Cervical incompetence - NHS to Make Cervical Checks Mandatory From 16-25 weeks & Save Babies Lives!!
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Cervical incompetence is a medical condition in which a pregnant woman's cervix begins to dilate (widen) and efface (thin) before her pregnancy has reached full term. Cervical incompetence occurs because of weakness of the cervix, which is made to open by weight of a growing baby causing pressure in the uterus as pregnancy progresses. This can cause Premature rupture of the membranes, in which your water breaks, Resulting in too many second-trimester and early third-trimester losses.
Why when there is prevention from these losses is this condition still only being diagnosed on many women when it’s too late?? A Cervical Stitch (also known as a cerclage or cervical suture) Is a special stitch that is put around your cervix usually between 12-14 weeks to keep it closed, The stitch is then usually removed at around 37 weeks so you can give birth.
My name is Corinne Stanley-Gonsalves, I am 22 years old, Up until 22 weeks & 4 days I had a problem free first pregnancy, My 20 weeks scan showed nothing but my super energetic baby wriggling around, but unfortunately I lost my beautiful baby boy (pictured above).
While looking for Support & answers as to why I had lost my baby I stumbled across a Facebook page called Cervical Incompetence Awareness, I have since become great friends with the face behind the page Janae Rochelle, Here are our stories.
On Thursday 14th August 2014 I went to bed with terrible pains in my lower abdomen and back, when I went to the toilet and saw blood I knew something was not right, in a panic my partner drove me to A&E we were there for 2 hours they tested my blood pressure and even though the bleeding and pain increased they did not seem concerned, They eventually wheeled me across to the Women’s & Children’s department where I was monitored further and assured nothing was wrong and that my baby had a strong heartbeat and was fine. Then I had the worst pain ever, as I screamed my partner went to get the midwife who performed and an extremely painful internal exam and looked at me worryingly and said my membranes were bulging, she rushed me into a wheelchair saying I did not have time to put my clothes back one, as she pushed me up to the delivery ward she whispered in my ear "You do realise we think you’re having contractions and you’re having a miscarriage" It was at that moment as if a train had crashed into my chest. When the doctor came to check my cervix he said I was 3cm dilated and at this point there was nothing they could do to stop my baby coming, and when my baby did come that he would not be strong enough to survive and they would not do be willing to do any resuscitation as it would likely cause brain damage. I was told by the midwifes that at this stage in pregnancy every day made a huge difference in development with a baby and that the longer my baby stayed inside me the more chance he would have of surviving. After 13 horrendous hours of trying to keep him from coming and listening to his strong heartbeat, our little baby decided he couldn't wait any longer to meet us, at 12.19am 15th August 2014 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy (Pictured Above), Baby Harry Lewis at 600grams he was the most perfect delicate little person this world has seen. We could see his heart beating through his chest and we held him until it stopped, He may have only lived 10 minutes in this world but he will live forever in our hearts. No words can describe the pain of saying hello to your new born and at the same time saying goodbye...
My name is Janae Rochelle and i want to raise awareness and make a CHANGE for Women who have an Incompetence Cervix like myself, I am 26 years old, and this is my story ...
Last year, I was happily pregnant with a baby boy who were going to call Edgar , we were planning away i.e decorating the room ,etc. and looking forward to our new arrival.
Then on the 22nd April 2013 I went to the doctors with pain in my thigh and told him it was really strong, he told me I had pulled a muscle and not to worry and he said it’s nothing to do with the baby, so i went home not worried about a thing.
Then on the 25th April 2013 I went to hospital as I was having pains in my side, in my stomach and groin , they did an examination and to my horror they told me the membranes from my pregnancy were bulging out , and that my cervix had dilated.
I was 22 weeks and 1 day, I was in shock, I thought everything was OK, they then told me I had a high chance of miscarrying, and I had to stay in overnight which I did to see if i would and if I didn’t they were going to do a procedure called a Cervical Stitch to help keep the pregnancy in place.
Then the next day all was well and they told me I had a condition called an Incompetent Cervix. They examined me again and said they would take me down to theatre for the OP, they were taking me down to theatre to have a cervical stitch to try and save my baby boy.
As I went down, to have the stitch, To my horror I had already dilated 3cms, and he couldn't be saved. That's when it sunk in, I’m going to lose this baby, as I was wheeled back up to the ward, I started to have contractions, they were awful and I just wanted them to stop as he wasn't meant to come this early and 4 hours later Edgar was born, he was so small and beautiful, seeing his little hands, his face all the features I dreamt he would look like, he did. I had to watch him die in my arms for 4 hours. There was nothing they could do as he was too small and if they did he would have been brain damaged. It was the worst day of my life and reliving it in these words brings all back. I will never forget my son, he was my first born and I will always love him.
After everything that happened I never thought I'd have kids or be blessed enough to carry full term, but then last year 4 days before my birthday I found out I was pregnant, I was excited at first but then panic set in , I told the hospital and doctors straight away, they gave me the stitch at 12 weeks to hold my baby until i was full term. I got to 37 weeks and I'm pleased to say ,I was blessed this year with a beautiful baby girl called Wednesday , she was 6lbs 1oz, the greatest blessing ever! Because of my incompetent cervix I have to have a cervical stitch, which holds the pregnancy in place and I had to insert pessaries which were hormones to strengthen my cervix. If it wasn't for that stitch my baby wouldn't be here today.
If you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a baby due to an incompetent cervix Janae has set up the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CervicalIncompetence
The cervix may be naturally weak, or the weakness may have been caused during previous pregnancy, previous obstetric trauma or childbirth. The fact is it does not matter if it’s your first of fifth pregnancy, if you are young or old this can happen to any woman.
So what we want is from the NHS is to do the following :
*To make cervical checks mandatory from 16-25 weeks, That way if a women is showing signs of a weakened cervix, A CervicalCerlage can be put in place to save her babies life!
*To have it recognised in Maternity notes, with the rest of the conditions you see like Eptopic Pregnancy etc
*To have information booklets about the condition so more women are aware of it.
So with these things in place, we can save many lives!!!
Please sign our petition and lets make a CHANGE!
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