PagesThe Hospital: Trying to save our babies, moment by moment --via Caring Bridge

Monday, May 11, 2015

From infertility treatments to cervical insufficiency

For years we tried to get pregnant via ICI at home.  LOTS of people we know were successful at this, using known or unknown donor sperm resulting in beautiful babies, toddlers, children and young adults all over the place.  Our schedules are tricky, my cycles are trickier, after years of trying we decided to see a reproductive endocrinologist.
 The first cycle started with comic induced hormonal upheaval, truly wanting to quit my job.  The shots were terrifying at first, leaving giant bruises on my belly but it got easier.  Then the big day -- two week wait results in HCG of 60.  BFP. We are pregnant.  A little nervous b/c they wanted the result to be 100 but anything over 5 is pregnant so we think our baby was just a late implanter and we are done.  Week 5 ultrasound, apparently things looked off but the tech didn't say anything to us.  Week 6 ultrasound, no heartbeat.  Long story of a terrible practitioner and our baby lost its heart beat between weeks 8 and 9.  I had a D&C at this time last year.

We waited to try again.  Tried again, during the IUI the sample was poor so they added another resulting in terrible cramping and no pregnancy.

We tried again.  BFP. Insanely high HCG. We inseminated with 6 follicles and now our dr. is very concerned we could have 3 or 4 babies.  She talks to us about selective reduction. Terrifying.  Week 6 ultrasound. Two perfect tiny babies. Two perfect heart beats.  And, aside from the joy of pregnancy--you know the end result.

Fertility treatments were rough.  The emotional roller coaster of home inseminations was rough.  Nothing compared to this.  Cervical Insufficiency or Cervical Incompetence is a different monster, for me.  Some women have a better outcome with a preventative transvaginal cerclage (I had two already although they were in the "rescue" timeframe, not preventative), 75% result in a live baby being born, almost always pre-term with bed rest.  I know I cannot handle that stress or at least I cannot handle choosing that stress.  The other option is a transabdominal cerclage which can also be placed preventatively, preferably before pregnancy.  For us to do this would require that we fly to Chicago to see Dr. Haney one of only a couple experienced at this procedure.  It is covered by my insurance, so total out-of-pocket expense would be about $1,000 plus travel and hotel -- so much cheaper than I would have imagined.    98% of babies are born after 36 weeks, when IC was the correct diagnosis.  Even with that fact, somehow I cannot choose surgery.  I still feel bruised from all of the procedures my body endured trying to save our babies.  My feelings about my body are complicated and far from positive and the idea of having another surgery feels frightening.  This feels like the end of the line.

I am mostly okay with that, we are starting to learn about adoption -- we had always thought we would adopt, just after I had the opportunity to be pregnant and give birth.  We are not ready right now but have starting learning about adoption.  Holy Hannah.  It is complicated.  A new language, new fears, new obstacles.

I have tried to separate ever having children from the enormous loss of my precious babies.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the difference feels important and sometimes it doesn't.  Either way, the grief persists.


  1. I wish I knew what to say. I do know that grief does persist, it comes and it goes in waves and despite it all, I hope you find the courage to move forward to your dream.

  2. Sometimes I wonder how people manage to casually have babies, without ever knowing what a cerclage is or a BFP or any of the acronyms that all add up to grief with the hope of something more. I wish you peace as you explore adoption -- we started the process in February and it is definitely complicated, but not as scary as I thought. Thus far. The grief persists, but you seem resilient. I wish you all the best as you move forward, wherever it takes you.

  3. I think it's important that you know where your body is right now; what it needs, what it can handle. You know it better than anyone else.

  4. Adoption is a whole different world. You will always mourn the loss of your babies, but I recommend you get to a good place in your healing before you start the process. It can be scary, but also exciting. Even though our adoption journey didn't work out, I still think fondly of (most of) it.