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Karen and Nick’s story

23 weeks into my first pregnancy, I woke to find my waters breaking.  I was rushed into hospital but by then there was no foetal heartbeat.  After four hours of labour, and unbelievable heartbreak, I delivered a perfect little boy.  I was told the most likely reason I lost him was an incomplete cervix.  I felt an unbearable guilt that my body had been unable to protect our little boy and it was my fault we lost him. 

Unlikely to conceive naturally again, we underwent IVF.  A year later I discovered not only was I expecting, but it was twins!  We were overjoyed but also filled with sadness and immense worry.  If I couldn’t carry one baby safely, how could I carry two?  Our consultant was very understanding and monitored me closely with two weekly cervical scans. I was terrified of losing these babies too and at the 22 weeks scan I was told my cervix was opening and my only option was a cervical stitch to close my cervix.  We were told that despite a lot of research into cervical cerclage in single pregnancies there wasn’t much that looked at its success rate in multiple pregnancies.  We decided to have the procedure anyway and the consultant told me my cervix was so weak I would have lost my babies in hours. 

During the next few weeks one baby stopped growing and I had to have steroid injections. At 34 weeks the other twin stopped growing and I needed to have them delivered.  But I had to wait for neo-natal cots and in the end I was transferred to a hospital 50 miles away.  My waters broke and I was taken to the delivery suite immediately and had the stitch cut.   I gave birth to two beautiful girls – Holly (3lb 11oz) and Amelie (2lb 11oz).  Despite being so little, they were alive and well!  They had one night on the high dependency baby care unit then transferred to the special care unit.   They were tube fed and Amelie had tests for hypercalcaemia but we were home after five long weeks. 

Any research that can help address the lack of knowledge in the area of cervical cerclage and multiple pregnancies is worth supporting to help stop parents from losing their babies.

 

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