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Author Topic: New to this  (Read 468 times)

littlemissamanda

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New to this
« on: February 22, 2018 at 09:28 PM »
Hi all,

Thank you for sharing your stories, especially your success stories- they are giving me some hope during this time.

I am 37 years old and in my second pregnancy. I lost a baby last year at just 8 weeks, so when I got to 12 weeks this time around, I naively thought we were in the clear. Last week, at 13w3d, I started bleeding and went to the ER. They saw funneling and within two hours, I was in the OR. Emergency cerclage and strict bed rest until at least week 20. I had my check-up this week and they saw no sign of funneling, but my cervical length was still only 3.5cm.

I am just in a constant state of sadness and worry. I am weeks away from any kind of reassuring point in the baby's development and the thought of losing her or him makes me sick to the stomach. But I also know that I have to rest and stay positive. To add to this, I live on a military base with no friends, and my family live 3,000+ miles away in England. My husband and stepchildren are being great, but I just feel very alone.

Did anyone else experience an emergency so early on in the second trimester? What advice can you give me? How did you stay positive when you still had so far to go?

OBmom

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Re: New to this
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018 at 11:03 AM »
Hi!

Just wanted to break some good news to you. 35mm is a great cervical length for 2nd trimester! Hopefully this cheers you up!
Being do far away for your support system must be really hard though..
Hope the bleeding stops soon.
Keep us posted!

reasontohope

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Re: New to this
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2018 at 01:10 PM »
I agree, 3.5 cm is a great length! And it seems like most women who get cerclages so early on (vs at 20 weeks or more) do just fine. I had a pessary (not a cerclage) and made it all the way to 36 weeks with a cervix that went as low as 4 mm (yes, mm, not cm). As my doctor always said to try to calm me down while I cried in his office, imagining my daughter about to just come out too soon, "If there's any cervix in the way at all, the baby is not coming out."

Do you feel like you're getting good care at the base? Is there a possibility someone back in England would be able to care for you? If you end up on bed rest long term (past 20 weeks), and you think the medical care you're getting is inadequate, it might be worth considering going home. Not to scare you, but I would also want to be near a topnotch NICU after 23 weeks in case the baby did come early and needed extra care. Are you in a city or country that has a really topnotch NICU?

Sending you all the best! I know what this is like, it's a real "dark night of the soul." I cried every day for months. A lot of us here have been through it. It does get better, you just need to hang on and stay calm.

EnglishRose23

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Re: New to this
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2018 at 04:06 PM »
Hi littlemissamanda,

Just wanted to say thank you for sharing, that's scary how quickly it all happened for you, but it's good that they caught it and got the cerclage in place. I am in the same boat as you with lots of first trimester drama, and it is so hard being at this point of no hope, just counting down those days till viability. We've already had to discuss how we would want to handle a late miscarriage and prep our 3 year old for the possibility. I think for me it's less about staying positive and more about just getting through one day at a time and staying as distracted as I can. I will let myself start to think positive once we get within arms reach of 23 weeks.

My doctors have told me at this point I don't need to go in for every new bleed because they basically expect me to bleed, but reading your story has made me think I should push to be seen each time in case there was a possibility of a emergency cerclage helping if done quickly enough.

littlemissamanda

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Re: New to this
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2018 at 07:05 PM »
Thank you everyone!

That is reassuring to hear that 3.5cm seems to be a good length at this point. My doctor said it in an "it's ok, least of our worries" kind of way. But she also knows that I am super anxious and desperate to hear that everything is going to be fine from now on, which she obviously cannot say.

@reasontohope Thank you for your advice. I am being seen off-base because my husband didn't want me to deliver in an army hospital and I was hoping to use a birthing center. Being "high risk" now, probably stops that from happening. My OBGYN was excellent last week in the emergency and has been great since, but I am worried because we are an hour away from the closest (and best) NICU in our state. Going home is not an option - Being on bed rest probably means I cannot fly for 7+ hours, and I have been out of England so long that I would have to pay for treatment over there. I really do wish I could be home with my mum! I also think the hubby would hate being so far away from me, especially if something happened.

@EnglishRose23  I completely understand. Staying positive is so hard when the chances are stacked and you have so many weeks still to go. But I have read many, many stories where women defy the odds. I think you should definitely advocate for yourself if you think the cerclage would help. We went to the ER when I was bleeding, not because I thought there was anything they could do to help (I was prepared to miscarry fully that night) but to just check on the ultrasound before I went home to grieve. So if nothing else, a visit every time you bleed can actually offer you some reassurance.

I think (and hope) I am going to be on here for a while so will definitely be keeping myself updated on your stories. Stay strong, everyone!

Last question: Having some sharp fleeting pains in my lower right abdomen. I am hoping it is just round ligament pain and nothing else. Should I be concerned? Call doc?


EnglishRose23

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Re: New to this
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2018 at 11:17 PM »
What you are describing sounds exactly like round ligament pain, so that at least isn't a reason to worry, but never hurts to call your dr if you are concerned.

An hour away from a good NICU isn't bad at all, once you are 22+ weeks you should make the drive there instead of your local ER since they would just send you on anyway (we are the same situation). Also if you ended up with an infant in the NICU there are hopefully places for you to stay close by; with our preemies we were 90 mins and a ferry ride away from the hospital, so stayed in a Ronald McDonald house that was only a mile from the hospital. It helped so much, meals were always cooked for us, and we were surrounded by families coping with similar situations. At a bigger children's hospital where we went for one of our sons surgeries they had free accommodations for parents right in a special wing of the hospital. Worth finding out what would be available to you if you needed it!

At this point a cerclage wouldn't help for me (too much bleeding and uterine activity, and no shortening or funneling yet, just a mushy cervix).

p.s. I'm an English Expat too.

littlemissamanda

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Re: New to this
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2018 at 01:15 AM »
Yay for finding another English expat in this group! :)

I have many friends who live in the same city as the hospital with the NICU, so would have plenty of places to stay should the need arise. That's a good idea to start going there after 22 weeks.

Ugh - even the thought of that makes my heart hurt. 22 weeks seems so far away. I'll reach 15 weeks this weekend. I find I am more negative in the evenings; I guess being tired from the day - not that I am doing much!

EnglishRose23

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Re: New to this
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2018 at 01:30 AM »
We are so close! I'll be 15 weeks on Monday ;D

reasontohope

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Re: New to this
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2018 at 12:26 PM »
One hour away from a NICU is not bad at all! I live in New York, and with traffic, it usually took us an hour to get to my MFM practice (and their affiliate hospital, with a regional/Level IV NICU). If you were ever having an emergency (not that it will happen!! but just to be aware) your local EMTs would likely also be able to take you directly there, so that would probably shorten the time considerably down from an hour. And yes, you should go directly there after 22 weeks.

Do you know about fFN tests yet? You're probably going to start getting them every two weeks, beginning at 22 weeks. The fFN tests for the presence of something called fetal fibronectin, which usually shows up ahead of labor and delivery. They are a mixed blessing. The test has a very strong NEGATIVE predictor value, meaning that if it is negative, you have a greater than 95% chance of NOT going into labor during the following ten days (or more). However, they have a very high false positive rate; 75% or more of positive results are false. They can easily read a false positive from stuff like spotting and I think from the cerclage, although I asked within my own practice when a cerclage was on the table for me and they said that the false positive rate for cerclages is not significantly higher, but if a woman with a cerclage or pessary has two false positives in a row they quit doing the test. If you have any spotting or bleeding, they don't do it.

I had a false positive at 24 weeks that was truly frightening. I got the rescue steroids, the strict bed rest, all of it. But all the following ones were negative, and I made it to 36 weeks.

Each negative fFN was an incredible mental boost. For the first week or so after each negative, I didn't worry as much. Even though they're scary, and the several hours' wait for the results is grueling, I hope you get many negative fFNs in a row, all the way to term! They go a long way to making bed rest less terrifying.

Sending you all the best!


littlemissamanda

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Re: New to this
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2018 at 02:50 PM »
Hey all!

Update: had a sudden gush of fluid this week after getting up from the bed and went into panic mode. Doctor saw me a few hours later and thankfully, it was nothing serious. Turns out I may have a bladder infection and the movement, combined with the little stinker pushing his/her feet into my bladder, was probably me peeing myself without realizing. Isn't pregnancy the best?! On the plus side, we got another ultrasound and saw our little one! AND my cervix is up to 5.4cm! Since being on bed rest, it has lengthened considerably.

Week 19 tomorrow and then our Level II ultrasound next week. We are almost at our first milestone - it seemed so far off when we were in the hospital. Keeping my mind positive that our journey continues to go well.

MMorgan

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Re: New to this
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2018 at 01:28 AM »
I had issues during my pregnancy (not the same ones as you) and we almost lost her at 22 weeks. We knew at that point we would be delivering in the hospital with the NICU, which for us was also about an hour away. Had her at 34 weeks and she spent 2 weeks in the NICU. Hang in there, you're so close to viability, staying positive will be less stressful for the baby too.

OBmom

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Re: New to this
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2018 at 01:50 PM »
I totally get what you mean, those gushes of fluid also drive me to full-on panic mode.
Only problem is, I'm even more scared of going to the ER because I know they'll probably end up admitting me just to be safe. (To be fair to "them", I did PPROM at 29 weeks last time soooo..). I end up staying at home feeling like a wreck, checking for updates - "is it getting worse?". It normally isn't, and after a couple of hours and drinking another liter of water I settle down. Also happens during the night, which doubles the fun as you wonder whether you should scare the crap out of your husband (who will then rush you to the ER of course).
What's not to like?? =)

Hope week 19 is calmer and lets you look forward to your anatomy scan.