Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 1 Recap

Yesterday was the first day of bed rest.  I was successful at staying in bed, but it was not a good day emotionally.

The Backstory
On Monday, all was well.  What was supposed to be a happy and exciting day ended terribly.  We were scheduled for a routine 20 week anatomy scan, better known as the big gender reveal ultrasound.  I made some homemade cinnamon roll muffins and joked with my husband that it was a sign -- "sugar and spice and all that's nice" muffins in hot pink and purple muffin cups. The appointment started beautifully.  The ultrasound technician was going through the scan, had scanned baby's heart, and was pretty sure that it was a girl.  She was trying to get baby to uncross her ankles for a better look, when something about the feet caught her attention.  She kept saying that they were just too low, and called in the doctor.  In a nutshell, baby's feet were essentially where my cervix should have been.  The cervix was very short, and the amniotic sac was bulging through.  I was referred immediately for a cervical cerclage, but the doctor was not optimistic that there was enough cervix left to stitch.  In so many words, she essentially implied that our baby was going to die.  People always say how life can change in an instant.  In just ten minutes, what had been an amazingly easy pregnancy had turned into our worst nightmare.  Luckily, the surgeon who performed the cerclage was able to gather enough cervix to put in two stitches, but I was put on bed rest.  Given that I'm only 20 weeks pregnant, this is going to be a long ride.

Tuesday, July 24: 20 weeks +1 day
Today was my birthday, but I didn't feel much like celebrating.  My husband gave me a card telling me what a great wife I was, and he signed it from him and the baby, which made me cry.  I also didn't feel much like having the nice beef kebab dinner that we'd planned.  I spent the day pretty much wrestling with my emotions.  I was happy that our little girl was still cooking, but extremely upset and frustrated.  How was it that our little girl was practically falling out of my body, yet I had no clue?  Where was my mother's intuition?  From my research, I know that an incompetent cervix occurs without symptoms, but that doesn't rally make me feel better.

I also am wrestling with my career choice.  Not on the employed vs. stay-at-home level.  I'm currently in my 5th year  of a PhD program in epidemiology, where my focus is on preterm birth.  So, in addition to knowing too much, I have too much information at my fingertips.  Way more than Dr. Google will tell you.  So, academically, I know that while births at 20-21 weeks do have a chance at survival, I also know that 24 weeks is really considered the lower edge of viability.  I also know that some places won't even try to apply any medical interventions to a baby born this soon, unless the baby manages for a certain period of time on their own.  But, as her mommy, I can't deal with the statistics of it all right now.

High/Low:  I woke up without any pain, so didn't take the prescribed Percocet.  I also didn't want to take such a heavy duty drug and mask any important pain.  I started having some cramping in the afternoon, so we returned to the hospital to check things out.  Baby girl was fine, as was my cervix. The cramping was due to our inability to find some ancient, uncommon medicine at any of our local pharmacies.  I was told to take Motrin, and sent home.

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