…and more bed rest. This time for good.
At my Thursday perinatologist appointment I had my cervix and fluids checked. Fluids are great. The girls were swimming around in there, getting too big to even get a proper ultrasound picture. Cervix, however, was not good. It is effacing. It has halved in length in the last two weeks. I am 50% effaced. My perinatologist was not pleased about this. Effacing is what my cervix should do when I am getting ready for labor, not at week 29. If my cervix is effacing then I am likely having contractions without knowing. Add that to things I never thought I would worry about, going into labor without knowing it. Fun. She also mentioned that both girls are head down, pressing right into my cervix. Probably not helping the situation.
My perinatologist sent me off to L&D to be monitored. I was hooked up to the three monitors, one for E, one for O, one for contractions. E & O were great, obviously. They always are. Annoying kids, being oblivious to all the stress going on around them. No contractions either. So what now? What do we do to stop these girls from coming early?
Weirdly, my OB was in L&D.. delivering. After a very bizarre conversation with him about baseball and socialized medicine in Norway, he went off to have a debrief with my perinatologist.
Both of them agreed that I needed to come back for a fetal fibronectin test. I may act like I know what all this high risk crap means naturally, but you bet your ass I google things and ask questions. FFN test is for a protein that is present during pregnancy. If it comes back positive it means you are more likely to deliver early. If it comes back negative there is a 99% chance that you will make another two weeks. Unfortunately, it is cervical exam and it can’t be done within 24 hours of another cervical exam. So, I was going to be coming back the next day. If the test came back positive, I was going to be admitted. If it came back negative, I was going home on bed rest.
I have gotten many questions as to what bed rest means and why I can sometimes be seen standing. To my OB and my peri, it means seated or laying down almost all of the time. I am allowed to shower, go to the bathroom, and check the mail as I would regularly. I try to lay on my side regularly, which is what is recommended. If I am seated I recline. Both my peeps don’t want me just laying in a bed at this point, mainly because of blood clots. I am sure if things continue to progress they will put me on total bed rest, but I think both of them would want to admit me for that.
So, I was sent home from L&D, on my docs’ version of bed rest, with an appointment to come back in 24 hours for my FFN. Well, Friday night, my FFN came back negative, thankfully. So, bed rest for the duration and extensive monitoring. I will be at the hospital two times a week, if not more, until I deliver. And, I am okay. Really okay. Nervous, but fine.
Before this pregnancy, I’d never had a long term medical condition. My experience with doctors was mainly, yes you need an antibiotic or no, it’s just a cold. And that was it. I didn’t expect my doctor to know my name or remember my history. Ever. My experience with my OB and my perinatologist has been a completely different ballgame. I am still stunned and slightly confused when I call with what I think is a dumb question and my OB gets on the phone and speaks with me extensively. I am in awe when both my doctors want to go through my entire list of questions and concerns, in detail. I think my team is one of the few reasons I haven’t gone off the rails with anxiety… yet.
The big and scary take away from this is that the goal has been changed from 36 weeks to 32 weeks. That’s in three weeks. 20 days. It also means more time in the NICU and babies that are hopefully 4 lbs. It has taken me several days to come to terms with this while still holding out hope that E & O stay put longer. I am still getting there.
Onto bump watch, week 29.