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Messages - mvp_57

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16
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Monday Roll Call! 11-14-11
« on: November 14, 2011 at 10:31 AM »
So far so good. I’ll be 21 weeks tomorrow. My last appt was at 18-weeks and the Dr. happily reported that the cerclage was intact and my cervix was closed and long. I’m hoping for the same report at my 24-week appt. I’ve limited my activity per Doc’s orders, and I’m going to slow down even more. Although I have some measures in place this time around, I can’t help but worry about these critical few weeks. It seems like the baby hit a growth spurt last week and on Thursday I kept getting cramps and tightening frequently throughout the day. They were different from the round ligament pain I'd felt in the past. I had been on my feet a lot so it was a reminder to stay put. Every time I had to pee I was afraid to see bleeding. So scary. Ugh. Thankfully, since then I haven't felt anything but the baby's kicks:-)

So when I'm tempted to do anything “strenuous” like vacuum or mop, I stop and think, "Don't be an idiot." Until last week, I thought I'd continue as-is until I got a warning sign when it occurred to me that I may not have the luxury of a warning sign -- I could just lose the baby. It sounds like a pessimistic view, but I need it so that I don't get stubborn. Not worth it. My interim goal is to make it to 25 weeks, then 30, and so forth.

17
What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: Healthy baby boy born at 38 weeks :)
« on: November 14, 2011 at 10:09 AM »
aw, that's so wonderful! 13 weeks on bedrest...you're amazing! Congratulations!!!

18
Thanks, KayEm! Nice to meet a fellow preggo with BCU. Yes, I have the additional problem of the septum. The good news is that I’m carrying in the right horn, same as my first pregnancy, and I’m told that’s better b/c that part of my uterus has been stretched somewhat. My cerclage will be removed on the 36th week.

Btw, in an earlier post you mentioned that you wanted to skip the epidural. I was considering going natural as well. As painful as the back labor was with my first delivery, feeling the contractions helped me be a very effective pusher. I didn't have a choice then b/c labor started immediately after my water broke and I delivered in 20 minutes. Of course, this time around I'm hoping to be further along so my baby won't be as tiny. You’ll have to let me know how it goes.

Congratulations on making it to 32.5 weeks! That’s awesome, esp for having been on bedrest since your 24th. You’ve made it over the hump in terms of the baby’s most critical development and now you don’t have much further to go. So happy for you!

19
Hi everyone,

Glad to be back on this forum. I’ve checked in periodically over the years since I shared the story of my first pregnancy. It’s nice to come back to such a wonderfully supportive community!

I’m now in my 14th week. Had the cerclage done last week and will get 17P shots from 16-36 weeks. Between my OB and my high risk specialist, I have appointments about 2-3 weeks which is good for my peace of mind. I miscarried at 8 weeks earlier this year, so I’m not completely at ease until I get the thumbs up during these checkups.

My doc prescribed limited activity (no exercising, being on my feet for more than 2 hours at a time, no lifting, no sex) since the cerclage until delivery. He’ll start monitoring the length of my cervix at my 18-week appt. Bedrest may be necessary depending on how things go.

It’s both helpful and scary to have the knowledge and experience I have from my first pregnancy. There’s the incompetent cervix and limited room in my uterus to worry about. However, with the current treatment plan I already have advantages that I didn’t have before, so I’m feeling optimistic about being able to beat my first kid’s 29.5 week delivery. She’s doing great btw, and is a happy, healthy 4-year old!

Side note: After my first pregnancy, I met with several doctors to determine the feasibility of correcting my uterus. Unfortunately, due to the particular structure of my uterus, there was a higher risk of damaging the integrity of the uterus. There was also conflicting info about the benefits of removing the septum so I left everything alone. Several women with BCU have delivered babies full term, and with a little help, I hope to be one of them!

20
Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything / Re: So THIS is a cerclage?!
« on: September 30, 2011 at 01:45 PM »
Typo: I had my cerclage at 13 weeks. I'm in my 14th week now.

21
Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything / Re: So THIS is a cerclage?!
« on: September 29, 2011 at 04:26 PM »
I just had my first cerclage at 14 weeks. Thanks to this post, I knew to expect being in an awkward position. Here's more in case it helps.

First was the spinal which was a quick pinch and burn as the meds flowed in. Then warmth moving up from my toes to my bottom until I could no longer feel anything waist down. I was fully awake for the procedure so it was weird to feel them maneuver me into position while being as limp as a rag doll. I could also feel pressure as they poked around. Don't worry, there's no pain and the anesthesiologist should check in frequently to ensure that.

IMPORTANT: I was grateful to the female anesthesiologist who understood what an awful vantage point it must be to be laying down with your feet up in the air while two large men tinker around in your hooha. She spared me the embarrassment by draping a sheet to block my view. It ought to be standard procedure, but since it's not, be sure to request it if you're scheduled to have one.

The good news is that the whole procedure only takes 15 minutes once you're in the OR. The rest of the time is spent in the recovery room until the anesthesia wears off and you can go to the bathroom on your own (both in terms of being able to walk and also pee).

One thing to keep in mind is that until the anesthesia wears off, you won't feel your bladder getting full. However, pay attention to cramping or discomfort. The doc had said to expect mild cramping after the procedure, so I mistakenly waited until I got unbearably uncomfortable. Once my nurse put in a temporary catheter (w/c I couldn’t feel thanks to the anesthesia), I felt immediate relief. On second thought, don’t wait until you get uncomfortable. Once they allow you to drink, you may want to have your nurse empty your bladder after an hour or two.

22
My daughter's name is Sophia, so I'm partial to that:) Seems to go well with Olivia and Hannah...Other names that I like: Mina, Yasmine, Ella, Isabelle, Jordan. Good luck!

23
Congratulations! How about a photobook of your milestones together as a couple? Not sure about Snapfish, but Shutterfly automatically creates a photobook once you've uploaded your pictures in an album. You can re-arrange the photos within pages if you like but if you uploaded them in the desired sequence, the work is done for you. Check the processing time so that it arrives in time for your anniversary!

Another idea, if someone can help you set up is a candlelit dinner and a movie. Could be as simple as takeout.

24
Hi Crysta,

How are you doing?

I have a bicornuate uterus as well, and know how frustrating it is to get an accurate diagnosis and sound medical advice! I'm told that a BU isn't necessarily the cause of preterm labor because the septum kinda gets pushed out of the way as the baby grows. An incompetent cervix, however, adds to the complication b/c with less room than a normal uterus, there's more pressure on the cervix as the baby grows.

Even though they are uncertain about an incompetent cervix, it wouldn't hurt to assume that that's the case with you, as an added precaution. It was too late for me to have a cerclage in my first pregnancy as well. I'm now trying for a second, and I'm told that I would be a candidate for a cerclage at 12 weeks, progesterone shots, and strict bedrest.

Every day does count, so hang in there with the bed rest. My 3 main lessons learned from the first pregnancy were:

1) Relieve pressure from the cervix. So lay down as much as possible (as opposed to sitting up) and definitely stay off your feet as much as you can. I feel certain that I could have gone longer than 29 weeks if I'd been less stubborn.
2) Drink a few sips at a time. Not having enough fluids caused contractions, but having too much to drink in one sitting also made me have to pee frequently.
3) Urinate as often as you need to. I used to hold it in a little to avoid having to get up so often, but quickly found out that caused contractions as well. Bah!

The above 3 are inter-related, so using a bedpan may be necessary if you have to pee too frequently.

On a more positive note, the baby will keep you super busy the moment he/she is born so think of this time as the best time to catch up on your reading, movies, research, hobbies, etc.

Best of luck, and keep us posted!

25
Making the Best of Bed Rest / 22 weeks with bicornuate uterus
« on: January 19, 2010 at 08:40 AM »
hi there,

Welcome to the forum! Good to hear that you're doing well and have a great support system. I think I'll move to Canada:) I hear their maternity leave is 12 mos w/c can be split with the father? That's fabulous! Anyway, I thought I'd reply to your message b/c my situation was very similar to yours -- on bedrest at 23 weeks due to shortening cervix (yes, it was incompetent) and a bicornuate uterus. I wasn't aware that I had a BCU until my first ultrasound either and it was too late for me to get a cerclage. After 6 weeks on bedrest, my beautiful baby girl was born and she's now happy, healthy 2 year old. Hopefully, some of the details of my story will be helpful to you(http://forum.keepemcookin.com/index.php?topic=11.msg13#msg13).

Having a laptop w/ Internet access and noting down my daily progress, along with everything the doctors said in a calendar were extremely helpful for me. One thing I learned is that every DAY counts, so celebrate each day as a milestone! Do try to take it easy. I’m a workaholic and had I not been forced to stay put, I probably would not have made it as far as 29 weeks. Knowing what I know now about how to prevent preterm labor, I would not have gotten up to use the commode as frequently as I had during those last few days. Continue to stay positive, but allow yourself the freedom to relax (as best as you can). Even if you're not in the office, working still inevitably puts stress on your mind and body. Plus, setting a barrier helps people understand that a high-risk pregnancy is just that - it's not like you're on vacation just b/c you're on bedrest.

I understand your need to research complications caused by prematurity. I have to say though that it helped that I didn’t know about every possible thing that could go wrong. Frankly, I don’t know if I could have stayed positive if I had. My husband and I researched things as they came up (because doctors never give you the complete answers). Two things I would research in your area are: 1) The nearest hospital with a Level 3 NICU (http://preemies.about.com/od/allaboutthenicu/a/NICUPart1.htm) and talk to your doctor about the possibility of delivering there so that your baby doesn’t have to be transported, 2) Check w/ your insurance about getting a private room in case you have to stay in the hospital toward the last few weeks of your pregnancy.

One last thing...you DO have the right to complain. It’s going to (hopefully) be a long ride, so you’ll experience the ups and downs like the rest of us. That’s what forums are for, right? I wish you and your baby all the best!

26
hi there. I’m very sorry to hear about your losses, and admire your strength and courage. The fact that you’re seeking resources such as keepemcookin.com indicates that you are doing your best to stay informed and are keeping a positive attitude. In addition to online resources, you may want to check if there's a March of Dimes chapter in your area. They are huge advocates of preventing premature births. Given your history, the good thing is that you’ll be under close watch from the very beginning. Stay strong and have faith that when the time is right, everything will fall into place. A couple of my friends have suffered losses and kept trying. One in particular had 3 miscarriages, but now has three boys and one girl. When you do get pregnant, let us know so that we can provide whatever support we can along the way!  I wish you all the best.

27
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Staying sane while on strict bedrest
« on: December 27, 2008 at 11:32 AM »
I was on strict bed rest in the hospital for 6 weeks with my first pregnancy. How did I manage to stay sane? Wireless Internet access is a godsend. My husband got me a laptop and I stayed in touch with friends and family, completed my baby registry, and even checked out real estate listings for our first house :). I caught up on reading and movie rentals. I highly recommend keeping a small calendar to help you keep track of appointments and the baby’s progress. This helped me in NICU as well. It was the only way I could keep track of all the information people were giving me on a daily basis. After a few days on bed rest, things start to blend in a little, and jotting things down on my calendar was a tremendous help. 

Most importantly, I’m blessed with a wonderful family. My husband slept in a cot by my bedside (because we were lucky enough to have a private room), and my mom and sister altered their work schedule so that they could drive up the 1-hour 2-3 times a week to stay with me at the hospital. This meant I had delicious home-cooked meals or takeout! Friends sent me care packages and text messages to help me stay positive. I also asked for some alone time, which my family respected. The incessant flow of nurses and doctors (usually at inopportune times) were balanced by the fact that their close watch ensured my baby’s safety.

Looking back, I think that the prescribed bed rest was nature’s way of making sure that I would take better care of my baby and myself. I was in a stressful job, and I didn’t know enough about pregnancy to know when something was not normal. It wasn’t until I was hooked up to a fetal monitor, for example, that I realized that the tightening sensations that I had been feeling were actually contractions. I had always thought of contractions as sharp, painful sensations that made you gasp for breath. I had just assumed that the sense of “fullness” I was feeling was the normal result of the baby getting bigger.

It’s funny...a couple of weeks before I had to go in the hospital, I told a co-worker that I would rather be “nesting” than working on a project. I’ll watch my words more carefully next time ;).

28
My daughter was born at 29 weeks and 2 days (almost 3 months premature). Although I didn’t make it to full term, I consider it a blessing because I kept her cookin’ for 6 weeks on bed rest. Here’s my story:

In my 12th week of pregnancy, I was diagnosed with a “heart-shaped” or bicornuate uterus. I learned that this malformation of the uterus is a birth defect that can only be detected by an ultrasound. I also learned that there was a 15-25% chance that my baby would be born premature. This being my first pregnancy, it was not the news I wanted to hear. However, the good news was that my doctor had known patients who carried their babies full term and had gone on to have subsequent pregnancies. The course of action was to monitor me very closely, with monthly ultrasounds and bi-weekly cervix checkups.

In my 23rd week, the transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) showed that my cervix had shortened, indicating a higher risk of preterm labor. I was told to work from home until my checkup the following week. At that appointment, they discovered that I had an incompetent cervix – the inner part of the cervix had begun to dilate and that my cervix had gotten even shorter (2 cm). I was admitted to the high-risk unit and kept overnight. With the baby weighing only 1 lb, that’s when I really got scared. The following day they did an fFN test to assess the likelihood of my delivering within 2 weeks. Thankfully, the test came back negative and I was transferred to a regular room in the maternity ward.

During the next 6 weeks, I made two more trips to the high-risk unit due to frequent contractions and on one occasion, deeper dips in the baby’s heartbeat. As I got bigger, the baby dropped lower. The challenge was staying hydrated enough to avoid contractions, but not getting up to pee too often. My weekly cervix checks showed that my cervix continued to shorten despite not being on my feet for more than a few minutes for bathroom trips or a quick shower. Eventually, I did have to alternate between the commode by my bed and a bedpan to avoid getting up to pee 3-4 times within an hour.

In my 26th week, the fFN test was positive. I was given two shots of steroids to boost the baby’s lung development. By my 28th week, my cervix was now down to 6 mm. At the beginning of my 29th week, it was down to 1 mm and I had begun to dilate. I was put on magnesium to control the contractions. I was also diagnosed with gestational diabetes and required a daily insulin shot. It was extremely difficult to find a comfortable position because my baby’s head was right under my pubic bone. Talk about preparing for an exit! I minimized my activity even further and prayed that she would at least complete her 29th week. Sure enough, 2 days past the 29th week, she could wait no longer.

After an uneventful assessment on the fetal monitor that morning, I got up to pee and climbed into bed. That’s when I felt this huge gush of warm liquid as though a water balloon had burst inside me. My heart sank and I wished I could take back the moment that I climbed into bed (I still wish that I had eased myself back onto the bed. Maybe that would have made a difference). Those thoughts were immediately taken over by the intense rhythmic throbbing in my lower back. Ah, so this is what back labor is all about! I had to fight the urge to push until they could get me to Labor & Delivery. It was a mad rush down the hospital maze to L&D where a team of neonatologists and L&D staff awaited my arrival. We made it just in time – 20 minutes after my water broke, my little miracle entered the world at 2 lbs 11 oz and 15.5 inches.

My daughter is now 15 months old, a happy and healthy little toddler who is as feisty as she was in my belly and the 7 weeks that she was in NICU. She is an absolute joy and I’m eternally grateful to my friends and family for being there for my husband and me during that time. I learned early on that every day in my belly was equivalent to 2 days in NICU, so I was thankful for every day that she stayed put.

So if you’re on bed rest and frustrated that you can’t be your usual super human self, that’s what you have to keep in mind...You’re doing the best thing for your child – and taking control of the situation (ironically enough) – by staying put. Every day counts.

Now that I’m considering having another baby, I feel that I can benefit from my experience. On the other hand, I have some fears because of what I know now. I still feel a slight twinge of envy when I encounter women who’ve carried their babies full term without any issues. I was 31 when I had my daughter. Because I have an incompetent cervix (a term I still find amusing), I will have to get a cervical cerclage done on my 12th week, and very likely kept on bed rest thereafter. This poses many questions about when I can have another baby...I face more risks as I get older, but I’m worried about missing out on my daughter’s most precious moments if I get pregnant too soon. And what about work??

If you have the same considerations, I hope you contribute to this forum. I hope to share another success story in the future, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear from others who’ve been in the same situation.




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