Thursday, February 16, 2012

Being My Own Advocate

Since receiving the dismal news regarding my cervix yesterday, I have been trying to make sense of everything and something just isn't sitting right with me. It isn't that I don't believe my MFM, I just need to be educated on things so I understand. I am the only advocate for my baby and it is entirely my responsibility to make sure everything is being done to protect my pregnancy. I don't want to have something happen and they hate myself for the rest of my life because I didn't push for answers.

I know that a large portion of my cervix has been cut off, but I was confused how it is possible for my cervix to still be 3.1cm. I was also confused about the bend in it and why there is no option for cerclage. Based on a recommendation, I contacted Dr. Arthur Haney at the University of Chicago as he is the "incompetent cervix" guru, apparently one of the best in the country. He explained everything to me and now I understand things a bit better. According to Dr. Haney, I am not a candidate for a cerclage, neither a vaginal or a transabdominal. He said that because of the amount of cervix that was cut off, there is nothing to sew as the portion of the cervix that protrudes into the vagina is where the stitch would have to be placed, and too much was cut off of mine. The 3.1cm is what is above my vagina and is where a transabdominal would be places. He also said that I am not a candidate for the transabdominal as he doesn't recommend doing it after 10 weeks and I am well beyond that. His recommendation is to start 17-P injections within the next two weeks. He said that they normally don't start them until after 16 weeks, but in my case, they should be started sooner. He said that these injections will help as they have the effect of making the cervical mucus thicker and harder for vaginal bacteria to penetrate. I also took the liberty to email Dr. Braverman to get his opinion as well. He said that I should get a second opinion AND have another MFM within my practice evaluate things so I am fully informed of the situation and no stone has been left unturned. Since a second opinion and another appointment can't hurt, I contacted my MFM office this morning and explained my feelings. They were so nice about it. They asked me to come in to see a different MFM and they are also referring me to the other MFM group in the area for a second opinion. I am going for the appointment at my current practice a week from today and it is with the only MFM that I have yet to meet. I also called the other MFM group and told them my situation. The nurse I spoke with was very reassuring and told me that as soon as they get the referral, she will get me in within a few days. I am so happy that I did this and I actually feel better about things. I need to make sure that we are looking at this from all angles. As it stands, even if my cervix becomes incompetent, which they tell me I am at high risk for, a cerclage cannot be placed. So I need to know what the plan it. When will I start on 17-P shots)? When will the pessary be placed and what are the statistics on it? What is the criteria for bedrest? These are all things that I need answered and I feel better knowing that they will be.


  1. Good for you for being your best own advocate! It sounds like you're doing everything you can to educate and inform yourself to make the best decision for you and your little one...Good luck! I'll be curious to hear what you learn from your other opinions.

  2. I'm glad you pursued other opinions. You are is very important to know ALL options and possible outcomes. Gosh, how exciting to be at this point in the pregnancy!