“Someone Else’s Story” – Chess

25 Mar

Initially when I was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix, I really had no idea how close I came to losing my twins.  I knew the situation was serious enough for me to be admitted into the hospital, but I felt like I was well taken care of and the issue was at least under control.  It was not until I began to research my condition that I realized just how lucky I was to have a doctor who was able to stop a disaster from happening.  In doing my research, I found out that a normal cervix during pregnancy should measure 3cm or greater but mine had shortened to just 0.8cm!  If left untreated, I would have gone into full preterm labor probably in the next week and given birth to babies that were not viable to live outside of the womb.

My first instinct when I started my bed rest journey was to seek out support from others in the same boat as me.  Right away, I created the private Facebook group to speak with the other Moms on bed rest in the hospital, and then I branched out to all sorts of online support groups which were specific to my exact condition.  I soon began to discover that within these groups, I was a minority since this was my very first pregnancy and I had no history of miscarriage or stillbirth.  More often than not, an incompetent cervix is usually diagnosed only after a woman has gone through one or more losses because it is not caught soon enough and some doctors don’t include this test during exams.  I was extremely fortunate to be under the care of a high risk doctor (due to being pregnant with twins) who routinely checks for this condition between weeks 18-20.  I was actually looking forward to my 19 week ultrasound mainly because the sexes would be determined, plus the doctor would be doing an anatomy scan where all of the body parts and internal organs would be measured and examined.  The excitement would soon turn to fear once he informed my husband and I that there was bad news.

With such a shocking diagnosis and treatment plan, I selfishly kept thinking about how miserable the next 4-5 months would be at the hospital stuck in bed all day and night.  But as my research started, I began to shift my thinking outward and fully empathize with all of the stories I came across where women had been through the unthinkable nightmare of losing their babies.  How could I possibly complain or feel bad for myself?!?  So many women would give anything to be where I was if it meant their babies were still safe and inside their womb.  Everyday that I am here is truly a gift and as the days, weeks, and months roll by, I can’t help but feel incredibly fortunate that I have gotten this far.

One particular story I recently found online really hit home for me because just two days after I was admitted into The BirthPlace, this other woman Cori, was admitted as well for the same exact condition.  In her own blog, she writes about how it was discovered that she had an incompetent cervix and a cerclage procedure was scheduled on the same day that I was going to have mine…Christmas Eve.  Unfortunately for Cori, her water ended up breaking before the procedure could even take place and nothing could be done at that point to save the baby.  Reading this tragic story, I started thinking that as I was being wheeled into the operating room, this poor woman was already at the end of her journey knowing that soon she would be delivering her baby that would not even get the chance to live.  Later that evening, I was recovering from surgery with the new possibility of delivering full term babies while just a few doors down from me, Cori was holding her angel in her arms and saying goodbye.  As I near the 100 day mark, it seems like a very long time to be stuck in the hospital but I bet Cori or any other woman who has suffered a loss would gladly stay in the hospital over 200 days if it meant saving their baby’s life.  Bed rest can be a very stressful and unpleasant experience for most women, but focusing on these kind of stories can really help put things into perspective and completely change your attitude…I know it definitely changed mine.

*The song “Someone Else’s Story” is from the 1988 Broadway musical Chess which has music written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus from ABBA with lyrics by Tim Rice.  The song is actually about a marriage coming to an end but the message in the song is that the woman experiencing this loss wishes her story was not her own.  I am sure that women who have experienced losing their baby certainly wish that this incident did not happen to them.  Originally, when I found out I would be on bed rest for several months, I really hoped that this could have been someone else’s story.  But now, I am beyond grateful that this is in fact my story after reading about countless women who were not as lucky as I.  This lesson really makes me count my blessings and be utterly thankful that I have made it 95 days in the hospital with hopefully more days to come.

On my way to surgery on Christmas Eve




18 Responses to ““Someone Else’s Story” – Chess”

  1. Neha Bijle March 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Very well said Jessica !! I have a long way to go but I already feel fortunate that my baby and I are in the hands of Dr. Tabsh. Just wish all moms listen to their bodies and insist on cervical check ups sooner in their pregnancy. Wishing the best for all of us!!

  2. Jení Stansbury March 26, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    Jess, I am so happy that you are being cared for by such knowledgable people. My best friend miscarried 3 times before she was diagnosed. You are so wise to realize how fortunate you are. I personally can’t wait for you to hold your twins in your arms. Love, Jení

  3. Gwen March 26, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Excellent! Couldn’t have said it better myself. I have been through a long bedrest before with my daughter & now am patiently counting down the days until the delivery of our next bundle. I am 31wks 3days today & have been on br 87 days & almost 2 mos. now in the hospital. Everyday I wake up & am still pregnant is such a precious gift from God & am truley grateful for the close eyes that have been on me both pregnancies. I unfortunately was not a candidate for a cerclage, so I’m holding baby in still with my 8mm cervix diagnosed at 22 wks.

  4. Judith March 26, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    It has been quite an evolutionary road for you – from fear and anxiety to acceptance and thankfulness. You, of course, have been and continue to be the model patient as well as the model of patience, endurance, optimism and empathy for others.

    I admire your strength and applaud you for all that you have done and are doing – while in the Trendelenberg position, no less!

  5. Kelli March 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    You are such an inspiration! Thank you for posting such an uplifting story!

    Is there any way that you can tell me what your facebook group is called? And what support groups you follow? I am also on bed rest and would love to follow some of these support groups. If you wouldn’t mind e-mailing me when you get a chance, I’d appreciate it!
    My e-mail is Kelli.Brenamen@gmail.com

    • jfisher March 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

      Kelli – I will send you an email with all of the information. Thanks so much for reading my blog!

  6. Ilana Blitzstein March 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    I’m a carseat technician in the Los Angeles area and I would be happy to help you and your husband select/install whichever carseats you get for your twins (free of charge of course). You can go to my website WestLACarseats.com or email me at Ilana@WestLACarseats.com to schedule an appointment.

    I’m glad the babies are still “cooking”!

    Ilana Blitzstein

    • jfisher March 27, 2012 at 12:10 am #

      Ilana – Thanks so much! As we get closer, I will definitely email you to schedule an appointment.

  7. susiemendoza March 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Your story brought tears to my eyes. I have lost 3 little girls to IC and I’m glad that you were spared the pain. After 3 failed TVC’s I finally got a TAC (abdominal cerclage) and while the hope is that bedrest won’t be required this time around (currently 14 weeks along), IC is something that is still very real in my life.
    This is a condition that needs to be talked about before more women go through heartache. I am glad your little ones are still baking and my God bless them and keep them there as long as possible.

  8. Pamela Forbat March 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    I guess I’m a “veteran” bed-rester. I did 6 months of bed rest for my daughter, then all over again for my son. We had the privilege of working with Dr. Tabsh–20 years ago–and all I can say is trust him completely. As tough as it is to endure the time, you have a special closeness with your babies. You have the time (!) to focus on every development, notice every little move and feel you’re in a partnership with them to get a project done. When my children were old enough to hear the story of how their lives were saved, you can bet they never again questioned their worth. My daughter now is studying to be a midwife because of the miracle of how she came into the world. Think of lying in that hospital bed as riding a white horse!

  9. Kelly Gould March 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    I would love to get in touch with you and talk about your story. I was just like you…in hospital, having twins on bedrest for a long time. Then I started a company called Bedrest Butler. http://www.bedrestbutler.com
    I would love to have you do a guest blog on our site or be part of our focus group.
    Cheers, Kelly

    • jfisher March 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

      Kelly – That would be great! Should I contact you through your website?

      • Kelly Gould March 29, 2012 at 11:04 am #

        You can email me at info@bedrestbutler.com or give me a ring 805-441-2185. We also have FB and twitter. Whatever is easiest 🙂

  10. Mariela March 29, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    This blog brought me to tears. Not sure if you recall we first linked up on babycenter regarding Jem 🙂 You are so right that moms who have lost would give anything to be where you are. When I was put on strict bedrest I wasn’t happy but quickly realized that many hadn’t been given the option. Even with SBR I lost my twins on March 3rd. I had a little boy and girl. I am so happy that your babies are cooking away and your are in my prayers that you make it full term 🙂 God Bless!

  11. sarah April 5, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    hi, your story is inspiring me as I lie in bed at a hospital on the East Coast… Hit 28 weeks today. how do I join the Facebook group?

    • jfisher April 5, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

      You can either friend me on Facebook and I can add you to the group or you can look up the group “Mommies at the BirthPlace” and request to join. The group primarily has women from the Santa Monica UCLA Hospital but we welcome anyone who needs support. 🙂

      • Melissa April 17, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

        It was so refreshing to read your blog knowing others have gone through the same thing I am now experiencing. I am currently at the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital on day 5. I had a cerclage done for a short cervix with funneling just two days ago, and two days prior to that had no idea that I would need the surgery, much less even know what a cerclage was. Now it seems I will be here until my baby is delivered, and I am 24 weeks. I would love to join your Facebook group! You are so right when you say how even though it is so hard to have your lives turned upside down going on bed rest in the hospital, we have to consider how lucky we are that we haven’t lost our babies and every day here is a gift. I am going to see if I can find the group on FB now. Thank you!!

  12. jfisher April 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Just in case you have any trouble finding me on Facebook, it helps when you search for my name to list my city in the filter (Agoura Hills, CA). Let me know if you need any help 🙂

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