Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Trans Abdominal Cerclage (TAC) Experience

This is way overdue, but I felt it was still necessary to write. I wanted to share with you all as well as anyone else who may be getting an abdominal cerclage in the future, my TAC story in detail.

A Trans-Abdominal Cerclage is a cerclage or band they tie around your cervix to keep it shut. I have an incompetent cervix (IC) that caused me to go into labor at 17 weeks with my first pregnancy. The weight of the baby was too much for my weak cervix to bear, so it started to funnel, then dilate. I then started having contractions and my son was born. On the second pregnancy, we had a vaginal cerclage to keep the baby in and my cervix shut. The doctor went in vaginally to place the cerclage through my cervix, like a purse string stitch. This works for a lot of women, but it didn't work for me. The weight of the baby was again too much for my cervix to hold and it began to dilate. Only this time, my water didn't break, the amniotic sac began to bulge out of my cervix and I went into labor, delivering my second son at 16w4d. The reason this didn't work for me was because doctors can only place the cerclage so high on your cervix, when they place it vaginally. It wasn't high/tight enough on my cervix to make any difference for me. The cerclage stayed in place and didn't rip through my cervix, it just slowed labor down a bit.

The TAC is different because they go through your abdomen (surgically) to tie the cerclage right at the top of your cervix. The material they use is so strong, that an 8-inch piece can support an adults entire body weight, so holding up a uterus with a growing baby doesn't even compare. Placing the stitch that high also means that the cervix is no longer a factor and won't/can't open. It's a permanent stitch and stays in place forever. When a woman is pregnant her cervix thickens and swells, so the cerclage is nice and tight- nothing is getting through it. But when a woman goes into labor or is no longer pregnant, the cervix goes back to normal size and there is a slight opening in the cervix. This opening is enough to pass menstrual blood as well as lets semen through if you want to get pregnant again. Because there is only an opening for fluids to pass through, all births are delivered via cesarean.

Now I live in Texas, but we flew to New Jersey to get the TAC done by Dr. George Davis, because he's an expert at it. There are of course about 100 doctors all over the US that have done a TAC at least once, but I didn't want to be an experimental case. I found Dr. Davis through my friends Becky and Jessica who had a TAC done by him several months prior. They both had success stories, so that brought me hope. Also when I googled "TAC doctors" his name kept popping up. There's also another doctor in Chicago- Dr. Haney, that does them quite often and successfully, but once I spoke to Dr. Davis on the phone, I knew he was the one.

Dr. Davis and I.

I nervously called Dr. Davis and left him a message. Within 5 minutes, he called me back and we spoke for over an hour on the phone. He answered all of my questions and I never felt rushed or like I was being a bother. He wanted to help us bring a baby into this world. We communicated by phone and email, sometimes up to 10pm at night. I asked about him and he said he's been doing TAC's for over 24 years! I don't understand why this procedure isn't further practiced or why it's so rare if he's been doing it for so long. I think most doctors are scared to do it, honestly. I mean, who wants to cut open a pregnant woman's abdomen?

We spoke several times on the phone and almost immediately he was ready to schedule a surgery date. That was scary for me, but it needed to be done. He tried to verify insurance benefits but my crappy insurance decided they weren't going to pay for it. So he offered to do the procedure at cost and only charged us the bare minimum- $600 for the anesthesiologist, $550 for the doctor, and $2750 per night for the hospital fee. There were no medication fees, operating room fees, etc. Although we were billed for the total amount after we got home (for over $13,000) Dr. Davis rectified that for us. We were supposed to pay the amount in full the day of the procedure, but they didn't accept AmEx so they billed us. While there in NJ, we paid the anesthesiologist and doctor fees in full.

My surgery date was scheduled for Friday morning at 7:30am. The night we arrived we went to Dr. Davis' office in Camden, NJ to fill out paperwork, check my weight, height, blood pressure, and to do an ultrasound of the baby. We were given the directions to Kennedy Hospital in Blackwood, NJ and to our hotel in the neighboring town of Turnersville. I was told to have a nice dinner but not to take any meds, eat or drink anything past midnight. And to be at the hospital the next morning at promptly 4:45am- no earlier. No problem.

The morning of the surgery, I showered and got ready to head to the hospital. Part of the reason we had to get there so early was to pay the bill, but since we had issues there, we went straight on into the day surgery waiting room. I filled out more paperwork there, then they called me back to the prep area, while Mr. H waited to be called back with me. When I was called back, I was met with a few different nurses. They checked my blood pressure, had me change into a gown and non skid socks, take off my clothing, any jewelery (wasn't wearing any) and take out all my piercings (only my ears, you pervs :-P). Another person came in to take a couple vials of blood, asked me a ton more questions, then put in an IV in my hand. Generally, I don't have issues with needles or getting IV's, but it REALLY hurt and started to swell. The maternity ward nurse thinks the person who administered the IV, went all the way through my vein, then back in where it should have gone, which is why it bruised and hurt so much. That could explain all the puffiness. After all that was done (30 minutes) Mr. h came back in to see me. He was with me no longer than 5 minutes, we hugged, cried a little bit, he gathered my belongings and then they walked me back to the OR with a metallic hair cap on. Classy.

The OR was freezing! I was asked to sit on the end of the bed and bend over so they could give me a spinal to numb my lower half. That stings a little, but I was more concerned with my butt crack flashing the anesthesiologist. Once that was done, I laid back and "relaxed" on the table. They strapped a BP cuff to my right arm which squeezed the bejeesus out of my arm and left me with broken capillaries, that looked like stretchmarks. I was awake during the surgery so they kept testing different parts of my body to make sure I was fully numb. Once I was, Dr. Davis came in, he and a nurse inserted a catheter and they cleaned off my abdomen and belly with orange gook. By this point, my gown was pulled all the way up and just covering my boobs, while the rest of my body was exposed. To say I felt quite vulnerable was an understatement. From my rib cage down, it was numb, heavy feeling and warm. From my boobs up, I was freezing. They put this air flow thing on my arms and across my chest which pumps warm air through them to keep me warm. It worked some, but my hands were still freezing and it kept expanding and popping up in my face. I wasn't bothered by it but the nurses kept trying to tape it down, which didn't work.

Anyway, I'm laying there, Dr. Davis shaves the top part of my pubic area, just enough to clear the way. I couldn't really feel or see anything but I could hear what was going on. Once all that was done, he began to determine where he was going to make his cut. He started to cut through my skin, then the fat, then down to the muscles. He said he doesn't "cut" through the muscle, he said once he gets down to that part, he separates it and moves it out of the way. Since I couldn't exactly watch, I'm not sure how all that was done, but I take his word for it. I didn't feel pain, but there was pressure and movement and you could sense that something was happening down there. As he was cutting through the nerves I kept getting weird pulsing sensations up in my rib area. I don't know how else to describe it, but it's kind of like hitting just below your knee and your reflexes pop your leg up. It was strange, because I didn't expect to feel anything. That happened for a few minutes then stopped. Once he was all the way through to the spot he needed to be, the curtain went up and I couldn't see anything but blue paper.

Both Jessica and Becky warned me about the intense feeling of pressure. And, I suppose, if you've had a c-section before, then you know that same sensation. He pushed my bladder, intestines, the uterus, etc, whatever was in the way out of the way. Except that it felt like he was fisting me and shoving my insides up inside my chest. I felt like he was stuffing a turkey, and I was the poor bird. That, to me, hurt. They tried to convince me that it was not pain that I felt, but just pressure, but I beg to differ. It hurt, to the point that I started to cry from the intensity of it all. I began to sob uncontrollably, so they gave me pain meds through my IV. Each dose only lasted about 10 minutes, so they gave me a few doses of that. Side effect from the pain meds- itchy face. All I wanted to do was scratch. At one point, all one nurse did was sit by my head and rubbed where I asked her to. She stroked my hair and tried to keep me calm and breathing, through the hysteria. Just when the pain subsided and I got a reprieve from the pain, it started back up. I can't blame him though, because he was doing what he needed to do.

I'm now to the point where he starts stitching me up. Again, I couldn't see or really feel completely what he was doing but I could feel the tension and he tugged on the string to tighten it as he sewed along each layer. Almost like I could picture what he was doing in my mind, but was blind to it all. Strange. When it came to putting my skin back together, he used staples. My belly looked like Frankenstein. Towards the end of the procedure, which lasted an entire 2 hours from start to finish, my spinal began to wear off and I could move my feet. I felt tingling in my legs too, which freaked me out because I just wanted him to be done. When he was done, he placed an adhesive over the staples, then he and another nurse wrapped this tight elastic band around my waist. It was kind of like an ace bandage, but huge and it stuck together with velcro. It helped apply pressure so things didn't jiggle around. I wore that while in the hospital, during recovery at the hotel and for about another week once I returned home.

They wheeled me to recovery, where I was for about an hour. In between sleeping and itching my face, they gave me meds to manage my pain- the same meds they gave me in the OR through my IV. Since it didn't last very long, they kept giving it to me every 15 minutes. Then I started to feel pain and they wouldn't give me any more since they were going to wheel me up to my room. They said the nurse up on the maternity floor would give me something. I waited for about 20 minutes in pain, then went to my room, where I waited another 20 for a nurse to come in and give me something. I was pissed. Mostly because I was out of it, and exhausted and hungry and wanted to see Mr. H. The whole time I was in surgery, he checked us out of the hotel, he ate breakfast then was waiting for me in the waiting room. At some point, I think Dr. Davis met up with him to let him know how everything went.

I was now in my permanent room in the maternity ward. Mr. H stayed with me there at the hospital on the pull out chair. It was tight and cramped, but it worked. I remember sleeping quite a bit, in between the nurses coming in and out to check my temperature and blood pressure. I got pain meds every 2-4 hours as needed. Since our insurance wasn't going to pay for the procedure or the stay in the hospital, we were only going to stay one night. I was in the hospital for a full 36 hours which the doctor thought was plenty of time. I ate a full dinner that evening and my doctor was irritated by that. He came in to visit me after I was done polishing off my entire plate of bruschetta chicken, orzo and orange cake. My nurses were supposed to put me on a liquid diet so I didn't over develop gas, but they didn't. Their fault, not mine, but I'm the one who paid for it in the end. I was majorly bloated and couldn't relieve myself. I was popping gas meds every few hours, but they didn't seem to help. The gas pain was intense- it caused a big portion of my pain and discomfort. Don't dismiss the gas pain- it's real. By nighttime, on day 1, I was walking. It felt like each leg weighed a thousand pounds, but I walked from my bed to the door and back- about 20 feet. I was encouraged and praised by my nurses with each step. I did this a couple times that night, just because I wanted to progress and I knew it would help in my healing. It was tough. Believe it or not, the walking helped with the bloating in my stomach.

By the next morning on day 2, I wanted the catheter out! It was irritating me and it still felt like I had to pee even when I didn't. I'd like to say once it came out, I felt relief, but I didn't. From then on, I had to get up out of bed and walk myself to the bathroom to urinate. That was quite frequently since I was still hooked up to the IV. Later that morning I was disconnected from everything. I ate breakfast, walked a little more, this time down the hallway and back with Mr. H. A nurse came in to remove the adhesive bandage and I showered. That was interesting because the bathroom stall was tiny and I was afraid of standing. The nurse brought me a chair to sit on but it hurt to sit so I didn't use it. The water hitting my belly stung a little bit, I washed from my hair down to my waist then Mr. H did the rest for me. I couldn't bend or twist without pain. It felt good to be clean, despite the discomfort.

Nurse Betty and I.

Later that afternoon, we were wheeled up to see Dr. Davis, by my nurse Betty- she was wonderful! He performed a vaginal ultrasound where we were able to see the cerclage and the baby. I wasn't smiling and happy and giddy as Dr. Davis thought I should have been, but I was. He said "it's okay to smile" so I did. But I was focused on what I was seeing. You see, all this time, I haven't been worried about the baby, I've been concerned with what my body is doing and wondering if it's performing as it should. I worry about the cerclage failing, or my cervix funnelling, not the baby. I know the baby is okay, it's me that screwed up. We got ultrasound pics and discovered that all was well, then went to chat with Dr. Davis in his office. All I can say, is the man is quirky and funny and has a major obsession with Diet Coke, but he is brilliant and when it comes to babies and the female body, he is serious and he means business. Perfect combination if you ask me.

Shortly after that, we were released from the hospital and drove to a nearby town to stay at a Summerfield Suites in Mount Laurel, NJ. We chose that place because they had a separate bedroom from the living room, as well as a kitchen. When we checked in, Mr. H requested a handicap-accessible room, which was helpful because the bathroom was slightly bigger, but they also had grab bars by the toilet and in the shower. And the toilets were higher than traditional rooms. That may not seem like a big deal, but after you have abdominal surgery it hurts to bend down that low. Having the toilet that little bit higher made it much more comfortable to sit and get up on my own. The grab bars helped with stability while standing.

Once released from the hospital, I was given a prescription for Percocet. I was to take it every four hours as needed. At first I did take it every 4 hours, then 5, then 6 etc. It made me drowsy so I slept quite a bit. I was also taking several stool softeners a day to help things along. Mr. H would get up early, go to the free breakfast buffet, then bring me back something. I was hungry but didn't have much of an appetite, so a bagel with cream cheese, maybe some fruit and juice was all I had. All I wanted to do was sleep and I did but it wasn't very comfortable. The bed was fine, I just couldn't get comfortable or was in pain. Getting out of bed was tough too. I don't think one realizes how many abdominal muscles are used to sit yourself up and get out of bed. It was agony at some points because the bed was so low. A few times, in the middle of the night, I just rolled myself out of bed and crawled to the edge to pull myself up, because no matter how I tried I couldn't sit up on my own. And I was/am far too stubborn to wake up Mr. H and ask for help.

On day 3, I got a special visit from Jessica and her family. I'll write more about that in another post, but it was great finally getting to meet her- she's a doll. It was also a welcome distraction from thinking about the pain. Seeing her and her new daughter was also a reminder that Dr. Davis works miracles.

Day 4, I was ready to go home! I wanted to be in my own bed in my home. I wanted to see Autumn again, I wanted to be around family. Later that night, Dr. Davis came by the hotel after his ballroom dance class (I told you he was quirky!) to check on me and remove my staples. I was afraid that that would hurt, but it really didn't. The staple remover looked like a pair of scissors, with a blunt end. There was a slight clicking sound as he removed each staple (19 total). A couple of them stung a little bit but it didn't hurt any more than removing a sticky bandaid. I had Mr. H take a picture of my incision with the staples still in- it's a little freaky looking. I then saved the staples as a souvenir :-) The incision overall was about 5-6 inches long. It's healed nicely and after a week or so all the bruising went away. I can feel the raised skin on my abdomen, but it no longer hurts.

On day 5, we flew home. That morning after eating breakfast on the way to the airport, I got sick. Luckily, we had just pulled out of the parking lot and were not on the highway yet. I opened the car door and left NJ a little part of me. I was more concerned about the stomach cramping while vomiting than anything else. It wasn't too bad and once I was done, I felt much better. I'm not sure what made me sick that morning because I haven't had any morning sickness or nausea this pregnancy. The flight went on schedule. I packed a small toddler pillow that I got from BRU, to place between my incision and the seatbelt. It added the cushion I needed without any rubbing or irritation.

For the first week, I felt burning/stinging on my skin on my lower abdomen. The nurses and the doctor said it was the nerves coming back to life. What was/is strange though is that most of my lower abdomen from my belly button to my scar, was numb to the touch. I could poke, scratch, pinch it and I didn't feel it. I could lean up against a cold counter and not feel cold. Some feeling has come back to my belly button and I can feel about an inch above my incision. Hopefully over time, I'll get full feeling back. But since I'll be delivering this baby via cesarean and they'll have to cut me again, this process will probably start all over again.

Also worth mentioning, is that the pain meds make you constipated. That's why I was taking stool softeners from day 1, but they weren't really working. I took a full 7 days for me to experience relief. That was baffling to me, because I kept thinking "where is all this food going?", but the truth was, it wasn't going anywhere. I tried to go many times, to no avail. I finally called my doctor once I got home and basically begged for a remedy for relief, because my stomach was beginning to cramp. It's amazing it took a week for that to happen, but it did. The problem solver? A large swig of Milk of Magnesia. Not very tasty but it worked within 9 hours.

2 weeks post-op I was feeling much better but still sore at times, and the incision was still tender. By week 3, I was feeling a lot better. Week 4 brought a whole new person and I felt normal again. Dr. Davis told me there were two rules to follow. 1). If it hurts, don't do it. 2). No driving til I was able to jump off the bottom step of the stairs with all my weight and it didn't hurt. That scared me because I didn't want to even try that. I didn't drive for 6 weeks post op because I didn't really have a need to. Mr. H has taken me to all my appointments and most days, I'm resting and taking it easy at home. It has now been 7 weeks since the surgery and I can hardly tell I've had my belly cut open. There are times when my abdomen feels heavy and I feel pressure on my cervix but it's no longer painful. I assume that's how it will be from now til the end of the pregnancy but that's okay.

So that's my TAC story. I hope it will help someone out there that needs this information. I tried to not leave out any details- for me, knowledge is power. And knowing as much as possible about something that no one else is talking about is beneficial. Even if it only helps one other person, I've done my job.


Sophie said...

What a story. Sounds like an awesome doctor; I like that he dances and performs intense life-saving procedures! I'm glad you're feeling better. You're a trooper! Thinking of you.

Oh, I like to save things too...though this might be gross to some folks, I still have all three positive pregnancy tests from when I found out I was pregnant. I took pics, but I remember how badly I wanted to see an actual positive test at that point so I saved it because it brings back the same feeling/hope for the future. lol

From the Kitchen said...

It's Sunday morning and I've had a cup of coffee and read your ENTIRE post! I was fascinated. What a marvelous doctor. I think you're correct that most doctors don't want to do surgery on a pregnant woman and that's why there are so few of them. Your description of the surgery sounds a lot like a caesarian section. I had the same abdominal numbness you described and, in addition, my right big toe was numb?? Now, decades later, they are still numb so don't be surprised. Not as numb, but still different. I didn't care because I had the "prize"!!


Marie W said...

Thank you for sharing! The TAC does wonders. Here I sit 38 weeks pregnant and my cervix has not budged! It was the best decision I ever made.

Rachel said...

You have been through a lot! I am glad you are feeling better now.

Becky said...

Love it! I laughed, I cried, and it brought me right back to that hospital. I only wish I could have been there to see you! Maybe after the baby is born we'll head south again and visit my TAC family : )

Dr. D's hands are truly kissed by God. I don't have any other way to explain what he has given you and I. And I LOL'd when he said "If it hurts, don't do it." Hahaha! I owe that man my life.

Anonymous said...

We went to Jackson NH for the weekend. I thought of you several times:)

Kristi said...

I thought I had commented earlier...

Thank you for sharing your story with everyone. you have been through so much! But it's worth it!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I just had TAC done two weeks, so I am still going through all the pain. You have given me hope that I will be normal again. I hope all goes well for you.

jessica said...

It was amazing to see you. I can't tell you how seeing dr. davis and reading this post makes me feel. It just takes me back and makes me so thankful for all I have today. The TAC is truly well worth the discomfort.

Moonie said...

Hey, I am sooooo relieved to find another person with the same situation I had. I also had a TAC done by Dr. Davis on April 1, 2011. I had 3 previous miscarriages and one with a vaginal cerclage that had failed. So I had given up on having children and did my best not to become pregnant if I could help it. I didn't want to go through the stress of losing another pregnancy. Somehow, someway I got pregnant again and by this time my ob/gyn had heard of Dr. Davis. He expressed his concerns about my situation and contacted Dr. D for me. I went like 2hrs away from home to South Jersey, and it was an experience I will never forget. I met with Dr. Davis the day before at Our Lady of Lourdes Med. Center. He was really sincere and explained everything in more depth to me. Then the next morning @ 5:45 it was ball game at Kennedy Hospital. My boyfriend and I were nervous as can be. The staff there was amazing, they were all pleasant and treated me as if I was important. Before the surgery, a little after I received my spinal anesthia, Dr. Davis shaved the area, and surpisingly he came to me and grabbed my right hand closed his eyes and said a prayer silently. I didn't know what he prayed, but I knew it made me feel a lil comfort considering my spiritual background. I had prayed before leaving home, and there in the freezing room as I laid on the table. The surgery was a success, and all the responses I kept getting from the staff ensured that Dr. D was a true expert. They were shocked that I was from North Jersey, they said he get's patients from all over the world. Even back home, when my ob doctor took my staples at he commented that I had a neat incision. Even when I get my ultrasounds, I've had different techs say that my incision was invisible. There is not a real scar there, and now I'm hoping when I go in for my C-Section that my ob will close me up really well. Anyway's this gift Dr. Davis has is amazing, and it's a blessing to women in this situation. I would recommend this to anyone who has lost pregnancies due to incompetent cervix. I am 32 wks 5 days and doing ok. So once again it's really good to know that I'm not alone and that there are other women all around the world who go through this. I was the only female in my family with such a complication and I was starting to think it wasn't meant for me to have kids. Thank god, because he it was possible. So good luck to you!!!

Chane'l Harper-bambii249@gmail.com said...

I am in tears. I just lost a baby at 18 weeks over the weekend and you and the post have given me so much hope that maybe, I can try again. I have had 8 pregnancies with only 1 surviving child but I so want another child and maybe 1 more. I am truly thankful for your blog as well as the posting. Bless all of you and the beautiful babies that are being brought into the world, where the mothers are plagues with such an unfortunate complication but will sacrifice to bring them here. <3 from one woman to anther. We are truly some wonderful and amazing creatures of beauty.

Anonymous said...

I had a tac in march of 2010. After 4 miscarriages. 18 weeks, 21 weeks, 23 weeks, and 9 weeks. I am now 35 weeks pregnant! We will have our little boy on Nov 14. So there is hope. I know I had almost given up that hope. Stay strong. Toni

l arginine said...

Im so happy for you. You have such a strong faith.

Nakisha JonesWilliams said...

I am so amazed with the stories I read on the internet about the TAC. I have three beautiful boys in my Fathers arms watching over me. I have a incompotent cervix. My most recent loss was November 28, 2011. My little Angel lived for four days. I delivered at 23 weeks and 4 days despite my vaginal cerclage. I was so excited today....I spoke to Dr. Davis. Now we just have to verify my insurance will pay. Please pray that they will. I do not have the funds to pay on my own. I am currently 7 weeks pregnant. My husband and I are so excited. I could not bare another loss as great as a child. I don't understand why this procedure is not common. It would benefit insurance companies helping them save on the cost of caring for a baby in NICU.

Savage Steel said...

Thanks for your detailed and heartwarming post. Like many commenters I just lost my son at 22 weeks. My cervix was monitored every couple of weeks, at 19+2 it was fine (3-4cm), I didn't have another scan before I delivered my son at exactly 22 weeks.
The doctors are not certain my cervix is the problem (i have a unicornate uterus, and there's a chance my uterine capacity caused the loss, but I think it was my cervix).
I want to explore TAC more before trying IVF again, thanks for sharing.

Morgans said...

I just received my TAC by Dr. Davis, on June 15. I am excited and feel that this procedure is a miracle from God. I loss two babies due to an IC, 18 months apart. I miss them and long to see them again on day.


Yudy & Andrew said...

Thank you soooo much for your blog and posting about your experience with TAC. I lost my baby four days ago at 17 weeks and the doctors believe it was because an incompetent cervix. This was my first pregnancy and I'm devastated.

Your post brought me hope. I live in New Jersey and since my lost I've been trying to research an expert for my condition. I will definitely contact Dr. Davis.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post, thank you for sharing! I lost my little boy to IC at 20 weeks and after doing a lot of soul searching and research, I'm saving up to have a TAC placed. No doctors in my area have been supportive so thankfully doctors like Davis, Haney and Sumners are out there willing to do this.

I can't wait until I can call and have a surgery date! Thank you again and congrats on your TAC and your little one! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi I just read this blog..thak you everyone for sharing you stories..I too have an IC and have lost4 babies..I have had a vaginal cerclage done as well and the cerclsge came apart I just met with s doctor todsy about the abdominal cerclage and I am scheduled to hsve it done in the weeks or months to follow, any opinions if you should be pregnant before TAC is done or after??

Anonymous said...

Hi I lost a little boy in February 2005 and lost a little girl in February 2008 both on the exact same day. I thought I was alone and wanted kids terrible so glad to hear about TAC and the outcome from it . Thanks Ladies y'all defentley made my day.

Klauss said...

Hello ladies, mums to be, there is always hope and solutions for an IC. I had a laparoscopic prepregnancy TAC inserted in March this year. After 3 months I fall pregnant and hope for a happy outcome. Wish you all happy pregnancies and healthy babies.

Sabrina B said...

Congratulations on finding Dr. Davis and having your TAC placed. We have very similar stories with IC. My first two angles were lost at 20 weeks and 18 weeks. I was told I had IC and a TVC would be placed with my next pregnancy. I was able to deliver my son at 35 weeks but was hospitalized weekly for pre-term labor. Years later, I became pregnant again and was told by HUP that they didn't think a cerclage was the best thing for me. My cervix started to dilate at 13 weeks and a rescue cerlage was placed. I held her to 26 weeks; she is now a healthy 7 year old! After all of that, I finally found Dr. Davis:-) He's wonderful! My TAC was placed Aug/2011 and I hope to try it out next year. As sad as it is, I truly believe TAC is not widely available because not many doctors know how to do it. It's easier to suggest a treatment they are familiar with. I wish you the best and will keep you updated on our progress too. Great job on your blog! Sabrina

Shamyra Jarmon said...

I too have been diagnosed w/ an IC and have suffered 4 mid trimester losses. My third baby was a boy that I delivered at 23 wks. He lived for 8 days, but passed away due to an infection in his intestines that was to mature for them to treat at that point. The cervical cerclage failed April of this year and I lost another son. My dr mentioned the TAC to me when he advised me of the HSG that I had today. Your post gives me hope as well as my faith in GOD, that one day I too may be Blessed with a baby that can stay here on earth w/ me. Thank you so very much for sharing your story.

Liz3813 said...

Liz said,

Monica, thanks for your post it has giving me hope... I previously had 2 miscarriage 1 etopic, and now 17 weeks pregnant with a failing vaginal cerclage due to (IC).. My doctors aren't giving me any hope, but to terminate my pregnancy or give it 2 more weeks to see if mother nature takes care of it.. Either one have me devastated because i can't do anything else. How can i get intouch with Dr. Davis, please help me someone anyone.
Thank you

Hayley said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I had my first misscarriage at 19 weeks almost a year ago and experienced my second just 2 days ago at 18 weeks and 5 days. My loss in the first pregnancy was a complete shock because i had no idea i had a weak cervix but during my second pregnancy i had a vaginal stitch put in place at 16 weeks, unfortunatly this didnt work and my waters still broke and i lost the baby.

So for the past 2 days i have been lay in hospital begining to think that as the stitch failed i had no hope of ever getting any further than 19 weeks of pregnancy and i would just have to keep going through the process of trying and failing and going through the heartbreak over and over.

But your story sounds so similar in many ways and has given me so much hope i will be forever grateful and can't thank you enough. I am actually in the UK but am hopeful i can find a doctor as good as yours over here.

Thank you and Best Wishes


Pamela Nowell said...

Thanks for sharing your story :) It has helped me a lot. I haven't had any children yet, but my gyno has told me I will likely have an incompetent cervix due to its short length. I'm a Canadian citizen living in Sweden - but the TAC is not very common in Sweden.

Do you know if Dr. Davis can perform the TAC on international women at cost? both my partner and I are masters students, and I will be starting my PhD next fall, so we don't have that much money, and our health insurance in Sweden or Canada likely won't cover the cost of the surgery.

Reading stories like yours give me hope. Thanks :)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information! My name is Summer and my husband and I lost our son 2 months ago after going into preterm labor at 25 weeks. He lived for 2 and 1/2 hours and then passed away since his lungs weren't developed enough yet to support him.

I recently talked to Dr. Haney and he assured me I have IC and need a TAC. I live in Canada now and don't have any insurance so we would have to pay out of pocket which was $20,000-$30,000 for Dr. Haney. I have heard that Dr. Davis might be less expensive.

Is there a # or email for Dr. Davis that you could give me so I could get in quick contact with him?

Congrats on your successful TAC and thank you for sharing your journey!

In Christ,

AGD said...

Where in Canada do you live? I know there is a doctor in BC, Dr. Barry Sanders who does TACs, I am scheduled to have one done by him. There is also another doctor in Toronto and I believe Calgary, don't know there names though.

Thank you for your wonderful and uplifting post and all the comments. I, like you, have lost two boys to IC, most recent one in September 2012 at 14 weeks and one in 2003 at 18 weeks, in between a miscarriage in 2011. I will be scheduled for a TAC hopefully in May of this year. Like many others I am shocked this is not practised more readily by OBGYNs. One OB I was seeing didn't even know such a procedure existed which I found mind boggling since I just googled it and found out loads of information. Goes to show how archaic some of the practises are. I am also from Canada and just met a wonderful and supportive OBGYN who has referred me to Dr. Sanders. He wil perform my TAC pre-pregnancy, and I just can't wait to get it in and start trying already.

once again thank you for you post, you have no idea how inspirational it is. God Bless!!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story! I have almost an identical story as yours in regards to your losses. I had my first miscarriage at 18 weeks on 1/10/13, got pregnant again in March and just recently lost those twin babies at 21 weeks this past Thursday, 8/1/13. For my 2nd pregnancy I also had a preventive McDonald cerclage placed at 14 weeks and it still failed. I'm now looking into TAC but live in Hawaii and not sure if my BCBS instance will cover the costs so reading your story gives me tons of hope! Surrogacy costs $40k+ here in Hawaii so if anything I'd rather pay for the TAC instead. Take care and thanks again for sharing your amazing story with us!!


Anonymous said...

I just recently had my TAC placed by Dr. Haney in Chicago. I am so happy that I was able to get it done, and hope that we can get pregnant within the next year. You're story is inspiring.

Anonymous said...

I had my TAC placed by Dr. Davis last week Feb 12th. He is a miracle worker. He is funny, quirky but is the best at what he does. My scar is a work of art. I am healing really well too. Dr. Davis is what sent god sent down to earth to help women out...anyone who is procrastinating. If you know TAC will help you, the pain is lot less than anticipated and the results hopefully will be worth it.

Jennifer Lara said...

Thank you for writing such a detailed post. I lost my daughter at weeks due to an incompetent cervix and my doctor has recommended that I have a cervical cerclage put in when I decide to get pregnant again. Your post was very detailed and a wealth of information, more so than some medical websites!

jennifer groth said...

Thank you so much for your post. I lost twins last July at 17 weeks pregnant. They believe this was bc of IC. I just had a consult with Dr. Davis today and we are scheduled for an abdominal cerclage next month! I am currently not pregnant, but we are doing IVF again in September. This post made me feel less nervous! thanks again :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. I lost 2 pregnancies due to IC. One at 19 weeks 5days and the second which happened 2 days ago was 22 weeks 3 days.
Reading about your experience has given me the hope I need to move forward.
Will be contacting Dr Davis definitely. Thanks once again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this detailed account of your experince!!! I just found out about my IC and am researching on what to do next... TAC or TVC. I really appreciate your honesty and openess!

Anonymous said...

18 years ago I had around the 50th TAC procedure after a 30 week early delivery (daughter survived with much intervention) and pregnant again 2 years later daughter sadly passed away at 23 weeks gestation. Angry mummy demanded TAC. Great experience, best pregnancy ever. Beautiful daughter born at 36 weeks.....perfect.
TAC rocks!!