RC birthday tiara (1)

Rishona

Mom to Damian and Iris

July 2, 2013 and June 19, 2014

Pennsylvania

When I was in my early 30s, I was on an upswing in life. I had returned to college and finished my bachelor’s degree and then went right to graduate school and got an MBA. I had a great new job and a boyfriend who wanted to build a family with me. I had been waiting until I knew I was in a good place to have a child. I was slightly surprised I did not fall pregnant right away once I decided to go for it. In fact, it took more then a year (13 months exactly). But once I discovered that I was pregnant…I breathed an incredible sigh of relief…I was on my way.

I created a birth plan and started buying books about pregnancy. I subscribed to magazine and started eyeballing baby items and trying to decide where to create a baby registry. I had read the statistics on miscarriage…but all of my appointments were going perfectly. I made it out of the 1st trimester…the ‘scary period’. We were growing more and more excited by the day!

One night I was awakened by an incredible cramp in my abdomen. I had suffered from menstrual cramps all my life….but this was completely different. It felt like a charley horse in my uterus or something. I went to the bathroom…petrified of seeing blood or something. There was no red on the toilet paper. There did seem to be more wetness…but never being pregnant before, I just chalked it up to just another weird thing with a pregnant body. Eventually the cramp let up and I went back to sleep.

The next morning I got up and went to work. I felt fine. I pulled into the parking lot…gathered my things and got out to walk towards my office door. After a couple of steps, I felt this popping sensation in my crotch. It was so fast…it almost seemed like it did not happen. But it did…and my pants started to get saturated from my groin down. I ran into the building…jetting towards the bathroom in the lobby. When I got to the stall, I pulled down my pants…and to my disbelief, water was gushing everywhere. It was like a stream of urine that I could not turn off! I called my supervisor…so embarrassed to even be in public with these sopping wet pants. I got back in my car, and the nurse remarked that she wasn’t sure what could be going on. I was 16 weeks along. I had no cramping or blood, so that was a good sign, right?

I went to the hospital and the did an ultrasound and an examination. It was confirmed that I had lost all of my amniotic fluid and that they baby was weeks away from viability. However the doctors advised that the baby makes more fluid and that I can wait to see if it replenishes. 

He held on for a bit more then 24 hours. My body started to go into labor and it was advised that we just let nature take its course. Damian was delivered on 7/2/13.

Several months later, I conceived again. In the meantime, I had read up on the issue of having an incompetent cervix. My doctors did not definitely say that is what I had, but the proceeded accordingly. I was cautiously happy…trying to take every precaution I could. The maternal fetal medicine (MFM) doctor suggested that I get a vaginal cerclage at 16 weeks. I balked…because that was right around the time that I had my first loss! I figured that was too late…but they assured me that the baby is still quite small at that gestation.

I had my appointment to get the cerclage and they perform an ultrasound prior. The technician was courteous…but quiet. Something did not seem right. She informed me that the doctor would be speaking with me. At first I was confused…because I could see the baby moving and a great heartbeat. The doctor came in…after what seemed like hours…and told me that I only had about 1/2 centimeter of length left to my cervix (you are supposed to have 3-4 cm). I could believe it! I asked if they could still do the cerclage…to save my baby! He said they would.

I was place in a Trendeleburg position for the placement of the cerclage. After it was placed the doctor admitted that he had to push my bag of waters back…but that it did not seem to be punctured.

Over the next two weeks, I never felt comfortable. I either felt a lot of pressure in my crotch or a lot of wetness. I was always checking myself and just a nervous wreck. After several days I began to get yellowish-green discharge. I began to feel just unwell overall. Then, when sitting at my desk one day, I could feel waves of pressure…and then cramping. They seemed to come every 10 – 15 minutes. After work I when to the ER. When the doctor examined me, she said she could see my cervix contracting. She said I was in labor and she would need to take the stitches out so that my cervix would not tear.

Iris was born June 19, 2014 at 18 weeks.

 
Losing two babies to incompetent cervix was completely heartbreaking. I could not understand why my body could not carry a child….something that billions of other women can do just fine! My boyfriend did not handle the losses well…blaming me and forcing me to accept that I was just not meant to be a mother. It destroyed my confidence in myself…in the medical community…and in my relationships in general; with many of my close family and friends saying cliché comments of sorrow/pity like “Everything happens for a reason”.

Looking back, one of the keys to me getting through that dark period is finding women who had the same issue. To talk to them…to get their advice and their connections. To discover that in spite of what I felt in my day-to-day life, I was NOT alone.

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