..... We are home!!!!!
I am exhausted to say the least! 5 hours in a car??? NEVER AGAIN. I also did not sleep that night. I woke up at 2:00 am ad could not go back to sleep. I prayed and asked God to please let this consultation not be a dead end (and I also felt all your prayers during that time as well). A peace came over me and all my fears went out the door. I spent the rest of the early morning studying for that darn test.
For the first time in eight months, I am feeling optimistic. I left the appointment with a smile on my face. Hubby could tell I was happy when I didn't complain about the $20 copay :-).
I loved Dr. Rodr.iguez! She was quite young, which threw me for a minute. I was expecting someone quite older based on her many accomplishments. Hubby mentioned his age (36), and she said, "oh! Were the same age"! She was welcoming and stated that she was looking forward to our consultation based on the conversation she had with Lor.na (the hospital's manager). She said that the whole office knew me by name based on the amount of questions I had for Lor.na. Larr.y said, "that's my wife."
Her first questions to us were, so what are we waiting for? Why are you not pregnant yet? Have you started your Folic Acid yet?
A plus - she already had my medical records and "studied" them (her words not mine). We went over my history, she gave her assumptions (she thinks I did have an infection due to the emergency stitch) and her next question was, "tell me what you know about the TAC? I can tell you are prepared and did your research". I had a clipboard with e-mails from Dr. Dav.is, research articles from medical journals, and my 50+ questions.
There were positives and negatives. One if the negatives is that she is a BIG believer in bedrest. I stated that the TAC eliminates the need for bedrest, and with frequent monitoring (weekly) you will be able to catch any drastic changes. After going back and forth, we compromised. Work (not on my feet all day long) until changes occur and then bedrest if necessary. She recommends patients be seen every 4 weeks (no wonder she prescribes bedrest!). I stated to her that I would prefer to be seen weekly. Again, another compromise was made. I am happy that she is overly cautious - she stated that she is willing to do whatever it takes for me to bring a bay home. And I agree, as much as I hate bedrest, I would do WHATEVER it takes for the next pregnancy to get to at least 35 weeks.
During the consultation hubby was speaking and made a comment about our faith and relationship with God (I was taking notes), and she said "Amen". My head shot up and I stared at her. Her spirit connected with Larr.y's, and she said. I am a christian as well and I believe that he is able to do exceedingly......" Whatever fear or doubt that was in my heart (and there was none), they disappeared. I am confident that this is the Lord's doing. He led us over 600 miles from home to meet someone who does the procedure and shares our faith! This is remarkable to me. Why am I surprised anyway? I already declared 2010 as the year of promises fulfilled and he is already fulfilling his promises.
Some of the questions were not asked, simply because they did not apply to this Dr., but I will share with you the remainder of the questions asked and the answers given. This might be split into two posts. Hopefully these questions can help someone who will be meeting a Dr. to discuss the TAC. Feel free to take these questions with you.
1.) How long have you been performing TAC's?
a. For the past 2 years alone, but have assisted for over 5 years.
2.) Which is better in your opinion? Traditional or Laparoscopic?
a. The traditional method allows you to see exactly where the TAC is being placed.
4.) Pre-pregnancy or first trimester?
a. if you were my sister, I would urge you to do it prepregnancy.
a. Less risk. There are so many complications that can occur when it is done during pregnancy. Miscarriage during the procedure, longer recovery time, excess bleeding, and so on. All the things you would not want to deal with when pregnant. If already pregnant, the procedure can still be done, but these are things you have to keep in mind.
6.) What is your success rate? How many live births have you had?
a. All the patients I have done so far or have assisted with have gone on to have successful pregnancies with their babies being born between 35 - 38 weeks.
7.) How many babies, other complications excluded, have you lost despite a TAC?
8.) How many have you done?
a. 5 (alone), many (assisted)
9.) Why does the TVC work for some and not others? Especially since I have not had anything done to the cervix?
a. The reasons are multifactorial. No two women are the same and genetics, cervical composition, issues, they all play a part.
10.) What is the possibility of dilation with the TAC? Can it loosen?
a. Very unlikely (she drew a diagram to demonstrate). The Mersiliene band is placed at the top of the OS. The most common complaint from patients is pressure on the bladder which causes you to relieve yourself more often.
11.) What is the likelihood of another cervix related loss?
a. Non existent when well placed.
12.) What are the risks of the surgery? Having it placed permanently. Is there a time when I may need to have it removed?
a. The same as every other surgery. Complications with anesthesia, bleeding. The TAC is hard to remove. Once placed, the body starts to heal (builds a layer around it). Once you attempt to remove it, there are tissues, and veins involved.
13.) Long term effects?
a. Just a scar
14.) What are the failure rates of the TAC?
a. Less than 1%
15.) Will having the TAC automatically make me have an "irritable" uterus?
a.) It might. The TAC is a foreign body. That is why 17p is prescribed because it helps to calm the uterus.
16.) General or spinal anesthesia?
17.) What medicine after the procedure will be given?
a. antibiotics pre. If pregnant - pre, during, and post. Pain meds
18.) Estimated healing time if done pre-pregnancy or during pregnancy?
a. 4-6 weeks.
19.) How can the TAC help me if I have a "dynamic" cervix? Will it hold while my cervix opens and closes on its own?
a. It will hold because the TAC is being placed at the OS (another diagram drawn). It is holding the cervix closed.
20.) I had an infection in my uterus, which caused my second loss, and I am fearful of it happening again. What are the chances of this happening with the TAC?
a. Unlikely. The TAC will be placed between the membranes and the top of the cervix. It acts as sort of a barrier from all the "juices".
21.) How is it placed? Walk me through a typical placement. (My response. Too long to put here :-))
a. ) This is the abbreviated version: typical c-section scenario, abdomen sliced, bladder moved, cervix located, OS located, band placed, tightened with clips, knotted, clips taken out, bladder placed back in its spot, sewn up, 2 - 3 days in the hospital, recovery at home.
22.) It is sewn into the cervix or does it surround the cervix?
a. surrounds the top of the OS. (side note - Dr. Char.les sews his into the cervix, Dr. Davi.s' surrounds the cervix)
I left there with no doubt. With Dr. Char.les, I kept asking am I settling for second best? With Dr. Rodriguez, there is no doubt. I know the number of TAC's she has done is not as impressive as those of Dr. Dav.is or Dr. Haney, but I just know that the Lord is orchestrating this.
Post two to come.
Awaiting my expected end.