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Topics - flowerchica

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Well I've come to the end of my long road. I was convinced that once my cerclage came out at 36 weeks I'd deliver on my own. I've been stuck at 3 cm dilated for 3 weeks. I also have gestational diabetes so we need to pull her out before 40 weeks. This feels like such a triumph after spending 104 days on bedrest at home. I can't wait until our baby is in my arms!

For everyone still on bed rest - HANG IN THERE - it's so worth it.

Oh my gosh - boy I didn't know what I was in for. I admit, I read tons of blogs online about the cerclage removal process. I read the horror stories. I heard about cerclage removals gone wrong - but I had no idea that my experience would fit right in with those. Now I should start by saying - I'm not angry at my doctor. I don't feel like he did anything wrong - but this was a painful experience. It also sucked that there was no anesthesia for this whole procedure.

When I arrived at the peri, the nurse offered to do one last abdominal ultrasound. It was great to see our little baby and to get another confirmation that she's doing fine. When the peri came in, we settled down to get it out. First he tried the plastic speculum. I've always hated the clicking sound they make. I felt pinching pains here and there but it was bearable. He finally said - I can't reach the stitches, I need to go in manually and pull the thread down. He pulled it down - OUCH - and put the speculum in. That didn't work. He tried again. No luck. This went on for about 20 minutes, and then he said - I think I need a metal speculum. It will open everything wider and won't pinch as much.

Now with the metal speculum in, I'm wincing and blurting Owww over and over. After another 15 minutes of trying - he explains that my cervix has grown over the stitches and he needs to basically go in deeper, push the cervix back and then access the stitch. He goes on to explain that it's going to put me in more pain and I have the option to leave the stitch in until I deliver - then the OB can remove the stitch when I'm in labor.

I'm sorry that idea simply didn't work for me. I had a vision of an OB desperately trying to remove a stitch he wasn't familiar with. I had a vision of my stitches tearing into my cervix. NO THANKS! I told the peri, "here's the deal - I'll stop complaining about the pain - and you just get this thing out of me. I am not leaving here with a stitch in me." He said, "OK" and went to work. DH stood next to me and gave me his hand to hold. I kept up my end of the bargain, I didn't complain one more time. I simply squeezed DH's hand harder and harder and dug my nails into his hand. I also started having contractions while this was going on - so I was trying to breathe through them.

This went on for another hour!! I have to admit - it hurt like all hell. This wasn't the 10 minute nip and tuck that women talk about with their cerclages. This was someone clawing at my insides trying to find stitches that were so high up inside of me - my cervix grew over them. Add the pain of my baby sending lightning crotch sensations down - and ugh - it was hell. Eventually the peri looked up and said - all done! He held up the stitch and said - Got it!!! It was a dark green mass of thread with blood all over it. Gross I know - but I have never been so happy to see a bloody piece of string! The nurse congratulated me on how well I was doing. The peri pulled the speculum out and told me he was going to check me to see how I was doing. He reached in there and gave me a quick cervical exam. He announced, "You're 3 cm dilated and 80 percent effaced." Just like that - I realized - my body was getting ready to drop this baby. He suggested that I maybe have a week or so left before labor settles in.

After all was said and done and cleaned up, I hobbled to the bathroom, put my clothes on and made my way to the nurses' station to get my last 17p injection. I don't know why but the shot burned like hell today! Ugh - I can't win today! Anyway - I said my goodbyes, hugged the nurse, promised to send pictures and said my goodbyes. The peri asked me to bring the baby in when she was born.

I won't say this is the most painful thing I've ever endured - but it was an hour and a half or so of some seriously excruciating pain. My lower half feels crampy and definitely feels different - but I feel a serious sense of achievement. I have been wishing for the day that my cerclage gets removed for months and that day came. I was not about to be a failure and leave with the stitches inside of me. I'm glad I did this because without a cerclage I'm convinced I would have lost this pregnancy. Now we're taking bets on when labor will come. I'm kind of excited to see when she will make her appearance.

I have survived 15+ weeks of bedrest - and I still have my sanity and my pregnancy! Woooot!

What's Your Story? Tell us. / How to have a baby shower on bed rest
« on: June 05, 2011 at 11:48 AM »
Ok - so here's a disclaimer - I'm on modified bedrest which means I'm allowed to sit upright. I don't know if this is as feasible if you are on complete / strict bed rest.

I had a few rules that made this viable:
  • Get a friend to organize logistics - or if DH is up to it - have him do it
  • Spend your time on the couch making your registries
  • You can buy your party favors online - I used 
  • Cater! Have our favorite restaurant prepare the food
  • Set up 2 - 3 seats around the house set up for you to sit and lounge on
  • Make sure someone is always refilling your water
  • Don't serve people - don't make plates, dish out food, or stand around making drinks
  • Don't be ashamed to lounge like a beached whale on the couch - I did that :)
  • See if you can have someone set to help clean up afterwards
  • Make sure there's someone to catalog gifts for you - dont' forget to leave the cards in the bags for the gifts

I did this for my shower and I got through this without a single contraction and without feeling stressed at all.

I can't believe it. I have been confined to my couch for 90 days and I still have my sanity. Yes I feel a little cracked out. I do feel a little antsy. It's been hard to go from the whole Type A power woman to a bed ridden pregnant woman. Yet here I am. Today I saw my perinatologist for my second last appointment and I couldn't believe it. I actually scheduled my cerclage removal.  I also got my 3rd last 17p shot. In 2 weeks, no more injections in my back side! We got to see our baby on the ultrasound and it was interesting to see that it was getting harder to see her insides. She's actually gaining baby fat! She's starting to look like a newborn baby! She's head down and really ready to go! I'm also thrilled to know that I'm managing my gestational diabetes well. She's showing no signs of abnormally fast weight gain. The doctor thinks she'll probably top out around 7.5 lb when she's born. That's absolutely delightful to hear!

I can't believe in 2 weeks that my cerclage will be removed. I can deliver at any point after that. I could be holding my baby in as soon as 2+ weeks. Realistically the doctor told me to expect it to be 1 - 2 weeks after the cerclage is removed. I don't even know what I will do with my new found freedom. I want to walk, go out to eat, even go back to the office for a little bit! I'm so looking forward to traveling around with an overnight bag for the hospital and a diaper bag with a take-home outfit for our baby. I'm having my baby showers this week. I can't believe I've had the confidence to even have a baby shower. I'm absolutely loving this.

To any mothers out there still on bedrest - hang in there. I'm getting closer to the finish line and it was completely worth it! I can't wait to meet this little one and hear her cry for the first time.

This was also on my blog - but I thought I'd share. Having been on bed rest for 11 weeks, and feeling confident that I was now 32 weeks - yesterday was a really bad scare for me. Here's what happened. Sorry for the wall of text.

Well yesterday was quite the roller coaster ride. It all started around 9:00 am. I took a shower, but when I got out of the shower I didn't feel so good. I had what I thought might be a cramp from diarrhea about to start. It lasted maybe 10 minutes. I went downstairs and prepared my usual lame breakfast of cheerios and a handful of almonds. I was hit with a very strong cramp. And the cramp didn't go away! I messaged my husband upstairs and told him I was cramping. I immediately logged when it started and when it ended. Then 10 minutes later, I got another one. This one lasted about 5 minutes. A third one came and I started to notice tears were rolling down my cheeks.

We logged the fourth and fifth one. I thought I might be having an upset stomach, but I tried to go #2 and nothing came out. By the time I logged the sixth one, I decided to call my specialist. They said I should call my OB first. If my OB wouldn't see me, they would let me come in. I called my OB and did my routine introduction, "I'm a patient there, I'm 32 weeks pregnant with a cerclage and history of incompetent cervix." I added, "I've been having severe pain / cramps for the last hour and there have been more than 4 in an hour. The nurse put me through to the nurses' voicemail. Of course in my mind I'm like WTF!!! Anyway - the voicemail message said they would call back in an hour. I repeated my little speech and waited.

30 minutes passed, and still no call back. At this point I was in severe pain. I tried all the things they say to do, drink water, lay on your side, try to relax, etc and none of it was working. Out of frustration I called the OB back and told them my deal and said - I've already left a voicemail - no one called me back and I need to come in. Finally after a 10 minute wait on the phone, they said if you can be here by 11:30 - we'll see you.

DH packed an overnight bag in lightning speed and we hopped in the car. In the car I started crying. It was a combination of the waves of pain that were coming as well as just plain fear. The last time I raced to the hospital while pregnant - I ended up losing the baby and I just didn't want to go through that again. I got to the OB office and had to go through the whole routine. It was frustrating because I was contracting in the waiting room while waiting for them to see me. Then I had to walk to the first station to give a urine sample. Then walk to the second station to get weighed. Then I had to walk to the waiting room. All the while I'm contracting. They called my name and moved me to an examination room. They tell me to get undressed. Oh no - more contractions! Finally the midwife comes in and says, let me ask the doctor if he wants me to examine you. She steps out - more contractions! Ugh! It felt like forever, but she returned and said - the doctor doesn't want me to examine you. We're going to give you an ultrasound and then admit you to labor and delivery. So please get dressed again and I'll take you to the ultrasound waiting room. I get dressed - and guess what - more contractions!!

In the ultrasound waiting room, DH and I are sitting there and two women walk in. I'm barely paying attention to their conversation, but I distinctly remember them basically badmouthing their friend who was dating an overweight woman with no ambition. Of course it was odd because they were both overweight... but hey ....who am I to judge. More contractions start. Finally the ultrasound tech calls my name. I get on the table and get an ultrasound. My cervix is still closed - PHEW! I start having contractions again while on the table. She looks at the baby - and she's looking good on the ultrasound - double PHEW! Oh this means I'm not in labor yet.

We go back to another waiting room. The midwife comes over, tells us how to walk over to Labor and Delivery.  She tells us that they are waiting for us and also arranges for me to have a diabetic lunch meal when I get there.  We make the trek through the heat and get over to Labor and Delivery. We do some paperwork. In the middle of doing the paperwork it hits me - we've just preregistered for the hospital. One more thing on my checklist done! Again the contractions start. They finally get me into a delivery room and they get me hooked up on the monitors. They also get a urine sample from me. The nurse brings me a jug of water and tells me to start drinking.

For a little while, I was feeling good. Then I got scared, that maybe once I'm finally under observation, my contractions will disappear and I'll look like one of those hypochondriacs who claim to be sick when they aren't. I lie there and the pains start again. The nurse comes in and confirms, "yes - you're having contractions". They tell me they are going to try giving me water first to see if that stops it. If not, they will give me an IV. If that doesn't work they will give me medication. She eventually comes back and says my urine sample shows me as being dehydrated. I drink a bottle of water, a jug of ice water, and even the unsweet tea from my lunch they gave me - and still no luck. I'm still contracting. I'm getting up every 10 minutes to go to the bathroom - but still no luck. And the contractions are still going.

The nurse decides to put an IV in. She struggles to get a vein. Once she finds one that she likes, the puts the IV in. It fails. It hurt like all hell to have her pushing that needle in and out trying to get my vein. I'm used to getting lidocaine to numb the area before they stick. She didn't do that. I start moaning in pain. She gives up and gets a senior nurse to try. The nurse tries the other hand. The same thing happens. They push and pull the needle in and out but no luck. At this point I have bruises on both arms from attempts to get an IV in. The nurses conclude they need to pull in the IV specialist team.

During this entire time I'm still trying to guzzle water and the contractions aren't going away. FInally after an hour, the IV specialist shows up. She was really pleasant. We spoke a bit about epideurals and her advice was get the pain meds if you can. She'd done a pregnancy with and without and swore she'd never deliver without again. She started looking for a vein. It took her quite a while but she was able to get it and to get an IV in. FINALLY! The nurse comes in and starts running the IV into my arm. My contractions start slowing down. My mood definitely started improving. The midwife came to see me and talked to me a bit about how I may have gotten dehydrated. She explained that in my case, the traditional 60 ounces of water a day might not be enough. She suggested no less than 80 ounces but ideally I should drink as much as I can tolerate even if I live in the bathroom. She also offered to give me a drug by IV for pain and to calm my uterus. She explained that it was good that I came in. If I hadn't come in, it would have progressed to full labor.

They put that drug in my IV and I didn't feel anything until it was almost done. Then I suddenly lost all sense of balance. I also started dozing. I saw another nurse come in and tell me I was being released. DH walked me over to the bathroom to pee again. I could barely walk. He had to help me get dressed. I remember him walking me back to the wheelchair and I plopped down but my head was still spinning. I remember being walked out of the hospital and we waited for him to pull up. DH took me home, I believe we stopped to pick up sandwiches. I stayed in the car. I dozed off while sipping water, and spilled water down the front of my shirt. In fact I think it spilled out of my mouth. He brought me a sandwich. I took some bites, but I dozed off mid bite and the food nearly fell out of my mouth. DH woke me up before it did. I passed out a few times on the drive home and I remember walking into the house.

So here I am the next morning. I'm on the couch, guzzling water, and hoping for the best. I have 4 weeks until my cerclage comes out - well now under 4 weeks, and I'm just grateful for every day that we get.

Making the Best of Bed Rest / Baby Shower Questions
« on: April 10, 2011 at 07:50 AM »
Hey ladies, I've begun planning for our co-ed baby shower and I have some questions about how a co-ed shower would go.

For starters, let me say what we're planning. My husband and I throw these parties at our houses called a "Gathering of Friends". We've been doing this for roughly the last 5 years. We invite all of our friends from the different aspects and social circles. We've had as many as 100 people show up to one of these gigs before. We grill an enormous amount of meat, cook way too many entrees, make tons of desserts, and have tons of libations. It's pretty much an indulgent affair. It basically starts around 4 - 5 o'clock and has run as late as 4 am. It's sort of an all you can eat all you can drink thing! Normally that's the time by which I kick the last stragglers out. We do this at least twice a year, and it's always been a hit, because we get a chance to see everyone we care about at once. We also design the guest list so that everyone knows at least 3 - 4 people there. So no one feels left out.

I'm thinking that for our baby shower, I want to do a special version of our "Gathering of Friends". Because  this event is for guys and girls, and the number of people coming, I'm thinking that the normal rules don't apply.

Question #1
I am having a registry and expecting gifts, but do I have to go through the entire gift opening process with everyone watching? Is this feasible if we have 50 people show up?

Question #2
I'm assuming that games are out - partly because of the number of invitees, and also because I don't know what games would work with guys and girls. Has anyone had games that have worked for lots of people or guys or girls?

Question #3
What are good thank you gifts to give people for coming? So far I've found custom candy jars, personalized cookies, personalized hershey's kisses, and personalized mints. Do you know of any gifts that work well for guys and girls alike?

Question #4
Now I'm still on bedrest, at the moment... it's just modified bedrest so I plan to sit through most of this event. Has anyone done a baby shower while on bedrest?

Question #5
Should I plan an "agenda" for this or should we just let it run like a party as it has in the past? I'm thinking I'd like to give a short toast / speech thanking everyone for coming and telling them how much this pregnancy means to me and how special it is that they have come here to celebrate it with me. No more than 1 - 2 minutes tops... Is that a good idea? and is that sufficient?

So - I know it seems cocky - but I was able to actually keep doing the online shopping while lying here hoping my pregnancy makes it. I can't bring myself to buy anything before 24 weeks, but I have picked out a ton of stuff.

I thought it would be nice if we could start a list of cool stuff we have found online for our babies' nurseries. Here's my first stuff

Customized baby blocks:

Awesome custom vinyl decals :

It's always so hard to find the balance between "normal" and strange sensations. My cervix dropped from 3.3 to 1.97 cm in 2 weeks - so my doc has me on 17p shots, indocin for 3 days, and modified bedrest. Back before I got my nice long 3.3 measurement, I was feeling kicks real low. I actually thought something was wrong, but then we went in and found that my cervix had grown from 2.9 to 3.3 So now that I'm at 1.97 cm - I'm freaked out. I still feel the kicks low, but I don't feel any other symptoms. I'm not bleeding, no extra discharge, no cramps, no contractions or anything. What do I make of this. I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, and I've sort of decided that unless something feels really wrong, I'm not running to the emergency room. Of course I have this feeling of - what if I ignore something and have to deal with the guilt.

For any of you ladies with cerclages:

My cerclage is sitting right at the 2cm mark on my cervix

1 - Won't I have increased discharge if I shorten beyond the cerclage?
2 - Will I have some spotting or bleeding if the cerclage starts to fail?

Hello ladies,

I've been sort of lurking following this forum on twitter  but I guess I better go ahead and join you guys. So here's my little story :

Pregnancy #1:
I have PCOS. I didn't know it at the time ( 4 years ago) but I did know that my cycles were never normal. Needless to say, I went on an exercise spree for a few months, and I got a period two months in a row. Then those periods disappeared. I didn't think anything of it - I've never had normal cycles. Anyway, I was driving to work one day and I got so tired I dozed off at the wheel. I was woken up by the sound of tires on the barriers outside of the driving lanes. Completely freaked out, I drove myself to the doctor's office and refused to leave until they could tell me what was wrong. After hours of testing, they discovered I was 11 weeks pregnant! I immediately started all my prenatal care and settled into this idea of being a mommy. Everything was fine until I went in for my 5 month ( 20 week appt). I wasn't feeling great the evening before, but I wasn't feeling any pain. I noticed in the morning that I had a bit of heavier yellow discharge. I went in for my morning check in - and the doctor's eyes opened real wide after examining me. Turns out I was 4 cm dilated!!! They basically told me to go straight to the hospital - and that the hospital would be expecting me.

In an emotional daze, I called my husband who was out of town at the time and told him to high-tail it back home. I checked in at the hospital, and they admitted me. They immediately put me on a bunch of monitors, gave me medication to slow contractions, and had me in a position with my legs elevated. At this point I wasn't having contractions. On day 2 in the hospital, I started having contractions. They wanted to do an emergency cerclage, but they couldn't get my contractions to stop. On day 3 my water broke. I had to go through the whole delivery since I was 20 weeks.

This was the most frustrating thing I've ever gone through. I was just in shock and an emotional wreck.

Pregnancy #2
Fast forward about 4 years. I've been diagnosed with PCOS. I'm still not having cycles. I've been on metformin for 2 years and it's not helping me get my periods back. I went to a reproductive endocrinologist and they did some IVF cycles on me. Fortunately on my second cycle, I got pregnant. This is where I am now. I'm 21 weeks pregnant today. I got a preventative cerclage at 12 weeks and everything was fine. In fact, 2 weeks ago my cervix had actually lengthened (19 weeks). I thought I was in the clear, but yesterday I went in for a checkup - and my cervix has opened up all the way down to my cerclage. It's now at 2 cm - but it's only 2 cm because I have a cerclage. I had no symptoms, no pain, no spotting, no discharge, nothing. In fact, the only thing I had was a weird nightmare where I dreamt that I was bleeding. Go figure! So here I am again - so close to having a viable baby.

My perinatologist has put me on weekly 17 p shots, Indocin (for 3 days), and modified bed rest. I'm now on a weekly doctor's appointment schedule with stern advice to come in if I show any symptoms. After paying for IVF out of pocket, and knowing just what it's like to have a 5 month pregnancy loss, I just really really really want this to work out for the better. I'm pretty much going to be on my back for the next 16 weeks - I'm just hoping I can make it at least 9 more weeks. I could deal with a 30 week delivery if it came to that....

Last Thoughts
I'm looking forward to getting to know you guys - because since I'm going to be home for the next 4 months.... I'll probably need LOTS of online company :)

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