By Megan Eccles
In March of 2019 after 8 months of trying to conceive, my husband and I finally got pregnant.
A little boy would be joining our family. Our dreams were coming true. Praise Jesus.
However, our dreams suddenly became nightmares. Despite the good news of our son being heart healthy and not inheriting my faulty heart, my fetal echo at 22 weeks showed I had what they call a “short cervix” or “incompetent cervix”. They put me on suppository progesterone, a pretty lazy activity schedule and once a week follow ups for 4 weeks. Each week my scans showed my cervix shortening and it continued to worsen enough to the point that they sent me straight to the hospital. We arrived to our local hospital ER at about 4pm in the afternoon and got sent to triage where they hooked me up to the monitors.
At this point we had no idea what was going to happen but I just kept thinking to myself “thank God we are past 24 weeks” because hospitals won’t take life saving measures if you are anything less. Once I was all connected to the monitors they discovered I was having contractions pretty regularly even though they weren’t painful. They quickly decided the baby needed steroids for his lungs and gave me the first of two shots in case our son was going to make his arrival soon. At that point they decided I needed to be upgraded to a higher level of care hospital and called for an ambulance to come and take me to Sharp Mary Birch where they could handle a 26 week old baby being born.
I will never ever forget the way my husbands face looked that night. The fear, the sadness, the unknown. He sees a lot of dark and ugly things in his line of work, but that was probably the darkest he has ever been. The room was spinning while I was sitting still. I cried hard and prayed harder.
"Please Lord. Not my son."
We had barely thought of a name… why was this happening?
It was by far the worst day of our lives.
We arrived to the next hospital after midnight. I was exhausted at this point. Mentally, emotionally and physically done. But the fight had just begun. They quickly hooked me up to monitors again and started a magnesium drip to stop my body from contracting. That was probably one of the most painful things I’ve experienced. It was hell but it would be worth it to buy us more time. At some point I got the second dose of steroids though it’s pretty much a blur.
After 4 days of being in the hospital they agreed to let me go home on modified bed rest, progesterone suppositories, and a ton of follow up doctor visits.
I remember googling every week “babies born at 26weeks”, “babies born at 28 weeks”… every week gaining more hope. The doctors initially told us “if we can get to 28 weeks, that would be much better”. And we did. Then they would say “if we can just get to 30 weeks that would be great”. And we did. “If we can just get to 32 weeks you’d be much better off”. AND.WE.DID! We made it all the way to 36 weeks and our son was born 6lbs 12oz. A perfect, healthy baby boy we call, Boston.
During those 4 weeks of checking my cervix one of the doctors I saw at Radys suggested my high risk OB and also recommended I see this cardiologist at UCSD. I decided to make an appointment with him and thought nothing of it, until I met him. The moment I walked into the hospital to meet my new cardiologist for the first time I knew my life would be forever changed, and I was right. He instantly struck me as brilliant, competent, honest, trustworthy and he did not sugar coat one thing. He made it clear the time for my valve replacement was no longer a matter of “if” it was a matter of “when”. I was shocked. The right side of my heart was severely enlarged. I had never been told that before. This was the first time I had really been told the time is here. Every other cardiologist I had seen before him told me “things looked good, same as last year”…. well 2020 happened so they decided it was not emergent enough and said see you in 2021 and that’s when I was introduced to harmony. November 16, 2021 I was given my PVR harmony valve by the best team of doctors I could have only dreamed of having.
Did you connect the dots??
I whole heartedly (no pun intended) believe the Lord put us in the position with our sons pregnancy in order for me to meet my cardiologist. The scariest days of my life instantly became stepping stones to greatness. Though my husband and I will never forget the fear we felt, I am so grateful for this experience. For the Lords hand in my life. For saving my son and giving me my 3rd chance.
I believe everything in life happens for a reason and though in the moment of pain it is not always easy to see, it’s there. The Lord has not failed us. He has pushed us more toward Him. I learned big lessons from this experience and I will always be on my knees in thankfulness.
To my son: I love you with all my heart!