Wednesday, January 19 very own cerclage!

We returned for a follow-up ultrasound and appt with the doctor one week later.  I was so optimistic that I had beaten the odds and my cervix decided to go back to "normal" if it was just playing a joke, to see if it could spook us!  First we looked at the babies--good as always.  Then on to the cervix and it is not looking cool.  I can see the measurements on the screen, I can read.  But the tech did it fast and measured twice.  I clearly saw 12mm.  12!! Really?!? Now my cervix is shorter? I suppose it's a clue when the ultrasound tech quickly finishes and says, "Did you come up here with a wheelchair?" there are no more questions--this is serious.

They show us to the exam room and we wait for the doctor.  I know it's not good and I tell Craig right away, "Did you see the measurement?  It's shorter...good grief."  The doctor comes in and we're prepared for the news but not for the treatment.  He says it's best to head down the the 2nd floor and be admitted to the labor and delivery unit.  He was going to consult the specialist we had seen at 19 weeks, but he's pretty confident I would need a cerclage.  Pretty much after that, all I heard was yadda, yadda, yadda, hospital bed rest, yadda, yadda, yadda, (try to hold the tears back), yadda, yadda, yadda...I just wanted to run out of there, get things going, get to the procedure so I could get BETTER.

A cerclage is a thick suture/stick that is tied around the cervix to prevent it from dilating, opening, funneling...whatever crazy tricks it's up to.  My cervix had only dilated a finger tip; the real issue was the funneling.  Think of the uterus like a blown up balloon; if you keep you fingers around it up high the opening is long, closed, and keeps the air in.  My cervix was funneling as if you were moving your fingers closer and closer to the end, letting the opening get shorter and shorter.  So what's happening is baby A's sac is moving around and getting closer to my cervix opening. This usually happens earlier in pregnancy, around 14-15 weeks, so I was coded as a "rescue cerclage" to prevent early delivery. And there is nothing I did to cause it; mostly I was born with a weak cervix and there is no way of knowing until you get pregnant.  For any men reading, a cervix is a small, narrow structure that connects the uterus to the vagina--babies come out of it and sperm goes through it.

The cerclage procedure (on Wednesday, I was admitted on Tuesday) was going to help push baby A's sac back up into my uterus and keep my cervix closed.  For my surgical friends reading this, the suture was a #2 nylon! Instead of an epidural I had a spinal, which is identical to an epidural except it is a one-time injection; no catheter left in place. So I was awake for the whole procedure. There aren't a lot of drugs that can be given to a pregnant lady that won't affect the baby.  Which actually, being a surgical nurse, I preferred to know EXACTLY what was going on through the entire procedure!! The O.R. staff kept me busy, asking what surgeries I liked doing, which docs I liked working with, but don't be fooled...I have "surgery ears".  I could hear even the quiet mumblings from the doctors hanging out at the foot of the bed.  I knew he was going to keep me overnight and that he put 2 cerclages, or suture, on my cervix, before he told me:)

Not being able to move your legs or the feeling that your legs are floating was the worst part of the whole thing!  Forget that I was bleeding and crampy, I couldn't move to adjust the wrinkles under my bottom and thought I was going to lose it!!  It took a couple hours to get the feeling back in my legs, but it took longer to be able to feel like I could pee.  

Craig and I slept like dead fish that night; sure it was a long day, but we didn't get any sleep the first night we were there. I was feeling better, recovering well, that it was all I could do to not pack my things and get dressed before the doctor came to see me!;) Finally, a little after 1 the doc came in and said she heard I was ready to leave them--well, I didn't see any reason to stay here and lay in an uncomfortable bed when I could be in my OWN bed!  

So that's it...I came home from the hospital last Thursday, and today I have my follow up appointment. We had some visitors over the weekend for the football games and I look forward to getting out of the house!

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