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Cervical Incompetence

by Rebecca

Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000

I have read a lot of the stories of loss, so lovingly shared on this
forum, and I must say that I was moved to tears. It truly does help to
share the story between us, because we have suffered some of the
greatest loss possible. I hate it when people minimize the loss. I
know that you know what I'm talking about. So, here is the story of my
five lost loves and the one found. Thank you for giving me the chance
to share it.

Late July 1991 - I was 18 years old this year. Just graduated from High
School. My world was perfect. I got accepted to a good college, the
pre-med program. Everything was perfect. That summer, my life was
turned upside down when I was violently raped. This was hard enough to
deal with, but when my period was late, a week, two weeks, I began to
worry. I went to the campus medical center, and found out that I was
pregnant. I was not sexually active, so you can imagine my shock. I
was going to have a rape baby. So, after lots of counseling and
heartache, I decided to keep the baby. This was against the wishes of
the only few people who knew about the pregnancy. I got on pre-natals,
and made sure that I was taking better care of myself. Well, shortly
after I discovered that I was pregnant, I started feeling ill. I
thought for sure, it was only morning sickness. No problem. How bad
could it be. But I was exhausted, and sore, very sore in most of my
abdomen. I started running a fever, and it actually got quite high. I
went to the med center again, and some tests were run, and the doc poked
around on my abdomen, which hurt like crazy. I had PID, he said. From
the rape. I was very sick, and so was my baby. I might die if I let
nature take course, and the baby was already dying. I was wrecked. The
doc said I should have a d and c immediately. With a heavy heart, I did
it. I felt so empty. It was so hard after I decided to keep Hanna.
Oh, by the way, she was a girl.

June 1993 - It was two years after my first loss. I was engaged to be
married to a guy I really loved. I found out that I was pregnant. Only
a few weeks along this time. I got on the vitamins, and took care of
myself. I went in for my second check up when I was 7 weeks along.
When I got home that day, I experienced some brownish discharge. I
thought, that is normal. The doc even mentioned that I might spot
because of the pelvic exam they did. No problem. Well, the bleeding
got a little thicker, more red and I began to have light cramps. I
called the doc's on call line that night. At this point I was really
worried. The doc said to come into the hospital, that I might be having
a miscarriage. So, I woke up my best friend and we headed out, me
hysterical, her trying her best to calm me. I miscarried in the
hospital that night. Cause, unknown. Testing to incur.

July 1994 - Testing was done, and the fetus was normal. Right size, no
problems came up on the blood workup, mine or the infant. I don't know
if this baby was a girl or boy. I never named this baby, and sometimes,
I think I should have. Naming babies does offer some closure. This
loss was very hard on me and my fiancé'. We fought a lot. Finally, he
left me, alone with my sorrow.

August 1994 - I met my current husband. He was wonderful. He was there
for me through this very hard time, and as I got to know him, I was
amazed. He was definitely the one.

May 20, 1995 - Over the year that followed our meeting, we fell in love
and married. We decided to start trying to get pregnant a few months
later. He knew how important children were to me, and he wanted them
just as badly.

February 1996 - I was feeling ill. I was throwing up and very tied. My
husband says, let's get a pregnancy test. We had been seriously trying
to get pregnant for only a short while, so I was skeptical. But, sure
enough, we were pregnant. We followed all of the steps and took good
care. We got past 12 weeks, and I rejoiced. We had a sonogram
revealing a beautiful baby girl. We named her Victoria Rose. We made
it to 19 weeks, and I started feeling a little more relaxed. But, when
I was 19 weeks 5 days, something changed. I felt this incredible weight
in my belly. I thought, I must have gained 5 pounds overnight. I felt
like I constantly had to pee, but I had heard that was normal too. No
need for alarm. So, I slept that night. I woke up several times with
what I thought was gas. Finally, very early that next morning, the pain
was very bad, and I went to pee. I knew that something was wrong at
this point. I could feel something bulging in me. I called the doctor,
and as soon as I said 'bulging' she said to come to the hospital
immediately. She would meet us there. We did. We were rushed through
emergency, and I was bedded, feet up. I was in such panic. They put in
an IV and started a drip of some drug. Apparently, it was supposed to
try and stop the contractions. I don't know what it was. The nurse did
a pelvic and told me that I was in labor, and dilated to two
centimeters, almost completely effaced. I was just in shock. I didn't
cry. I just stared at the readout screen, watching Victoria's strong
little heartbeat. The doctor called in an emergency Sono, who confirmed
that Victoria was not viable. I totally crashed out when, shortly
after, my waters broke, and there was no turning back. I felt so
defective. My body was killing another baby. My husband and I were
devastated. Victoria Rose was delivered, still born on May 23, 1996.
Three days after our anniversary. We buried her two days later, on my
parents land. Private memorial. We planted a rose bush for our
Victoria Rose.

March 1997 - I wake up vomiting with a vengeance. My husband is there,
holding back my hair, and rubbing my back. "Either I have the flu, or
I'm pregnant." I say. We take my temp. 99.0. Ok, probably not the
flu, let's run to the store and do a home preg. test. We were so
thrilled at the (+) sign. And I was scared. Very scared, but I had
support this time. I was hopeful. We got a doctor (we had moved by
now). We took good care of me. I was on light duty, due to my previous
losses. I was thrilled when I passed the 12 week point with no
trouble. Healthy sonogram. Strong heartbeat. I passed the 16 week
point, and sonogram revealed that we would have a son. We named him
Morgan Conner. We passed that 19 week point, and I was a little
relieved. At 20 weeks, I started to breathe again. At 20.5 weeks, I
had another sonogram. The doc was being careful because of my previous
losses. For this, I was thankful. Sono - normal. Strong baby. We
were thrilled. However, a couple days after this sonogram, when I was 21
weeks 1 day into my term, I had a fitful night of sleep, and when to
work. I was sitting at a table, drawing, when I had to go to the
bathroom. I could feel the bulging, and I rushed out, getting my
assistant to take over for me. I called for my husband and he rushed me
strait to the hospital. We knew what was happening. They couldn't stop
it this time. My waters broke, then labor stopped. This seamed
important to the doctor, the stopping of the labor. I didn't know why
at the time. They had to induce me, and our son, Morgan Conner Simpson
was delivered July 4, 1997. He lived for all of an hour, and died in my
arms. He was just too tiny to survive. We buried him three days
later, when they let me out of the hospital. We planted clover for our
little Morgan Conner. The doc scheduled an appointment. She said she
thought she knew what was wrong, but she wanted to run some tests to
rule out some other things.

August 1997 - Our doctor ruled out just about everything that could
possibly be wrong with me. She said that after discussion with my
previous doctor about Victoria's delivery and the similarities,
together, they made a diagnosis of incompetent cervix. I had learned
only a little of this in my days in college. They gave me some
information on the condition, and sounded very hopeful when they told me
that there was a procedure that could be done that would give me a very
good chance to carry to viability, if not all the way to term. I was
thrilled. They also gave me a little bad news. The reason that I had
this condition, this incompetence in my cervix, very well could have
come from my rape, seven years previous. It turns out that my cervix
had probably take a serious beating. It was slightly ripped. This
brought back a lot of bad emotions, and we decided to wait a little
while before trying again. We were to keep close track of my cycles,
and make an appointment the minute we knew we were pregnant again.

November 1999 - We are pregnant again. This time, we have a little
hope. We think, if we can just get to the 12th-14th week, they will put
in what they call a cerclage, and we will have a good chance. We were
hopeful. We went to our 6 week appointment, and we were fine. The doc
scheduled a sonogram for the following week. There was a heartbeat, but
it was not as fast as he thought it should be. He wanted to do another
sono in two weeks to be sure that there were no problems. It was a
rough two weeks, waiting. They did another sonogram, and the heartbeat
was only 60 beats per minute. Less than half of what it should have
been. We were devastated. The doctor told us it was likely that we
were losing this baby. He was very sorry, but he would have to do
another sono in two weeks to be sure. He did, and our little one was
dead. We decided to try and let nature take it's course. I did not
want another d and c if I could help it. However, the week after
Christmas, I started running a fever, so the doc insisted that I needed
the d and c, so we had it the first week of January, 2000. We don't
know if our little one was a girl or a boy this time.

I do have some good news. During the time when I was waiting for my
body to deliver our dead baby, I got a phone call from a friend. She
was going through a divorce. She wanted to get together to talk to my
husband and I about 'something important.' So we met with her and her
current boyfriend and they told us that they were pregnant. They were
not ready to have a baby, and could not afford it. They were in a
bind. They had known us for almost this whole five years that we had
been married, and they knew about our losses. They asked us if we
wanted to adopt the baby that she was carrying. You can imagine how
stunning this was. My husband and I discussed it, and we decided that
we would adopt. We had spoken about adoption before after my fourth
loss (our second) and it was an option we knew may be our path.

Leah Violet Simpson was born a healthy 6 pounds, 12 ounces on August 24,
2000. She was 19.5 inches long and beautiful. We are very much in love
with our little angel, but we will never forget our losses. We are
considering trying to become pregnant again when Leah reaches a year. I
will have to be bedridden, and have the circlage done, so it won't be
easy. But, despite everything, we have hope. Some of it, thanks to
your stories here. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for letting me
tell my story. I know that it has helped already.

Best wishes to all of you. You will be in my thoughts always.

Rebecca
Please feel free to email me at : froggy@onr.com 

I am currently working on a web page with information on incompetent
cervix. It is a devastating condition, but if you learn to know your
body and identify problems, it can be diagnosed and treated. I am told
that the odds are rather hopeful. I only hope that my research will be
helpful for someone out there.

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