First and foremost, THANK YOU. Thank you for all of the support that I've received through blog comments to my post last night and via email. When I logged into my email this morning and saw all of the comments to moderate, I opened each one and, honestly, the outpouring of love and support brought me to tears. As I clicked on each email and comment, I was so touched by your prayers and your kind words. Part of infertility and loss is the feeling of lonliness that imbeds itself into your core; reading your words took away some of that sorrow that I felt last night. I am so very grateful.
Things are better in the light of day. I'm still disappointed in my cervical measurements, but I am coming to understand where Dr. B. is coming from. We knew this would happen. And honestly, we all did. Peter and Dr B expected it, I think, where I really hoped the stitch would keep it at bay. But why else would we have the surgery if we thought I wouldnt need it? Exactly... We knew this would happen. We knew my cervix would shorten in spite of the cerclage and that the cerclage would be the closure holding the babies inside. It's still hard to accept, but it isnt out of left field.
I've gotten several questions about hospital bedrest. That is the next step. At this point, being at home is as safe as being in the hospital. I get the impression that once I'm full effaced, I will most likely move into the hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy. At this point, we are hoping to get to 28w before my cervix is completely gone. That would mean about 8-10w in the hospital if we made it full term. So, at this point, the hospital isnt in the picture, but depending on how quickly my cervix decides to make its full exit, I will, possibly, be blogging from the hospital. Rest assured- I will keep you updated.
I've also gotten some questions about hospital beds. Right now, I'm using pillows to keep propped, but Peter and I discussed (very briefly) a hospital bed before he went to work. Right now, we have a Sleep Number bed that is so very much more comfy than a hospital bed. So, I'm hopeful that the pillows will help keep this bed working. I have nasty sciatica and back pain, so anything that works in lieu of a hospital bed is great. But if the pillows dont help slow down the /dilation by our 2w appt (7/29), then I think it is something we will look more into.
Finally, I've gotten some questions about the dilation itself. I'll try to explain this as best as I can. Honestly, I'm not all together sure. Imagine your middle finger and your pointer finger flush together. That's the cervix. The stitch is trying to hold it close. As it dilates, slightly open the top of your fingers, making almost a Y shape. This is currently what I look like. The upper part of the Y is about 2cm dilated (as in, open, ready to deliver type dilated). The lower part that is still flush together is together because of the stitch. The bottom part of the Y shape is still closed cervix, at this point, up to 2cm (closed), depending on the measurement (1.4 at the least). What will eventually happen is that I will have no cervix left, so it will look like an "O" shape (nothing on the bottom, completely dilated on top), and the stitch will be all that stops me from dilating completely. The hope is that I will be far enough along that the babies will be too big to just slip through and that the stitch will hold in place for them to get as far along as possible.
A birth certificate update... As long time readers know, Peter and I have been working on getting birth certificates for the kids for many months. It's been a rough journey. Since no medical personal were present when the kids were born, this has been a nightmare, but Peter has been working tirelessly on this. And finally, the first of our three battles is coming to an end. Nicholas's fetal death certificate has been invalidated by the county coroner. While this may sound bad, it is actually great news. What happened was our county coroner issued the death certificate because the hospital where Nick was taken (in Philadelphia Co) said that he died in Montgomery Co (which we disputed). As Peter has moved up and up with talking to people in Vital Records for the birth certificates, he was told the fetal death certificates would have to be recinded for them to process birth and death certificates. So, one at a time, they contacted our coroner regarding Nick's certificate. We received a letter from the coroner saying that their records show he died in MontCo. Peter contacted him and explained the situation, that he was born at home in MontCo but died in PhilaCo. The coroner said that they would have to open an investigation. This was last week. Well, Peter called me this afternoon, after the investigator called him. She contacted the local EMTs who said that, when they arrived at 7:50pm, Nicholas was alive, that they cut the cord, kept him warm and with oxygen, and contacted MedEvac for transport to CHOP. She contacted MedEvac and the EMT said that yes, he was alive when they lifted off from MontCo and that he scored him an APGAR of 2. He stated that the last movement and natural breath was detected at approximately 8:37 and that, when we landed in CHOP, he declared him dead at 8:42pm, after five minutes of no signs of life. The invegstigator told Peter that, based on this information, the fetal death certificate was improperly issued and that they are revoking it; this means that Vital Records will be told to issue a Certificate of Live Birth and a Death Certificate for our precious Nicholas.
Writing this last paragraph, I've had to stop several times to get my crying in check. We've been working on this for over a year. Trying to get someone, somewhere to listen... And no one would. Everyone was very sympathetic, but all said they "couldn't help". That a 15w6d baby couldnt possibly have breathed. That he couldnt have lived. That our grief must have clouded our views. That we were wrong. Even having EMTs who would attest to our son's movement and breathing.... Nothing. I honestly dont know how Peter was able to keep his cool in the face of this. But he did... He just pushed and pushed. And, because people probably got tired of being harrassed by him, he finally has moved up the chain to people who instigated an investigation. We never had an actual time of death. We assumed 8:45 because that is when I arrived into CHOP's ER and they told us that he was dead when they checked him at arrival... But we didn't know... And now we do. We didnt know that the MedEvac paramedic evaluated him and gave him an APGAR scar. A 2... I know it's low, but it's something we didnt have before... (My little brother was a 2 when we was born; 5 minutes later, he scored an 8, so he was fine, no worries.) Whoever knew that hearing that number would bring such an emotion. But we didnt have it before... We just didnt know... And now we do. It's something else to treasure and hold onto.
So, it's been an emotional rollercoaster of a day. I'm a little slow in reading blog entries today, but I will get to them, I promise. I'm taking it easy and we are treasuring today and praying for tomorrow. All we can do is pray and hope and think positively. And, if the journey ends today, I'm so happy we had these days with them... I wouldnt give back a moment with my sweet Maya and my precious Bobby. They've brought such sunlight into our world. I hope that we see 24w and 28w and 32w and that I go into the hospital at 36w and come home with 2 beautiful, heatlhy babies. But, no matter what, I'm thankful for today, and for all of you who have walked this journey with us. Your prayers are very appreciated. We'll get there. We will.