Thursday, July 22, 2010

What would YOU do???

***Disclaimer - this post may be TMI for some of you, but as I've never been known to keep it in, here it is. I promise not to be too graphic :-)***
As some of you may know, I had a pretty important dr's appointment on Monday....yeah, I know it's already Wednesday and I'm just now getting around to posting about it but eh, I've been busy. The subject of this appointment was my (ok, OUR) reproductive future. We wanted to get an idea of what we would be dealing with if we decide to have another baby. There are other options, but those will keep for another post.

First of all, Dr. D had a diagnosis... I have an incompetent cervix.... Seriously!?! Who are you calling incompetent!?! Those of you who know me, know that word kills me! Basically, the cervix has one main job, keep the baby in...which mine did not do. (Click on the link above if you'd like more info) Dr D said that it's pretty rare given my history and the fact that there was no discernable cause, but without precautions there is a strong possibility it will fail again.

Given that, he does feel confident that with the proper precautions we will be able to have a successful pregnancy. However, nobody said those precautions would be easy...

The first precaution would be frequent visits to both him and the high risk obstetrics doctors. Most likely office visits every couple weeks and more frequent ultrasounds. (Extra pictures of the baby? Heck yeah, sign me up!) Read into this additional time off of account doesn't like that!!

The second precaution would be a "simple" procedure called a cerclage, which is basically a stitch to keep the cervix closed. This would be done between 13-15 weeks and would remain in place until I deliver (ideally-a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks). The risks associated with a cerclage are relatively low but the success rate when elective can be between 80%-90%.

The third precaution is probably the (you could also substitute the words inconvenient, annoying, life-altering, money-draining or just plain pain-in-the-a$$). Bedrest. Dr D said that at the first sign of anything abnormal during the pregnancy, I would be placed on bedrest. He did mention that this could start as soon as the cerclage was placed. Now, I can do math and that could possibly equate to up to 24 weeks of bed rest. I did 6 days of bedrest with Jack and it was incredibly difficult (and boring). (Read into this that I would NOT be paid for this "vacation" from work.)

Dr D said the physically we should be ok to start trying again in another 6 months (hard to believe that it's already been 6 months since God brought Jack into our lives). Emotionally ready is an entirely different story. We don't know yet what our future holds as far as expanding our family. We are doing a lot of praying over our options and are trying to stay open to God's plan for our family. I think we both feel that our family is not complete but we just don't know yet what the next step will be. Hopefully when we are ready to take the next step God will have lead us in the right direction.

This leads to an interesting question that I would like to pose to all of you. What would you do??? Knowing the risks (preterm labor, weeks in the NICU, miscarriage, etc.) and the potential precautions (inconveniences). What would you do?? Notice I'm not asking if you would endure these if you were already pregnant, but would you intentionally put yourself in this situation?? Feel free to comment here (you can comment anonymously), on Facebook or just send me a message. I won't be offended if you tell me I'm crazy for even considering this, and understand that when push comes to shove, DJ and I will make the decision we feel is best for our family. That being said, I really would appreciate everyone's honest opinion on this.

Thank you guys for listening and I'm so glad that you guys are reading and enjoying my outlook on life :-)



  1. Good Morning! I always start my day with a little Facebook, so I thought I'd check out your blog. Thanks for sharing. I will definitely be praying for you and DJ.

    Now, what would I do? I have a friend who's been through it all. Early miscarriages, she lost a son at approx. 25 wks, bed rest, and she was told she may never be able to carry her own child. After loosing her son she did the cerclage for the next pregnancy. She now has a son, two daughters (one adopted), and currently pregnant again. I cannot imagine the amount of stress, worry, and emotions her and her husband has been through but I totally get the feeling of my family being "complete". So I, with LOTS of prayer and support from family and friends, would do it all. Understanding the risks I would have to try. But this is only hypothetical and like you said only you and DJ will know what is best for your family. Regardless, you are NOT "crazy for even considering this".

    Kristen K.

  2. I think I would consider a surrogate. Someone close to you, whom you trust, who has been with you on this journey, who has a kid or kids of their own, who would have regular contact with your family as the child grows up. I don't think I could try again; not with the risks and another child at home who may lose not just a sibling, but her mother, too if anything unexpected should occur again.

  3. Hola, MY bestie,

    I believe that you have six months to plan for action.

    1) Create a plan
    - Plan should include, emotional rediness date, financial plan, support system, bed rest rules (And yes, you must follow them superwoman.). Risk factors, contingency plan and dates, times, phone numbers and back up for Mac.

    2) Work with me on your readiness date, we can work through this together, I can help you with resources and goal setting as well as margarhitas.

    3) FINANCES - I suggest opening a ING Account today and begin automatically with drawing a small amount of your paycheck. ING is great because you cannot touch your money right away, helps us heavy hitters save more for rainy days. I can help you with this.
    Also, your closeness buddies need to help you financially, I will wash cars, sell Lemonaide or do whatever is neccessary to prepare for bed rest.

    3) SUPPORT SYSTEM- You need to hold a breif. Those around you need to be aware of your plans, intentions and overall needs. You should hold a specific group of willing candidates accountable to being there with you through this process. The more we know your needs the better we can accomidate. (This could be a fun event too...Margarhitas again).

    4) BEDREST RULES - Lord knows your antyness!! You are going to also have to hold some accountability. If we have Jen's Rest Rules, we can be there to make sure you are occupied with visitors, movies, laughs, ice cream and tons of phone calls. Full Arsenal Baby!

    5)RISK FACTORS - Heaven forbid, there is an unexpected emergency, your support system needs to be on call when DJ cannot be there. We should have a code word of "NOW" which we can come get you and take you to the right place. Doc numbers, family, friends what ever we might need incase of an emergency.

    6) CONTIGENCY PLAN - Plan of action for #5, how you want things handled, how to speak for you, items you need, where to go... etc, you get the idea.

    7) BACK UP FOR MAC - When moms exhaused, there needs to be a fun filled receipe for MAC. This is ideal especially with doctor appointments, rest schedule and overall Jen Health. THE MAC PLAN is to ensure you get your proper rest.

    Im so proud of you for sharing. I will be with you all the way. Planning is the key and support is the joy. Lets get together soon and build your strategic plan. Your job is to maintain your health and keep on writing posts.


  4. I have been thinking about this post since I read it a few hours ago and really had to dig deep to see what I truly feel about it. Although I really, truly want another little bundle of joy in our small "family" to hug, snuggle, and spoil I have seen the "Y" in the road that another pregnancy might take you. And I know some people are going to read the next statement and wonder who this crazy selfish person is writing this, but.... I know how my heart still feels when I go on Antepartum, the OR, some deliveries, and especially NICU. I have been slaying my own dragons by going up to NICU for some time each shift I don't have a Pt, but my heart still stops as I walk into Pod 2, and I don't know if I am ready to go through that again with you. Enough of my selfishness, because you know I love all 4 of you very much and only want the best for you.
    You and I have already talked about the many risks that can occur and I fully believe you truly understand what might happen and so I won't go into that again. So here is what I think about another Pregancy:
    The fact that you have already been to 2 Doctors to see what your options, risks, and benefits I feel that ONE day you will be ready to open yourself to be pregnant again. But the fact that you continue to have such a struggle to decide whether or not you want to be screams that you, DJ, and Mack are not quite ready yet. So, for the next 6 months I would grieve, heal (emotionally and physically), laugh, hope, pray and get your "box" in the best shape it could be in to carry your next miracle to term. In 6 months maybe re-evaluate and see how you both feel and when the time is truly right YOU and DJ will know it. There won't be a doubt in your mind that you ARE ready to go through that Journey no matter which way God leads you again. When you are ready, lift it up to God and he will help. Remember, HIS plan is the only one that matters.
    LOVE YOU!!!

  5. @ Kerry- is that supposed to be a hint towards someone?!?!? ;O)

  6. Ha, ha Liz - of course I thought of you first, and then a couple others ;-)