Cervical cancer: I'm pregnant!

I had been to see a perinatologist about a year before I got pregnant after my gynecologist recommended I go and find out what sort of problems I might face. I wanted to know if I was doomed to suffer premature labor and lose the baby.

I had learned enough to be worried. Sometimes a little information is a dangerous thing. But before every surgery, I had to sign waivers that stated that I understood that preterm labor was a possibility in the future. I took that to heart.

The perinatologist was actually very positive. He had written a lot of research articles on "incompetent cervixes,"--a very unpleasant term--so he knew what he was doing. He told me that nine out of ten women like me had no problems with having babies.

I learned that some women have longer cervixes than others. Just genetics. Just like some people have longer necks than others. And even though some of mine had been cut away, I probably still had plenty of length.

He also told me that when the cervix does open prematurely, it does so from the inside out due to the weight of the baby. The external surgeries did not affect that, except to make mine shorter.

I remembered all this information with some hope once I was pregnant, but I was still considered a "high risk pregnancy" by the regular obstetrician. That meant that I got to go back to the perinatologist for monthly assessments until around 34 weeks.

Fine with me! It meant I got more ultrasounds to see the baby during my pregnancy. Every month seeing the baby and hearing the heartbeat was amazing!

Now, if I had had problems, the doctor could have put in a stitch in my cervix, called a cerclage. That can be very effective in a capable perinatologist's hands, but I didn't need it. Bedrest can also be recommended.

While it was always in the back of my mind, everything turned out fine. I even went over-due by five days. I felt very lucky to have a healthy baby and doctors who helped me get to this point. And then there was my labor and delivery...