First, the good news! Baby girl is looking great, and the ultrasound tech even made sure to get me a few pictures of her, despite the order for just a cervical length recheck today. Her heart rate was 143 bpm, she was moving all around, and the amniotic fluid volume looked perfect. My doctor was very pleased with my blood pressure and weight gain thus far too. Baby is still head down right up against my cervix, and although they claim she still has enough space to change positions several times a day, somehow I doubt she has moved much in the past three weeks, as her position is identical to my last ultrasound. Here is a picture of her cute little hand and fingers 🙂
So now the bad… And there was far more bad than good news today 😦 Three weeks ago at my last ultrasound my cervix measured 2 cm, too short since we’d expect it to be between 4 cm and 5 cm at this point. Well, today it’s even shorter, only 1.4 cm now. So again, my regular OB consulted with the high risk provider on call. Really long story short, they are giving me one more week until I’m not sure what happens. I’ll have another scan next Tuesday morning and if at that time my cervix is shorter I’ll receive steroids to mature baby’s lungs should I deliver soon. They considered giving me steroids today, but there are risks to both me and baby, and since we don’t know when I’ll deliver, they would rather wait until we know more. The risks of steroids to baby include stunting her growth, as studies have shown baby’s who received several doses of steroids in-utero were born with smaller than average heads. Risks to me center around blood sugar and blood pressure issues. So we decided to wait a week when we know. For the time being I’ll continue on the progesterone and ‘take it easy’, She didn’t specifically tell me certain activities were off-limits but she did stress I should pay attention to how I feel. If I notice increased pelvic pressure or an increase in the frequency of tightening in my uterus, I’m to rest. She also stressed not being afraid to call, for any reason, which was comforting.
I asked a lot of questions although for the life of me most of the appointment seems like a blur now. I asked what happens if my cervix continues to shorten, or if it thins to nothing. My doctor was honest and said the risk of me delivering early is high, although how early we don’t really know. She said if my cervix gets much thinner the chances of my water breaking increases and thus baby would need to be delivered. She did say they can keep you pregnant in the hospital after your water breaks, but I didn’t ask for how long.
I didn’t really get scared during the appointment until my doctor brought up viability and survival rates. She wanted to be honest and make sure I understood what we’re dealing with… She said the vast majority of hospitals will not resuscitate before 24 weeks, I am 23w1d today. The good news, my hospital will resuscitate as early as 18 weeks, although regardless, outcomes aren’t promising, even at 23 weeks the mortality rates are high. I wasn’t sure what to say or think at that point, other than I guess it’s best to know risks now rather than to be surprised later. I think I’m still a little in denial though, not ready to believe this baby is anywhere near ready to be born. There is a chance I’ll deliver at 40 weeks, so for now I’m living in that dream.
I’ll end this post here, as really I’m not sure what else to say at this point… I have a lot of fear running through my head, how could I not? I feel like we’ve been through so much during the past three years, trying on our own, the failed IUIs, a year of IVF, and now 23 weeks of thinking we are finally going to welcome a baby into our life. I am not prepared for this to be taken away from me.