23w2d ~ More Worries

I’m a mess today. Seriously. I’m at work, but for the life of me I can’t focus, like not at all. I alternate between staring into space, Googling cervical insufficiency, and searching for other bloggers with my condition. None of these activities are helping me. In fact, they are probably doing more harm than good as my worrying is now through the roof.

I’ve received quite a few questions and concerns from friends, family, and other bloggers, which I so appreciate. It shows you care, for which I’m so very thankful. I wanted to summarize a few of those concerns/questions, mostly for my own sake to recap everything floating through my brain.

Cervical Cerclage ~ My doctor did mention this procedure three weeks ago at my appointment when we first noticed my shortened cervix, when it was still at 2 cm. The high risk provider didn’t recommend this procedure at that time though, for several reasons, but mainly because although my cervix is shortened, it’s not dilated. Well, not from the outside which is the portion checked by the physician. I do have funneling on the inside portion near baby’s head. This procedure does not come without risks, including infection, rupturing of the membranes, and difficulty in the future of the cervix dilating when it must for delivery. For the time being they don’t feel the risks outweigh the possible benefits in my situation.

Progesterone ~ Lots of studies show this can stop premature shortening of the cervix and thus prevent preterm delivery. For the time being I’ll remain on the vaginal inserts.

Testing for Fetal Fibronectin ~ This test has not been mentioned by my OB but was brought up by a fellow blogger. Feel free to click the link to read more about, my understanding is it can indicate labor is imminent. I plan to ask my healthcare team about this and see if they recommend it for me.

Bed Rest ~ Lots of mixed research on this method of treatment, or so I’m told by my doctor, as I haven’t researched this on my own. And there are obviously risks to every treatment, even bed rest. It’s been mentioned as a possibility though; I guess at this point my doctor can’t say she knows it would help, as so many women have issues even if on bed rest, and just as many carry to full-term without bed rest. I will say my provider and hospital appears a bit against bed rest, but this is just my own impression so far. For example, I know lots of clinics prescribe bed rest after IVF transfers, but my clinic has almost no restrictions other than lifting, which was more because of enlarged ovaries than anything to do with the implantation process. So based on that, I’m not sure the chances of bed rest being my future fate. I will say I currently feel quite helpless in this situation and there is a large part of me that longs for bed rest, if only to feel like I’m doing something to help baby girl develop.

Eric has remained calm and somewhat unbothered by the news we received yesterday. Maybe it’s the doctor in him, so easily able to separate his feelings from the situation/patient. So often I wish he could step out of his work role to support me though. I do know he has some mixed feelings on the diagnosis, one being how accurate they are measuring my cervical length. My ultrasounds have been performed by two different u/s techs, and the reports and images have been read by two different high risk providers. He’s of the opinion that ultrasounds leave a lot of room for differing interpretations. I mean really, we are talking about a 6 mm change between the two scans. He trusts the specialists though, believing their course of treatment is sufficient based on what we know currently. Eric has been quick to tell me not to worry, that worrying won’t help and that ultimately this situation is out of our control. And while I believe all that to be true, it’s not really what I want or need to hear right now.

I told myself I was going to stay off Google, but, ya know… The more I read though, the more stories I find which scare me. The vast majority of situations I’ve found on the internet involve much more aggressive treatment plans than mine. It seems most providers prescribe the cerclage and bed rest once the cervix shortens to 2 cm. I’m past that and neither of those is currently in place. Certainly makes me wonder! But for now, I’ll trust my healthcare team. Do I have another choice?

I also searched for fellow bloggers with my issue, hoping to find encouragement and hope. I did come across one lovely lady at Clank’s Mama who recently gave birth at 23w3d. I’m very excited to follow her journey which has now taken her family to the NICU as baby Ana progresses. I’ll be sending many prayers their way in the coming weeks and months.

I’ve made a pact with myself to pay extra attention to me, to slow down, rest at home, try to limit stress, etc. I’m really trying to pay attention to how I feel, the pelvic pressure and contractions, but it’s hard, this being my first pregnancy, with no other experiences for comparison. Funny how priorities change… A year ago I was all about furthering my career. Now all I can think about is leaving work behind, resting at home, and willing my baby girl to stay cozy for 17 more weeks.

21 thoughts on “23w2d ~ More Worries

  1. I know how you feel. I was a googling maniac and read up tons on preemies convinced I’d have one. My hospital even wanted to give me a NICU tour during my 3 day stay!
    If you haven’t already, read by blog from October-December 2012. Should hopefully make you feel a little better with a success story. https://laughsnlove.wordpress.com/2012/10/page/3/.

    As I mentioned, our hospital used to prescribe bedrest but it is my understanding in talking with the OBs that national views on it have changed and that is why they now prescribe vaginal progesterone (which is what your doctor has done). So it sounds in line with what our practice does.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wish there was something we could do, just waiting must be so difficult! I know worrying doesn’t help, but it’s only natural! Continued prayers!


  3. When I was 22 weeks my dr noticed my cervix had shortened to about 2cm and this prompted her to start me on progesterone and what she called restricted activity. Which to her meant staying off my feet for the majority of the day and if I was on my feet limiting it to about 20 minutes. She also said sitting was as good as laying down so I wasn’t confined to bed or anything. I’m not 29 weeks and my cervix is holding strong. Not sure if it was the progesterone or the reduced activity that has gotten me this far but I have definitely felt better physically since limiting my activity. No more pressure and very few Braxton-Hicks.


  4. Just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you. I’m so sorry you are having to go through all this worry and fear. It sounds like you are in good hands with your medical team and I will be sending lots of positive thoughts that baby girl stays put for another 17 weeks 🙂


  5. I’m sorry, lady! This has to be awful. Knowing that it’s all up to what may be. I’m hoping that everything is fine and desperately praying that your tiny angel stays put. I am with Eric in that things can change, be interpreted differently. And I do have faith in your team. Nonetheless take care of yourself and know we are all thinking of you!


    1. My family mentioned a second opinion. The thing is, my provider is part of a state hospital, the largest in Iowa, and actually, this seems to be where everyone goes when they need a second opinion. So, as nervous as I am, I do feel like I’m in the best hands. I am very anxious for my next check to get here though.


  6. Put the Google down! (I know that’s impossible though) One thing I tried when obsessively researching terrible things is to put “positive experience” or “good results” or something like that in the search terms so a bunch of good stories would pop up instead of all bad. The bad stuff pops up so easily, you have to try a little harder to find the good stuff 🙂


  7. What are the chances that both of us would be dealing with these fears and weighing the risks of these exact same treatment options? It seems astronomical. We’re going back and forth on the cerclage issue as well. It sounds as if our medical team has the same approach as yours for all of these points, which is a relief to me, because I do trust your hospital, and mine. (My bed rest has nothing to do with preterm labor risks and everything to do with the blood clot that formed….if the clot weren’t there, I wouldn’t have restrictions.) I’ve also been told that cervical length can vary a lot, both between techs and from day to day. I think they took about 10 measurements and got a different one every time, then took the lowest one, so there is a lot of room for error. Plus it turns out that funneling has so many different levels of severity, so it’s hard to know how worried one should be about it :(. Right now, we’re with you…trying to trust our care team, our instincts, and a higher power. Being on bed rest has given me a lot of time to think positive thoughts, every waking hour, for your baby girl and mine and all the other pregnant ladies I know. Wishing we were closer so I could give you a hug!


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