Hello. My name is Melissa.
1 in 100 women will be diagnosed with an incompetent cervix. I am one of them.
I am the wife of a US Marine. We have moved from our hometown of San Diego, to Washington DC, to San Francisco, and we currently reside in NYC.
I work in the biotech / pharmaceutical industry as a quality assurance lead for clinical research trials.
I am the mother of a beautiful, healthy, six-year old daughter. She was delivered via emergency c-section in March 2011 because her umbilical cord was around her neck. During her delivery, my OB thought she nicked my ureter and I was in the operating room for an additional 1.5 hours because they were reviewing if they did any damage. After having an additional MRI scan that ruled out any issues, my ureter was deemed fine and I have lived my life retelling my story to every OB/GYN I’ve had in all the cities I’ve lived in. No one seemed concerned over it so I never did, either.
Fast forward to five years later. After all of the dust had settled from our constant moving, my husband and I decided it was time to try for another baby. We weren’t getting any younger so there was no better time than then to attempt for Baby #2. After a month of trying, we became pregnant with our son in December 2016. Our families joyfully awaited the birth of the newest addition of our family, due August 14, 2017.
On April 5, 2017, I experienced the most devastating loss of my life – the death of my son at 22 weeks, 3 days gestation due to cervical insufficiency. I went into my routine anatomy scan on March 30, 2017 to be told that my son was perfect and ended that appointment being told I had no cervix and had bulging membranes. After being admitted into L&D immediately, I experienced preterm premature rupture of the membranes (pPROM) within 24 hours. Doctors told me I would deliver within 24 hours and suggested for me to terminate my pregnancy. I had no cervix left to attempt a transvaginal cerclage (TVC). I tried valiantly to hold on to my son. Unfortunately, during Day 5 in the hospital, he was born and lived only for 38 minutes. At only 22 weeks gestation, we were told that there was no medical intervention available to keep our son alive.
My OB detected chorioamnionitis in my son’s placenta. They do not know if the infection was developed before or after my cervix opened. My whole stay in the hospital I presented with no signs of infection. My doctors have said this was a fluke, that this could happen again in future pregnancies but probably not. They noted that in the future, my pregnancies could be managed with a transvaginal cerclage and progesterone.
In just six months of time, I’ve experienced a time warp: The beginning of the year was filled with time flying by quickly. Joy and excitement filled my life with the opportunity to bring a new life into this world. And then in the blink of an eye, I was shaken by the core. I left the hospital on April 6, 2017 with my husband with a big, empty belly and a feeling of dread. Time stood still. Life became a hazy fog of trying to attempt to make it to another day. Many of the questions that looped in my head while I cried in anguish included, “How could I possibly ever recover from this? How will our marriage survive? How will I respond?”
But one day, in the midst of prayer, I felt the Lord’s presence and knew that He had more for our story. That if we persevered and continued to be patient, He would guide our way. And this is why I started this site. Like many things that occurred in my life this year, I can’t explain it. I just roll with it. One thing that has remained constant through this tumultuous time is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I am broken but I am still standing.
I am an infant loss survivor.
This is the story of loss and my journey to find hope for a future that will be filled with rainbow babies. I am creating this site in hopes that I will aid any women on how to be better educated on the options for cervical insufficiency. The entries will be a mixture of the reflections of my hospital stay, my research on an incompetent cervix, and how hope and faith has helped me overcome the most painful experience of my life to glorify God. May this help you to be an advocate for yourself if you are on a similar journey. Please know that you are not alone.