I now have an official diagnosis...both for me and for Julianna's premature birth...I have an incompetent cervix. This was suspected when Julianna was born but because I was so far into labor with Julianna when I got to the ER, there was no way of really knowing if I dilated and that caused the pre-term labor or if pre-term labor caused me to dilate. I have felt strongly that it was a cervical issue being that I didn't have any of the usual symptoms of pre-term labor with Julianna, but really hoped I was wrong.
It is bittersweet having this diagnosis. I am so happy that we all know and now steps were taken to hopefully prevent Baby K from being premature (aka my cerclage). But I am so sad and frustrated that if we had only known about this with Julianna, then the same steps could have been taken for her. I am so sad that she had to suffer in order to help her baby brother.
For those of you interested, here's how our trip to Labor & Delivery went on Wednesday (by the way, it was the first time I had been there since Julianna was born and that alone almost sent me into a panic). Joe and I got to L&D around 7am (we later found out we were supposed to be there at 6, but the nurse never called to tell us). So I had a rushed hour before my cerclage. Blood work, and excruciating IV was placed in my wrist and lots of questions to answer and papers to sign. Dr O. came in and said things were looking good and the cerclage itself would only take 5-7 minutes to be placed (it would have taken less, but he was going to be teaching a resident).
Then the resident came in and I felt better already. Into my room walked Dr. S (now Chief Resident in L&D), the only doctor I actually remember from Julianna's birth. He was the one who first examined me and told me I was going to have a baby that day. He is such a nice doctor. He has a very calming vibe. And he remembered Joe and I! He immediately stopped and commented that he remembered us and asked all about Julianna. I felt a little bit of relief, but was still getting more and more nervous.
At 8:14, I was taken back to the OR where I had an awful experience getting the spinal block. I had a spinal with Julianna's c-section, but from the little I remember it wasn't that bad. Apparently, for a cerclage the spinal is put in much lower in your back, and I have very tightly spaced vertebra in my lower back...oh and a slight curve to my spine. Those two things together made it very difficult to get the needle in, and it was NOT fun. Then, I waited on the table for 30 minutes because they didn't have the right suture! A problem I think should have been addressed before I had my spinal and was strapped down to the table!
Once the sutures got there, it really was like 5 minutes and it was all done. I spent the next hour in recovery, where, as my spinal wore off I could feel more and more cramping. I was given Motrin and told it was normal. Once I got back to my room, Joe and I just got to hang out for the next 4 hours until I was discharged. During that time the cramping got so bad I had to call the nurse and ask for something else for pain. Now, those of you that know me well, know I don't take drugs normally and especially when I'm pregnant, but it was really bad. Amazingly I was given Vicatin...I had no idea you could even take that while pregnant, but yep you can, and it was WONDERFUL! I was surprised that I felt really good by that evening.
If I am up to much I get more cramping, but as long as I stay off my feet and relax it goes away (I was told that could last up to a week). So for the next 2 weeks, I am on modified bed rest (no picking up Julianna or doing housework, stay off my feet as much as possible, no driving, be up no more than 15 minutes at a time, and some other restrictions). After that I have a follow-up appointment, and hopefully will be taken off bed rest.
I am very hopeful that the cerclage will keep Baby K warm and toasty in my belly for many more weeks. It has an 85-90% success rate and that is great! Thank you to everyone that sent good wishes and kept Baby K and our family in their prayers! Thank you! Thank you!