Pregnancy Diary: Week 36 – Cerclage removal & birth anxiety


Here we are at Week 36 – almost there as baby is considered full term at 37 weeks! It’s been a long and bumpy road, which got bumpier this week after the cerclage removal. Honestly. It’s like the universe went, ‘Oh, so you’re a pregnancy/postnatal yoga teacher and personal trainer? Let’s throw everything we can at you; nothing so bad you can’t get through it, but just bad enough you can experience it for yourself’.

  • Borderline gestational diabetes? Check.
  • Cervical incompetence and suture? Check.
  • Sacroiliac Joint issues? Check.
  • Mild Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction? Check.
  • Modified bed rest for 17 weeks? Check.
  • Potential 90th percentile abdominal measurement (aka big baby; this is a new one!)? Check.
  • Embedded/difficult removal of cerclage (also new one)? Check.

The saving grace is this pregnancy I haven’t had carpal tunnel issues so far; that was last time around! Interesting list I’ve accumulated given my first pregnancy was textbook case easy… Here’s what week 36 has brought with it.

© Ange Noy | NZ Real Health
The cerclage is goneskis!

Not that I’ve had much experience with cervical stitches before but I’m guessing that when the doctor says, ‘this was one of the most tricky ones I’ve ever had to remove’ it’s generally not the best sign.

If it was a simple straightforward removal all the doctor had to do was pull on the stitch and snip it out (from what I’ve read online, this is what happens for the large majority of women). For some women this is just a brief moment of discomfort while at the other end of the scale it can be a horrible painful experience. I was right at that other end unfortunately thanks to some extra scar tissue that had formed…

This meant the doctor had to cut through the scar tissue and nicked an artery by mistake which earned me a pretty prompt epidural and trip to the operating room for surgery; two stitches and half a day under observation so I think it just all sounds worse than it actually was. Though for all the complaining I usually do about how long things take when you go to public hospital this taught me a valuable lesson that the reason for that is probably because emergencies like mine jump the queue which I was pretty grateful for that day.

So for the past week I was expecting to be able to be able to do a little light exercise and get up off the couch, but these complications left me back on bed rest again to try and let the stitches heal better before going through labour. It’s just another week in the grand scheme of things, but after my last ultrasound something else has been thrown in the mix.

As I mentioned before, bebe’s abdomen is measuring in the 90th percentile. While this could just be an error in measurements, it also adds another factor into the balancing act of should we wait to try and encourage moving things along/should we not wait. General consensus is to at least wait until tomorrow – 37 weeks – so she will no longer be considered as preterm.

Birth anxiety

This is my second time around the block with child birth. You’d think I’d have a handle on it after last time, and to be honest I haven’t really even thought much about it until now. My mind has been so consumed with just getting from day to day, then week to week (that’s what happens with high risk pregnancies!).

The logistics this time of trying to figure out what to do with my toddler if I have to go to the hospital during the day versus during the night, and how do I get to hospital if things are happening quickly? What if my stitches aren’t healed enough and don’t hold? Anxiety Ange is coming into play now, so I’m doing my best to try and downplay the ‘what if’ scenarios in my head because most of them likely won’t eventuate.

The obstetrician seems to think this is going to be a pretty fast birth – what are your bets? Home birth? Car birth? Hospital birth? Roadside birth!?!?

It’ll all sort out in the end right?After all, at the end of the day the kid has to come out somehow and she’s coming no matter what! Stay tuned…

Image / NZ Real Health

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