So here I am 32 weeks pregnant…8 MONTHS!!!!!
To say I am grateful to have made it this far would be putting it lightly! Giving birth 3 years ago to my son at 22 weeks 6 days was scary and completely life changing. The experience really left my husband and I a bit terrified to try again. But with time, our hearts and minds changed. Going into this pregnancy, we knew it would be a lot different and would require a great deal to make it full term. But with lot’s of prayer, and an amazing OB here we are!! Our journey to this pregnancy started after having a miscarriage back in Feb 2018. After my check up to make sure I was healing well from that, we had a sit down with my OB to discuss a plan of care.
First things first I did quite a bit of blood work once I found out I was pregnant. Next I started taking oral progestrone at 6 weeks (and continued until 12 weeks) as a preventative measure. My OB is all about being proactive and not reactive. I also saw her and had sonograms every 2 weeks to make sure my cervix was still measuring nice and long. At 16 weeks I began Makena shots (weekly)- which are injections that are administered either in the back of the arm with an auto injector…or the “old school” method of getting a big needle stuck in the higher part of your butt or stomach! Ouch! The shots are given to women with a history of pre-term labor and it has helped many carry full term and even past their due date. The medication isn’t guaranteed to work as everybody is different and some have still gone into pre-term labor while getting the weekly shot.
Due to my previous history of giving birth to Jaxson at 22 weeks 6 days, it was important to us that my OB followed my progress very closely. In the beginning we discussed possibly getting a cerclage (another preventative measure), but my history with Jaxson’s birth did not show that I had IC (Incompetent Cervix). The initial cause for his early birth was due to a UTI which irritated my cervix and caused it to open. In most cases of IC, the woman will be going about her day and suddenly her water breaks. There are usually no warning signs. So all in all, a cerclage in my OB’s opinion wasn’t necessary this time around.
Now I will say, things have been pretty smooth since about 24/25 weeks. In the first trimester and even a good part of the 2nd, I was very sick with Hyperemesis Gravederium and I had a couple scares at 23 weeks and 25 weeks. Keep in mind, I never carried pass 22 weeks so a lot of the things I was feeling in my body really threw me for a loop. I felt a lot of pressure down low which worried me and bought me an overnight admission with lots of test to determine if I was going into pre-term labor or just experiencing “normal” pregnancy discomfort. Thankfully both times it was the latter.
The plan right now is to deliver baby girl at 38 & 1 via scheduled C-Section. Why a C-Section? Well, with Jaxson, I was cut 2 ways. Inside horizontally and on the outside vertically. This was done to due it being an emergency situation and his tiny size. It was the best chance at getting to him quickly and saving his life! Women who have been cut both ways are at high risk for rupturing (of the uterus) if they naturally go into labor and/or try to deliver vaginally. Bottom line, its just not SAFE! Had I been cut just one way (classical c-section), I may have been able to try for a VBAC. But I am totally fine with having a scheduled c-section- I am all for doing whatever is the safest for me and the baby!
I will have my 32 ultrasound in a couple days, and once I hit 34 weeks, I will have weekly scans plus visit with my OB. I won’t lie and say any of this journey has been easy. Its actually been emotional and hard at times. . Fear has tried to creep up on me a few times too. I think once you’ve experienced giving birth prematurely and watching your baby fight for their life, and then later down the road have a miscarriage- it can be hard to embrace “the good stuff'“. For a while I was casutiously optimistic. I didn’t want to get too excited or too attached “just in case” something happened! But as I have journeyed on, I have embraced each moment. I have trusted God in ways I didn’t previously. Is it scary sometimes? Absolutely, but I know God is in control and I believe that the best is yet to come. I remind myself daily of this powerful word from the Bible:
“I will remain confident in this, I will see the goodness of the Lord!”
If you have had a preemie and desire to have another baby, here are my suggestions:
Meet with your OB and discuss a plan of care for your pregnancy. Get a physical/consult to make sure you are healthy enough for another pregnancy.
Don’t live in fear! Take things ONE DAY AT A TIME! Enjoy the journey. Don’t walk on eggshells and know that if God allowed you tone on this journey, He will be with you every step of the way!
Make sure you have the right support system in place. (Your spouse, a good friend, etc) You will need extra support when you may start to feel the pressures of this new journey.
Ask questions and do your research. Talk to other Mother’s who have had preemies and gone on to have healthy full term pregnancies.
As always, I’m here for you and wishing you the best!!!