Raj’s Roar: Demanding A Change Of Medical Care For Cervical Incompetence

Raj’s Roar: Demanding A Change Of Medical Care For Cervical Incompetence

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Amanda Austin started this petition to Senator James Lankford and

I am Amanda Austin. I am the voice for my son Raj raising awareness, and making a change for women and babies that suffer from Incompetent Cervix as we have. 

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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.

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.

A cerclage placed early in a pregnancy has a success rate of 80-90% whereas a rescue cerclage only stands a 40-60% success rate.

The cervix may be naturally weak, or the weakness may have been caused during a previous pregnancy, previous obstetric trauma, childbirth, leep procedure, or a d & c.

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My husband and I spent many years trying to conceive a child. After a year of failed fertility treatments, we followed our faith and decided to rest. On June 19, 2019 we found out we were expecting our first child together; an absolute miracle. On September 16, 2019 I asked to be seen earlier than my scheduled appointment because I kept experiencing gushes of fluid. During a routine ultrasound Raj’s fluid was checked and said to look great. The nurse practitioner responded to my worry, and performed a transvaginal ultrasound as well where she was able to see my membranes sliding down into my cervix. Our doctor came in and told us to rush straight to labor and delivery. From there I had to have an amniocentesis to check for an infection in my amniotic fluid. Once I was cleared, I was taken to surgery for a rescue cerclage. After the procedure the doctor informed me that he had to push my baby and membranes back inside me, and I had no cervical length left. The day before I had 4mm. 

The surgery was thought to be a success, I had gained 10mm from the stitch, and I was released a few days later with medication to stop my contractions. The next morning I didn’t feel right and my husband came home to take me back to the hospital. There, I was checked in triage, and dismissed because everything looked to be okay. We were informed that the MFM doctor wanted to double check, and went straight to their office. The ultrasound performed at the MFM Clinic indicated the contractions had yet to cease causing a new opening in my cervix regardless of the cerclage. We were informed to check back in to labor and delivery, and a revision cerclage was going to be performed in a few days. 

At 5:00 the morning of surgery, the day after my 31st birthday, my water broke regardless of the cerclage. I was informed I had an infection from the initial surgery that was causing the contractions that broke my water. They gave me a shot on top of the medication I was already on to stop contractions. Instead of being able to place a new stitch, the one in place had to be removed in order to protect my cervix from being shredded by the thread and contractions combined. I was informed that Raj would arrive between 24 hours - 1 week after membranes ruptured, and I was moved to a permanent room to be monitored, and stay on fluids for him. 

Because the stitch was placed later on in the pregnancy (18 weeks 2 days) my body had a harder time adjusting to the change.

Raj stayed put for 1 week 1 day. And at 5:00 in the evening of my Mother’s 50th birthday, contractions started. When they checked him via ultrasound, he had completely slipped into the birthing canal, and was no longer in my uterus. An hour before, he had a strong heartbeat of 152 bpm.

I delivered Raj on September 30, 2019 at 6:47 pm, stillborn. I did not get skin to skin contact or immediate time spent with him because I was rushed to surgery due to placental issues and severe blood loss. He was 20 weeks and 1 day old. 

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I believe that his death, and the time we were robbed of was preventable. 

I believe it should be standard to start monitoring the cervix, and any changes to it early in a pregnancy. 

I believe that every single life matters.

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It is said to not be standard to check for because it only exists in 1-2% of pregnancies. When looking at a world average, that is still an enormous amount of pregnancies that are lost. It isn’t checked for until there has been MULTIPLE second and third trimester losses. In the second and third trimester families homes become overrun with baby items in preparation for their tiny miracles. And if they suffer that loss, they are then also faced with the grief of what to do with their child’s belongings. 

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What our family is asking from the U.S Government is to do the following:

- To make cervical checks mandatory from the early weeks of pregnancy in order to allow optimal time to take necessary measures to prevent a loss.

- To have it recognized in Maternity notes, with the rest of the conditions you see like Eptopic Pregnancy etc.

- To provide information booklets about the condition to promote awareness.

- To care about the lives that are lost, and the families that are affected by a preventable tragedy.

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Step up and ROAR with us. Help Raj’s rested voice be heard. Let’s make a CHANGE, together. 

Please, sign our petition and together, let us make this CHANGE.
 
 #rajsroar #advocatelikeamother

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