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Preterm Labor: An Update

I’m home.

 

I had surgery on Tuesday and it went very well. After they had monitored me through the night to be sure the baby and I are OK, they sent me back home for strict bed rest. I’m thrilled to be unhooked from all the wires and freed from the hourly checks and my heart goes out to the women that spend weeks on hospital bed rest.

 

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I should explain more about what’s going on. I’m still hesitant to share too much, since there’s a limit to the amount of medical knowledge that needs to flow here, but the basic idea for preterm labor is that your body stops thinking it needs to hold onto the pregnancy and starts preparing to be finished with it all. To really break it down, there are two things that happen when you have a baby. One is that your muscles contract to push the baby out and the other is that your body allows the baby to be pushed out. In preterm labor, it’s possible that both things may be happening, but for women in my situation, there are no contractions to tell you that your body is doing this. There’s simply a “letting go” and usually the problem isn’t diagnosed until the baby has been born too early. It’s a heartbreaking problem because the common scenario is that you’re just walking around feeling completely healthy and suddenly you have a baby that hasn’t developed enough to survive outside of your body. Most often, it happens in this terrible window of time in which the baby looks perfect and may survive for a few hours, but is just a week or so short of being able to make it. The whole thing is very sad.

 

In our case, even though the last week has been very difficult, we are potentially looking at a miracle combination of circumstances. As I mentioned in my last post, the reason we found out that my body was doing this is because we returned for a second ultrasound after our baby wouldn’t cooperate during the gender scan. At the time of our first scan, everything was normal and there were absolutely no signs of preterm labor. Under the normal guidelines, I wasn’t due to have any other ultrasounds after that even though ultrasound is the only way to diagnose this condition (called cervical incompetency). If the baby hadn’t been stubborn about letting us see his heart and the doctor hadn’t decided to “treat” us to a whole second scan, we never would have seen that my body wasn’t hanging onto the baby. In fact, I was progressed enough that it’s likely he would have been born at some point in the last week, without any notice or warning. Instead, I’ve had a surgery designed to help support him and I’m on bed rest to keep gravity and pressure from making the problem worse. Instead of tragedy, we have hope.

 

It’s a time of very mixed feelings. I haven’t had much time to think “why is this happening to us?” because there’s really more reason to think about everything that hasn’t happened to us yet. As I mentioned, this is not how this story usually plays out. When I was seven, my mother gave birth to my brother far too early. She was, in fact, almost exactly at the same place in her pregnancy and one day he just came. More than twenty years have blurred the edges of that memory, but I remember panic, bleeding, a fast drive to the hospital, and a baby who stretched and grasped and turned dark from a lack of oxygen over the short hours that he was alive. When we first saw the problem on the ultrasound a week ago, I didn’t think there was any chance that we’d avoid meeting our son the same way. Everyday since then has been a surprise loosely bound by prayer, outside support, and complete reliance on medical guidance. It’s also been a testament to the fact that I married the right person, since Kyle and I have been together on this through every decision and risk. He’s such a rock. It’s impossible not to feel very lucky in light of our circumstances.

 

So there we have it: another day, another curve ball. Sorry, this is sort of turning out to be the worst mom blog ever with all of our weird problems and special circumstances. Keep your fingers crossed that I stay bored for a long time. The next big goal is nine weeks away and that’s where my focus is. Suggestions for movies, TV shows, and books are very welcome!

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply Amanda Mann

    Stay Strong Carly! We are keeping your family and that sweet baby boy in our thoughts and prayers! Stay with Momma little boy….it’s not time to meet everyone yet!

    April 18, 2013 at 7:37 am
  • Reply Michelle Ortiz

    This is turing out to be one of the most inspirational and perfect Mom blogs. To be going through this, and sharing it with the world…to know that sometimes, miracles happen, and the timing of the world is just right for them…

    No…not the worst…the best 🙂 And the only one I read regularly.

    *hugs and pixie dust* to you and yours. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    April 18, 2013 at 7:48 am
  • Reply Katelyn B

    Carly-
    It’s a very honest Mom Blog, and that’s why I read it. I’m so incredibly sorry to hear about these complications, but I’m sure if anyone can handle it, it’s you. Hang in there, and know that we’re thinking about you and Kyle and Eva and the baby.
    -Katelyn

    April 18, 2013 at 7:54 am
  • Reply Ashley

    I’m so glad to hear you and your little man are doing well!! Have you watched Once Upon A Time? The first season is on Netflix. I am absolutely obsessed with that show.

    April 18, 2013 at 8:10 am
  • Reply Eve

    Thinking about you every day, and hoping Baby Boy Morgan is nice and cozy, and wants to spend the next 9 weeks right where he is. I hope you are able to pass the time comfortably and that it doesn’t feel like it drags on and on.

    Suggestions for entertainment (you may have seen/read all of these already!): Parenthood, Gilmore Girls, West Wing, Downton Abbey, Grey’s Anatomy, Six Feet Under…..many of these are on netflix or cable syndication. Books: Hunger Games, Ship Breaker series, Gone Girl, Night Circus.

    Hang in there!

    April 18, 2013 at 10:02 am
  • Reply Amber

    I’m so sorry and really hoping that baby can cook a little longer in there! And I don’t think this is the worst mom blog!! I think you are incredibly honest and real, but keeping your privacy at the same time. It’s refreshing, actually.

    Best of luck in these next weeks!

    April 18, 2013 at 11:15 am
  • Reply jodi

    Thinking of you and that sweet little baby my dear, dear friend. Sending hugs from California.

    April 18, 2013 at 11:26 am
  • Reply Kelly Wood

    That all scares the living daylights out of me. (I had to edit out at least 2 swear words there.) I’m so glad that you got a miracle.

    April 18, 2013 at 2:02 pm
  • Reply Hope

    I love your honesty Carly. We were really worried about you and I’m glad you decided to share what’s going on. It’s so scary, but I’ll keep you all in my thoughts and hope that the surgery does what it’s supposed to and that your son will wait to come out a few more months. *big hugs*

    April 18, 2013 at 7:53 pm
  • Reply Wendy Wright (@ChoosingLoveAZ)

    Carly, I stopped by to welcome you to Collective Bias but it is obvious there are more important issues for you right now. You are NOT the worst mom blogger. Your story may very well help another mom. I went through preterm labor with both of my boys but it was more severe with my first one. Sounds like you have a wonderful medical team to help you. I will be praying for you.

    April 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm
  • Reply Leticia Dantas

    Hey Carly,
    let me start with “THIS IS NOT THE WORST MOM BLOG EVER” in fact this is my favorite!
    You’ve been a huge influence since April 2010 when I saw your Disney Wedding and decided to have one too.
    I’m sure you don’t remember me, but anyways, I read your blogs, follow you on instagram and like your fan page, all that stuff! 😉
    Just want to share some love from Brazil and wish you the best with this new baby!
    Keep positive!

    May 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm
    • Reply Carly

      Of course I remember you, Leticia! Thank you for the love!

      May 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm

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