I’m not sure it will help for me to recount this day, but as I sit here on bed rest at 25 weeks and 4 days, the release seems like a good idea.
My unexpected experience with pregnancy started on February 27, 2019. I was just 19 weeks pregnant with my first baby.
I woke up that Wednesday, and started getting ready for work. This was a usual routine for me. My husband was already awake. As I stood in the bathroom, he was in the kitchen eating breakfast and getting ready to leave for the day.
Shortly after he left, I started feeling cramps in my abdomen. The cramps started to intensify, and I also noticed light bleeding after using the restroom.
I texted my sister, who is a Registered Nurse, and asked her if I should call the doctor. I hated the idea of bothering the doctor for something that was of no concern. My sister advised me to call my OBGYN to talk with a nurse.
I called a left a message and waited for a call back. At this point, the pain was not getting better and I felt my stomach start to contract. Feeling ill, I decided to text my boss and call in sick for work.
Not moments later, I started to feel pressure in my vaginal area. I decided to use the restroom again, and started experiencing a sensation similar to wearing a tampon. It felt to me as if that tampon was trying to make its way out. Since, this wasn’t normal, I inserted my finger into my vagina and instantly noticed something wasn’t right. My finger came in contact with an object which felt like a water balloon.
I instantly called the physician’s office in tears, demanding to talk with a doctor. After some push back, I convinced the nurse to let me come in to the office to be examined by a Physician Assistant. The nurse was sure that I was experiencing symptoms of a UTI, but I knew otherwise.
I frantically called my mom, who rushed me to the office. After an hour visit and multiple people telling us that I was experiencing a UTI, I finally got an exam from the PA. As soon as the PA started her physical examination, she realized that her original assessment was incorrect. I was not experiencing symptoms of a UTI.
After running further scans, doctors came to the conclusion that my cervix was dilated and part of my membranes were bulging.
I was referred to a larger medical facility, where perinatal specialists confirmed that my cervix was dilated to almost four centimeters and my baby would likely need to be delivered early.
As the specialists gave me my options, my world stopped. An unimaginable amount of fear and pain overcame me as my dreams of a baby seemed to be crashing down. The empty nursery I was looking forward to decorating, the announcement photos I was planning to print that week, dreams of becoming a mother and hopes of sharing unconditional love with child. In that moment, everything seemed to be coming to an end.
After discussing my very bleak options, my husband and I elected to undergo an emergency cervical cerclage procedure. During the minimally invasive procedure, a surgeon would push the membranes back up, place a band around my cervix and pull the cervix shut. I was scheduled for a morning surgery, and doctors explained that the surgery was risky and the outcome may not be in our favor.
As I went to bed that night, my mind was racing. I was crushed and terrified at what would happen next. Of the thoughts I had that night, not many were positive or hopeful. I’m not sure how, but I managed to fall asleep.
At that point, I had no idea that the hardest day of my life was coming to an end and my long and difficult journey was just beginning.