Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Bed Rest Chronicles Part 8: Milestones

We did it. Reached the first milestone; 24 weeks pregnant without going into labor. The next milestone is...well, I'm a bit confused and can't remember if it's 26 or 28 weeks. But if all goes as it should, by December I won't be having the weekly ultrasounds. By 36 weeks the progesterone shots will end. At 37 weeks the stitches will be removed.

The fear of early labor is always with me. But every week the ultrasound technician tells me the stitches are in fantastic shape, my cervical length has not only held but has actually lengthened a bit on its own since the surgery. And the doctor who did my surgery told me I am extremely lucky to be doing well enough to be at home on bed rest rather than still in the hospital.

A milestone reached is good but I feel I can't get too excited as we just don't know what will happen. Cautiously optimistic.

The baby is strong. She moves all the time and yesterday during the ultrasound we watched as she moved her hand and rested it under her chin. Three weeks ago we laughed as she stuck her tongue out three times. Amazing! She has a tongue and is sassy to boot!

Complications started for me within days of finding out I was pregnant and it's just amazing that through all of this, this embryo, fetus, baby has survived and grown.

This latest adventure had made me forget past experiences but yesterday I was remembering a truly strange and awful experience around 6 or 7 weeks where it seemed by all counts I had miscarried. You name the symptom I had it, including seeing what looked to all the world like an embryo.
The doctor was convinced I'd had a miscarriage and sent me bleeding and exhausted to the ultrasound technician only to hear her say, "There's the heart, beating away." Sure enough.

The past 24 weeks have defied the odds and put Q and I through things we'd never experienced before. It can be tiring to think, "All this and the baby isn't even born yet."

Hang in there, Bean. We'll make it yet.


  1. Congrats on making it to 24 weeks - that is a huge milestone. 28 weeks is the next.....then 32 and then know!

    I read back to a previous comment you had replied to of mine on one of your posts - I hope your length is still at 4cm! That is great news. Mine dropped from 2.8cm to 2.2cm today, but that isn't surprising, it seems as though mine likes to hang at the 2cm mark - frustrating, but...

    Thankfully, I am not on any bed rest as of yet, and I continue my every two week ultrasounds, hopefully things stay stable for the next two weeks.

    Have you talked to your doctor about being able to do one light activity per day? I remember when I got my emergent cerclage, once I hit the 24 week mark, I allowed myself to do one thing per day as long as I wasn't cramping, feeling pressure or anything like that - I'd go out to dinner with my family, go to the grocery store, or go for a short walk outside with my daughter. It does a lot for the psychie!

    4cm is a great place to be! That is considered normal in a regular person. Hang in there - I promise it will all be worth it in the end.

  2. Hi Steph,

    That's a shame about your cervical length. I've been told that the length doesn't matter as long as the stitches hold up. Have you heard that, too?

    I have taken a couple of walks, and I do a few dishes or sit on the couch for a while, but I have not asked my doctor for permission. You're right, though it helps a lot psychologically and I don't do anything if I feel pressure, etc.
    My doctors have been very clear that I'm not to go grocery shopping or anything like that. However, there may be a time in the future where I can go shopping and move around more.
    I'm glad you wrote that, by the way. I often feel a heaviness and pressure and it's unnerving, so it helps to know I'm not the only one.
    Yes, as far as I know I'm still at 4 cm. Amazing, really.
    You hang in there, too!

  3. No, I haven't heard that about the stitch. I know that a cervical can and will change with or without a cerclage. Unfortunately, there isn't any evidence out there if a cerclage really DOES work - though some people swear by them and others will tell you that it is a crap shoot - if your body wants to dilate, it will go ahead and do so, and rip right through the stitch. With my last pregnancy, I was 1cm by 30 weeks and stayed there until my stitch was removed at 36 weeks. I think they say as long as there is sufficient cervix above the location of the stitch is what matters the most.

    It's one of those things thats suck - because there is no clear evidence that bed rest or cerclages really work and they just say to do it...It's annoying!