Friday, February 13, 2009

Since Tuesday...

When we left the doctor's office on Tuesday, Dr. Fleming said, "If you feel your ears burning tomorrow, it's me talking to Dr. Ryder and Dr. Barsoom about you." Sure enough, Dr. Ryder (my primary OB) called at 10:30 AM and told me to get my things together and head back to the hospital. Apparently they were all concerned about the shortening of my cervix and decided we shouldn't wait to have something done to repair it. Fortunately, my mom happened to be at my house doing laundry and helping with Emily, so I got a bag together and she drove me to the hospital.

It was decided that Dr. Barsoom would do a circlage, and I am 99% sure I just spelled that incorrectly. It is a procedure where they stitch the cervix closed, hoping to prevent preterm labor. I was admitted to the hospital, and began my wait to have the procedure. I have to admit it was a difficult afternoon. When they put the monitor on me to track baby's heartbeat, she was moving around so much they couldn't hold the beat very long. I was so thankful that she seemed to be doing well, but was scared about the potential of going into labor long before she was ready.

Chad was supposed to be on call overnight at the hospital, but thankfully his co-worker, Eric, was kind enough to switch call nights with him so that Chad could be with me at the hospital. A little after 4 PM, they did the procedure. The procedure itself only took about a half an hour, and then I spent about an hour in recovery. I was awake during the procedure, but had a spinal block to keep me from feeling anything. Dr. Barsoom said he was glad we didn't wait until next week to re-evaluate, as I was starting to dilate by the time of the procedure.

Because the procedure can cause the uterus to start reacting, they kept me in the hospital overnight to monitor any contractions. I had several contractions at first, so I received two injections of some kind of medicine to calm my uterus. I also took some other kind of oral meds to help with contractions too. Thankfully, the contractions subsided and I didn't have any more contractions after midnight.

After I returned to my room, the fear kind of set it for both Chad and me. The fact that I was starting to dilate was scary, and we were dealing with the fear of losing this baby too.

Fortunately, Chad's parents and then our friends Erin, Stacy, and Maggie came up to the hospital to visit, so we were distracted from our fears for a while. The girls also brought me Runza french fries, which tasted even better than usual since I hadn't been allowed to eat since Dr. Ryder called that morning. It was a blessing to talk and laugh with each other. I was so glad to have them there.

I had an ultrasound the next morning to see how my cervix was doing, but Dr. Fleming didn't come in to the hospital until the afternoon to evaluate the results. I sat around all morning waiting and praying that the procedure worked. Chad got off work around 2 and was to the hospital by the time Dr. Fleming came in. When he finally entered the room, Dr. Fleming's first words were, "Well, do you want to go home?" Of course I said yes...I was missing Emily like crazy, and I thought I might go nuts sitting in a hospital bed anymore. Then he delivered the great news that the circlage had worked well, and the pressure of the stitches actually helped lengthen my cervix back to 4 cm! We were so excited to hear the news, and so thankful that there wasn't a "but..." following it. I still have to be a "couch potato" until my follow-up appointment next week, but my hope is that next Tuesday will show that I can maybe be a little more active.

Thank you so much for your continuing prayers for our baby girl. You continue to be such an encouragement to us. While I was in the hospital, a nursing student asked if she could do a patient survey with me. One of her questions was, "Who is your support system during this time?" I was able to name my wonderful husband who has run back and forth from a busy work schedule to be with me, and who has been so strong, making all of the hard phone calls and doing all of the communicating with my doctors. I was also able to name our wonderful parents and families, our incredible friends and church community, and so many other people, some I have not had the opportunity to even meet but who have offered their prayers and encouragement. My heart breaks for those who go through a difficult time without the kind of support we have received, because you have really been God's greatest way of sustaining us during this time.

We love you all so much, and we are praying for each of you as well. We know that many of you are going through your own difficult times right now too, and we count it a privilege to be praying for you.

Thanks again for reading.

Love, Jessica


  1. This sounds like more good news! Thank you for sharing it and keeping us updated on how to pray for you. You have both been shining examples to the church and to the world of the peace and joy that God provides even in the darkest of times. I especially liked the words you shared a few posts ago from "If You Say Go." I think we all believe the words we sing in worship, but you are getting the opportunity to live them out and to bring God glory, and you are responding in grace. Thanks for allowing others to share your journey, even when it's hard.


    Sue Frerichs

  2. What a wonderful Valentine letter to read today. I have had you and your family in my thoughts and prayers 24/7. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your family today and HB to your Dad!!!
    Love, Billie

  3. Jessica -- I am sure you were not "excited" about another procedure, but what an answer to prayer the circlage was! I'm so glad to hear it's doing it's job, and that you'll be able to get on your feet soon to play with Emily! I continue to pray for you -- every time my baby kicks, I think about you and say a quick prayer for you all. You're so wonderful to share your story. I sang a song in church last week, "In the Valley", about how God uses the darkest times in our lives to draw us closer to Him, to make us more like Christ, and all I could think about was you guys -- what an example you are of allowing God to use this time to draw you closer to him! Hang in there, girl!

    All my love and prayers -- Alyssa

  4. Jessica, I hate we're thousands of miles away and can't come visit you. I'd love to plop on the couch with you and keep you company! We're following along your journal & praying for all four of you ~ Ker