Well, I’m pregnant! We knew that. But now it’s all official with my doctor who said, “Congratulations!!!! Let’s talk about your uterus.” And we did. Let me tell you what I learned about it.
Here’s a diagram of the little love-shaped life-giver.
It’s made up of mostly muscle at the top and connective tissue (not so much muscle) at the bottom. It’s made this way so that when a baby is in there and wants to come out, the connective tissue can get soft and thin and the muscles at the top can contract and push it out.
My uterus tried really hard to do that when Julia was in there, but it didn’t work out. So, the doctor cut my uterus open and pulled Julia out. She did this at the bottom of my uterus which was a really good idea, because those kind of incisions are good incisions. They heal really well.
And so she did the same thing when Lucy was born.
But when she went in to get Phoebe, she found a surprise. The bottom part of my uterus was covered with horrible and nasty varicose veins.
It was too risky to cut them, so she cut my uterus higher up, in the part with all the muscles.
So now, when my uterus contracts it compromises the incision.
This means there’s a chance that this could happen.
Uterine rupture. This is bad. And in the words of my doctor, “potentially fatal” for the baby and me.
And so, we don’t want my uterus to contract. This isn’t a problem right now. But as we near the end of my pregnancy, it becomes a concern. So, my doctor has made a few recommendations:
1. I should stop breastfeeding Phoebe by the 24th week of pregnancy, because breastfeeding produces oxytocin and after the 24th week, oxytocin causes contractions.
2. I should allow the baby to be delivered early at 37 weeks. (I would need to have an amniocentesis to determine that the baby’s lungs are mature first.)
It’s some stuff to think about and we’ve got time to do that. Meanwhile, I’m counting the days until my first ultrasound and contemplating baby names. Got any suggestions?