This posting chronicles the long journey through our pregnancy with Reagan. I started writing it while I was still in the hospital and added to it the further we got. Looking back through everything we’ve gone through it is amazing (and yes, still makes me cry) we made it full term and that our little girl is perfectly healthy. Thank you everyone who sent prayers, positive thoughts, well wishes, food, and who were able to come and visit with us. I don’t think we could have made it without all of this outpouring of support and caring (and there I go crying again… darn postpartum hormones!).
Our long journey…
The first week of May we got the surprising news that we were 7 weeks 3 days pregnant. This was 9 weeks 3 days after our miscarriage and it had taken us a year to get pregnant that time, so while we were happy, we were also definitely in shock and worried about losing this pregnancy.
We were seeing a specialist who put me on daily progesterone in an attempt to help lessen the chance of another miscarriage. She also warned us that if I had PCOS, which she thought I did, I would be at a greater risk of miscarrying again. After lots of worrying, we safely made it past 13 weeks (when we miscarried last time) with a clean bill of health for the baby. Other than being really tired and having all day nausea, we thought we were well on the way to a healthy pregnancy.
Thus, by the time we had our twenty-one week check-up, the only thing on our minds was if the baby was still healthy and whether the little one was going to be a girl or a boy! The ultrasound went great, the baby looked perfect, and the ultrasound technician didn’t seem to have a doubt about the gender of our little one. We were ecstatic about the news and figured the rest of our appointment with our midwife would be pretty routine. This is where everything fell apart.
While the baby was perfect, my cervix was very short (around 1.5 cm, should have been 4-5cm) and funneling (opening from the top). If my cervix continued on this course, the outcome would be pre-term delivery of a micro-preemie (the smallest of preemies with little to no chance of survival). They immediately sent me across the street to the hospital where it was determined the best course of action to even have a chance of saving the pregnancy was for me to go on strict bedrest, get a cerclage (stitch in my cervix to keep it closed), and start 17P (progesterone) shots. We went ahead with this proactive approach and after a few days in the hospital, I was released to go home on bedrest.
Home bedrest seemed to be working, but at 23 weeks 4 days pregnant we went in for a check-up and found out my cervix was funneled all the way to the cerclage and was measuring less than half of what it was before (0.5-0.7 cm). At this point my doctor wasn’t sure if I’d even make it to 24 weeks (viability for the baby, but not necessarily survivability) and immediately admitted me to the hospital on super strict bedrest (wasn’t allowed out of bed for ANY reason). The doctor also made sure I got two steroid shots to help develop and protect the baby’s lungs if the little one was born early. At this point, every day the baby was incubating inside of me was a major accomplishment and we were walking (or in my case lying) on egg shells waiting and wondering if we were going to lose our baby.
Days in the hospital turned into weeks, I gained a few privileges (commode instead of bedpan), and slowly we got past the super critical stages of 24, 26, and then 28 weeks. We still treated each day as something to be celebrated, but my cervix seemed to be holding and the baby was getting into the 80-90% survivability category. Then, after 6 weeks and 1 day in the hospital (29 weeks 5 days pregnant), my doctor determined that I was doing well enough to continue bedrest at home.
We cautiously went back to home bedrest and once again, time slowly moved on and days turned into weeks. We still had a weekly doctors appointment, but for the first time in a long time the appointments contained nothing but good news. The baby continued to look perfect and I, other than my very short and funneling cervix, was also doing really well. We reached our next major milestone of 32 weeks (99% survivability) and were doing so well, my doctor changed our appointments to every other week instead of every week.
Then, after so many weeks of stress and worrying, we went from worst case scenarios of lengthy NICU stays to 34-35 weeks pregnant and our doctor talking about us having a healthy full term baby! This seemed crazy, but somehow we were able to persist and make it to 36 weeks, our long term big big goal. This was the stage where the baby should be big enough and developed enough to spend no time in the NICU. Yet, I was still on bedrest and needed to have the cerclage removed before we’d truly be given the green light from the doctor.
We got the cerclage out at 36 weeks 6 days, got the all clear that the baby was good to come when ever s/he decided, and the long awaited news that after 16 long weeks I was off of bedrest! At this stage in the game none of our previous problems were an issue and the pregnancy was now technically considered to be “normal!”
Being off bedrest was great, but my muscles were pretty weak and I got tired VERY quickly! Yet, I pushed through and tried to do as much as possible to build my up my stamina before the baby came. This included doing as much walking and moving around as possible because I was also ready for our little bundle of Jones joy to arrive and hoped to speed things up a little bit. Yet, the extra moving and standing up did nothing to bring on labor. I got checked each week after the cerclage came out and I never seemed any closer to going into labor. My cervix was slightly dilated, but not much and it wasn’t increasing hardly at all.
While in the hospital I had told my doctor that I was going to be her “A+” student by making it to full term with the baby, but by the time we made it to 39 weeks the doctor was accusing me of wanting extra credit to go along with my A+!!
At 40 weeks we had a biophysical and ultrasound to make sure everything was ok with the baby and I also got checked to make sure everything was looking good. The baby was perfect, I wasn’t having any contractions, and I was only dilated to 2-2.5cm. During my check up, the doctor (not our normal doctor) said that my cervix was “favorable” and did a cervical sweep (without asking first) because it might help speed up labor. I’d read about cervical sweeps and was slightly disbelieving about the likelihood of this really doing anything. Yet, later that evening I started having what I thought were contractions. They weren’t that painful, but were regular and seemed like what contractions were suppose to be. They lasted until Monday evening when I went into full blown hard labor that lasted 14 hours before I ended up with an emergency cesarean because the cord was wrapped twice around the little one’s neck.
And what was our little bundle of Jones Joy? A beautiful and perfect baby girl!
It has been a long and crazy journey of ups and downs, but after 114 days of bedrest, 50 days total in the hospital, 14 hours of hard labor, and an emergency cesarean we made it and are beyond happy to welcome Reagan Kay Jones to our family! This amazing little girl has made everything we went through to get her completely worth it!