Well, it has been done. The cerclage has been taken out! For the first time in months, I'm going al naturale. It was a fairly quick procedure. We were in and out of the clinic in roughly 45 minutes, and the majority of that time was spent waiting for the doctor to get set up. The actual cerclage removal took maybe all of 15 minutes itself. But oh my God was it the most painful 15 minutes ever! For you ladies out there, imagine the worst menstrual cramps you've ever had and multiply it by 10. Then imagine feeling someone stabbing you deep inside your whoowhoo during an annual exam. Yup...that's about how it felt. Like being stabbed in my whoowhoo while having terrible cramps. In all reality, the doctor was being very gentle and even allowed me to have a moment to breath before he continued with the removal. But since the cerclage had been in there for so long, it seemed my cervix didn't want to let go of it. As the doctor tried his best to remove the cerclage as quickly and painlessly as he could, I just focused on the twinkling lights they had in the ceiling that looked like stars as I squeezed my poor husband's hand to death. At one point, he showed me his hand, bright red, with white impressions of my fingers still glowing on his skin.
The doctor, nurses, and my husband all spoke words of comfort and encouragement to help me through the process, but it was still hard to ignore the pain. I wished desperately that I could've been numbed up for the procedure but since it's such a quick and "easy" removal, the doctors don't typically drug up the patient for a cerclage removal. The nurse at one point asked me to try and relax my legs. I hadn't even noticed through all the pain that I had been flexing my legs the whole time.
The time came when the doctor told me he had just one last pull to do to remove the cerclage and then it would be all over. So I took a deep breath and braced for impact. I had thought the rest of the procedure was painful. I had no idea what I was in for. The last "little" part of the removal was the most painful yet. As he pulled the stitching out, I began to yell out, arching my back in absolute pain. The doctor sat up with a smile and showed me the cerclage. "That's it! We're all done!" he declared. I laid there for a few minutes trying to regain my breath, holding on to my stomach, and waiting for the cramping to subside. It was amazing to see this tiny little cerclage that looked more like a twisty-tie than anything else, realizing that this little stitch was the difference between life and death for my child. How amazing it is that I live in a day and age where this kind of procedure is available. If it was another time in life, I may not have been able to ever have children.
From what the doctor said, my cervix was still in fantastic shape, even after the cerclage removal. He said that he wasn't even sure if I really needed a cerclage this whole time. But obviously, as we both agreed, we're not about to test out the alternative. It's weird to think that there is a possibility that I don't even have an incompetent cervix. Perhaps the miscarriage last time was due to a combination of things that simulated the symptoms of an incompetent cervix. We will never really know. But no matter what the reasoning, I am just happy that things worked out so well this time. I couldn't take another heartache like the last time. Anyway, since my cervix still appeared to be in good shape, the doctor speculated that it will still be awhile before Andy makes his big debut.
When we got home, my husband was all over my tummy! He was talking to Andy all day, smiling from ear to ear with every kick and wiggle from Andy. Now that the cerclage is out and Andy could be here any day, my husband confessed, he is extremely excited and eager for Andy to come. I have to admit, it is weird to think that the baby can come at any time now. I am anxious to go into labor and bring little Andy home. But after feeling the pain of the cerclage removal, I'm not exactly anxious to go through labor pains any time soon. At least then I can opt for an epidural, which I thoroughly plan on using!
For now, I'm keeping active to see if that helps encourage the baby to come. And I'm keeping an eye out for any symptoms of labor. I'm not the type to run to the hospital with the slightest bit of cramping. I'll wait until I have regular contractions and or have my water break. But otherwise I'm trying to look out for any signs that labor is on it's way, such as the loss of the mucus plug or the bloody show. Although, earlier today I had some discharge that could've been the bloody show, but it's hard to say. Since I just had the cerclage removed yesterday, I've had some bleeding and cramping from that. But the cramping and bleeding had both stopped a few hours after the procedure. By the time I went to bed last night, I didn't even have a hit of pink. This morning I had a little pink, which I'm guessing was just from me moving around in my sleep. But a couple hours later, I had (and this is total TMI so don't read if you don't want to know) more of a mucusy brown discharge like old blood. I've read that this could be the bloody show, but I'm guessing it could also be just old blood that had been around the stitches from when they were originally put in. At this point, I've pretty much stopped having any kind of bloody discharge so I don't know what really caused it. But since I'm not having any contractions, cramping, or water leakage, I'm not really worried about it. Maybe it's a sign that labor is coming, maybe it's not. At this point, I'm not too worried either way. Right now, it's all up to Andy and my body when I'll go into labor. I have no control over it and, in some ways, that's kind of exciting. It's all a surprise from here.