Saturday, October 4, 2008

4 -24wks - what I did

****Disclaimer***** This is what I did to get to 24 weeks. It may not work for you. Everyone is different and they have to do what they feel comfortable with (and listen to their body). This is mainly for me to document on what I did to get to 24weeks with an incompetent cervix and a cerclage.
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When I first found out that I was pregnant, my RE said no acupuncture and no travel - not even to a city 1 hr from where I live -before first u/s. I had to make a decision to take some heat and miss a planned vacation and an important family event. My DH has been very supportive. I couldn't have made it this long without his help.

My mom told me to be selfish and to do what was right for me and baby, so I decided modified bed rest with no travel at all even after first u/s. This upset my friends and family as they didn't know I was pregnant at the time. I had to throw a party for my boss at work, but decided to leave early as it was smokey. I was about 5 wks. I had to make excuses not to go to lunch everyday - more on that later...

**Stairs**
4-12 weeks - I went up stairs only once a day (once down and once up). I had to make an exception right before my cerclage as I had to get some bloodwork and my paperwork was upstairs. I went up sideways even starting at 4wks. I came down slowly but the regular way.
I went up the day after my cerclage at 12w5d. I had some bh contx I believe from going upstairs. I stayed up there for 2 weeks until my follow up appt at 14w4d. DH brought me food and I had a microwave upstairs to heat up food. He just left me food daily in a cooler.
I went up after my checkup at 14w5d or 14w6d and stayed upstairs until 16 week appt with my obgyn.
I had to do stairs at my peri's off at my 14w4d checkup - one flight - but a lot of stairs. In hindsight, I should have cancelled my appt or just waited as they fixed the elevator shortly after my appt. I had bh contx that I didn't recognize while having my checkup that they could see on my u/s.
Lots of people do stairs with no problems, but I think people should minimize stairs.
I do plan to do stairs more at around 27/28 weeks. (if I feel up to it and don't get bh contx).

**Lunch**
I did go out to each lunch with people, but there were a lot of variables which you can never control. Long lines, driving with others who don't drive well, etc...
I tried to minimize going out to lunch with coworkers to maybe twice a week. I stopped completely at 12w.

**Cervix and how it behaved**
I had to listen to my body and know what was normal for me. I had vaginal discharge daily - usually after BM. Then I started having some if I did too much - standing too long. A few days before my surgery, I went to a hotel with my DH (in my same city). I started feeling weird down there, so I tried to lay down as much as possible, but we did go out to breakfast and to dinner. On the day of my surgery - 2 days later - my cervix was opening from the bottom. It could have been what I felt, although drs say you can't really feel your cervix dialating.

**Grocery shopping**
I stopped going with DH around 8 weeks and made him go by himself (probably for the rest of the pregnancy). I make him a list and he is pretty good about getting stuff that I can eat. When I did go before 8 weeks, I didn't lift anything. I also tried to walk slowly. I had some discharge one time which is why I stopped going.

**Discharge**
Tan discharge after BM almost daily. I started taking colace daily mainly after my cerclage to keep me regular. I think it helped, but every BM was scary for me (and still is). I still had days where the colace didn't do the job, but I didn't take as much as others do. I hate taking stuff while pregnant.
After my cerclage, I had a different type of discharge and that was my new norm. I had it usually after BM. I also had it when going to get a shower and eating out. I also had it usually more about once a week.

**Exercise or even walking - from a former runner***
NONE. Minimized even walking from the beginning. Not even to my mailbox or around my neighboorhood with my dogs. I might have gone for a quick walk once, but stopped it pretty early.

**Leaking fluid**
I had leaking fluid from day 1 on this pregnancy. I had it on my last pregnancy too, but my RE had explained to me that it was excess estrogen (since I was taking estradiol during my IVF pregnancy). All 3 of my drs. could never explain why I had this - this time. DH asked RE if it could be amniotic fluid (since that happened w/us last time) and RE said if it was there would be none around the baby (that early) and baby wouldn't be there. It was my norm, but scary. I had time that I didn't know if it was amniotic fluid. One time (16 wks) I was dying to check at the obgyn's office, but he told me to wait it out as he didn't want to put anything in my vagina. I agreed with that approach. I waited for my big u/s at 18w4d and they told me my fluid was just fine. I then knew it was probably just urine and my normal. I had to wear liners everyday so far this entire pregnancy. I'm not a dr. but the only thing I can think of is more soy in my diet. I was eating a ton of cheezits and they have soy in them - so does all processed foods like junkfood and chips- check your labels. I'm not saying it is a bad thing, but I think I was getting a lot in my diet. I also eat vegetarian a lot and I could be eating things that had soy or tofu in it. Again, I'm not a dr. and my drs. have never told me this. This is just something that I have thought. I had more leaking when sitting upright - like going out to eat, etc. I have tried limiting my soy and I seem to have it less.

**Eating out**
I minimized eating out after 14w4d, but did go out to eat when we went to the obgyn or peri. I also went sometimes with DH when I went for a shower. I had to leave my house for a shower since I don't have one downstairs. I WAS SO NERVOUS going out to eat - scared if I broke my water in a restaurant. It was just hard to enjoy going out to eat - something my DH and I do a lot normally. I stopped going out to eat - even the only once a wk that I went - at around 19 weeks. I had more discharge when sitting up. I'll try to eat out more now - but probably starting at 27 wks or so (even then just once a week). I will only continue to go if I feel up to it and not scared and not enjoying the experience.

**SEX**
None. Peri said I could. Obgyn said not to. We didn't once we found out we were pregnant. In fact, during first trimester and early 2nd trimester, I had some orga$ms in my sleep and they gave me bh contx and one time caused a bleeding episode (although I'm not 100% sure that is what caused it). I tried to watching boring stuff and still do - nothing with sex in it.

**Bedrest**
Lying on the couch for most of the day except for bathroom breaks and to heat up something quick. Unfortunately, I ate a lot of frozen dinners which have soy and not great ingredients. I tried to eat mainly organic, but I did eat a lot of frozen dinners that were not organic.
My drs said to NOT do bedrest and that I was normal. Unfortunately, I don't trust drs. so I did what was right me. Male drs. don't understand what we went through with our loss last time. I'm not sure even female drs would get it - only those who have been through a loss understand. I'm not sure they can ever understand how scared we are. Women blame themselves even if it isn't their fault (I did too much, what if I didn't do this, etc). Drs HATE recommending bedrest. In fact, my peri said I could get a blood clot and die. I still could, but I hope I don't. I do lie down more than I probably should.

**After placement**
I had cramping the night of my cerclage. I opted not to take pain meds. I did take a week of antibiotics. I had diarrhea the next day with some gushing, but they told me it was normal. I had red/pink bleeding right afterwards and for days some pink spotting. I had spotting for probably a week or more after the cerclage. It felt like I had a tampon for a few weeks after placement.
I had movement pretty low around 16-20 weeks. Dr. said that was normal.

**Working**
I worked a normal schedule until 12 weeks. A few days before 12 weeks, I asked my manager if I could work from home. She agreed. I am still working from home, but I did take a week vacation (not that I went anywhere - just didn't think about work). I took a week off on my 20th week. I have a stressful job, but it is a desk job that I can do reclined. I'm thankful I was able to work from home. I've done it before with my current job, so they knew I was pretty good at working from home.

**Showers**
After cerclage, I tried to take a shower every other day. DH said 'why can't you take one daily'. I said because I think I need to minimize showers. I did take quick showers - from a person who normally took long showers.
Since 16wks, I've been downstairs and leaving my house to go take a shower about every 4 days. I go to work which has a shower that has a seat - although I just started using the seat over the last 3 wks. Since I only take a shower every 4 days, I take about a 7-10 min shower. I plan to increase my showers once I go upstairs - maybe every 2 days....

**Friends/family**
Lean on them as much as you can. We had people who brought over food for us. My mom cooked a few meals for me. Without help, it would have even been harder...NO ONE understands what you mean when you say 'i'm on bedrest' until they visit you (and in my case - seeing where I sleep). I had people who said 'can't you meet up for lunch' or family who wanted me to visit them. I'm like 'i'm on bedrest I don't leave my house and I don't drive'. They never seemed to get it. Even after some people visited, they still didn't get it, but it did help when they came over to see 'our world'.

**Thoughts**
I'm not sure I could do this again. Of course, I'm just concentrating on this baby, but I still think could I do this again. I probably could if I had a house that had a bedroom downstairs. We do plan to move in the next few years, but I'm not sure if that will help. I can't even imagine doing what I did with a small baby or a toddler. I don't have the advantage of waiting 5 years before having another baby (I'm almost 36). I really don't ever want to do IVF again. I could change my mind, but I really don't think I would.
I made a countdown of days -one until viability, one until 28 weeks, etc (short goals). After 28 weeks, I will have one until 32, etc. I also made a calendar and crossed out the entire month when it was over. I visualized me crossing out each month every few days.
I also have a countdown of weeks.
I have some mantras I have written down that help me when I am down (cerclage is strong, cerclage will hold, my cervical length is long, my baby grows strong each day, it's in God's hands, don't worry about what others think).

I won't lie - the cerclage and bedrest are the hardest things I have had to do in my life. It will be worth it, but it isn't easy. The last 20 days before viability were extremely difficult. I had good days and bad days. The next month will be hard too as I try to keep doing what I have been doing.

I'm sure I will have forgotten something, so I'll try to add posts related to the heading on this one.

4 comments:

Monica H said...

I don't think people (even women who've been pregnant and have children) realize how damn difficult a high risk pregnancy is like. And bedrest on top of being high risk is just plain hell.

You're working so hard at maintaining this pregnancy and I tip my hat to you. Your love and dedication is so strong.

Beth said...

Wow - you have worked so hard for this baby, and that just shows me how incredibly loved and lucky this baby is. You are in my thoughts!!

Mom-to-be said...

I am sitting here on bedrest at 24 weeks pregnant (yay!) and searching out people who understand what I'm going through! Thanks for your story. I can totally relate. Good luck with your pregnancy - I will be praying for you :-)

Keith, Tiffany, Owen and Delia said...

Thanks for the great information!! I found your blog on the IC forum and really appreciate all the info. I found out I had an IC at 26weeks and did hospital bedrest for 6 weeks before my kiddo was born preemie, but ok. Now that I know I have this problem I will be like you and do everything I can to prevent the same thing from happening. I went to my doctor over and over before I hourglassed because I knew something was wrong...but they always dismissed my complaints. Thanks again for the GREAT info and I will most certainly follow your advice.
tiffany
pixistixz9 on the IC forum:)