This weekend marked a very big event in our household: Our little man is walking. At 10 months old, my son is on the move, and I can’t help but reflect upon how quickly his life has passed so far. I was just going through photos of him as a newborn and couldn’t believe how fast time can fly. Reflecting back on these last 10 months, I feel so very blessed that our son is here with us today and that he is our healthy and happy little walking boy. And to think we almost lost him.
At 22 weeks pregnant I went in for an ultrasound that I shouldn’t have even been at. The week before, I had been seen by the ultrasound tech in a routine exam. She had been unable to see my sons head because it was buried so far into my pelvis, and as a precaution she asked that I come in the following week in hopes that he would reposition himself.
My husband and I showed up to our follow up appointment dressed in our work clothes, thinking this would simply be a quick detour, we’d get some exciting new ultrasound pics, and head off to work for the day. Let’s just say I would have dressed much more comfortably if I’d known what was coming our way.
As soon as the ultrasound tech looked at the screen showing my cervix, I knew something was seriously wrong. She explained to us that my cervix measurements were far off of what they should be and let us know that she needed to go get a doctor right away. The doctor came back and informed us that my cervix was at .9 and that I should have been at a 3.0 or higher.
I was then rushed to the hospital. A specialist came into my room and informed me that if he didn’t put a stitch in my cervix to hold it together, I would go into labor within hours. The problem was, my cervix had already shrunk down to a .7 and there was hardly any cervix left to work with. We were informed that there was about a 50/50 chance that simply carrying out the surgery could trigger labor, but we went ahead with it anyways, knowing it was our only chance at keeping our son safe inside of me.
Hours after surgery, I was being watched like a hawk. Doctors kept telling me to “rest up”, yet coming in and out of my room every 5 minutes. I was put on anti-contraction medication that needed to be taken strictly every 6 hours. I was also given hormone suppositories that were supposed to keep my uterus strong.
Let me tell you, stuck in a dark hospital room is the last place you want to be when you are 22 weeks pregnant and terrified that you will lose your baby. The entire situation brought me down to a very low place. I sat in my hospital bed sneaking cries in between nurse visits. I didn’t want to eat hospital food, I didn’t want to be hooked up to a million beeping machines, I didn’t want anymore doctors to come in and remind me that I had an incompetent cervix. All I wanted was to keep my baby safe.
For two weeks, I stayed in the hospital. I was there so long that it almost began to feel normal. I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed unless I had to pee. I was allowed one shower every three days but I had to be seated the entire time and it couldn’t be for longer than 5 minutes. I wasn’t allowed to sit up in bed unless it was to eat. I hadn’t stepped foot outside in 13 days and the doctors were toying with the idea of keeping me in the hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy. Finally one morning, I was informed that they would be checking my cervix and that if I had made progress, I could go home.
Four hours later, I was discharged. I was put on bed rest until 36 weeks pregnant. The only time I was allowed to leave the house was once a week for my doctors appointments. I swear, when the only time you’re allowed to leave the house is to go to the doctor, the doctor’s office feels like freakin disneyland.
Each time I went to the specialist, my cervix was looking better and better. The doctor told us that of all the years he has been practicing, our case was one of the biggest miracles he’s seen. I have never seen a doctor so shocked by his own successful work. Week after week went by, and we continued to surprise the doctor with the fact that I was still carrying my baby.
Bed rest was the biggest challenge that I have ever experienced. It is isolating and depressing and so very boring. I watched 3 entire series from start to finish on Netflix and I did more pinning on Pinterest than has ever been done before. I cried constantly in frustration of my situation, but each time I felt my son kick, I was reminded that it was all worth it.
Somehow, by complete miracle, I made it to 36 weeks. I had my stitches removed and was told that FINALLY, I could behave as a “normal” pregnant woman. I have never been so excited to walk around Target in my life!
Without the stitches holding my cervix together, I thought the time before my son’s arrival would be very brief. But he decided to hang out a little longer, and at 39 weeks, I finally went into labor naturally. But my labor story is for another day.
I thank god every day for my little miracle baby. I complained and I cried and I hated bed rest, but I know I am lucky. I will be on bed rest from 12 weeks until 36 weeks with any future children that I carry, but I will happily do it all over again if it means that I am blessed enough to bring another life into this world. Every woman goes into pregnancy with fear of the unknown and the unexpected. But I never could have for seen the severity of the challenge coming my way. My husband and family stood strong and supportive by my side, and together, with the help of some very special doctors, we were able to bring my son into this world.