Before I even start this I’m going to apologize for all the rambling and scatter brained writing. We’ve had quite the week and my brain is still all a jumble!
We went in on Tuesday for my ultra sound and appointment, as we have been every couple of weeks. We did the usual look at the baby, then the trans-vaginal to check my cervix. In the 5 minutes I sat there it went from 1.3cm to 1.7cm. So it has definitely dropped, as it had been at 2cm before. I didn’t ask the tech anything though, knowing we would finally be meeting with the MFM right after to go over the results.
After I dressed he came in to talk about the scans. He said that baby looks perfect, which we already knew. The tech kept telling us how great he looked and kept laughing because he is quite the mover and shaker. He always gives the techs a hard time and hates to move his hands or feet so they can get good shots of his organs. However, even though the baby looked good he was worried that because my cervix length was fluctuating so much I may be having contractions I couldn’t feel. We were at 24weeks and 3 days then so we were viable, which pushed him to want us to do a little more just in case we were having contractions and he does decide to come early. He sent us on to our appointment to have my cervix checked to make sure I wasn’t dilated and from there he wanted me to be admitted into labor and delivery to be hooked up to monitors to check for contractions and also to get our first doses of the steroids to strengthen the little guys lungs.
I went to my appointment and met yet another doctor. This was is fairly new to the practice having only been with them for about 3 weeks. He was a really sweet, older man and I liked him a lot. When he was checking my cervix he looked up at me and said “well you’re cervix is right up by your tonsils and hard as a rock so I don’t think we need to be worrying about that!” It was great to get a little chuckle in while also getting some relief knowing that at least something in my body was doing what it it was supposed to. With that we went over to Labor & Delivery.
When we got there all of the nurses seemed really confused about why I was being seen. They kept asking if I had been having contractions and how long they had been. After telling multiple nurses that “no I had not had any contractions, they’re just being per-cautious due to my short cervix” we finally met one who seemed to have some idea as to what was going on. She let us know I was going to get hooked up and then if I wasn’t having contractions they would do a straight dose of steroids and that if I was contracting they would have to see if they could stop those first and continue to monitor me over night before going on to the steroids.
After much fiddling with the machine because they couldn’t find his heartbeat (I wasn’t worried about this because he was kicking around like crazy. He did not like the cold gel or the people up in his space poking and prodding) we finally were able to get a beat and figure out if anything was going on. It wasn’t. I was not having a single contraction and, again, the babies heart sounded perfect. That meant shot time. I was actually surprised by how little the steroids hurt. I was at least expecting them to sting more when they pushed them in through the syringe but they didn’t really.
They told us after the shot that they need to do a second one 12-24 hours later. Because we live an hour away they thought it would be better if I spend the night, rather than go home and then drive back the next day. I completely disagree but what are you going to do. So began one of the most uncomfortable nights I’ve had in a long time. Basically we were in a “hotel” room at a hospital. They did come and check on me and monitored the baby once throughout the night but for the most part we were just there taking up space. It was extremely uncomfortable (the situation, the bed, everything). You could tell the nurses were irritated and thought we were just taking up space (which we were) and I was irritated because I would have been more comfortable in my own bed, with S. beside me. Instead I had to stare at him through the jail bars of my hospital bed. Don’t get me wrong, I know this is all for the baby and I appreciate the precaution but at the same time when we were to this point they knew that everything was going well. We could easily have driven back the next day and everyone would have been more comfortable for it. However, it is what it is.
I also had the worst heartburn I’ve ever had. I ended up waking up (waking is used vaguely as I didn’t get any sleep) in the middle of the night and throwing up from it. It just made everything else worse and pushed me into a full on break down. I ended up sitting on S’s lap and bawling for about 45 minutes because of everything. Our first lost, how difficult this pregnancy has become and how worried I constantly am about the baby, wanting to sleep in my own bed, wanting to be able to breathe without the heartburn making my chest constricted, how the night nurse kept side eying me like I was making things up and shouldn’t have been there even though being there wasn’t my choice, all of it. Eventually he was able to calm me down and get me laughing but it took some time. After that I finally fell asleep for a few hours.
We were woken up the next morning by the new nurse on duty and the doctor. He told me they weren’t going to wait the full 24 hours to give me the second round of shots and were going to do it in just a little bit after they monitored the baby and checked for contractions again. He knew I had a long, uncomfortable night and really just wanted to get me home to rest. I appreciated that a lot because it felt like he was the only person who had realized that keeping me over night had just made me more stressed out than going home would have. Which kind of defeats some of the purpose. A stressed Momma can’t be any healthier for the baby. So they hooked me up and again everything looked awesome. I also really liked the nurse on duty. She actually sat down and talked to me about everything that was going on and told me that she had a short cervix with her kid but didn’t deliver until 42 weeks. She was realistic about it though and told me not to hold onto that hope too much because I could definitely still go into labor early, but that she also knew that you need some hope, not all situations turn out as bad as they may make it seem. Everyone just wants to be prepared for the worst case scenario. Of course I already knew this but it just becomes so much more real and easier to remember when you hear it form someone else’s mouth, someone who has also been there.
We got the second round of shots and were able to go home. Of course going home meant finishing the packing and moving all of our stuff to the new house. When I say we packed I mean S. packed and moved while I watched. I did carry some blankets, because you know… I had to do something! Now we are at least all moved into the new house. The baby looks good, and besides the stress of being in the hospital, at least we learned that my cervix is high and I’m not contracting. Over all it is relative to keep in mind that everything, besides the length of my cervix is looking the way that it should. Looking on it now, a few days later, I get that but at the time when they have you in labor and delivery it’s hard to remember. Hence my freak out.
We also decided we have a lot to discuss when it comes to our future as parents. Do we want more kids? If we do, is this something we can go through again because I will always have an incompetent cervix and this will always be an issue for us if we were to get pregnant again. Is the best option, if we decide we don’t, to go with a tubal ligation or will I regret that down the road? I only want one child but again, I’m still fairly young and I could very well change my mind down the road. What if S and I don’t stay together and I meet someone else I want to have a child with? Will I regret not being able to if I do go the permanent route? I don’t know. I don’t have answers for these questions yet but they are definitely ones we’ve both decided we want to start thinking about. It’s funny because I had been thinking about all of this recently and when S brought it up in the hospital I could tell he was uncomfortable because he didn’t want to feel like he was putting outrageous thoughts in my head or pushing me into a corner, but they were all thoughts I had been having on my own but hadn’t figured out how to bring up to him. At the end of the day, as S said, it is my choice but I still want his input. Clearly we have a lot to think about. For now though we have a very healthy baby boy, a high, hard cervix, and no contractions. I’m crossing my fingers hoping it will just stay that way!