Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Little cervix, Little game

First things first here...

My cervix is incompetent. But we've already established that one. It is 2cm long (short) and funneled to the stitch. Gotta love Dr. F when he comes in after the ultrasound and says, "well, I'm sure glad that cerclage is there!" and then proceeds to send me home to freak out. Aaaaaand David is leaving right at this moment to work. All. Night. And leave me here. Not that I'm freaked or anything. Of course not. I'm the pillar of strength in this pregnancy (unlike my CERVIX!), unwavering in my belief that everything is going to be just fine. Don't mind me, I'll just sit here munching on my chocolate chip cookies. Because I can. Because I hardly gained anything again this week. Not to mention they taste good. To quote cookie monster:

C is for cookie, that's good enough for me!
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me!
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me!
OH, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C!

And because I am bored, here is something I got off of Loni's blog at clubmom. Someone (in this case Loni) picks a letter for you and you must come up with 10 significant things that start with that letter. Loni picked "L" for me (not C), so here goes nothing.

1. Laughter- I mean, who doesn't appreciate a good laugh (other than Simon Cowell)?

2. Love- It's all you need...

3. Lips- All the better to kiss you with, my dear! (Well, you know. David, that is.)

4. Listening- The world would be a lot better if people listened more and yapped less. To heed this proverb: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

5. Life- What could be more significant, really? We only live once, after all.

6. Light- Without it, we'd be in the dark.

7. Loot- We could all use some more!

8. Lack- To lack something, even for a time, makes us appreciate when we don't lack.

9. Length- To my cervix, of course!

10. Liberty- Freedom from sin, from tyranny, from oppression, and from fear (and eventually from bedrest, or so I am told).


My appointment is not until 4 pm today, much later than usual. And the appointment day always drags on and on, so today just might be the longest day of the year for me. Forget June 21. I am finally getting back into the swing after the weekend. Somehow bedrest effects me more on weekends, maybe just from the laziness of it all. In my dream last night I was shopping for maternity clothes at Target (I wish!!) but they were all extraordinarily ugly. I would really love to go get some more summery shirts, and I suppose I could shop online, but I never know how something is going to look on me until I try it on. And I can't justify spending money on something if I don't think I'll look like a diva in it. OK so I don't think I ever look like a diva right now (or any time for that matter) but I can at least pretend. Maybe I should make some more of those T-shirts. God forbid I do that and post the pictures. The pictures from the other day got used for an update slide at church on Sunday.... even the side vent one!! Gah! Nobody even knew the story behind the shirt.

I am the supreme dork of the century, I feel for sure:


Monday, May 29, 2006

A day of random thoughts...

Weekends have been a time of little inspiration for me lately. I tend to get into my routine for the week, and then on the weekend it flies out the window. Don't ask me why, as every day should feel the same when all I do is lay on the couch.

So, my random topic of the day is pregnancy dreams! Now, I had been warned that people have weird dreams during pregnancy about their babies coming out as aliens or losing the baby in a public place; you know, things along the lines of being nervous about parenthood. My dreams, however, are more along the lines of the latest movie. They are all extremely complex and long and straight up bizarre! In my dream the night before last I was hauled off to a mental hospital in an ambulance because I was a multiple personality. Evidently I would go off on these rampages and not remember a thing about them. Well, in the part of the dream that I got hauled off, I was arguing with this little kid. He couldn't have been more than 7 and he was teasing me left and right, and taking things from me. I was totally mad at the kid after quite a long time putting up with this, so I yelled at him (he had stolen my crayons), "give me my crayons, dammit!" I was in BIG trouble for cussing, especially in front of a kid, so he told the principle of the school (evidently I worked there) and the principal called 911 on me for being on a rampage.... for saying the d word. Riiight. So I kept telling everyone that I was not on a rampage, that I was just mad at the kid for being a brat. They were all upset at me, and asked me how in the world they were supposed to know what was true with me and what wasn't; and explained how I frequently went off on people, my signature line being "I'm taller than you!!!!" I was hauled off to the mental hospital and put in a room where the floor matched the beds (it had the same flowery comforter fabric that the bedspreads did). The floor was actually like a big waterbed. How in the world was I supposed to walk on that??? Yeah. Random.

My dream last night was like The Matrix meets 12 Monkeys and a few other films I'm sure. I can't even begin to describe it to you other than we were in another dimension (thousands of years in the future) and there was a way to get back... of course you had to listen to a tape of a bunch of 80's songs before you walked through a long tunnel and came out where you then hopped into these pods made of rubber that would swallow you up to protect you from the lightning storm they manufactured specifically to kill people who tried to go back; and the pods would actually "shock" you like a defibrillator and put you back to your original year. But don't answer the phone while you're there because they could find you and bring you back. We ended up revolting and trying to overthrow the government (they did find us and bring us back). Paris Bennett from American Idol was even there and she was like 2,000 years old! Evidently people aged between the worlds, but they had found a way for people to live forever. The only part of the dream that had to do at all with babies was the fact that the only babies people were allowed to keep were boys; the girls they would get rid of somehow. I kept telling them they were stupid because if only boys were allowed to live, then the human race would die off. I had mad skills in the stunt department during this dream, and fought like a warrior. Go figure.

So there are my random thoughts for the day.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Making good on my promise....

I know at least one of you has been awaiting this post with excitement. I am making good on the promise to Mandy that I would heed the suggestion of the outdated pregnancy bedrest book and decorate one of David's t-shirts.

As quoted in previous post:

"T-shirts. You can wear maternity tops or use men's T-shirts, size extra-large. If this size is still tight, cut side vents. One woman used fabric marker pens to decorate several men's undershirts."

Here is promised T-shirt from the front. I am hoping you can read the writing (try right-clicking on the image/s):

Here is promised T-shirt from the back:

Take note of the useful, yet trendy side vents. These add not only a cool breeze on hot days, but ample room for belly growth in the later months of pregnancy:

Obviously I have a keen eye for the hip and fashionable. Jealous? Mmmmmm, yyyeah. I thought so.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yesterday's News

Our weekly appointment went well yesterday. My cervix is TRULY still indecisive because it was back up to 3.5/3.0cm with minimal funneling again. Naturally we were hoping for news like that, but it just seems to fluctuate quite a bit from week to week. Oh well. So far we have stayed no lower than a 2 so we're on the right track. We are also 3w2d from 28 weeks!!!

So I had a little conversation with Dr. F yesterday about when the cerclage was going to be removed. He confirmed what I was originally thinking, which is 37 weeks (so much for hoping it would be at 35 weeks). That will give her more time to bake, anyhow. I also asked him about whether or not he would think about inducing me so he could be there because he is honestly the only Dr. I trust. He must think I am totally nutso for that, but whatever. He should be flattered. I am sure I can't be the only high-risk preggo that only trusts my specialist and fears a regular OB. He said that induction was something he might consider, but didn't seem to want to go there, which made me a bit nervous. I'm sure he has his reasons, but I would really like him to start talking like we are going to make it that far. Another topic was the bedrest. At first I thought maybe he would ease up a bit at 28 weeks, but he said around 32 is when she would have almost the same chance of survival as a full term baby, so he would gradually increase my activity at that point. Ok, so here is the low-down on my count-down as of today:

~Today marks 81 days on bedrest
~23 days until 28 weeks
~51 days until 32 weeks (and possible freedom)
~107 days until 40 weeks

We are going to have a crib in the house at 28 weeks. My mom is picking one up from someone this week, but I said I wanted to wait until I was more hopeful before we start bringing things in. There are so many things we are going to have to do in a short time!

~paint the baby's dresser white
~pick up our glider from David's parents and find a foot rest to go with it
~buy a carseat/stroller/swing/bassinet
~register for my shower (which I don't want until I am off bedrest if not after Dorothy comes)
~get all the bare necessities before she comes
~pack a bag for the hospital (which I should do now just in case!)

None of this stuff has been done. We do have some baby clothes and a crib bumper that we got from David's sister, but I haven't gone through any of it yet. There are enough clothes that I probably wouldn't need to buy any clothes, but I know I will want to go shopping. I hope he's serious about going off full bedrest at 32 weeks because that would give me a little time (most likely) in between to get things ready at least somewhat. But for some reason, this still doesn't seem real. I still can't wrap my mind around actually bringing a baby home as much as I really want her. Maybe I feel like I want her too much; maybe I wanted Kaily too much and that's why we don't have her. In all actuality I know that's not true, that it was a problem with my body and not my desire to have her that took her from us, but sometimes I still think that way.

All I can do is hope and trust that there is something bigger than me or David or Dorothy that we are a part of....

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

For anyone who prays...

I have a friend named Cheri. She has been battling cancer on and off for a couple of years. The kind of cancer that she has is one they can't cure, only treat. It can go into remission for periods of time, but lately it seems to pop up in another place as soon as they get done treating one. She underwent a hip transplant in December and went through radiation for that. Shortly after that round of radiation she was having pain in her tailbone and had to have that radiated. In the past week she has found out that the bone in her jaw on the left side is deteriorating and is waiting on the biopsy. Please, if you pray, pray for her healing and comfort. She is an amazing and loving person with a wonderful family. Thanks so much. I will try to update you on her as I get new information. They would all appreciate the love and prayers from around the world.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Get To Know Me

I got this meme off Tonya's blog. Thought I would give it a try. You can try it too! All the things you wondered about me but didn't know.....

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. KB Toy Store
2. Christian Conference Center (in the kitchen)
3. Child Care (pre-K assistant and after-school teacher)
4. Summer Camp Cabin Leader

Movies I would watch over & over:
1. Princess Bride
2. Napoleon Dynamite
3. Matrix
4. Office Space

Places I have lived:
1. Portland, Oregon
2. Kennesaw, Georgia
3. Acworth, Georgia
4. Tonasket, Washington

Four tv shows I love to watch:
1. House
2. American Idol
3. CSI
4. Survivor

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Sacramento & LA, California
2. Mexico (mission trip)
3. Ukraine (mission trip)
4. Alaska

Four websites I visit daily:
1. All the blogs on my blogroll
2. Life After Miscarriage (Support website for women who have lost babies during pregnancy. Lots of wonderful ladies)
3. Incompetent Cervix Support (Support website for women with incompetent cervix)
4. My Space

Four of my favorite foods:
1. French Fries anywhere!!
2. Seafood (especially crab and scallops)
3. Thai (pad thai is great with a thai iced tea)
4. Pizza (love the cowboy pizza from Papa Murphy's- pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and olives)

Four places I would Rather be right now:
1. At the mall WALKING AROUND
2. Camping in a hot place by the water
3. The beach
4. California!!!!

Four songs that make me cry:
1. "I Am" by Nicole Nordeman
2. "The Dance" by Garth Brooks
3. "Held" by Natalie Grant
4. "Scar Tissue" by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Monday, May 22, 2006


My weekend was alright for those of you who were waiting on my next post (Tonya). Saturday morning I went to a women's brunch at church (good food!!!). They had pulled in a couch for me to lay on. We went to David's parents' house to spend the night on Saturday and then went to church on Sunday after not going since February. I should have taken a picture of the olive green striped couch that they put in the back for me:) Then we spent the afternoon/evening with his parents again because we were having a dinner with his uncle from California. Now we're hoping to avoid the stomach bug that David's sister got yesterday (it would be a bad thing not to be able to keep down my anti-contraction meds). Other than that worry we had a good weekend and it was refreshing for me to get out of the house for a while even though I was still a prisoner on the couch!

Saturday I reached 24 weeks, so Dorothy has a chance of survival now. Even if it is still small it is something.

Week 24
Your Baby's Growth and Development:

* the fetus reaches a length of 11.2 inches
* the fetus weighs about 1 lb. 10 oz.
* eyebrows and eyelashes are well formed
* all the eye components are developed
* the fetus has a hand and startle reflex
* footprints and fingerprints forming
* alveoli (air sacs) forming in lungs

Your baby continues to grow more proportional each and every day. During pregnancy week 24 her organ systems continue to mature as do the central nervous system, digestive system and even reproductive and circulatory systems. During a pregnancy at 24 weeks your baby's lungs are also starting to form little branches and will eventually start producing a substance called surfactant which happens closer to the time your baby's lungs start maturing.

The amniotic fluid surrounding your baby begins to increase in volume after about pregnancy 24 weeks.. This continues until delivery when your uterus will hold up to 2 pints of amniotic fluid.

Changes in You:

Your baby has less and less room to move in your womb after uou are about the 24 weeks pregnant. You should be feeling strong kicks by 24 weeks pregnant, but gradually your babies movements will start to seem slower and more rhythmic rather than all over the place. This is perfectly normal.

My next appointment is wednesday afternoon, so hopefully we will get some more good news and be one more week towards our goal. It's always good to hear that my stitch is holding well, even through the contractions I am having.... that means it was put in well! If I ever get pregnant again (scary!) I hope to have the same Dr. as I have this time. I respect him a lot and I am glad to have a Dr. that is attentive to my questions.

In all, I am mainly stir crazy after laying down for 11 weeks and knowing that I most likely have 11 more laying down if the cerclage is removed at 35 weeks. That means I am halfway through my bedrest, which is good, but overwhelming when I look at what is left. But hey, if I survived the first half, I can survive the second half, right? That's what I tell myself!

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Moment

Ok I am having an aaahhhh kind of bedrest moment. This house is driving me nuts. Telling people where things go is driving me nuts!! Trying to figure out which loaf of bread out of 4 loaves that is still good when I have not been in my kitchen in 3 months is driving me nuts!!!! Get me out of this house.


Just For Fun (and because I am bored out of my gourd)

On reading Mandy's blog this morning I decided to rise to her challenge and take the quiz on my own blog. For something to do and hopefully something interesting for you to read about that doesn't have a thing to to with cervical measurements! If you feel so inspired to do so yourself.... please do. Oh, but I insist.

1.Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4.
LOL the bedrest book has a blank page on 18 because it is in between chapters! Let's try Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. "...water snake slipped along on the pool, its head..."

2.Stretch your left arm out as far as you can.& catch air?
No. I caught my couch. Surprised?

3.What is the last thing you watched on TV?
American Idol on Wednesday night. I am very pleased with the top 2, as Katherine and Taylor are both great.

4.Without looking, guess what time it is?
12 noon

5.Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
12:04... I only knew it was close because I had looked at the clock when David called to see if I had eaten lunch yet. I haven't and I am HUNGRY.

6.With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
Lots of cars driving by and my tummy growling.

7.When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
Just a minute ago to get the mail. Don't worry it is right outside on the porch. And it smells heavenly out there. After being hot all week it has that fresh smell like it's going to rain.

8.Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
My fridge that needs to be shoveled out.

9.What are you wearing?
Sorry to disappoint, but it is not an extra-large drawn-on men's t-shirt with vents cut into the side... I am wearing light blue capris with flowers on them and a light blue t-shirt with a v neck and a bit of a tie that's like a bow, but then not so much like a bow.

10.When did you last laugh?
This morning reading Amalah's blog entry. To funny! If you like to avoid a smattering of profanities (OK more profanities than I realized originally), don't read it.

11.What is on the walls of the room you are in?
A couple of pictures of nature scenes. Living room.

12.Seen anything weird lately?
I don't know. Does this count???

13.What do you think of this quiz?
It's alright and certainly keeping me busy for a few minutes.

14.What is the last film you saw?
A movie from the 90's called The Thirteenth Floor. It's an interesting Sci-Fi, but the plot had me thinking too hard before bed and I was wired for half the night and kept having dreams like I was part of the movie or something.

15.If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?
Definitely a house and a couple cars for us. I would adopt a couple kids internationally. Other than that I don't know. Maybe some expensive shoes and a cute little handbag.

16.Tell me something about you that I don't know.
I still watch (gasp!) some movies on VHS. But I do use a cordless remote for that.

17.If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Babies would never die.

18.Do you like to Dance?
Oh yeah, baby. Do the funky chicken.

19.Imagine your first child is a girl. What do you call her?
My first two children were girls. Our baby in Heaven is Kaily Beth and the baby in my belly is Dorothy Grace

20.Imagine your first child is a boy. What do you call him?
David Bennett

21.Would you ever consider living abroad?
Yes! I love to travel!

22.What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
"Welcome home... I see you found your key!"

New Meds

Yesterday I had one of my rough days as far as contractions go. Most of the time the medication I am on does the trick, but not yesterday, so we were told to go into Labor & Delivery. We got there and I was hooked up to the monitor for a while. Dorothy was kicking my stomach and making the monitor jump all over. We were in that room for 5-10 minutes tops (hardly long enough for them to see if anything was even going on) when a nurse from my peri's office walked in and said they were just going to take me over to his office and check me out. Good thing, too, because he is the only dr. I trust right now. They did the regular ultrasound (the one they do every week) and also a manual exam (NOT my favorite part). My cervix was measuring at 2.2 and funneling almost down to the stitch, but the stitch was holding well.

The short of it is that he ended up prescribing a drug that is very effective in stopping contractions, but it is one they only give two courses of during the whole pregnany. Each course is only 48 hours because evidently it is a medication they use after preemies are born to close a certain valve in their heart. The valve stays open in the womb, but is supposed to close after birth. It would be very bad for it to close in the womb as it has to do with the flow of oxygen. To tell you the truth I am freaked to take the meds, but they are working for the contractions and I am sure my dr. knows what he's talking about. Still makes me nervous.

On another topic, I just love this blogging thing. I really enjoy being able to have a whole community full of people that get me through the day with laughs and tears and stories about their own experiences. Honestly, I really can't figure out why I didn't start one sooner. I have pretty much thrown all caution to the wind as far as what I want to write about, too because really; if someone doesn't want to read it they don't have to, right? The great thing is, no matter what someone writes about, there is always someone who relates to what they are saying; always someone who says, "man, I wish I had the guts to say that or the ability to portray those feelings in just that way." I (almost daily) find myself saying to myself...

"Self... I couldn't have said that better myself!"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

OK Wow....

So this whole 3D ultrasound thing is still amazing to me. I just don't get how we can actually see what the baby looks like in there! Here is Dorothy at 23w3d yesterday at our appointment.

She was being a little shy at first:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

But she gave us a peek after she relaxed:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And here is one of me at 23w1d on Mother's Day:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Our little one has decided (after being head down since 12 weeks) to turn breech and kick the snot out of my already incompetent cervix. I try to tell her we need it to stay closed for a good long time yet, so could she please stop; she kicks even harder. I guess the independence starts in the womb!

Yesterday I started reading a book on pregnancy bedrest. It is kind of amusing, as it was published in 1986 I think. Here are some of their suggestions:

"The telephone with a special fifty foot extension cord was my lifeline... I wanted to keep my telephone with me everywhere I rested and walked. Or try getting a cordless telephone- more expensive, but handy."

Evidently before the days of the cell phone. I remember my dad's first cell phone. It was the size of a brick.

"Get a gadget to signal your family in other parts of the home, such as a handbell. Or use walkie-talkies- the toys work well."

You know why they call them walkie-talkies? Because you can walkie and talkie on them at the same time. Something tells me these won't be necessary in our 850 sq ft. home.

"Not all of (your smaller) these items need to be on the cart or table. You can use a set of shoe pockets...."

Shoe pockets? Are those the things that hang over your door?

"A video cassette recorder (VCR) enables you to watch whatever you like whenever you want. It is also possible to purchase or rent a video cassette player, a machine that plays, but does not record. These players are much less expensive than the VCRs.... be sure to get a remote control device, preferably cordless, so you can operate the machine while in bed."

How about my DVD player and cable TV? Between those and Blockbuster Online, there is never a lack for something to watch. I always make sure to get cordless remotes!:)

Aside from being outdated, there are some pretty good suggestions for how to set the room up and what to do with your schedule. Although I do have a bit of a beef with their wardrobe suggestions.

"Cotton/acrylic drawstring sweatpants, these can be maternity sweatpants or regular, just size extra-large."

"T-shirts. You can wear maternity tops or use men's T-shirts, size extra-large. If this size is still tight, cut side vents. One woman used fabric marker pens to decorate several men's undershirts."

These were just a couple of the winners for regular daywear. No thanks. Man, am I glad that maternity clothes have changed since the 80's!! I don't think I'd be caught dead in extra-large sweats and a decorated men's t-shirt cut on the sides. But, then again.....

"Honey, where's your undershirts???"

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pregnancy With IC

Just in case you thought your eyes were playing tricks on you.... yes. I did choose a new template for my blog. The pink was just a little too... pink for my taste.

My appointment was on Tuesday this week because I was meeting with the social worker from my perinatologist's office. I guess they like to make sure you are, like, mentally sane or something. Sure. That's ok by me, and it wasn't as bad as I thoght it would be. So now I see and/or talk to on a weekly basis: perinatoligist, ultrasound tech, nurse, social worker, and preterm birth prevention team. Is this overkill? I knew it took a village to raise a child, but never dreamed it would take a village to assure that a child is born... and born healthy. Not to mention all the people that come to feed me and clean my house and visit. Oy!

Some factoids for you:
~my cervix was still holding its own at 3.3/2.5 with slight funneling
~evidently I am a BIT sensitive to the progesterone shots because I got a welt that itched and swelled, which I thought was a bug bite all week... I won't mention where they give the shot:)
~we got a decent enough 3D shot of babyb today(who will be referred to as Dorothy from here on out), so as soon as we scan it onto the computer I will be sure to post it for you.
~I have been on bedrest for 10 weeks, 1 day, for a grand total of 72 days
~4 more days until our first milestone of 24 weeks
~32 more days until our second milestone of 28 weeks
~116 days until 40 weeks

Recently on Life After Miscarriage, the support website that I frequent, I wrote a long explanation out for people on what IC (Incompetent Cervix) was all about and what it was like to be in a high-risk pregnancy. Many people don't know very much about either of these things, so I thought I would enlighten my blog readers who are wondering about some of the specifics of what I am going through including facts as well as emotions, fears, and challenges.

I don't really know where to start with this, but here goes...

Maybe some of you don't know a lot about IC. I know I didn't until it happened to me, so I thought I would post about what it is all about. What are the REAL possiblilities of what could happen? What is this pregnancy (and any future ones) like for me? My main reason for telling you these things is so I can feel like I am not alone; like people can understand (at least to some extent) what it is like to be in my shoes. It's true that none of us can say we really know exactly what another person is feeling, but I find it easier to sympathize with someone when I know the situation; what they are facing, what they have been through, and what their fears are. It might be long, but it's there if you want to know why on earth I am a wreck right now at times...

First off, Incompetent Cervix is (unfortunately) a condition that they cannot diagnose until it shows up usually in the mid second trimester but sometimes in the early third. There are normally no warning signs until it is too late to do anything about it. Basically it means that, structurally, the cervix is flawed so that it does not have the strength to stay closed like it should. Therefore, when the baby gets to a certain weight, the cervix opens and your body gives birth to a perfectly healthy child that is most likely too small to survive. This structural weakness of the cervix is not temporary. It is a permanent condition in most cases, and without medical intervention, a person with IC will keep giving birth to babies and watching them die in their arms. Some people have to go through 2-3 late losses before they are diagnosed. Thankfully there are some proactive doctors out there that discover it sooner, mine being one of them.

The cervix is normally long, closed, and hard during pregnancy. With IC the cervix begins to funnel (also known as effacing). Funneling is where the internal portion of the cervix, internal os or opening (portion of the cervix closer to the baby) has begun to efface. The external os or opening will be unaffected if diagnosed in time and a cerclage is put in place. There are 4 stages of funneling, T, Y, V, and U. These stages describe how the cervix appears from the inside. When the cerclage surgery is done, a strong band is used and woven in and out of the cervix as high as they can safely put it (being careful not to puncture the bag of waters) and then pulled tight like a pursestring. This (in many cases) is enough to keep the cervix closed until the baby is ready to come out. There can still be funneling with a cerclage, meaning that the inner portion of the cervix opens to the stitch. The only thing between my child and the outside world is a stitch in soft muscle tissue. That is downright terrifying at times.

For the majority of people with IC the cerclage works; but for some it does not. My specialist said he does not trust my cervix and won't until I get past 28 weeks. My dr. is very cautious (for this I am thankful because it means he is careful to do everything he can for me) and has not told me what he thinks my odds are of carrying to term. The day he did my surgery, my cervix was already as soft as it should be at the end of the pregnancy, already dilated to one, and a little over 2 cm long. A normal, healthy cervix (during pregnancy) should be between 3 cm and 5 cm, commonly around 4 cm or more. As my specialist put it to me, the stitch will hold, so that is not the issue. What the issue would be is that my cervix is so soft that he does not know if it will hold the stitch in there. If something were to happen before it is time for the stitch to be removed, my cervix would rupture and my baby would most likely be born. Depending on what point this happens (obviously these are hypothetical), we could be looking at a number of scenarios. One being a devastating stillbirth, or having a baby that is too small to try to save. The second possibility is having a baby that is small and will have to fight for its life. The long-term emotional effects of having a preemie are many, even if the baby survives and depending on the level of prematurity the child may or may not have long-term disabilities. Having to go down this road is a real possibility for us, though we hope we carry full term there are no guarantees.

As far as being on bedrest, there are many people who think that it is easier than it is. IT. IS. NOT. EASY. The whole reason for being on bedrest in the first place is to try to save your baby, so every minute of every day you wonder if everything you are doing is going to work. My dr. has straight up told me that we are doing everything we can at this point (besides hospitalization) and there is really nothing else that could be done. I have to face the reality that IF this does not work, I will not be a mother to a living child. That is scary for me because I have always dreamed of having a large family and that is not going to be the reality for us. Some people with IC are lucky. They get the stitch; they never have to do bedrest; the stitch works; and they can have lots of kids. I am not one of those lucky ones. The road for me is long and hard. Yes, my baby is with me and alive right now. Yes, I am thankful that she is still with us. Every day that I have her inside me is a blessing. Don't think I am ungrateful because I am not. But every day is also joy mixed with the fear that each day that is added is another day that I have to say goodbye to if she leaves us for Heaven. Every new experience and movement is one more joy, yet one more fear if that makes sense. A good portion of the joy and excitement of pregnancy has been taken from me. It will always be coupled with those thoughts in the back of my mind.

This is hands-down the hardest thing I have ever done; saying goodbye to my first baby and being pregnant with this one (the one that just may be my only biological child). I want to bring her home (God-willing I will), but I will be a different person after this. Things like this change us. How can they not? I am beginning to be a bit more optimistic as the weeks creep by. 28 weeks cannot get here soon enough, then 32, then 36. Odds are that we will bring her home, and I am holding on to the hope that in a few short months we will have a baby in our home. But in the back (and a lot of times the front) of my mind is still the fear, which probably stems from what we went through last year. I will never forget.

So please, baby.... stay safe inside until you are healthy and strong so we can bring you home and love you forever.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Write or Wrong?

I used to write. A lot. Almost every day I had my pen out writing in my journal, a notebook, even a scrap of paper. But I lost my passion when I lost my baby; it just slipped away from me along with a handful of other things I loved to do. Things that even in my lowest times I still enjoyed. I don't think it's the fact that I don't enjoy them any more because inside myself I know that I do. Maybe I am lazy. Maybe the passions will return to me stronger than before. What I do know is I am a different person than I was prior to all of this; and I find myself wanting to write again, but I don't know where to start. Or what to say. Or even why. It could have to do with my fear of being judged for what goes on in my mind. I remember going through many dark times and writing was my way to get it out. It was almost like therapy. Then I burned (in a bonfire) pages of writing consisting of journal entries, poetry, stories and letters. Sometimes I am thankful that I got rid of it because of the awful place that I was in, but there are times that I wish I still had it; not to wallow in that place, but to remember and be thankful.

At least I am not here any more:


The way you see the world...
jaded hearts.
Ice melting away, falling freedom.
Gaze into your insecurities.
Give up your ideals of self and opinion.
Deep, gaping canyons, they swallow you,
and humanity turns away,
a swirling mass with no emotion.
Cold being.
Heartbeat concealed.
You are the machine created by...
your isolation.

Me, 1999

Maybe I am more here:

I'd Like to know the Truth

Would you tell me if it is possible?
Even if there is a place
where water rises and meets air,
where you cross the bridge from doing to being,
where a man makes the connection
between what he knows
and what he is.

I'd like to think that such a place exists.
Is it true that a man can fool his own mind
into believing what his heart has always known as the truth?
Is it true?
Even if I'd like to know...
would you tell me the truth?
Or is truth the thing you hid from others
because you feel the danger in
letting another man know you for what you really are?

I know that fear all too well.
It is so real to me that I know it has to be real to you.
Now it is clear to me.
I must stop holding the hand of fear.
To let go!
For such a small step, why does it feel so huge?
One finger at a time I break free
from the cage that has held me captive
all of my breathing days
and all of my sleepless nights.
I will look back for no man,
for truth has set me free.

Me, 2000

At any rate, there are so many thoughts swirling around in my head that maybe the reason I have been so silent is because I don't have a clue what will come out when I finally do start to write it out. The thing that is hard for me to swallow is the fact that I still don't know what to say even though I have been in similar shoes to another person. So many people out there have a "list" of things to say to people who are going through one tragic thing or another, mainly seemingly useless platitudes. God help me, I do not want to be one of those people. There are so few things one can say to a person without further hurting them or discounting the process that they are going through and the pain that they are dealing with. I have dealt with many comments that were more damaging than helpful, and had to learn to brush a lot of them off rather than try to explain why they were not helpful or encouraging. I sometimes still deal with a lot of these comments in the back of my mind. Even though my faith in God has helped me through a lot of things, many of the hurtful things that have been said to me came from the mouths of people that thought they were telling me what God would want them to say. It actually had the opposite effect than they were intending, I think, because most of them left me at a standstill in the grief process or feeling like I did not have the faith I used to have. In reality I do not have the faith I used to have, but I think in the long run, it will be better. At least I hope to not be someone like Lola talked about in her entry today. It just broke my heart to know that she was looking for something and actually putting herself out there to ask the difficult questions and found that nobody could answer them. May I be the kind of person that, because of my grief, can give some hope where none seems to be found, even though I don't have all the answers.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mother's Day

This year I don't know how to approach Mother's Day. Of course we are going to do something with or for our mothers, but how do you celebrate Mother's Day when your first child is in Heaven, the other one is still in your womb and the future is still uncertain? Last Mother's Day I was still pregnant and blissfully ignorant. That is the awful thing about Incompetent Cervix, it strikes so suddenly and most women have to go through losing a child before it is diagnosed. Amy and Sarah are blessed that it was caught before they had to experience that kind of loss, thank God they are both enjoying their sons today! Happy Mother's day to both of you! Melissa and KMW both had to experience what it is to lose your first child (in KMW's case, twins), and I would be surprised if they are not feeling the same way about Mother's Day that I am.

Is it right to celebrate being a mother when your child is not living? How do we memorialize our children and acknowledge the fact that we are, in fact, mothers when society does not recognize that we are? And it is a mixed bag of emotions as well because Mother's Day is not a happy day for those who have lost their children. I think we can still celebrate the fact that a child was created within us and I believe we will see those children someday. So even though it is a sad and confusing time, Melissa and KMW, I wish you peace on Mother's Day and an assurance that you are mothers even if others are too uncomfortable with the subject to bring it up. For me, it hurts more when it is brushed aside or when I hear comments like, "oh, you'll understand this or that when you are a mom." The truth is, I am. Two children have lived and grown in my body, two children have been loved by me more than I thought I could love, and regardless of whether I see them on earth, nothing can change the fact that I am their mother.

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baby belly at 22w4d 5/10/06
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There has been a discussion about the whole Mother's Day thing on the IC support board as many women are mourning the fact that not only have they lost their children, but people in their lives flat out refuse to acknowledge that they are mothers. One woman had a family member say to her that this year she could finally celebrate Mother's Day because she was actually a mother. This poor woman had two stillbirths prior to her first living child and nobody was even willing to admit that she was a mother until she was holding a living child. There is story after story like this, and it makes me so angry. I have not had this experience (for the most part) and for that I am thankful. One of the women on the support board posted this poem.

What Makes A Mother

Written by Jennifer Wasik

In memory of Zachery Wasik.

I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today
I asked "What makes a Mother?"
And I know I heard Him say.

"A Mother has a baby"
This we know is true
"But God can you be a Mother,
When your baby's not with you?"

"Yes, you can," He replied
With confidence in His voice
"I give many women babies,
When they leave is not their choice.

Some I send for a lifetime,
And others for the day.
And some I send to feel your womb,
But there's no need to stay."

"I just don't understand this God
I want my baby to be here."
He took a deep breath and cleared His throat,
And then I saw the tear.

"I wish I could show you,
What your child is doing today.
If you could see your child's smile,
With all the other children and say...

'We go to Earth to learn our lessons,
Of love and life and fear.
My Mommy loved me oh so much,
I got to come strait here.

I feel so lucky to have a Mom,
Who had so much love for me.
I learned my lessons very quickly,
My Mommy set me free.

I miss my Mommy oh so much,
But I visit her every day.
When she goes to sleep,
On her pillow's where I lay.

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
And whisper in her ear.
Mommy don't be sad today,
I'm your baby and I'm here.'

"So you see my dear sweet ones,
your children are okay.
Your babies are born here in My home,
And this is where they'll stay.

They'll wait for you with Me,
Until your lesson's through.
And on the day that you come home
they'll be at the gates for you.

So now you see what makes a Mother,
It's the feeling in your heart
it's the love you had so much of
Right from the very start

Though some on earth may not realize,
you are a Mother.
Until their time is done.
They'll be up here with Me one day
and know that you are the best one!"

There are countless others that I could mention here who have lost one or multiple children at various stages in pregnancy or after birth. There is no way I could list them all here, but I wish and pray the same for all of you....

So to all of you women out there who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or the loss of a child later in childhood, know that I am thinking of you on Mother's Day. I know that even if you have other children with you, you will never forget the little ones who touched you for that brief time.

To all of you who have your children in your arms, enjoy your gift and always hold them close.

Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Congratulations Sarah!!

A big congratulations are in order for Sarah of Life at 45 Degrees. She made it through the difficult journey of incompetent cervix (gotta LOVE the person who came up with THAT awful phrase), cerclage surgery, weekly appointments, hospitalization, and strict bedrest. Her son, Ethan Jacob, was welcomed into the world on Friday, May 5th. I believe she was between 34 and 35 weeks, please correct me if I am wrong, girl! Anyhow, he is still in the NICU from being a bit premature, but doing very well.

Wow, so that could be me in a few months! It's hard to imagine another little person in our home. I think because of our last experience I automatically tend to think of the worst that could happen. Much of the time I doubt that I can make it that far, but seeing others go through this and come out on the other side with healthy babies gives me more hope. Hope is something that I need being in the thick of the IC "danger zone" of 22-28 weeks. Sleep is definitely more interrupted now, as it is more challenging to get comfortable, and usually early morning I awake to contractions becuase it has been over 6 housr since my last dose of meds. The dr. told me I didn't have to set an alarm to take it, but I may start to.... I want to keep these things under control. My nerves are basically shot and the road seems long with 14-15 more weeks of bedrest in some form or another. That is a long time. 9 down, 14 to go. I'll take the 28 week mark as my goal for the time being. 6 weeks sounds a lot more doable to me!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Ode to the internet

I am happy to report that although there yet remains some scuz on my couch, my feet still feel fabulous from my pedicure the other day. Gotta love moms! Here's a shout out to you, mom! I know you read this at least sometimes anyway.

On to another, more important topic... one that we all know and love. The internet. The world wide web. AKA my sanity while on bedrest! Yesterday I had a meltdown. A real, honest meltdown. Most of the time I think I can handle being alone for most of the day. There is only so much reading, studying, crocheting, crossword puzzles, and TV I can handle. For the rest of the time, there is the internet. David's laptop has helped me through many long hours in the past 9 weeks. That is, until yesterday. Evidently the power cord stopped working. I was noticing that although I had the laptop plugged into the wall it was not registering that it was even plugged in, so gradually the battery was draining. Without the power cord/supply, the battery cannot be charged. Without the battery charged, the laptop cannot be used. Without use of the laptop, there is no use of the internet!!!!

So, as I was sitting there, I noticed how low the battery was getting and decided to fiddle with the cord to see if I could get it to work. I got up (ok, yes, I know I was breaking the rules, but it was out of necessity. Honest. I swear.) and tried the cord in a different outlet. Nothing. Then I tried it in the same outlet with a different adapter. Nada. Then I tried it in the different outlet with the different adapter. Zip! I wiggled and jiggled the cord, I rebooted the computer, I tried going to the power settings! Then all of a sudden I looked at the screen and there was nothing but a rainbow of vertical stripes, AND even unplugged I could not get it to turn off. I sniffed the box in the middle of the cord, and it smelled like burnt plastic. There was also an odd sort of clicking sound coming from it. That couldn't be normal. This was clearly beyond my capabilities, so I called David....

D: hello?
B: Hi, honey.... Your laptop is a piece of crap (sniffle)! I don't know what to do with it! The power cord isn't working!!! There are stripes all over the screen and now I can't even get it to turn off!!!
D: Well, I can't do anything about it right now, so I will have to try to fix it when I get home.
B: What? What do you mean?? What am I supposed to DO all day?
D: I don't know. Watch a movie? Read?
B: Ok, talk to you later.

I promptly..... cried. A lot. It's funny the things that send a person over the edge when in a hormonal, high-risk, bedrest state. For me, having the computer helps me through the day. David called me later in the day to check on me in the middle of my blubber-fest, so he could hardly understand what I was saying. Poor guy...

B: Hello?
D: How are you?
B: I don't know!!!
D: Is something wrong?
B: I just don't know what to do! I don't want to be alooone anymore!
D: What? Do you feel bad physically? I can't hear what you're saying.
B: I just can't stay in this house all by myself. I don't want to be here any more!!!
D: You're going to have to slow down and start over, honey. I can't understand a word you're saying...

I calmed down enough to talk to him for a while and then watched TV for the rest of the afternoon. Oh, and I finally did get the computer to turn off, and when I turned it back on it worked. By this time it only had a few minutes of battery life left so I turned it off. At least I didn't riun the computer, so all we need is a new power supply. They are probably not cheap. And of course we cannot find the extended warranty for the laptop which would not only give us a new cord, but also most likely a new laptop as the hinges are faulty and the screen does this wierd blinky thing here and there throughout the day. So until we have a new power source for the laptop, David set me up with our extra computer and a flat panel screen that we borrowed from his dad. Praise God, I have access to the internet again. At times like these I am so glad that David kept all of his extra computer stuff around!

And so I would like to end with a simple ode to the internet.

Oh web of the world,
how many useless facts you hold for those who google and yahoo.
How you make the gray skies blue,
yes you do,
it's so true.
Without you next to me
I don't know what I'd do.
Would I blog? Surely not!
Could I email? Not a chance.
So I smile when I see
that you're right there with me.
How I giggle with glee on my Amazon Spree.
Never leave me again,
to cry in my pillow, on my couch, in my house all alone,
loudly lamenting my lack of entertainment.
In fact, showing my need for detainment.
Without you next to me
I'm not only blue,
but downright crazy!

Friday, May 05, 2006


Yesterday my mom came over in the afternoon to do some cleaning and visit for a time. While she was here, I mentioned how picking DRY my feet are now that I have been laying around all day with no shoes and socks on. I have never had dry feet for as long as I can remember. I have this thing with feet.... they are ugly. No really, I hate feet. So when I feel like my own feet are disgusting it is that much worse. Something had to be done. So my mom went to the closet and got all the foot care products, including the foot bath that plugs in and vibrates on the bottom to massage your feet.

The first step was filling the foot bath with water.... first it was scalding hot. I couldn't put my feet in it, so mom runs to get an ice cube tray and dumps the ice in there, making the water pretty much cold. I soaked my feet for a bit....

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while mom fiddled with the foot scrub....

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Please take notice of the bit of foot scrub oozing out the top of the container. This scrub has many tiny granules in it for scrubbing all the calloused skin off your feet. The thing about these granules is that they have this nasty habit of clogging the little hole that the scrub is supposed to come out of, hence creating pressure in the bottle. Therefore, the bottle suddenly burst open from the top of the container, and since mom was facing me at the time, the scrub then went all over me, the couch, and the lamp....

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So we scooped the scrub off my pants and the couch and used it on my feet. It was quite the pedicure in the end, but it is the thought that counts, isn't it? At least my feet feel better!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The indecisive cervix

Well, after our appointment today I am feeling much better than last week. It was one of the most difficult weeks so far. OK so I lied. It was THE most difficult so far. But we made it! And Saturday will mark 22 weeks. And Monday will mark (eeek!) 9 full weeks of bedrest, the start of my 10th week. It is hard to believe that I have been laying on my derriere for that long.... and have still only gained 5 pounds since pregnancy day 1. Are you impressed yet? I am, especially after the whopper meal I had today from Burger King. I swear I could eat their fries every day and be happy as a clam.

Ummmm, ok so the whole point of this post. My cervix apparently loves to change from week to week. Let me recap for you what the different measurements have been.

12.5 weeks(week before cerclage)-2.4 cm
15.5 weeks(2 weeks post-op)-3.2
16.5 weeks-2.9
17.5 weeks-3.5/2.5
18.5 weeks-yet again 3.5
19.5 weeks-3.0
20.5 weeks-2.2/2.6(also funneled/opened to the stitch)

Today I am 21.5 weeks and my cervix grew back up to 3.2/3.5 (they do 2 measurements every week, one resting and one with applied pressure to simulate a contraction). AND NO FUNNELING. As a matter of fact there was at least 1cm of beautiful (to my little eyes anyhow) cervix above the stitch! It seems to me that maybe the contraction meds I have been on for the past week have really made a difference not just in how I feel, but in how my cervix is being affected. So good news for this week. One step closer to the goal.

The countdown:
45 days until 28 weeks
129 days until 40 weeks

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A little fruit

Every morning it is the same routine... David's alarm goes off around 6:30, we cuddle for a bit (aww how cute!) and then I go park myself on the couch, positioning the pillows behind me while David gets ready for work. Then comes breakfast. It's always hard for me to decide on what to eat for breakfast, and yesterday I had settled on some instant oatmeal and yogurt. I know. I am so demanding. David then trots off to the kitchen to "cook" my breakfast. "oh, yeah, honey one more thing!" I call out after him. "I think there might be some strawberries or some other kind of fruit in the fridge. Could I have a little bit of fruit with breakfast, too?"

A minute later David walks into the living room with the entire bag full of grapes dripping all over the floor, as he had just washed them. "Ummm, hon, you might want to go put those in something so they don't drip water all over the floor." A minute later he comes back in with this:

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and plops it down in my lap. He had given me the whole cluster of grapes in a cereal sized bowl. What??? Should I go stomp them for a while and make a bottle of wine for us, dear? (Mind you I had asked for a LITTLE bit of fruit to go with my breakfast.) Something tells me he may not ever become "mister mom" around the house. Simple household chores that are second-nature to me are beyond the realm of understanding for my husband, and it does bring me amusement from time to time. I need something to laugh at right now, after all. We balance each other out well in all. He is great at anything that has to do with computers, so when I can't figure out how to do this or that he comes to my rescue. To each his own I suppose....

Oh one more little thing. Tomorrow is appointment day, and we find out what my incompetent cervix is up to this week. Will it be shorter than the 2.2 cm from last week? Will there still be funneling? Will they hold me captive? The suspense of it all!