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Pregnancy Complications

Success Stories - Marisa

As a child I was diagnosed with Marfans syndrome which is a connective tissue disorder that effects my eyes (lens displacement), my heart (Mitral Valve Prolapse and a dilated aorta), my spine (slightly curved), the length of my fingers (long and thin), my height and build (I'm 6 foot and 130 pounds), and apparently my cervix, which I was not aware of.

At six weeks pregnant while in Italy I experienced a brief bout of severe bleeding and ended up spending three days in a small Italian hospital where, after an ultrasound, I learned that the pregnancy had not been affected but that the placenta slightly detached from the lining of my uterus. When I returned to the states I was not able to get to my first pre-natal appointment until 20 weeks.

I was immediately put into a high-risk clinic because of the Marfans and was told that the disorder may also affect the elasticity of my cervix. Upon inspection my doctor told me that my cervix was very short and was funneling dramatically so he recommended a cerclage, and until the procedure could be done, total bed rest. I went in the next week for insertion of the MacDonald cerclage under a spinal aneasthesia. The procedure was painless and I remember little to no recovery. For the remainder of the pregnancy I was put on bedrest and visited my doctor every two weeks. During this time I was also monitored for severe changes in vision (my prescription has changed) and the dilation in my aorta (it is now on the cusp of the danger zone and will require advance monitoring before my next pregnancy). I was scheduled to have my cerclage removed at exactly 37 weeks when the day before the appointment I noticed some slight spotting without pain. I called my doctor who told me to go to the hospital immediately because he would remove the cerclage that day. That afternoon the cerclage was removed (I did not experience any pain but did notice a little tugging). I immediately went into labor and gave birth the next morning to my healthy teensy baby boy. I did not have any complications or difficulties with the birth, it was actually pretty easy! He is now almost one year old (only two weeks to go) and is exhibiting signs of Marfans as well but will not be able to be fully diagnosed for years.

I was told that, unfortunately, I will most likely need a cerclage with every pregnancy that follows.

I would just like to add that the thing that helped me get through the four and one-half months of bedrest was, without a doubt, my husband. He was the one home with me during that time and he kept my spirits up when things got pretty down. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was distracting too but extremely emotional at that time!

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