Friday, October 31, 2008

Resisting Bitterness

One of the reasons I started this site is that the vast, vast majority of what I found when I googled miscarriage was absolutely saturated with bitterness and anger. I was reminded of that recently on one of my favorite forums when a grieving mother just poured out her hostility toward a pregnant relative. I do understand. It is so hard to watch those who have what you want so desperately and don't seem to even appreciate it. However, I am convinced that bitterness and jealousy just hurts us even more than we have already been hurt.

First of all, jealousy is a sin. I know. We have all been taught that birth control is so important, that you can get pregnant so easily, and now... we have empty arms. It seems like it's a right to have a family, to hold a child and it makes us angry to lose one instead. And then to look at all those for whom it seems so easy... it's hard not to be jealous. However, something being natural doesn't make it right. We are naturally sinners and jealousy is natural, yet the Ten Commandments say:

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

Including your neighbor's easy pregnancy or baby. Likewise, bitterness is not appropriate for a Christian:

"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice."

And so, if we examine our hearts and repent of all jealousy and bitterness, why is it still so hard to see little ones the ages of the ones we miss? Because we remember and we wish and our loss is renewed. I am crying writing this because I so wish our twins were here. Is that wrong? No. Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus even though he knew Lazarus would be raised from the dead - right away. Death is our enemy and a result of the curse of sin. It is appropriate to grieve. It is not appropriate to grieve as those who have no hope.

Only those who do not understand the Sovereignty and Mercy of God have an excuse for bitterness and jealousy. Our Father knows our grief and loves us. Our children will be raised from the dead. We will see them again. Let's not give way to the sinful emotions of jealousy and bitterness. Our sin causes a separation between us and God and really, we need to be close to Him in this time of grief far more than we need to give way.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Incompetent Cervix

Many women lose one or two or even more babies to second trimester miscarriage before their doctor will diagnose them with incompetent cervix. This is so sad!! I have an incompetent cervix and I want you to know something about them so you don't have to have those multiple losses if you suffer from it.

An incompetent cervix is a cervix that can not hold up the weight of a baby. It most commonly shows up in the middle of the second trimester, but that is not always true and it is important that you understand that. With my first child, my water broke and cervix began opening at 35 weeks. With my second, it was about 24-26 weeks, and with my third, 13 weeks! All over the place. So how can you know if incompetent cervix is your problem??

If you are showing cervical funneling (shown on transvaginal ultrasound), cervical shortening, cervical ripening (softening), dilating or effacement before the end weeks of pregnancy without having significant preterm labor, you may have an incompetent cervix. It is hard to tell whether it is your cervix or preterm labor because the cervical opening can provoke preterm labor. There is no real test for this.

Some doctors advocate a wait and see approach. Unfortunately, cervical change can happen very, very quickly and I know moms who appeared to be fine at their appointment and then lost their babies two or three days later. No thanks.

I think it is much better, if IC (incompetent cervix) is a possibility, to do a cerclage anyway. It should be done before 17 weeks and the earlier, the less likely you will have complications or infections. It is a simple, no problem stitching of the cervix and I would a whole lot rather have an unnecessary one than lose a child.

Sometimes, though, the opening is found too late to do a cerclage - it wouldn't be safe for the baby. At that point, there is still much that can be done: a Smith-Hodge pessary, anti-tocolytics (anti-labor drugs like nefedipine or terbutaline), and complete bedrest in the Trendelenburg position (lifting the foot of the bed a few inches). I was too late to get a cerclage with our second child, but with the help of these things was able to get him to 37 weeks anyway. It's much, much easier with a cerclage, but don't despair!

I highly recommend the IC Forum at Healing Our Broken Hearts for support and encouragement if you think you might have this problem!

Hope in Miscarriage

Dear Friends,

It's been awhile since I've posted: I couldn't really think about it during the first few months of this pregnancy I was so nervous about losing this baby. I think that is one very hard thing about miscarriage - you never just trust that it'll be alright during other pregnancies. I have found it much harder to bond with this baby and to anticipate the baby's birth because I have worried so much about losing it. I hate that and I'm working on it seriously!

Much love,