Note: Read the last article in this series here.
The morning arrived for me to go to the doctor. As I walked in, scrapbook in hand, she looked at me with tears. This was the first “female” doctor who I felt I really had a connection with. Besides my friends, she was the one who let me hear the baby’s heart beat for the first time. She was the one who gave me the May 4, 2012 due date. She was also a mother, so she felt my pain.
“Based on all of the information that we have, you lost your baby due to Incompetent Cervix also known as Cervical Insufficiency.” I looked confused… I needed a translation of that. She then went on to describe how my cervix was not strong enough to support the weight of the baby. She asked, “have you had any surgeries or any complications related to your cervix?” I started crying. At that age of 12 my innocence was stolen by my mother’s then boyfriend. Shortly after that I had an abnormal pap, and the doctor at the time recommended something called cryotherapy to remove the abnormal cells. Another nightmare of an experience was starting to haunt me and I just cried because a situation that I had no control over was negatively affecting me 15 years later.
After crying, I informed my doctor of what had happened. She then told me that whenever I was ready, if I wanted to try again, after 12 weeks I could get a “transvaginal cerclage” also known as “the stitch.” Basically the cervix is temporarily stitched close to try to avoid premature labor. She then said, I could consult with the hospital’s high-risk pregnancy doctor to develop a plan. She wrote me a prescription for birth control, because I knew I was not ready to try again right away. I did not want to run the risk of experiencing another loss.
After hugging the doctor, I went home and started my research. I told Che what happened and he was happy that we had a diagnosis. So many women experience a pregnancy loss without ever knowing what happened. After getting on the net I discovered a support group on Facebook called Incompetent Cervix Awareness. After telling my story there, I realized that I wasn’t alone and I was able to get information from women who were trying to conceive (also called TTC) again.
From there I discovered an organization called Abbyloopers. Their mission is to provide information to the general public and health care professionals about a procedure called a transabdominal cerclage. I continued to read the posts there and felt encouraged by women who had experienced one or multiple losses and wanted to try again. There were also women who after treatment, had “rainbow babies” or babies that are born after the storm of a pregnancy loss. I felt a sense of hope and I continued to remain active in both online communities. I continued to read and research and found a doctor, Dr. Arthur Haney, in Chicago who performed pre-pregnancy transndominal cerclages. I still wasn’t ready to try again, so I took my birth control pills daily and continued to live my life…