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Messages - Lauren

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We made it to 24 weeks!!!

I feel so relieved that this day has arrived - there were so many times in this journey that I didn't think that we'd make it to this milestone.  Baby celebrated today by moving continuously and putting on a show for everybody.  This is the first time my mom has been able to feel a child in my womb.  Pretty incredible.

We decided to go ahead with the steroids and will to another emergency dose should labour start prior to term.

Feeling optimistic and hopeful for the first time this pregnancy!!!

Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Monday Roll Call for April 30, 2018
« on: April 30, 2018 at 11:12 AM »
Hi all,

We are reaching a scary point in our pregnancy as well as a milestone this week.

We are currently 23+4

With our previous loss, things began to go wrong at 23+5 when we lost our mucus plug and it was discovered that I was 2cm dilated with bulging membranes and no measurable cervix.

I didn’t know anything about IC at that time and we unfortunately lost him 5 days later at 24+3.

We are facing an even higher risk pregnancy this time, but our cerclage is holding tight.

Due to being funnelled to the stitch and having sludge in the amniotic fluid, our biggest concern is rupturing the membranes.

Hoping to make it through this week, and that passing these milestones will help to settle some of my anxiety!

My husband and I have made big changes to our lives since our loss in September.

He has sold his business and we have paid off our debts with the profits he made. This has given me the opportunity to leave my profession as a teacher, should I choose to. It’s looking more and more like I will be on maternity leave next year, but I have also been approved for a sabbatical if the pregnancy doesn’t work out.

Anyways, our dream is to move to Mexico for the winter and head back to Canada for the warmer months. My husband and I are both kite surfers and know many people who winter in a small community right on the beach. We’d love to join them.

We envision raising a child who has a huge extended beach family. Who becomes worldly due to the community of kiters that come from different backgrounds and walks of life. A child who is emmersed in both English and Spanish and who learns the value of adventure and sport, who’s life is balanced by being removed for extended periods of time from much of the technology, pressure, and frivolity that we experience in our life in Canada.

In contrast to the easy going life in a fishing town on a Mexican beach, we live in a very artsy neighborhood in the inner city. I hope to share my passion for the arts with my child and have them interact with creative and driven people.

Maybe it’s a pipe dream, but it keeps me going :)

What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: Pregnant again after early loss
« on: April 30, 2018 at 10:59 AM »
Yay for 24 weeks!!!!
Looking through this thread, it seems like this is going to be a big week for many of us. We’ll be 24 weeks in just a few days (due August 22).
It’s incredible the mixed feelings. One one hand, I’m so stoked to finally reach this milestone, and on the other, I’m looking towards the next goal. I don’t know when I’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief with this pregnancy. Lol
Best of luck with the days, weeks, and months ahead!

Wow! Congratulations on making it so far!!! Your baby sounds like he’s thriving despite all of the scares.
Wishing you the best of luck in the coming weeks and days- you’re so close, momma!!

Hi all!

I woke up yesterday morning feeling hopeful and optimistic.  We finally reached 23 weeks.

This was a big deal because we had a growth scan scheduled as well as a meeting with a neonatologist to discuss our plan moving forward for the next 2 weeks.

Baby continues to look perfect on the ultrasound, meeting all of the growth goals, which is wonderful.

The pessary and cerclage continue to do their job - cervix is stable and closed.  Not sure of the measurement because I asked not to be told specifics.  Knowing that it's doing what it needs to do is good enough for me.  I was told that it's highly unlikely that we will go into labour due to incompetent cervix prior to our next ultrasound in 2 weeks.

I have declined further vaginal ultrasounds due to the fact that they will likely be inaccurate with all of the interventions that we have in place PLUS my OBs feel that nothing that we will find will change the management of my complications.  So, to me, it's not worth the anxiety or the risk.  So, we can assume that the sludge is still there, but that it so far hasn't amounted to anything.

I should be over the moon, but honestly, I'm terrified.

At my appointment, we were reminded that we are at high risk for PPROM due to being funnelled to the stitch.  My OB would like us to undergo steroid shots at 24 weeks to be on the safe side, as she feels that if labour strikes, it'll go quickly (this is based on our previous history).

This, of course, has now set me on high alert for any discharge.  With having both a cerclage and a pessary, discharge is inevitable, so of course, anytime I feel anything, I head into panic mode.

We are also struggling with the use of steroids at 24 weeks.  We know they are most effective when given a within a week prior to birth and it scares the living daylights out of me that our OB feels strongly enough that we will need the shots so early.  I'm desperate to keep cooking!  I'm also terrified of "wasting" out most effective chance at using the steroids before labour is imminent.  I don't know what the right choice is for steroid use, I want to give this little one the best chance at a healthy life.

Does anybody have stories of being funnelled to the stitch?  How far did you make it?

If you had PPROM, how did you know whether it was a slow leak or if it was discharge?

If you had a 24 weeker with the full dose of steroid shots, how did they fare in the long run?

Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Monday Roll Call for April 16, 2018
« on: April 17, 2018 at 10:50 PM »
Live chats are on Tuesdays for an hour, starting at 2pm Eastern time.

What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: Every days a blessing
« on: April 06, 2018 at 01:46 PM »
Wishing you all the best and hoping that things turn around for you.
I also have a short cervix and debris so I completely understand how anxious and scared you are feeling.

Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Monday Roll Call for April 2, 2018
« on: April 02, 2018 at 03:10 PM »
Well, I'm 19+5 and still cookin'.  I have my anatomy scan this week.

I've been on 3 full weeks of bedrest and am starting to figure out my routine.

I stay in bed as long as possible in the morning before getting up to grab some breakfast.  Then, I head downstairs to my couch cum Trendelenburg fort and prop up my rainbow umbrella to block some of the intense sun (who knew April sun in Canada was so hot???). Then, I catch up on all my social media, read my kindle, and watch some Netflix (Thank God for 12 seasons of Grey's Anatomy).

Sometimes my day is punctuated with appointments or visitors, but I'm surprised at how quickly 5 o'clock rolls around and my hubby gets home.

I am a lucky gal.  I am so grateful for my husband.  He has had to pick up the brunt of everything - the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, picking up groceries, taking me for walks in the wheelchair, listening to all of my worries and anxieties, and basically just taking care of the two of us.  And, he NEVER complains.

In the past 3 weeks, we've become closer than we've been in a while.  We cook together (and by together, I mean I provide instructions from my Trendelenburg fortress and he does all the work); he's taking on tasks that I never thought he would in the kitchen, and has taken up my weekly ritual of making sourdough bread, meticulously nurturing the starters, kneading the dough, and watching it rise.  I order groceries online, and he picks them up on the way home from work.  We're eating healthy and delicious home-cooked meals every day.  The kitchen might not be as spotless as it would be if I weren't stuck on the couch, but I appreciate that I don't have to remind him to do these tasks.

He calls me from work throughout the day, which is pretty impressive because he has the type of job that doesn't allow him to have a lot of downtime.  He also ensures to call me each day after work to see if I need anything on his way home.

In the evenings we sit together in comfortable silence, him squished between my head and the edge of the couch. 

I might have taken these things for granted a month ago.  But now, I see them as little acts of love.

I know he's got my back. He's my partner and we're in this together, come better or for worse.

What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: So Scared.
« on: March 30, 2018 at 09:35 PM »
@reasontonhope - thank you for th suggestion, that’s brilliant! I will definitely ask for them to turn off the screen and give me a general description: cervix or no cervix.
It will definitely decrease my anxiety:)

What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: So Scared.
« on: March 30, 2018 at 10:35 AM »
This sounds so similar to our story. We are currently 19 weeks. Our last measurement just over a week ago showed that my cervix was measuring 1.3cm and that I was funnelled to the stitch. We decided to place a pessary as well to help distribute the weight of the uterus because I was losing length so quickly (3.5, 2.3, 1.8, 1.3 in 4 weeks).  My OBs keep reassuring me that the stitch is doing it’s job - the cervix is staying closed. This is the most important thing at this time.
It’s been a hard go. I’m on bedrest and am by myself for long parts of the day, and the pregnancy is never off my mind. Anxiously waiting for my anatomy appointment next Thursday, but terrified to hear further news about my cervix. I don’t know what’s worse- ignorance or knowledge at this point because there’s not much more that the doctors can do if this cerclage fails (I’m also at risk for infection due to other pregnancy factors).
Pregnancy with cervical insufficiency is no fun, and the second trimester is the hardest.
Know that there are many women who have gone through this before and that there are so many positive stories.
There is also a Facebook Group for women with IC that I have found incredibly helpful. You should check it out!
Wishing you all the best in your pregnancy, I hope it’s long and healthy!

@OBmom - do you also have a cerclage with the pessary?

I don't feel any of the contractions, so that's a good sign.  Nobody seems to think that I'm in preterm labour. 
I'm on 500mg of magnesium every day.  It gives me looser stools, but I figure that's not a bad thing - no straining for me! lol

The sludge is way at the bottom of the cervix, basically sitting against the stitch. It's like my body is trying to get it as far from the baby as possible.

My favourite OB placed by pessary today.  He reminded me that the stitch is doing its job - cervix is still closed, and there is still some length (my new mantra).

I feel so much better with this bit of reassurance and the added support of the pessary.

Hoping I can breathe a little easier until our next appointment - the anatomy scan at 20 weeks.

I may have found a new calling in life: medical researcher for women with cervical insufficiency. 
How can there be so little data on something that impacts so many women???

Down to 1.3cm, funnelled to the stitch.
Having a pessary placed this morning at 10am as a last ditch effort.  Best case scenario is that things will stabilize.
Doctors seems less reassuring about a positive outcome with these developments so early  :'(

Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Monday Roll Call for March 19, 2018
« on: March 19, 2018 at 01:02 PM »
17+4 and still cooking.

Had another emergency room visit this weekend due to what was diagnosed as an occular migrane.  I had the same thing occur 3 days prior to losing our mucus plug, resulting in the loss of our first child at 24 weeks in September.  The doctors have assured me that the two events aren't related, and I hope that they are right.

Woke up yesterday morning and after ingesting some food had really terrible pains in my lower abdomen.  I wasn't sure if they were contractions or gas pains.  I have had gas pains in the past and that's usually my cue to use the loo.  Yesterday was no exception.
Yesterday was different in terms of the intensity of the pain, so I spent the rest of the day in bed sipping as much water as possible as a precaution. I suppose the good news is that they haven't returned.

Other than that, we picked up a wheelchair, so hopefully I can go for daily walks and get some fresh air and sunshine!

OB follow up:

The doctor said that he is not concerned about the cervix length - it is open to the stitch, but the cerclage is doing its job and he cervix is closed. There was no funneling seen, which would have been more concerning.
2 doctors and 1 tech have now said no funnelling, so that's good.

He also said further ultrasounds are not needed until the one on the 29th because our course of action will not change.

He said that sludge is rare and there isn't a lot of research. He thinks that it could potentially be from bleeding at 8 weeks when I spotted for a couple of days. So, he hasn't ruled out infection, but just said that the spotting earlier on could be the cause of the sludge - apparently it takes a long time for the blood to dissolve if it's being carried in the sac.

That being said, my OB gave me a RX for antibiotics to help with the sludge, just in case (although there doesn't seem to be that much research out there to support the benefits of antibiotics, I'm glad that we're doing what we can).

He is not worried about the contraction at all and says that it's absolutely normal and expected.  He did not want to prescribe any sort of medication to help restrict contractions because they are not related to labour and do not pose a risk to this pregnancy. He is the 4th doctor/tech to say that, so I'm going to try to drop that from my worries.

Finally, I asked him if we need to prepare for another loss. He said at this time, no. He reiterated that it's a possibility, but he thinks we are more likely to be successful than not, but as I knew before I got pregnant after our first loss, pregnancy doesn't guarantee a baby, and I am at high risk.  So... yeah.

He hesitantly admitted that if we lose this child/decide to try again, that he would do the transabdominal cerclage, which is highly frustrating because that's what I wanted with this one. I was told that they don't perform TAC in Canada until you have experience a loss with a TVC.  It breaks my heart to think that if we lose another healthy child, it's because we didn't have that surgery.

Anyways, I'm off work until the end of pregnancy.  Only 23 weeks left to go...

I would see if they can get you in sooner - most doctors won't do a cerclage after 24 weeks, and if they're waiting until next week to talk about it, I would wonder how they are going to get you in for surgery before the 24 week cut-off.

Talk to your family doctor about progesterone.  It shouldn't be a problem getting a prescription as it won't harm baby.

Until then, I would take it very easy.  If you can, take the time off work and avoid standing for prolonged periods of time and avoid too much activity.

My cervix is measuring 1.7 as of yesterday (17 weeks) with a cerclage and my doctors have given me a note to be off work until the end of the pregnancy.  I have quite a few other worrisome things going on, but cervix stability is currently our number 1 concern.

Hope this helps!

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