Considered a low risk for going into preterm labour, I never received an internal cervix measurement with my first pregnancy. At my 20 week scan, I did receive an external length of my cervix, but it didn’t provide us with the information that could have prevented our loss.
On 22 March 2020, when I was 22 weeks pregnant, at 10 am I felt like there was a concrete bag on my stomach. I ignored the pain for a little bit. ‘Deal with it’ was the message I’d received from my midwife. It was normal. As the pain worsened, my partner Jordan, and I decided we should go to the hospital.
Once we got to the hospital, the pain was so bad I couldn’t walk. The Emergency department sent me straight up to the birthing suit. We didn’t have to wait too long before a midwife saw me for an assessment. As she pressed on my tummy, I started bleeding, and I knew something was wrong. They asked me for a urine sample. As I went to the toilet, I saw a lot of blood.
I remember screaming ‘NO, SHE’S TOO LITTLE’.
In another room, a doctor came in to examine my cervix. On examination, they found I was fully dilated, with bulging membranes and I had been through the first labour stage.
The doctor took my hand, and she explained to me I was having this baby – soon. And babies don’t survive at 22 weeks.
I held onto the hope if I could stay still and calm, I could get my baby girl to 23 weeks. On 23 March at 4:28 am, I gave birth to my sleeping angel.
I didn’t even get to hear my sweet baby girl cry.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my Lexie. I miss her so much!
When you have a stillbirth, you not only lose a child. You lose the years of watching them grow and seeing the person they become.
I am now pregnant again and have the support of a Maternal-Fetal Medical Clinic. Pregnancy after loss is so hard. Every pain and reduced movement causes me alarm. Each day is a struggle, worrying something is about to go wrong.
If only there were more awareness of incompetent cervix and preterm labour signs. My first pregnancy could have ended differently.