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A Necessary Procedure: The 10 Steps of My Cerclage

Monday morning at 5:30am I headed to the hospital for a cerclage to be placed at 15 weeks pregnant. This was a procedure I’d been highly recommended to have done since my past 2 pregnancies ended in preterm labor/early effacement with Bella and the loss of my twins at 20 weeks.

To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I was supposed to wake up at 4:30 AM, but I ended up waking up at 2 AM and not being able to go back to sleep. The “what-ifs” drifted through my head until I finally just got up and called it a morning. I’ve never had an easy time with anything medically (this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone at this point) so I tried to prep and brace myself for, you know…

Everything.

With Sam gone, I had a friend graciously pick me up and haul me across town. I headed up to Labor and Delivery, and a fresh wave of grief that hit me when I passed by a room with a tiny baby warmer and all the similar smells. It reminded me of my twins. I had to stop and fight back falling apart, reminding myself that I had to keep it together, at least until I was in a room.

It was a hard day all around, but the staff in this hospital were incredibly kind and attentive. I was treated very well, my nurse was a gem. I left feeling that the experience there certainly, in a small way, made up for the treatment I received when I lost the twins.

Take a look at what the day was like for me:


  • The IV 1 of 11
    The IV
    First up? A wrist IV. Significantly more horrid than any other placement, thankfully it was quick and didn't have to be jabbed more than once. It kept me well hydrated when I was knocked out later.
  • Check Up 2 of 11
    Check Up
    The baby needed to be checked before anything else. Everything looked and sounded good.
  • What it Looks Like 3 of 11
    What it Looks Like
    I was given this nifty little pamphlet to let me know what it was going to all look like in there. As terrifying as it was, there was an element of, "Oh, ok - I can do this." Also a bit of, "Ew." I can't help it, I'm not a medical person.
  • Spinals and Needles and Pain – Oh My! 4 of 11
    Spinals and Needles and Pain - Oh My!
    I thought I was going to have an epidural but ended up with a spinal. I didn't really care - because both were needles in my back where I couldn't see and that made me nervous. The spinal was about 6-8 injections and the second one hurt so bad I actually swore at the nurse (she was nice about it) and thought about jumping off the table. You know - with my numb legs and all.
  • Up We Go! 5 of 11
    Up We Go!
    My legs looked nothing like this at their office. In fact, I jokingly told the staff while in stirrups and my arms outstretched that this "couldn't get much sexier." I didn't feel a thing and before I even knew it, the cerclage was in, I was wheeled out, and I barfed in the kidney shaped pan. Good times.
  • Aftermath 6 of 11
    Aftermath
    For several hours after the cerclage placement I felt fine. My lower half was completely numb, I was under a sedative that knocked me out, and I had my iPhone with Instagram. Then - it was silent and no one asked me for a drink of water/snack/to go pee/what am I doing/and I didn't have to check on the dog. I took that time to revel in the quiet. What more could a girl want? Besides having that without numb legs hooked to an IV with a cerclage? I mean, besides that?
  • 6 hours later… 7 of 11
    6 hours later...
    Getting me ready to go home, the most massive, blinding headache hit me. So hard I almost threw up. Concerned it had to do with the spinal tap, the nurse had me lay flat on my back and ordered caffeine pills along with food. That helped and I ended up there 2 more hours.
  • Home Again – without a Jiggity Jig 8 of 11
    Home Again - without a Jiggity Jig
    Nearly 12 hours after leaving, I arrived home to our sitter and Bella, who'd made me a sweet get well card. I was still so sick I just laid on the couch the rest of the evening. By morning I was feeling much better.
  • The Next Day 9 of 11
    The Next Day
    I had to drag myself into my perinatologist the next day to be checked and also shown how to give myself daily shots in the stomach from now on. Fun times. Then off to the pharmacy where they know me by first name to get them filled.
  • Pill Popper 10 of 11
    Pill Popper
    I was given all kinds of medications for preterm labor, nausea, anti contractions, special prenatals, and a daily shot of Lovenox as a blood thinner. Most of these I'll need to take every day for the rest of this pregnancy. I sorted them out yesterday to keep track of it all.
  • Worth It. 11 of 11
    Worth It.
    At the end of it all, I had a gorgeous little picture of our 15 weeker. I was able to see little fingers and kicks, and it reminded me just how worth it all of this was. Even the shots.

——————

Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter and the loss of her twin boys on the aptly named Hormonal ImbalancesSmaller glimpses into her day are on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

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