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Author Topic: Shortening Cervix  (Read 5449 times)

cmomon

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Shortening Cervix
« on: December 24, 2013 at 05:08 PM »
Hi. I'm new here and would really appreciate some advice.

I'm 24+4 with my little girl today. Last week I went to l&d because of some cramping and loose stool. When I was check my cervix was open   1cm at the external os and .5cm in length. I was admitted and started on vaginal progesterone suppositories and a pessary was placed on my cervix. They also gave me steroids for baby's lung development.

The next day my cervix was measuring .61cm in length. I was told that I wasn't in active pre term labor but the risk is high. I spent 4 days in the hospital and now I'm home on bed rest.

I'm so worried now and trying to keep hope for carrying my baby to full term. I've heard of a lot of things they can do that they aren't doing to me like medicine to stop contractions or magnesium. I just want my little girl to have everything that's available to her to keep her cooking longer. I would love to hear some success stories, advice on things to watch for and suggestions on bed rest if possible. Thank you

Angela

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Re: Shortening Cervix
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014 at 02:08 PM »
Hello! It's great that you have the pessary and are doing the vaginal progesterone. Both have been shown in studies to keep a shortening cervix stable.

As your pregnancy progresses, your OB may want to pull out the next round of defense. Medications (like nifedipine) to calm contractions could be a good option, if you later have an episode of preterm labor. You can read more about those medications (called tocolytics) here: http://www.keepemcookin.com/prevention.aspx

Magnesium sulfate is typically the last line of defense, because it makes you feel absolutely horrible and you need to be hospitalized for it. But, the stuff really works! You can read more about that on the page I linked to above.

How have these last few days been for you?

Angela

cmomon

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Re: Shortening Cervix
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014 at 10:26 PM »
Thanks so much for your reply Angela. Things have been going pretty good for the most part. As of tomorrow I'm 26 weeks. I've been to the doctor twice since my original post. The first time was about a week after I was discharged and my cervix had lengthened to 2.3 cm. I was so excited. My doctor told me at that time that bedrest was not necessary and that some studies have shown that it could be more harmful than helpful. He just wanted me to take it easy. So I've been up and about a little more.

Well today my cervix was open again. He said there was nothing to measure. The outer os is completely closed but my water bag has started to drop into the open portion of my cervix. I'm terrified now and I've decided to go back to bedrest. Now I'm just wondering how to do bedrest right. Can I sit up or should I stay flat? I know my baby girl is a lot stronger now since this first happened but I really want to keep her in as long as possible.

taniamom

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Re: Shortening Cervix
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014 at 11:33 PM »
Hi. I was in a somewhat similar situation. My cervix was 8mm long and 2 cm dilated at 25 weeks. My bag of waters was also bulging into the open portion of my cervix. The perinatologists thought that it could rupture any time and they kept me 7 weeks on hospital bed rest. I spent most of that time at a 45 degrees angle (aprox) and was told not to sit up, except for when I had to be moved on a wheel chair. I slept on my side. I had bathroom privileges and kept my showers very short. I didn't have to wash my hair as often as before since I was not sweating. For medicines, I was on nifedipine to control contractions, progesterone shots (because the suppositories irritated my skin too much and gave me yeast infections), two rounds of steroids and magnesium when I was admitted.  I am 36 weeks now and I believe bed rest had a lot to do with it. Just remember to do ankle circles and pumps several times a day to avoid blood clots.  Best of luck for you and your baby.

Angela

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Re: Shortening Cervix
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014 at 10:03 AM »
Great advice, Taniamom! And BIG congrats on 36 weeks and counting!!!

Cmomon: Stay lying down on either side as much as you can. You want to avoid having the baby put pressure on your cervix, so avoid standing, stairs, and sitting upright. You can sit up (or recline) for meals so that you don't get heartburn. Avoid acidic and fatty foods, because they can also lead to heartburn. And load up on healthy fats and protein to encourage your little one's growth.

Studies have shown that there is a loss of muscle tone with bedrest, and a higher risk of blood clots. I can't provide medical advice, but I recommend ankle circles and pumps (like you're putting your foot on the gas pedal, and then lifting up all the way) to help prevent clots. Eventually you'll be getting up to pee every hour  ;), and that keeps the blood flowing too.

In the meantime, keep this link handy so you can be aware of the signs of preterm labor: http://www.keepemcookin.com/symptoms.aspx The sooner you recognize it, the better the chances of stopping labor.

We're with you all the way on this! You CAN keep cookin'!

cmomon

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Re: Shortening Cervix
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014 at 11:37 AM »
Thanks Taniamom. Our situation does sound very similar. The water bag hanging into my cervix has truly freaked me out, but your story is inspiring to me. If I can make it as far as you I will be ecstatic.
Sounds like your doctor was much more aggressive. I'm wondering if my doctor is just trying not to freak e out b/c I'm already a nervous wreck. Which if that we're the case I'd be pissed. Or if its because I'm to dilated at all in the outer os and he has described my cervix as dynamic? Do you know if the cervix can lengthen if the. Water bag is in the way? I go back to the doc on Tuesday and I'm going to have a lot of questions for him.

Angela, thank you for spelling out this bed rest thing for me. Yesterday was my first real day in bed not getting up. My back is pretty sore already. I'm wondering if this might be easier if I were in the hospital. I'm going to talk to the doc about that. I've heard of the ankle pumps and circles before and I'll be sure to do that. I'm just praying I can make it longer and that my marriage survives. I wish I had a time machine

cmomon

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Re: Shortening Cervix
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014 at 11:44 AM »
*not dilated at all

taniamom

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Re: Shortening Cervix
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014 at 12:58 PM »
I think hospital bed rest has a "physical" advantage. Those beds make it easier to find a comfortable position. I have been at home for one month and still don't find a good pillow setting in my bed. Two more things that I suggest are to drink lots of water, at least the 8 glasses, and maybe ask your doctor about a stool softener if you need it. I was told that being hydrated helps to control the contractions and helps with bowel movements too. I don't know if a cervix can lengthen with the bag of waters picking out, mine didn't. Another thing I avoid are gassy foods. Gas gives me more  contractions. I completely understand how nervous you are at this moment, but don't loose your faith. Miracles do happen. Any precaution you take, counts.

Angela

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Re: Shortening Cervix
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014 at 02:44 PM »
Cmomon: It's interesting that you say you hope your marriage survives. We’ll be talking about the emotional challenges of bedrest with a high-risk pregnancy consultant on Tuesday at 2 pm EST in the Chat Room. One of her areas of expertise is coaching partners on how to reduce stress and maintain a close relationship. I hope you'll be there! And you can post questions for her in the chat room now if you'd like.

Talk soon...