For the regular advice on Week 21, I suppose there are hundreds of other websites to tell you how it goes. Do take note, however that I am not a professional physician, I practise law for a living and the only thing I know about incompetent cervix is through my own experience as a mother of 2 and a 21 week old baking in the oven!
The purpose of this blog then is just to simply share the joys and heartaches, the blessings and curses, the sadness and happiness and the disappointments and the pleasant surprises of our journey as a mom with an incompetent cervix.
The regular week by week pregnancy guide I'm following just told me that most of the early pregnancy woes are gone and I should be feeling pretty relaxed and wonderful now! Ok, sex is out. In fact, some of us are told that all pelvic activities are out, in other words, not only no sexual intercourse, but no orgasms as well, not even sexual arousal!
Frankly, some of us may feel rather comfortable with the TAC or the TVC in, and many doctors may allow us to resume our 'normal activities', and true enough, with the additional blood flow to our genitals we may feel like we are in a perpetual state of arousal.
So I have observed that many women did go ahead to have sexual intercourse, some resort to 'just insertion of the tip of the penis', while others are just happy with heavy petting with dear hubby without actual intercourse. This subject is not very much discussed, and I even came across a forum where one IC mommy asked the question and was bombarded with hurtful accusations, some even abusive about how could she worry about something as trivial as sex when her own baby's life is at stake?
I'm not going to be judgmental here, but a lot of these angry mommies are mommies with preemies and mommies who had actually lost their babies due to IC, so I can understand the fury. But on the other hand, how many of us have not actually thought of sex just because there is a cerclage within us?
How many of us have not actually scoured the internet for answers to this so called taboo question? How many of us have not actually went to sleep exhausted only to be awakened rudely by an intense but involuntary orgasm following a very intense wet dream? This is a very difficult situation isn't it? I guess I was lucky as my husband never brought up the subject, and he never demanded for anything unless I was feeling up to it and he settled for a handjob, or oral sex you on him, not vice versa, you don't want to risk any infection!
To be sure, you may ask your doctor and discuss this topic, but again, how many of us would actually do that without some degree of embarassment? So we scour the internet for answers, and while most sites will tell you to abstain, discussions by real moms in real forums will tell you very different answers.
Yes, ask 10 different moms and you will get 10 very different answers. Towards the end of the day, you decide. And perhaps these are some questions you can ask yourself before making that decision: Did he mention your cerclage is holding well and your cervix length is fantastic and there is almost no funnelling?
Is this your first TVC? Were there any scar tissues from previous TVCS? What was the condition of your cervix? Any bleeding after the week of the cerclage placement? Any twinges and cramps and pains? What about contractions - is your uterus more irritable than ever? There will be uterine contractions, your cervix may ripen and funnel further, and prostaglandins in semen may trigger premature labour. There is a reason why some old wives' tale tell you to have a lot of sex after your due date and your baby isn't coming yet!
Are you willing to lose the baby should your sexual activities bring about premature labour? If you are reading this even after baby is past its viability, are you financially and emotionally equipped to look after a premature baby who may end up in the NICU for weeks, maybe months?
What if the premature baby suffers some permanent disability? Is it all worth it? Does giving in to a moment's temptation worth it? Do the benefits actually outweigh the risks? Always remember, every pregnancy is different, and so every incompetent cervix pregnancy is different.
Even if you have gotten away with daily sex with the previous cerclage, will this time around be as lucky? Let us ponder about this a moment this week. For there are still at least 16 more weeks to come.
If you think about it, 16 weeks isn't that long. Not that long ago, eh?