We have hope!!! Dr. Haney explained in very clear terms that what went wrong with Jonah and Noah was NOT normal, and was indeed caused by an incompetent cervix. At this point, we are scheduling around Labor Day! He carefully explained that there are basically a couple of ways of treating it.
1) The most prescribed way in modern America - the transvaginal cerclage (TVC). It's placed preventatively around 13 weeks and is done through the vagina - basically your cervix is sewn shut near the bottom. There is typically a full bedrest situation afterward, and is about 75-85% effective. Effective, to the medical world, means live birth. Even live births that are severely preterm with lifelong medical complications are considered success stories. Full term, healthy birth is probably less than the 75%. This cerclage is placed low on the cervix and the pressure of the baby can still push down, causing you to dilate and funnel. There's a lot of pressure being placed on the cervix itself. Water can break at any time and can even tear the cervix where the stitch is placed. Here's an illustration, courtesy of Abbyloopers.org:
2. The less common, but more effective way is through the abdomen - the transabdominal cerclage (TAC). A c-section like incision is made and a band (made of merselene) is placed tightly high on the cervix. Dr. Haney said that you can lift a person off the ground with this band, it's THAT strong. It can be placed pre-pregnancy (his preference) or during pregnancy (up to 11 weeks or so). It's there forever, and will already be in place for future pregnancies. I will ONLY be able to give birth via c-section. Recovery time is quick and as Dr. Haney said, "You will have a bionic cervix." It won't go anywhere. He said that he cannot prevent me from getting GD or pre-eclampsia, or any other kind of pregnancy complication, but he can guarantee that my cervix will be rock solid. It can be placed via robot (Da Vinci) or laparoscopically, but the old school method is best - manual insertion by a skilled surgeon. Dr. Haney said that in my situation, he would give me a 100% success rate for my cervix to carry to full term (38 weeks)!!! Another illustration of the three different cerclages, again courtesy of Abbyloopers.org:
Some links to very helpful information about the Transabdominal Cerclage procedure:
Abbyloopers - "A non-profit organization which exists to raise awareness about the Transabdominal Cerclage as well as to educate and support women diagnosed with Cervical Insufficiency, otherwise known as Incompetent Cervix, and to provide resources for medical professionals."
Aetna Insurance description of TAC.
Dr. Arthur Haney - my miracle worker at the Univ of Chicago Medical Center, who
Outcome - Research Article, Wishard Hospital, Indianapolis, IN
Oxford Journals Article
TAC in the News
Lifewatch:Transabdominal Cerclage : WECT6 News