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Sunday, August 8, 2010

A New Challenge! Frustration solved only by melted peanut butter, spooned onto ice cream (remember our discovery, Jen?) ;)

So my plans have changed... drastically. My zealous approach to the work world and teaching has been placed on pause because of an obstetric discovery; a shrinking cervix. Hmmmmm. Sounds personal, doesn't it? Well the medical fear with this new discovery (everything else is okay with the pollywog) is a condition referred to as an incompetent cervix. According to, during pregnancy, as the baby grows and gets heavier, it presses on the cervix. This pressure may cause the cervix to start to open before the baby is ready to be born. This condition is called incompetent cervix or weakened cervix, and it may lead to a miscarriage or premature delivery. However, an incompetent cervix happens in only about 1 out of 100 pregnancies.

I am considered high risk because of this, and have to watch for creepy signs of pre-term labor. Exciting stuff. Hence, my plan to go back to teaching in September for the first marking period...maternity leave the second... teach third and fourth has been altered. I have to "take it easy" which is a challenge for me. I think that I would prefer removing my eyeball with a spoon over being placed on bed rest or something in that realm.

So, for the first time in my life... I am going to take the "take it easy"...seriously. The Pollywog has three more months to do her thing before entering this new realm; I'm certain that she wants to hang a while longer and enjoy melted peanut butter spooned over ice cream in utero (that is for you, jen). In essence, a new challenge has been placed in my lap (literally) and monetarily it will be taxing to wait to return to work until half year, but like everything else... this ,too, shall pass.

In researching, this is what I have learned, and things to be aware of for those of you who are expecting and are not familiar with this bizarro condition:

According to

"What causes an incompetent or weakened cervix?

A weakened cervix can be caused by one or more of the following conditions:
Previous surgery on the cervix
Damage during a difficult birth
Malformed cervix or uterus from a birth defect
Previous trauma to the cervix, such as a D&C (dilation and curettage) from a termination or a miscarriage
DES (Diethylstilbestrol) exposure

How will I know if I have an incompetent cervix?

Incompetent cervix is not routinely checked for during pregnancy and therefore is not usually diagnosed until after a second or third trimester miscarriage has occurred.

Women can be evaluated before pregnancy, or in early pregnancy by ultrasound, if they have any of the factors that are potential causes of incompetent cervix. Diagnosis can be made by your physician though a pelvic exam or by an ultrasound. The ultrasound would be used to measure the cervical opening or the length of the cervix.

How often does an incompetent cervix happen?

An incompetent or weakened cervix happens in about 1-2% of pregnancies. Almost 25% of babies miscarried in the second trimester are due to incompetent cervix.

What is the treatment for a weakened cervix?

The treatment for an incompetent or weakened cervix is a procedure that sews the cervix closed to reinforce the weak cervix. This procedure is called a cerclage and is usually performed between week 14-16 of pregnancy. These sutures will be removed between 36-38 weeks to prevent any problems when you go into labor. Removal of the cerclage does not result in spontaneous delivery of the baby. A woman would not be eligible for a cerclage if:

There is increased irritation of the cervix
The cervix has dilated 4cm
Membranes have ruptured
Possible complications of cervical cerclage include uterine rupture, maternal hemorrhage, bladder rupture, cervical laceration, preterm labor and premature rupture of the membranes. The likelihood of these risks is very minimal, and most health care providers feel that a cerclage is a life saving procedure that is worth the possible risks involved."

In the interim, which feels like an eternity (I am sure you can relate)...
I will think positive thoughts, read lots of great books, listen to amazing music, write plenty, and eat copious amounts of melted peanut butter... and whatever else tickles the pollywogs fancy.

xo Amanda

Download of the Day (GREAT Band)!!! A sensory treat!

Please Check Out The Song of the Day and Read of the right! And while you are at it, don't forget to peek into Ana's Secret World:

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