Today I wake with a grateful heart as we have now reached 32 weeks of pregnancy. Not much to report, other than incredibly vile heartburn and a gorgeously wriggly baby.
I wanted to write today specifically about the condition that I suffer from and how it affects expectant mothers, their partners and wider family.
Last night, a lovely lady who is in the early stages of an “Incompetent Cervix Pregnancy” posted into the support group. She very painfully pointed out a few of the comments that have been thrown her way whilst she is trying to deal with this mind blowing burden.
You’re pregnant not disabled!
Why do you need to sit down? You’re not even big yet!
God I wish I could have 7 months of bed rest. . You’re so lucky!
You’re just using pregnancy to get out of work!
Where do I even start! This condition is the cause of so much pain. Some ladies in the support group have had over 5 late losses of pregnancy. That’s 5 tiny babies they’ve held. 5 angels they’ve had to lay to rest. 5 times they’ve had to say goodbye. It’s unimaginable isn’t it.
Quite often, like myself, these ladies only discover that they have IC after experiencing awful trauma. There is currently NO screening for the condition. Not even for those at high risk of having a weakened cervix. Ladies that have had the following could be at risk –
- A fully dilated C section
- Previous surgery or Lletz treatment on the cervix
- Damage during a difficult birth
- Previous cervical trauma such as D&C, termination of pregnancy or miscarriage.
- Malformed cervix or uterus from a birth defect.
All of the above are very common! This really can affect anyone!
My big ask is this. . . When speaking to a pregnant woman, no matter what her gestation, please think before you speak. If she is only in the first trimester and needs to sit down, allow her to do so, no questions asked. If she is on bed rest and is isolated, make the effort to go and visit her. She’s not ducking out of plans or events because “she’s pregnant and can’t be bothered” she is likely lay in bed, pillow under her bum, unable to shower, in agony, isolated and lonely. If your employee comes to you with this condition in her pregnancy listen to her. Take notes, research. She isn’t a typical pregnant woman. She is going to need extra support from you and her colleagues. Risk assess that and be kind. Go that extra mile and really try to help her.
Many woman never have the courage to speak about their condition during their pregnancy. It provokes too much fear. It’s like admitting defeat before they start.
I guess what I am trying to say is be kind always. Not all pregnant woman are on the same journey. Not all woman can work up untill 36 weeks, have a normal birth and enjoy 12 months of MAT leave. Many of us are plagued with crippling anxiety through pregnancy. We have numerous false alarms and hospital visits. We have baby losses and preterm labour. Sick leave, pay problems and an endless amount of shit to deal with.
Please try to think on and be supportive. You never know the battle that some one is fighting inside their own head. This silent condition is so destructive both physically and mentally.
We might nor ask for it directly but we need your support. A smile, a knowing nod, a chair with no questions asked.
Sorry for the moan. I just wanted to try to give those non sufferers an insight. I hope you’ll now think twice before you make that “off the cuff” remark.
To all the lovely ladies that I speak to on a daily basis, keep going. Where ever you are on your journey, Keep plodding on. You’re In my thoughts always, I’m rooting for you. ❤💛💗💙💜💚