Trachelectomy Sounds Like What an Alien Would Perform on an Abductee

Since I’m carrying twins and pregnancy scares the hell out of me, I found it important to gym it up as much as I reasonably could. This meant only elliptical and maybe light weights with the arms. No running, no sexy time, no baths, no swimming. So basically, have zero fun during your pregnancy and occasionally question whether or not you’re cut out for motherhood.

Anyway, after our experiences with two doctors mentioning selective reduction, I tried like hell to contact the surgeon that performed my trachelectomy and implanted the abdominal cerclage (sounds like I was abducted from my trailer in New Mexico and tested on by aliens with the names they have for these things). My first attempt was all for naught. MD Anderson has this really cool portal where you can ask questions. I thought I was clear, but I tend to write novels for questions. They told me that, although I was not asking for prenatal care questions, they would have to defer to the maternal fetal medicine specialist for any questions. I sat on that answer for about a week, lost sleep, probably had one of those shower epiphanies, and tried again.

One evening about one to two days after I posed my question once more (at 12 weeks pregnant), I received a phone call while I was working on my fitness (one of the last times I could do so for the duration of my pregnancy). It was the surgeon who performed the trachelectomy calling me from his personal phone. See a theme here? These doctors are top in the world, but take the time and care (cuz who knows if this bish is going to stalk them) to call me from their personal phones. It was Dr. Pedro T. Ramirez (ladies, hubbies, wives, boyfriends, or girlfriends – I hope you’re taking note of all of these doctors in the instance you experience any of this – you will not regret your experience with any of them). He was very kind and took his time to listen to me. He insisted that, although there is nothing documented, there have been successful multiple pregnancies with this abdominal cerclage. I was relieved. This, by no means, meant that our pregnancy journey would be easy, but it did mean that we made a great choice to keep our two little nuggets. (Imagine if we had not…)

I hurried over to hubby to tell him the news. We were both excited and happy to have heard from an amazing surgeon personally, and to have heard straight from the horse’s mouth that we made the right choice to proceed.

*Disclaimer – I don’t live in a trailer in New Mexico.

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There Can Only Be One

If you were born in the early eighties, there’s a chance that you are familiar with the movie, ‘Highlander’. The main premise of the movie was, “There can only be one”. Well, I bring light to what I’m about to tell you because why not? Hubby and I made a choice that will remain on our clear conscience for the rest of our lives.

Remember me mentioning the important phone call from our fertility specialist? She stressed the importance of knowing that there was a potential for us to expect twins. She also mentioned the idea of selective reduction in the instance that twins do come up. If you don’t know what selective reduction is, it is a nice term used in the medical field to reduce a multiple pregnancy to one – by aborting a baby.

At 6.5 weeks pregnant, hubby and I went for our first ultrasound. We were so excited, forgetting the potential of twins. The likelihood of it happening was so low that we didn’t really keep it at the forefront of our minds. We happily and excitedly went to our appointment, ready to hear the heartbeat of our sweet little zygote.

“Congratulations, it’s twins!” says the sonographer.

Oh no. We look at each other in fear, tears immediately running down my cheeks. Our doctor warned us that I would not be able to carry the pregnancy successfully with only a cerclage in place. There are no studies or journals indicating any proven success with carrying twins to term with a cerclage and no cervix. Terrifying.

The sonographer was silent for the rest of our visit. She didn’t know what to say. I was in tears, scared that we would have a tough decision. Hubby wore a worried expression. After all, his own mother was faced with something similar – at 39 she found she was pregnant with him. To prevent seizures, she took anti-seizure medication. The doctor told her that she should abort the pregnancy because she needed that medication, and without it could potentially see fatal results. She ceased all medication and walked everywhere she needed to go for the duration of her pregnancy, having my sweet husband some months later. He knew personally what a decision like this could do.

My OB met with us immediately after our appointment. We could tell that she was not comfortable with the fact that we were told of selective reduction. We had no choice – we needed to seek assistance from doctors in Houston.

The wait for the maternal fetal medicine specialist was agonizing. After all, if we needed to reduce the pregnancy, it needed to be done fast. There were several calls made. I couldn’t enjoy my pregnancy, a pregnancy I worked so damn hard to achieve. Why could no one see me immediately? I sent the fertility specialist an urgent text in the hopes that there was something she could do to speed up the process of seeing the specialist in Houston. She did. Two days later, I received a call that there was an appointment available that Friday. We were there.

We really enjoyed speaking with the doctor. She was knowledgeable and non-biased, only stating facts. Again, there were no journal articles out there with statistics proving success with multiples and the type of cerclage that I have. She made a recommendation for a doctor in the city that performed selective reduction. At Baylor, you may or may not know that it is a Baptist hospital. In order to perform selective reduction, your case must go before a board. Who knows how long something like that would take?! I could never imagine aborting a baby later in pregnancy. And to choose! Do you have to choose what baby loses his/her life in order for you to see your pregnancy through successfully? How are you able to make and live with that choice?!

At that very appointment, we made the scary choice to proceed with twins. Hubby’s faith and devotion drove us to make that choice. He vowed to keep me and our future babies safe.

Though Highlander insisted that there could only be one, each movie in the series danced with the idea that more than one of them existed. I remember the theme song by Queen – The Show Must Go On. And so it must.