By: Heather Somaini
Same-sex parent writes about pregnancy complications with her wife.
It’s funny how most of us were born without any complications at all. Our mothers didn’t have multiple ultrasounds over the course of their pregnancy and generally didn’t know what they were having until the doctor held us up by our feet and spanked us on the bottom to make us cry. Did that stuff really happen or is it only in the movies?
Until our pregnancy with the twins, no one in my family had delivered a baby in their 30’s let alone their 40’s. I knew that we were moving into uncharted territory to some degree but like anyone else, I had no idea what kinds of things can go wrong. And most people don’t know. We’re all supposed to get pregnant, have glowing, happy pregnancies and then pop out a bouncing baby boy or girl in 9 months, right? Because everyone around us is having those types of pregnancies!
It was surprising to me that as we were open and forthcoming with people about our challenges, their stories started pouring out. It amazed me how many couples had struggled in silence. It’s almost like there’s a stigma to it somehow and no one wants to admit that it’s not as easy as it appears.
Tere spent that first weekend in the hospital hooked up to lots of monitors and given an array of treatments to calm the uterine irritability. I brought reading material, clothes, food, DVDs, anything I could think of. Friends came to visit. By Monday, they had a diagnosis.
Dr. C called me at the office from Tere’s hospital room and let me know that she had some good and bad news. The good news is that Tere was not in pre-term labor and we didn’t have to worry about an imminent delivery of twins at 22 weeks, which would be disastrous.
The bad news was that Tere’s cervical incompetence was just that – incompetent. Luckily, because they had caught it so early, we had a few options –from least to most invasive. Option Number One was bed rest. Interesting, but it didn’t seem to me to be terribly effective. Option Number Two was a Pessary, which is essentially a silicone device that sort of holds the cervix together. Again, interesting – but would it really work? The third option was a McDonald Cerclage , which is a surgical procedure that actually stitches the cervix, closed as high up as they can reach.
I remember asking Dr. C which of these procedures would get Tere home the fastest. Her response was that the goal was not necessarily to get Tere home. It’s sort of funny thinking back to it because I was completely focused on getting Tere home, not necessarily what was best for all of us. It’s hard to turn the Titanic of our lives around on a dime but I would slowly get that ship righted on to the correct path. Time, sometimes it just takes time.
We asked Dr. C what she recommended and she said if it were her daughter, she would go with the Cerclage. We agreed. They would fit in the procedure the following day. Tere wasn’t allowed to eat after midnight so I brought over a fabulous “last meal” before the big day and we settled in for another night of “not knowing”.