On Friday September 2nd, I lost my second baby boy, Nicholas, at 19 weeks. Last December I lost my first baby boy, Christopher, at 18 weeks. Both losses we now know were caused because of an incompetent cervix. We figured this out because of how we lost Nicholas.
Everything was going great so far with this pregnancy, baby was measuring right on with each of my ultrasounds, he was just perfect. Then last Wednesday evening I had some spotting, which I wasn't going to worry about too much because they tell us this happens. Well I also had some cramping, so when we got home I drank water and laid down with hopes that both spotting and cramping would stop. Well after laying down for 10-15 minutes or so I felt a pop feeling down there... and I knew something had happened. Perhaps at that point I should have just stayed laying down... I don't know, hard to say what would have happened. Unfortunately at that point I had to use the restroom so I got up and peed, and felt a pressure down there, like something was right at my vaginal opening. I got my mirror out and took a look, and I saw blue. Panic seized me and I quickly did a squeeze thing with my vagina and could feel whatever it was move back up some. I felt with my fingers and knew it hadn't disappeared, it was still outside of my uterus... I remember the terror, the moment of "Oh shit", I called out to my husband and said "We have to go now, we have to get to the hospital NOW." I called the on all nurse and laid down to try to keep myself calm. My legs were shaking I was so nervous, I knew I didn't want to lose another baby, but I didn't see how this could be good. The nurse talked to the on call doctor and told me I could either go to this hospital downtown that specializes in preterm labors, or wait until the next day and get into my doctor to be checked out. I knew I couldn't wait, so we decided to go to the ER.
My husband called his mom and her husband, they came and picked us up and drove us down to the hospital. It look an hour to 2 hours to even get back into an ER room. Then another hour or so of them coming in and doing some things then going out and coming back in... it just was happening so slowly. They did a pelvic exam, the ER doctor confirmed that what I had seen was the sac. They couldn't feel my cervix because the sac was holding it open and they couldn't get their fingers around the sac to where the cervix was. The ER doctor told me I was having a miscarriage, I tried to stay hopeful but he just kept saying that "no it was too late, this was a miscarriage." I felt like my heart was ripped out of me, I just couldn't understand why this was happening to us, why again, why did we have to lose both of our baby boys. We talked about how many times we thought we could try again. My husband said maybe 4 total before he would have to stop, I said 5. I hate that we had to talk in those terms, how many losses can we endure, how many baby's can we lose before we just won't try anymore. The ER nurses/doctor said they had called the Labor and Delivery OB on call person, and that he ws going to come down and talk to us.
When the L&D doctor came down, he gave us some hope. He said that he wanted to get me upstairs, wanted to do his own exam and talk with my doctor and come up with a plan that would maybe save our baby. Since the sac was still intact or they thought it was they wanted to see if there was any fluid leaking as well as where the baby was, what the baby was doing (stressed or not), and just get a general idea of the situation. So after 30 minutes or so of waiting we finally were taken upstairs, they got me into a bed in L&D and by 5:30am had finished doing another pelvic exam, and an ultrasound to see where the baby was positioned (head up towards the top of my uterus, no baby bits within the cervix opening area, the baby was all in my uterus). After talking with my doctor they decided to go ahead and put me on total bed rest, so no getting up for anything, nurses helped me with a bedpan and anything else really that I needed help with. They laid my bed down flat and raised my feet in the air, hoping that maybe gravity would move the sac down into my uterus. I prayed and talked to my baby, and just kept hoping that things would be different. If only the sac would just go back in and then I could stay laying down until the end of the pregnancy... tried hard to keep hopeful.
Later that morning they told me I was now under the care of the Maternal and Fetal Medicine group (doctors who specialize in high risk pregnancies). The main doctor that was on my case wanted to do the anatomy scan, which we had scheduled for a week later (tomorrow 9/8), so we were hopefully going to see our little baby moving and measure all the parts and maybe even find out if we were having a boy or girl. Well the ultrasound tech was brought up to me, and boy was it great seeing our little one there, moving and strong heartbeat, everything was perfect. Unfortunately at that time he wasn't being very cooperative when it came time to see if he was a boy or girl, but that's ok. After that was done the doctor came up to discuss the ultrasound and the situation... I had thought he would take a bit of time to get up here so I sent Paul and my in laws away so that I could maybe get some sleep and they could all eat. So I ended up talking to the doctor alone, where as I would have liked it had Paul been around, but there was no helping any of it.
Anyways, the doctor said that the baby looked perfect, everything was measuring right on for 19 weeks 4 days. He said the outcome of the situation didn't look good though, the sac was holding open my cervix and was sitting there. He said he has seen people get as far as 28 weeks or so with this same situation, it's just hard to tell what will happen. He said we had basically three choices... the first was if we wanted to continue the pregnancy, he didn't want to assume that we would but wanted to give us the option, but I told him we definitely wouldn't be ending the pregnancy early if we could help it. The second choice was hospital bed rest until the baby came, basically I would stay in the same position that I was (head down feet up) and we would wait, he said they would monitor me for infection and keep track of all my vitals, and was willing to keep me there as long as needed but if there was an infection then he would have to do something at that point. The third option would be to go home and do bedrest at home or just do modified activities. Well I chose the second of these, I wanted to give my baby as much chance as I could to survive. The doctor also talked about future pregnancies and that now we know it was the cervix causing issues so before we start trying again we will set up a plan for the next pregnancy. So after this the doctor ended up leaving and the emotions/crying just came, this whole situation was so overwhelming, I wasn't sure if I was strong enough to stay in this position but the prospect of getting up and potentially causing early labor... well I just couldn't be so selfish, I would be uncomfortable for as long as it needed me to be. My husband came back with my in laws to find me crying, but I needed to speak to my husband alone, I explained everything to him, he explained it to my in laws and then it was just a matter of waiting.
They put some stocking type things on my legs to make sure I didn't get any blood clots from all my laying around. They gave me tylenol for the crazy headache that I was getting from laying with my feet up. I was finally able to eat some food (yes I hadn't eaten since the night before, almost 24 hours without food!). And I took some naps. As the evening started coming around the doctor came in again, I asked him about some cramping/contraction like feelings I had been getting. He said there was no way to know if that was me going into labor or not because they use the cervix as their guide to labor, and my cervix was currently occupied. So he said only after I had already had the baby would we know if it was labor. But if they got more consistant then let the nurses know. At this point in the evening (8 or so) they were like maybe 15-30 minutes apart and not very consistant. Around 10:30 or so (after talking to a few friends and getting their encouragements) I took an Ambien and tylenol and went to sleep.
At around 1:30 in the morning I was woken up with crazy contractions every 30 seconds to a minute apart. I also had to use the restroom, so I called in the nurse we did the bedpan thing, i was having some bleeding, more so than the spotting from before. She got on the phone with the doctor and got me some Newvain or bain or something like that, put it in my IV and that helped for the next hour... I only felt 3-4 of the contractions versus all of them. Around 2:30 my water broke, and I knew I was going to be having our little baby boy. I woke up my husband, and we waited, at 2:41 am my baby boy ws born. His heart was beating still, not as fast as it had been, but he was still alive. We were able to hold him for quite some time, at one point it was just my husband and I in the room and we were able to watch his little movements I felt him take in some breaths even though his lungs were not developed enough to help him survive. His hand made some movements, and I believe I even saw him moving his eyes some. At 6:15 am his little heart had stopped beating. The nurses were wonderful and let me keep him in my room until later that afternoon when it was just time for me to let him go. I didn't want to, I wanted to keep him with me, I just wanted my little boy to be alive and to be with me.
We decided to do a memorial service for both him and my baby boy Christopher, we still had Christopher's cremains and hadn't yet decided on what we wanted to do (I know it's crazy it was 8 months ago) but now we knew we wanted to have our boys together. So today we have a meeting with the funeral director, we will either have the ceremony Friday or Monday. Not sure how we will get through this, or what we will do, but we will do what we need to. This will be part of our healing, and grieving.
We have also decided that we will wait 6 months before trying again. So sometime next year we will be having a baby, or at least trying to have one. We have been blessed with having no difficulty in getting pregnant so far, hoping that is a sign of what is to come. And once we get a plan in place that will be good.