I talk and write a lot about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Because of my unique experiences (I’ve lost a baby, I’ve had children in the NICU, I’ve had traumatic births, and I have a multiracial son), I tend to have a lot to to say. However, while it seems most folks already know what a rainbow baby is, or what a high-risk pregnancy is like, not that many know what a cerclage is. Essentially, it’s a stitch in the cervix, and my emergency cerclage prepared me for parenthood in a way I couldn't have possibly imagined. More important, it quite possibly saved my baby-to-be’s life.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, a cervical cerclage is used to prevent a premature birth. If a cervix is "weak," meaning there's a high chance the cervix will open too early, a stitch is placed to keep the cervix closed until it's time to go into full-term labor and delivery. Because my daughter was born prematurely and passed away, I was considered to be high-risk when I was pregnant with my son. I was put on a regimen of progesterone shots, and had weekly ultrasounds to check the length of my cervix. When doctors noted how short it had become, I was told I should have an emergency cerclage placed to keep my son in the womb for as long as possible.
There were risks involved, sure, but overall the outcome looked good. Little did I know how the procedure would serve as a primer for my first year (and beyond) of motherhood.