getting education around that, let’s just say it’s not really a big goal for me—no need for full doula services. However, I am all for the stretches and safe yoga poses that put no pressure on my cervix and “get some safe movement” and I am for the visualization exercises to help me relax and I am very, very much for the pillows and bolsters and the person moving my body around like I am the baby with no need to move myself because I am fully being attended too with the nicest massage. I am for that 100%. Hey, I am not buying anything else while I am stuck in the house, so some pre-natal “bodywork” every few weeks sounds like a good thing too spend some dough on, yes?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Take Chill Pill

I can't say there is much news over here. Ever since we learned that we have a stitch in a good spot and a cervix that is still holding strong, I have had nothing to write! Actually, I am too embarrassed to write the truth. The truth is that I still freak after every sensation, that several times a day I am convinced (No, really. Actually convinced, I am not just being dramatic for the blog) that the cervix is funneled to the stitch and that the baby will come out maybe without us reaching any more weeks pregnant than we were last time. Hmm. I just wrote the truth. I must not be that embarrassed. But I am. I am embarrassed. Not enough to edit it out, but enough to feel ashamed of my neaurotic side. I also think the doctors checking out our issues last week was no help for the old anxiety. One hopes that with a preventive cerclage once you are through the surgery, you are all set. Well...not so much, actually. Apparently, there are still a lot of things that can go wrong, the stitch failing just being one. Ewww! I am SUCH a downer. That is why I have the Eastern-medicine-pre-natal-massage-giving-doula coming tomorrow to RUB me, and make me feel warm and fuzzy about my pregnancy. You think she will work wonders? I'm skeptical....

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

All Okay?

I think everything might be fine. I don't want to say everything is fine when it might not be, but it seems like everything might just be totally okay. We've had a lot of conversations, 1 ultrasound, 1 doctor appointment with a specialist, 48 hours on my "cramp diary" and the result is...maybe everything is totally normal!!! I love that my doctor is totally on top of things; truly I do, because every single option that we could worry about is checked out and micromanaged until it is not a worry. The only downside to this is that some things, like normal pregnancy twinges and pulling, turn into possible contractions for a few days and everyone (everyone meaning my husband, myself and our family) freaks out.

So where are things now? I'm sure the one, maybe two people who read this are dying to know. I won't keep you in suspense. The cervix (which we are still sending love and good vibes) is long and closed. Good! I had two stitches, it does seem like the lower one didn't hold that well, but the higher one is totally where it needs to be. This means I am like everyone who has this condition with a preventive cerclage. I have a stitch in a good spot, and at least for now, it doesn't need to be doing its job:)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Limbo Land

High risk pregnancy is so much fun. It sounds like the doctors are not going to want to do the transabdominal cerclage (TAC), but we are meeting with the cerclage "specialist" next week, I think to make sure. Turns out people fly all over the country to speak to this guy, especially if they are considering TAC, and we didn't even know he is in our backyard, let alone in our own hospital. Anyway, there is now a worry that I am having contractions, which is pulling on the stitch and making it move. So now I have medication for when I feel cramps to soften my uterous. But what kind? I swear every tinge is a cramp? We have many ultrasounds and doctors appointments in the next few weeks and we send the cervix good vibes so that it stays where it needs to stay. Did I say I am a mere 16 weeks pregnant? Wowza.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bitchy Stitch

Good news and not so good news. The good news is that we had an ultrasound yesterday, and the cervix looks long and closed. The bad news is that the stitch moved down a bit. The meaning of this is that the stitch leaves "a lot of cervix above, and not as much below." This is not a happy situation if the cervix decides to act incompetently. My perinatologist is now showing my slides to her colleagues for a second opinion, and there is a chance they will want me to do a transabdominal cerclage while I still can! This is major surgery and something I would very much like to avoid. Without it, I enter the "danger zone" with nothing but strict bedrest (hello to strict bedrest again), weekly observation and hope that the cervix behaves. We also hope that the low stitch can still hold if the cervix does not behave. If I have the surgery, there is still a risk to the baby and I will be having major surgery!! We are waiting by the phone to hear our fate….

The truth is that as much as I should probably be focusing on this, I am only focused on the pain in my neck and shoulder that I have developed since falling asleep on my "day couch" in a very silly position. In fact, I am in so much pain from whatever nerve I tweaked, or knot I created or god knows what, that I am not paying much attention to this cervix stuff. I am moaning today for other reasons. Every time the phone rings I say "was it them?" My husband thinks I mean the cervix doctor, I mean the person who can give me a massage of sorts.

Monday, March 06, 2006


It's raining where I live and I love it! It makes me feel like I am not missing out on the wonderful, happy, beautiful outdoor activities of the rest of the world--in my imagination, people are not inside working all day, they are just outside skipping. In the rain, however, they can't go skip. In which case, there is no difference in how we are spending our time. When it is raining, people also don't go to work. They also don't go to yoga classes, the gym, movies or do any other activity. They are inside like me. Yes. Okay.

Tomorrow we measure the cervix again. Everything feels fine, but I have yet to go to the doctor since our 1 week follow-up after surgery. I am very interested in finding out how the cervix is doing with the magical ultrasound wand.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Dog Days

My dog is suffering from bed rest too. She seems to be taking it better than I am. She naps a bit more. Actually, I cannot complain, because earlier this week I was in an actual restaurant eating Pizza. The joy! And this weekend I have permission to go see a movie! But back to my 80 pound cuddle bug. This dog is my savior at home. She sleeps with me most of the day, keeps me warm and seems to really be happy I am with her, regardless of my moodiness, which she never complains about. I love the lab! I never realized how boring a dog's life is, until I actually experienced a version of it myself. No wonder the daily trip to the dog park (she gets to go, not me) is so exciting!!

As for the cervix, no news is good news, I guess. We have another ultrasound to measure it's length next week. Let's hope it is nice and long so maybe I get to go out 3 times a week.