At the age of 23 I got married to a wonderful guy. After a cancer scare in 2008, I was told by my dr. to at least think about starting a family. Needless to say, I conceived the week I stopped taking birth control. The pregnancy with my daughter Alyssa-Joy was blissful and uneventful, no morning sickness, bitter taste in mouth, no aches and pains, nothing. We were reveling in the joy that accompanies any pregnancy. Thanksgiving 2008, at 19+ weeks, I saw blood when I wiped and had slight cramping. After laying on the couch with my feet up for a while (because that’s what the pregnancy bible said to do), I called my OB who said we could wait until the next morning to see him or go in to L&D. We chose to go in. Once there I was found to be fully dilated and my daughter's feet were already in the cervical canal. We were told we had to deliver, as there was nothing they could do. I was 19 weeks, 4 days. She lived briefly for a few minutes.
We were told that I had IC and that with the next pregnancy a cerclage would be placed to ensure that I go to term.
Less than 5 months later (2009), we found out we were pregnant again. We were nervous, but I had done my research about the TVC, saw the successes of some of the ladies on this forum, plus my OB stated that he never had one fail, and we had a plan in place -possible bedrest, progesterone suppositories, frequent monitoring, etc. I had a single McDonald placed at 10 weeks, 6 days.
At 15 weeks, 6 days (it was summer and I was only working 4 days a week for 2 hours each day) I went to the MFM and my c/l had shortened from 4.1cm to 3.1 cm with funneling. I was immediately placed on strict bedrest. I got up only to use the rest room and shower every other day. I NEVER moved. My husband bought a mini-refrigerator and placed it by my bedside. Every morning before he left for work, he packed my breakfast, lunch and snacks so I would not have to leave our bed. We did everything we could to make sure we brought a live baby home.
At 19 weeks, 6 days I went to see the MFM again and was found to have funneled through the stitch. We thought, “How could this be?” We did everything! Even keeping a journal and noting the time frames I was up for when I went to the restroom. After tallying up the times daily, I was only up for a total of 20 minutes. We were doing the suppositories, drank tons of water….. we did EVERYTHING! We were rushed to the OR and an emergency cerclage placed and the failing one removed. I will spare you the rest of the negligent details that accompanied this surgery and during the days following discharge, but a few days later at 20 weeks, 3 days I delivered my son Evan stillborn due to an infection caused by the lack of antibiotics given by the dr that did the rescue cerclage.
I was like many of you. I said, "I am not meant to be a mother". Why else would I lose TWO babies? I never had anything done to my cervix prior to getting pregnant, had no risk factors, nothing. How could this happen to me? Why am I being punished? I felt God was telling me “you are not meant to be a mother.”
After a few months, and many women from this forum reaching out to us, we decided to research the TAC as our desire for children far outweighed our fears. After researching, speaking to a few ladies who have had success with the procedure, being scammed by a Dr., and talking to Dr. Davis, we made the decision to do the TAC. Even after other Drs. that we consulted with said we could have another TVC and just “relax” at home. After battling with our insurance company (who denied Dr. Davis and Dr. Haney), we found an awesome Dr., 4 hours away who performs TACs. We met with her, put her through the grinder with our 104 questions (yes, we had that much), we prayed about it and knew that we were making the right decision.
On April 27th, 2010 we traveled to Gainesville Florida and had the traditional TAC done pre-pregnancy. I went into and left the OR room smiling (so they tell me). When they asked me in the OR what I was there for, the Dr. said I threw my hands up in the air, laughed giddily and said “I am getting the Trans Abdominal Cerclage that will help me to get to full term and bring a baby home!”
Hebrews 10:23 says, Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for he who promised is faithful. Hope is something that cannot be described. If we had let fear rule our lives, we would be most miserable!
We found ourselves unexpectedly pregnant in September 2010 while actively avoiding. To say we were panicked was an understatement. Dh had just gotten laid off after being with his company for 9 years and there are simply no jobs in Florida, so we made the decision for him to go back to school. Despite the worries, we are immensely blessed and are filled with hope.
I sit here today 28 weeks pregnant with baby boy Spencer Nathan W., leading a semi-normal life. My cervix has stayed stable at 4.2cm, I still am able to work and maintain our livelihood, I'm able to still attend classes at night finishing my PhD, and so on. I say semi-normal, because we are nervous wrecks! :-). My husband won't let me do anything in the house, go shopping, nothing. But all has been well and God is still proving that he will fulfill our hearts desires and the TAC is working!
I must say I had my doubts and only recently told our families at 24 weeks. I kept thinking, "why will it work for me when nothing else has? Who is to say I wont fall in that 2%? I seem to fall into every statistic, why not this one?" Even now while typing this, I wonder “am I jinxing myself?” and I catch myself because I have hope and hope allows us to rest in safety (Job 11:18).
I sit here today in my classroom (on my lunch break of course!) as a living witness that getting the TAC is the best decision my husband and I ever made and know and believe it will result in good things. Am I still nervous? OF COURSE! Not a day goes by that I don’t feel a twinge and wonder; “Is this it?” But I trust God, my TAC, and have hope that we will get to term.
Hope is a beautiful thing and we are a bunch of courageous women who despite heartache are willing to try again. I thank everyone who has encouraged me, calmed my fears, lifted me up, prayed for me, and kept me sane. I won’t call names because you all know who you are! I cannot wait to share Spencer’s birth story with all of you 10 weeks from now and give someone else the hope, so many of you gave me.
As my favorite scripture says; For I know the thoughts I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11). My expected end is on his way.
Awaiting my expected end,
Awaiting my expected end,