This is the amazing story of our micro preemie, John Craig. He was born on November 30, 2005 at 24 weeks and 5 days gestation. He weighed 1 pound 8 ounces and was 12 inches long. John is a true miracle and an inspiration to all that meet him!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29.11

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Well, a lot has happened in the Birtch home (to say the least) so I will try and fill you in.....quickly!

*We found out we were pregnant on Christmas Eve.....I still cannot believe that I kept the secret from my BFF's for so long. I am very impressed with myself..tee hee!

*Our due date is September 1st but if all goes well (and it will) I will have a scheduled C-section the first week of August. They want to deliver me at 36 weeks because when John was born my uterus was so small they had to cut both horizontally and vertically. I run the risk of my uterus rupturing should I go into early labor . I will however have an amino at 36 weeks to make sure the babies lungs are developed......if this baby is anything like his/her brother (John's lungs were miraculously developed at only 24 weeks gestation....amazing), we'll be good to go.

*Last Thursday we headed down to Good Sam for an outpatient surgery (cervical cerclage) and ended up needing a more involved surgery (abdominal cerclage) which landed me in the hospital for 5 longs days!

Here's what happened...

A cervical cerclage is performed in the OR using an epidural to numb you from the waist down.....once numb, the Dr. literally stitches your cervix closed. Well, as you all know, we apparently like to do things the hard way around here (it sure does make us appreciate what we have though) So, once my epidural was completed (not fun by the way) the Dr. went in to stitch me up only to notice that I didn't have much cervix to be stitched.....the left side was completely gone and there wasn't even enough cervix on the right side to be stitched. So, my Perinatologist called his colleague (who fortunately was in the hospital and free) and within minutes he arrived in the OR for a second opinion. Both agreed that the cervical cerclage could not be done....there was just too little cervix to sew up. So, they then put me under and performed an abdominal cerclage. Once under the Dr. opened up my abdomen , removed my uterus with baby, bundled it in blankets (the nurse said you could see the baby moving all around), stitched underneath my uterus, and then put me back together!

It is so amazing what doctors are able to do. We feel very confident in this procedure and look forward to bringing a full termer into our family.

Now, what's a post without a picture of the main man? Who by the way is now able to say...Mom, Dad, ball, and done. Nope, we couldn't be any prouder of our perfect little boy.

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Emily said...

I'm so happy for you guys and so glad that they were able to do an abdominal cerclage. I can't imagine how amazing it was to see the baby inside of your uterus, outside of your body.

I am Amanda, I am the Queen Bee said...

AMAZING! Simply a miracle, Jill! All of you are in my prayers . . .


Meghan and Trevor said...

OMG! You are simply amazing and that is an amazing story. I am so glad your surgery went well and you are back home with your boys. That is insane that you could see the baby in your uterus while outside of your body. WOW! Thanks for the update.

Katie and Matt said...

Yes amazing...and amazing that you were able to keep it all a secret!!! Beyond happy for you. And can't WAIT to hear my favorite little man say mom and dad...what a treat. Love you lots Dudie!

twin power mommy said...

Amazing what technoligical advances there are. Praying for a full term baby!

It'll be weird for you to go full term and know what the baby looks like through the last weeks. It was for me as Eli grew!

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear you and baby got through the surgery successfully!!
Much love to all,

Aunt Holly

Sheri said...

Holy crap! Thats crazy! WOW- so glad they can do stuff like that! Praying for no more "doing things the hard way" I hope this pregnancy will be a piece of cake!

I am still so excited for you guys!

abby said...

I am SOOOO glad that they caught this in time and were able to do the abdominal cerclage. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a completely easy, uneventful, and long pregnancy from here on out!

Sarah Furlough said...

Prayers for a long and healthy pregnancy! So glad that they were able to do the abdominal cerclage!

kiks said...

1st of all, congratulations! 2nd, that's the CRAZIEST procedure ever! I was on cerclage watch with my 2nd & 3rd due to pre-term labor and an incompetent cervix.(60% efaced & 3 cent dialated @ 14 weeks w all my kids) darn those cervixes. put your feet up as much as you can these next few months.

Ruth said...

Hi, I'm a new reader (just got caught up in reading today) and I have to say your little man is amazing and his story has been an inspiration to me to keep doing what I do even when I feel like I can't go on. Thank you for sharing his story with all us around the world. I pray nightly for him and for your family.

Ruth Becker
Pickens, SC

Ben & Michelle said...

Okay, Are we all in total awe of this story and you, Jill (Dollie), they way you tell it just brings me to my knees, your faith is beyond words, the procedure had to be painful but no complaint and with all you have been through you see only the positive of it all which is something we should all be doing more of. I love your enouragement, strength & abolute love for exaclty what God has given you, your eyes are open to see it is beautiful, we should all be so fortunate! You absolutley amaze me and we are so blessed to be able to read and share in your journey!! You are an inspiration to so many, seeing the world as it should be seen with faith, love and joy & even when things get very tuff you never fail to see the blessing in front of you! The world is truly a better place with Birth family!!!
Love you & praying as always!

Anonymous said...


Have not spoke in a long time. I go on every once in a while to see Johns progress. Congratulations on this pregnancy. I am sure we will not see you for this one.

Kelly Ackerman NICU