I was 14 weeks pregnant and at one of my regular bi-weekly doctors appointments.
“Doctor P is going take a look at your cervix today and will continue to do so throughout your pregnancy.”
Our Doctor had already spoken to us about the possibility of a cerclage. However, I never really thought I would need it. A cerclage is a cervical stitch to treat cervical incompetence or insufficiency. As the cervix shortens during a women’s pregnancy it can cause a late miscarriage or preterm birth, so of course if this was indeed something our Doctor recommended we wouldn’t have thought twice about having the procedure.
We got to see our growing babies and their precious beating hearts. After that our doctor moved on to the vaginal ultrasound where she could take a look at my cervix. “Alright, lets look and see.” I never imagined my cervix would already be measuring short, but it was. “Your cervix is definitely measuring shorter than I would like to see, especially carrying three babies. As a precaution, I would highly recommend we do a cerclage.”
We scheduled our cerclage for just a couple days later. I knew I was in good hands with my Doctor and ultimately knew God would see us through, as He always has. I was, however, incredibly nervous about the procedure, especially the spinal block to numb the lower half of my body. As silly as it is, I was worried I wouldn’t get my feeling back.
My mom (who truly is the most amazing Mother ever) came with me to my surgery. Unfortunately, due to the short notice Ry wasn’t able to get the time off work, so I was fortunate enough to have my Mom there with me. In my head, I thought my cerclage was going to be similar to my egg retrieval and transfer; in and out in just a few hours- home by lunch and some good movies to get me through the day while I rested.
I was wrong… It was an all day event.
I checked in early in that morning. I was not allowed to eat anything, which is not easy for any pregnant woman. Our nurse brought us to my hospital room where she gave me my IV and some other meds to take prior to the surgery. I could feel my heart racing as I knew we were getting closer to my surgery time. Our anesthesiologist came in to prepare my for my spinal block. She showed me how to curl my back, almost like an arch, when they administer the anesthesia. She also mentioned “try and stay still in this arch position once the needle goes in.” It seemed pretty easy and she was so loving and soothing. However, unfortunately, my anxiety was raging. I knew, ultimately, I would be okay and I had to continually let my heart rest with the Lord to bring me some sense of peace.
It was finally time for me to head back to the ER. My nurse took me back, while my Mom waited for me in our hospital room. I so desperately wished she could have come with me. There was a team of about 6 people in our operating room. My hole body was shaking as my nerves felt like they were exploding out of me. I propped myself up onto the hospital bed. My anesthesiologist came in front of me. “Now like I showed you, make an arch with your back and lean into my shoulders.” I was breathing so heavy. I put my hands on my legs to try and prevent them from shaking so much. “I’m so nervous,” I whispered into her ear. “I know, it will be over before you know it.” And in that second, the other anesthesiologist administered the anesthesia into my spine. Immediately, I shot straight up. For a split second, my back was no longer in an arch position. I didn’t mean to, it just happened. I could feel blood dripping down my back. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” It hurt so bad and most certainly freaked me out, but my automatic reflex just caused me to sit up straight. “You’re okay sweetie, curl back into my shoulders, deep breath in.” And before I knew it, the anesthesia took over and I couldn’t feel anything below my belly button.
The nurses helped me lay down and got me ready for our Doctor to stitch my cervix. They pushed my legs back in a not so comfortable position, as if I was flexible. I looked like a frog that was laying down. My vagina was out for all to see, which didn’t seem to bother me that much because I became kind of used to it after all our fertility treatment. While my Doctor was in the midst of stitching my cervix, the other team members starting chatting with me. “You know there is a really cute baby clothing store just around the corner from the hospital, you should check it out.” One of them told me. It was sweet, but I really couldn’t focus on conversations at that time. The surgery was pretty quick. Our doctor was precise and wonderful. The team that joined her for the procedure was also fabulous.
I was rolled into the recovery room area. There was a Mom there too who had just given birth to twin boys. They were absolutely precious. It gave my heart joy just thinking about when my littles arrive. My nurse was able to sneak my Mom back to the recovery room so she could stay with me for about an hour or so. There was something about having my Mom with me that really comforted my heart. I still couldn’t feel anything below my belly button and I was starving!! I inhaled a couple graham crackers like you wouldn’t believe. Finally, I was taken back to my hospital room. All I needed to do was pee on my own and I would be released to go home. I wanted out of there. I drank as much water as possible, which ultimately, was a bad idea! Little did I know, it would take hours for the numbness to wear off. I knew I had to pee, but my female parts still had no feeling, so I had to wait until the feeling came back. Hours went by and I was beginning to feel pretty miserable. Every time I thought I had to pee, I wouldn’t be able to. I had been out of surgery for almost 4 hours and still had not urinated on my own. “If you don’t go in the next 10 minutes we are going to have to put the catheter back in,” my nurse told me. No. Just no. “God, PLEASE LET ME PEE!!!” I was determined to get the heck out of there. My Mom walked with me around the hospital. Step by step we did circles around the 4th floor until finally, I knew I had to go. It never felt so good to pee! And I was finally released to go home and rest.
It was a long day for Mom and I. The recovery was easy, especially after what I experienced during IVF. I just rested for a day or two. All in all I am so glad we chose to have the cerclage. I think was a wise decision and I believe it will really aid in keeping my babies in my womb as long as we can. God has given us an amazing Perinatologist to see us through our pregnancy and I was so blessed by such an amazing team that day that took such good care of me and my babies. It is by faith that God got us through our season of infertility, and it is by faith that He will also get us through our season of pregnancy with our three bundles of love.