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My struggle, the stretch marks are totally worth it (Anonymous)

September 9, 2010

I have an incompetent cervix. This means that my cervix opens way too soon, resulting in a miscarriage or stillbirth. My first pregnancy I lost at 9 weeks when the baby was discovered to have passed away. My second pregnancy I lost at 4 months, when my water broke and I was dilating. The baby was already on her way out, so I had to deliver. At this point.. no diagnosis was made. They said it was a fluke, and no mention of a cervical condition was made.

When I found out I was pregnant again, needless to say, I was terrified. All I could think is “What if it happens again?”. I was very cautious, and so was my doctor. Every little pain I felt I made sure I was checked out. At around 18 weeks I was feeling some strange pressure, so being the nervous mama that I was, I went to the ER. The ER docs checked me out. They did a manual exam which concluded that my cervix was still closed. I was relieved. They decided to call my on call doc to let him know what was going on and then they were going to release me. I was sitting in the exam room waiting, quite relieved that everything appeared to be OK. Then, the on-call doc walked in. He just happened to be in the hospital, and given my history he decided to check me out himself. He did another exam and said that my cervix was closed but felt a little bit soft and not like that of a woman who has never given birth at term. He took me up to L&D. I started to get a little nervous but figured he was just being cautious. He did a transvaginal ultrasound and found that my cervix was serverely funneled (opening from the inside out) and very short. Usually this happens when you’re going into labor, but in my case.. it was just happening. I cried, got dizzy, almost passed out. The doctor was very kind and explained what could be done and that all hope was not lost. I decided to go home that night, and call my own doc in the morning. I truley believe that the on call doc being there was a miracle. If it wasn’t for him, I would have lost this baby too.

The next morning my doctor had called me. He had my report to a local women’s only hospital. The High Risk specialists there were awesome. They confirmed that my cervix was indeed dilating and short. They then set me up for an emergency cerclage. A cerclage is a stitch placed in the cervix to hold it closed and keep the baby in for as long as possible. They admitted for the night, and the procedure was set for the morning. I was TERRIFIED!! I barely slept all night long. I cried the whole time I was wating to go into surgery. There are risks to the procedure (breaking of the water, infection etc) and I just wanted to bad for my baby to be OK. Turned out, the procedure wasn’t so bad. I was awake for it, but was given a Spinal Anesthetic so I couldnt feel a thing. It was over in about 30 minutes.. and then I was sent to recovery. I had some cramping but was doing OK, so they sent me home that night.

At first, I was scared to even move out of my bed. I was taken out of work and was told to stay at home and relax for the most part. I wasn’t on bedrest persay but I was still terrified of doing anything to mess things up.

Ok, fast forward to now. Every since the placement of the cerclage my cervix has been being very good! The funneling has resolved and my cervix actually gained length. I am now 31 weeks, and the baby is doing great!! He kicks me all the time and I love it. Some days I sit here and watch my belly move all around.. It’s so cool :) No one had even expected me to make this far. But here I am.. still doing great. No signs of labor or anything. I am so thrilled.

What’s funny is that once things started to look up and I started to get a lot less nervous.. I started looking at the changes in my body. My belly really started to pop right out at around 28 weeks. I am short (5’2) and I am all belly it seems. I have only gained about 15-16 lbs during this pregnancy but I still have a lot of stretch marks. They are running all across my belly and sides. I was depressed about them for a while, but when I mentioned it to my boyfriend he just looked me funny. He said “Babe, all this time you’ve been so worried over this baby and now you’re worrying about something as superficial as those stretch marks? I’d love you if you were covered in them. Don’t worry so much!”. He was right. How could I worry about such a thing? They are my mommy marks. Proof of what I’ve overcome to make it this far with my little one. Don’t get me wrong.. I still constantly use creams and lotions on my belly.. but I am not depressed about it. I can worry about my body later. For now, I just want to get this baby into the world safe and sound. I worked so hard at this.. I refuse to let such a silly thing get to me. I have included some pictures of myself. The first one is pre pregnancy, I was about 125 pounds there. The second is me at 21 weeks, the third is at 25 weeks, and the last is at 30 weeks. Thanks for listening!!

Your Age: 24
~Number of pregnancies and births:3 pregnancies, currently 31 weeks

Updated here.

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8 Responses to “My struggle, the stretch marks are totally worth it (Anonymous)”

  1. Elissa Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Awsome! Thanks for sharing this story…I went into preterm labor at barely 32 weeks and it was VERY scary, they couldn’t tell me why but never did they look at my cervix other than to tell me I was 90% Effaced and the baby was coming….I managed to keep her in till 38 weeks and 3 days with the shots they gave me to stop my labor…But I ALWAYS had stomach pains and at 5 and a half months they got worse…Right down where her head was and she was always head down facing front…I often wonder if this might have been my problem because no one I know was ever in as much pain as me through most of my pregnancy. It felt like sharp pains some days and it increased at 32 weeks when I decided to go to the emergency room…I’m always scared to get pregnant again because of this scare…Glad you’re moving along so well!

  2. Angèle Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    You are stunning! Congratulations on getting to the 30 week mark!! Stretchmarks are badges of honor! Your body is doing something amazing!! No other mommy will have stretchies like yours.. I love mine! :) Permanent baby fingerpainting on my belly!

  3. Liz Lich Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    You look beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your story. God bless you and your little baby.

  4. Lucy Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    congratulations! you sound like you already are an amazing mom

  5. Shannon Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 6:16 am

    I am so sorry for your 2 losses. Congratulations on getting the help needed to carry this pregnancy! You must be so excited :) You look amazing, and I don’t see any stretch marks. You will love the ones you get. They will remind you how hard this was for you, and what a blessing life is :)

  6. Kerry Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 7:35 am

    What an awesome story, I think it reminds us all to cherish the gifts we’ve been given. It took a year and a half, but now I love my stretchmarks, I cant remember my belly without them actually. They tell a story. Your belly is so full and beautiful, you have a terrific outlook and attitude. Cant wait to see an update and a picture of your little one!

  7. Sarah P. Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    You look fantastic! I think I can hear the joy and love in your voice! You’re excited and feel blessed to be a mommy. I think you’ll love holding your baby, breastfeeding him/her, cuddling, and just being called mom!

    Many blessings… :)

  8. Mariah Says:
    September 13th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    What an incredible story! I can’t even imagine what you’ve gone through, and to get where you are with such positivity!! Just like Sarah says above me; you can absolutely *read* the joy in your post.

    You’re in my thoughts for all the healthy delivery and new momma-goodness you’re going to be in store for here VERY VERY soon!!!

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