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Messages - Lauren

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1
Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything / Re: Irritable uterus
« on: August 08, 2018 at 05:05 PM »
I was diagnosed with irritable uterus at 21 weeks.  The US tech saw contractions as early as 14 weeks, and by the end of my pregnancy, I was getting them frequently throughout the day, although always irregular.  We ended up delivering at 34 weeks when my waters broke.  True contractions kicked in immediately afterwards and were 2 minutes apart.

2
Well, I'm not on bedrest anymore, but I am hanging out at home with our little one and have lots of time on my hands.

Recently I've been enjoying The Great British Baking Show".  It's ridiculously cute and is a breath of fresh air compared to the cut-throat cooking competitions that are on the Food Network.  I seriously can't get enough of this show!

I started watching Grey's Anatomy while on 4 months of bedrest and despite the 13 seasons available on Netflix, I somehow didn't manage to finish them all!  Word of caution - many episodes were triggering due to topics covering infant mortality.

3
Pregnancy Complications / Re: 21 weeks, cerclage, bed rest
« on: July 31, 2018 at 08:32 PM »
Hi Meg,

I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this.  We lost our first baby to undiagnosed incompetent cervix and just went through an incredibly challenging pregnancy due to the same thing. Fortunately, we had a pretty good outcome the second time around and welcomed our baby boy, Thomas, to the world 6 weeks early on July 10th.  He is perfectly healthy and contentedly sleeping beside me as I write.

You can read my full story, if you want, on "pregnancy complications --> Sludge/Contraction/Short Cervix/Preventative Cerclage - 16 weeks"

Anyways, it sounds like you have a dynamic cervix, which can be incredibly anxiety provoking since your length changes so frequently. Luckily, your doctor has said that the cerclage is holding.  When my cervix shortened dramatically at 18 weeks despite a preventative cerclage, my doctor told me the same thing.  I didn't believe him when he told me that the main thing is that your cervix is hard and closed, and that the length on its own isn't a good predictor of imminent labour.  It wasn't until we made it further into the pregnancy with an incredibly short cervix that I really began to believe that this was true.

One thing that I advocated strongly for was a pessary ring.  This is a rubber doughnut shaped implement that is inserted vaginally.  It helps to distribute the weight of the uterus on the cervix.  It can be inserted clinically in less than a minute, has very little risk, and has similar outcomes as a cerclage.  It can be placed even with an existing cerclage, although your doctors  might tell you that this may put you at greater risk of infection due to adding another foreign body.  Unfortunately, it is not common in NA to use a pessary ring, so it took a lot of convincing to get my OBs to place it.  At first they were skeptical that it would help, but in the end, we all agreed that it was the only thing keeping Tommy in.  After my pessary was placed, my cervix remained stable for the remainder of the pregnancy.  My waters broke only 4 days after the pessary was removed.

Anyways, I would highly recommend doing some research and asking your doctors about a pessary ring.  It may be the one thing that helps get you to term!

Check out this website for more info:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4282542

Best of luck!  I'm glad you found this website.
If you're on Facebook, there's also a great support group for women with Incompetent Cervix.
Both of these supports really helped me get through this pregnancy!


4
As some of you know, I’m no longer cooking.

Tommy was born 2 weeks ago at 33+6. He’s still in NICU learning to build enough stamina to feed without the help of a feeding tube.

He is perfectly healthy in every other way and required no further medical intervention. I was so surprised when he didn’t require any breathing support, especially since we didn’t have time for steroids.

He has had amazing weight gain and is well past his birthweight. He’s a strong little fella who can already lift his head with control and turn it to rest on the other cheek, and has been doing so since day 1!"

We are so, so, so in love with our little guy, and in constant awe that we made it so far in our pregnancy despite all of our complications.

There is so much hope!

5
What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: Hey. I'm new around here.
« on: July 21, 2018 at 01:12 PM »
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter!
Wishing you all the best in your NICU journey!

6
Hey ms79,

Congratulations on making it so far!

We just had our little guy at 33+6 and he is doing so well.

I had lots and lots of contractions this pregnancy.  At 21 weeks, I was diagnosed with irritable uterus.  Due to all of the intervention that I had, cervical cerclage and pessary ring, they were unable to get an accurate measurement of my cervix via ultrasound.  However, several visits to L&D assured me that my cervix was closed and hard.

The weeks leading up to his birth, I noticed more and more tightenings.  8-10 an hour was not uncommon for me, either.  In the NST test the day before I went into labour, they noted 3 within the 20 minute period.

When I eventually did go into active labour, my water broke and true contractions immediately followed.  There is no way that I would have mistaken these contractions for irritable uterus or Braxton Hicks.  They were strong and painful.

From what I understand, it's rare to go into labour without feeling true contractions, especially at your gestation.  Keep an eye out for changes in your discharge, and continue to take it easy, just like you're doing :)

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!!

7
Our little Tommy was born on Tuesday at 5am via c-section at 33+5, weighing 5 pounds.

I woke up in the middle of the night as my waters broke and was transferred to the hospital via ambulance.  I began to contract immediately, 2 minutes apart.  Because baby was footling breech, vaginal delivery was out of the question.

We are happy to report that Tommy is ridiculously healthy and is a total rockstar in the NICU.  He currently requires no medical intervention aside from a feeding tube, which he will use until he has enough stamina to breastfeed and get the required amount of nutrition.  He's well on his way and usually latches immediately.  I'm a little bit further behind and only producing about 1ml of colostrum when I pump.

If he continues on this path, Tommy will be released in 2 weeks time!

Anyways, we are absolutely THRILLED, in LOVE, and EXHAUSTED.

Good luck to all the other mama's out there!

8
Hey all!

Got my pessary removed today and baby is moving like crazy.  I think it’s enjoying the new space that has been created. Cervix is closed, hard, and no tension is on the cerclage. Woot!

In addition to this we had an ultrasound and received more good news! Baby is almost 5lbs (4lbs13oz) and is doing so so so well. It is currently footling breech, which is no big surprise. If it stays this way, then it will be delivery by c-section, which we are both ok with.

Finally, we got a phone call from a midwife today who is willing to take me under her care! We were turned away early in our pregnancy due to the our high risk status. We are meeting on Monday to discuss what she can offer from this point forward. It’s been a good day!

9
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Monday Roll Call for July 2, 2018
« on: July 02, 2018 at 08:40 PM »
Hi all!

32+4 today and feeling good!

We have another growth ultrasound and OB visit on Thursday.  Looking forward to seeing baby!

My restrictions have been lessened, so I'm a little more mobile now and can go on outings, provided we use the wheelchair instead of walking.  I continue to spend most of my days lying on the couch, but most of my mornings have been filled with World Cup Soccer action.  Can't wait to get back on the pitch once baby is here!

We FINALLY started getting some things prepped for baby.  Ordered a few essential consumables online and was given more than I could ever have expected from my sister whose twins are 13 months.  We are pretty much ready for this little one to make it's arrival (although I would be more than happy to wait for our due date!).

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians, and Happy 4th of July to all the Americans out there!


10
Hey Fenrose,

Sounds like your doctors made the right call in placing the cerclage for you! 

I had a preventative cerclage placed at 13+5 and by 18 weeks, I was measuring around 1cm and completely funnelled to the stitch. With modified bedrest, I have made it to 32+3 and a couple of weeks ago, my doctors said that they believed that I had a good chance of making it to term (this is despite several other complications).

One thing that my doctors told me and what I didn't truly believe until this point in my pregnancy is that what matters more than cervical length with a cerclage is whether or not your cervix is closed.  Next time you have an OB appointment you can ask your doctor for this information and have some peace of mind.  Since you didn't mention that your cervix was open in your post, I imagine this is the case for you!

Wishing you the best and keep us posted on your progress!

Lauren


11
Great article! Thanks for sharing :)

12
What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: New here! 18 wks
« on: June 21, 2018 at 08:32 PM »
I am/was in a similar situation to you - previous loss at 24 weeks, and high anxiety throughout this pregnancy.

A few things helped me get through the second trimester. 

One was to repeat the mantras:

"This baby will be happy, healthy, thriving, and FULL TERM".

+

"This is a different pregnancy, a different baby, a different story with a different ending".

Another thing that has helped immensely is this support group as well as a few forums on Facebook, including one called "Incompetent Cervix".  I especially like participating in the Tuesday chats on this group that begin at 2pm EST.

Finally, after a long stint on bedrest starting at 16 weeks and an already established relationship with an amazing therapist, my family doctor and OB conferred and decided that it would be best for my mental health to be on anti-anxiety medication.  I was prescribed a low-dose of Celexa which is pregnancy safe with a very low dependency rate.  If your anxiety is really getting to you, I would suggest talking to your doctor about that.  I've been waking up happy every day since the meds took full effect, with the exception of one trigger day.

Wishing you all the best as you count down to your goals and eventually make it to full term!

13
Hi Kate,

I can’t offer much about placenta Previn, but I can relate to what you are going through with bedrest and the hard feelings that come with it (full story: pregnancy complications —> sludge/contractions/short cervix - 16 weeks)

This is my second pregnancy, with a previous loss at 24 weeks. I’ve been on bedrest since 16 weeks. My prognosis was not good. On top of incompetent cervix, I had a few other complications that made this pregnancy very high risk. I don’t believe that either of my OBs thought I’d make it to 24 weeks. I spent many days in my second trimester fighting through anxiety and sadness, over my loss and the potential loss of this pregnancy. It was incredibly difficult.

My family doctor, in consultation with my OB, eventually prescribed an anti-anxiety medication (Celexa), which has helped immensely. After 24 weeks, I started to see a huge difference in my emotional state. Things were starting to look up.

Somehow I’ve defied the odds and we have made it to 30+5.

I’m still on bedrest, but have developed a routine that keeps things “normal”. I find that getting dressed each day and changing locations for the day (bed to couch in the living room) makes life a little more bearable. Not sure if you’re able to do that on SBR, but could be something to look into.

I’m so sorry to hear that you are dealing with bedrest and uncertaintly, and while not being able to fully take care of your little one and work. Sounds like you have some great supports on your side to help you get through this.

Wishing you all the best!

14
Hi all!

We usually have friends over in the evening and invite them for dinner. I love cooking and after years of practice, experimentations, and failures, I’ve become pretty skilled in the kitchen and my friends know it! But since I’m on BR, I’m unable to cook or make things that are beyond basic. So, instead, we’ve been doing cooking lessons, and I instruct the guests from the couch (I have a clear view of the kitchen). The bonus is that we have a great time cooking together, we eat delicious food, and my friends walk away with new skills and recipes.

Recently, I’ve been able to move around a little more and have been enjoying meals and tea outside on the patio. Yesterday a few friends came over and we made acrylic dirty pour paintings together (so fun, so easy, and you can do it easily while sitting).

I’m unsure if I will be able to make the chat tomorrow as a friend is coming over for lunch. Will do my best to say hi!


15
Pregnancy Complications / Re: Progesterone side effects
« on: June 18, 2018 at 03:18 AM »
Hi Charlotte,
I am also on progesterone suppositories (200mg), but I have not experienced shortness of breath. Bloating in the first trimester and an increase in discharge.
My doctors didn’t test my progesterone levels, either.
I would definitely bring this up at your next appointment!

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