I can still remember how I looked and what I felt when we left the doctor's office that day. The painful steps I took to our car as a flood of thoughts overcame my mind ..
"I have Incompetent Cervix?" / "How did I get this?" / "Have I done something wrong?" / "Why did God give me a baby if I can't go home with him/ her?" / "Will I even get to bring him/ her home?" / "Will we be okay?" / "What if they find something else that's wrong?" / "Why does my body have to be so weak?" / "Everything is my fault." / "My body can't even do what it's supposed to do .. grow a baby and keep them growing until the right time." / "Will it be like this for all of my pregnancies?" / "I wonder if I am the only one..." / "I hope I'm not the only one..." / "We're definitely switching doctors after all of this passes." / "High risk pregnancy?!" / "Well, I guess this'll be the last time I'm ever be at this office again." / "Can I have more children?"
Immediately I called my sister, then my mom. My sister was working and visiting her patients at the time. After listening to my voice break and sharing tears through the phone, she said she was on the way to meet us at the hospital. My parents were on the way to San Diego for a day date; my mom frantically and firmly told me to go straight to the hospital and that her and my dad were making a U-turn and heading back towards LA. Reflecting on that day now, I'm not sure if Paul and I exchanged any words at all during our car ride to the hospital. All I know is that there was crying and strange silence in regards to how we certainly did not see any of this coming. We didn't expect for Haven's heart defect in our horizon either, but we agreed we could handle that, we would prepare - which we were. However, a new diagnosis for myself, a bulging bag, no cervix, premature labor and delivery and a significant chance that our little one wasn't going to come home with us? -- this was all too much, too sudden.
A great wave of relief came over me as my eyes met with my dear sister's at the hospital valet. Very little words were exchanged or needed to be said, as my sister and I though different, are also very much the same person. It is always simple with her. She just understood. We grabbed each other's hands and made our way up the elevators to the labor and delivery unit. It was probably the dazed looks on our faces along with 3 sets of red eyes that gave off fear and an uncomfortable energy to all the nurses sitting at the nurse's station that day. I said, "Hi, my name is Myra Gavini and I am a patient of Dr. _______. We had an appointment with her earlier this afternoon prior to coming here and she has advised for me to be admitted to your unit." I think either Paul or I continued to briefly explain the issues with my cervix, I forgot the exact words that were said.
Fortunately we were assigned to a kind and loving nurse. Later would I find out that her name and face, was going to be one of many that went on to take excellent care of us during my hospital journey. Initially we were placed in one of the unit's labor rooms. Over the next couple of hours, our door opened for what seemed like every thirty minutes. Family members from both sides, different doctors and professionals from various medical teams filled our room. The NICU team, pediatric cardiology, anesthesiologists, OB residents, fellows and attendings, and the hospital's clergy staff are just to name a few.
Vivid images of seeing our family, especially my parents still haunt me 'til this day. Gasping for air, so much crying, fear of what was going to come next, intense locks of embrace. A sea of our family had rushed in after work, some came in during their day off, and others left work as we all thought that induction was our only option. They wanted to be there and get the chance to meet our baby. Our little one was the first grandchild for my parents, first niece/nephew for my siblings, and was Paul and I's first pregnancy/ child. The long awaited arrival for our Gavini Babe was so special. One of the memories that stand out from that day was Paul desperately embracing our little one and I, crying hard into my stomach, begging God for another option for our family aside from induction, talking to our babe and telling him/ her to try and stay inside for as long as he/ she can.
It was hard to watch this. As a wife, new mom and someone with a career in the healthcare field, you don't ever stop and think that these type of things will happen to you - at least I never have, until all of this happened. We naively as first time parents openly shared our pregnancy with the world; things like heart defects and incompetent cervixes were miles and miles away from our minds.
After hours had passed, having to meet new people, explain our situation in a simple manner to the family members that came, desperate embraces, states of shock, God had heard our prayers. Another doctor, a perinatologist, walked into our room and became our angel. She was knowledgeable, had excellent bedside manner, addressed our questions and concerns, and even included our faith and beliefs into my plan of care. We all told her that there must be something else other than induction. She said that there was. She said that we were more than welcomed to stay put at the hospital and do the wait and see approach with the convenience of the healthcare team around us, monitoring both baby and I.
We all gladly agreed to this. Paul and I were suddenly put into some type of ease. Though our situation was still terrifying, we were so glad that another option was made available to us other than induction. We decided that praying, resting, and doing everything on our end to help keep our baby inside for as long as God's timing allowed was the best decision for our family. My plan of care during my hospital stay was to be on hospital bedrest, with minimal to no bathroom privileges, bed baths only, and to not strain nor do anything strenuous. The doctors included that everyday that I remained pregnant was a blessing. Our goals were for me and baby to reach 28 weeks and/or get the baby to 2500 grams in weight. Reaching either of these goals meant that if I were to deliver early, the chances for our Haven's survival and for the heart surgery she needed shortly after birth were increased.
Paul, our family and I, all reached a sense of peace as we begun to settle with this turn in my pregnancy. Little did we know at this point that in just eleven days, we would meet our precious little Gavini Babe.