Today’s visit was better than I thought it was going to be going in. It is impossible to know, from week to week, what is exactly happening and I have given up trying to predict. But, what I can say, is that even though it has not been recommended, I do try to take it easy, along the lines of modified modified bed rest. I try not to run too many errands at once, I’ve given up vacuuming the house (but my husband will do it without complaint when asked), we all go to the grocery together so that I don’t have to push the cart or load/unload groceries, I try to avoid taking the stairs or lifting anything heavy, and, if I am home, I try to lie down. Sometimes, if baby boy is particularly bothersome on my cervix or if I feel like I am carrying him low, I will invert myself on our bed, with pillows under hips and feet propped up on our head board. Staying in the position for a half an hour or more really does coax him off of my cervix and buys me some time before he wedges himself back down there.
I have said it before and even though I have tried to protect my heart and pretend that I don’t, I love this little boy. I want to keep him safely tucked away inside as long as is physically possible. It is hard to explain how I feel like a mother to this growing baby, but I do. He feels like part of our family even though he’s not yet here with us on the outside. I know his movements and his hiccups and his little face and can usually tell which body part I’m feeling as he moves around his comfy womb. If I could will myself to stay pregnant to term, I would, and as it is, I am trying to focus on that being the end game. I can only get there in week at a time increments, but that is how I did it with my son, so that is what I will draw upon again.
The abdominal ultrasound was uneventful. He’s not due for another grow scan until 30-32 weeks. I did get to see him blinking his eyes, and rubbing one of them with his little hand. He puckered his lips as if to blow a kiss. It was heart breakingly sweet.
We did the culture for the fFN but agreed we wouldn’t send it in unless a significant change to my cervix warranted it. The good news is that things looked better than they did last week, with the funnel much, much less pronounced and my cervical length being between 2.5 and 2.74, even when pressure was applied. It brought such relief that I almost cried. That ability to exhale signaled to me just how much stress I have been carrying around. It is weighty stuff, this being pregnant at 46 with a shortening cervix.
We decided not to send the fFN in (it would be negative) and she gave me the option of going two weeks between appointments again, but I opted to stick with one. As much as any change can send me into a panic, I am better having information than not. And, I happened to schedule an OB appointment for the day before my next MFM appointment so, if all is stable, I could cancel my MFM appointment.
We discussed my long held fear of my cervix opening and him just sliding out. She assured me that now his head is too big for that to happen even if my cervix gave way. And, she said in the absence of preterm labor, things don’t really work like that. We talked about my other fear, of my water breaking and, while that is remotely possible, it does not signal fetal demise. I would be admitted to the hospital for the duration of my pregnancy, but even if that were the case, again, in the absence of preterm labor, I could continue being pregnant for some time even with my water broken. Good to know.
She said again that she sees no reason that I won’t make it to term. We talked about how things would have to change in order for her to order bed rest, but, frankly, she is really an opponent of it. There just isn’t any study, in this country or another, that shows that bed rest for shortened cervices improves outcomes. She said to continue doing what I am doing and we’ll take it week to week.
My anxiety was lessened significantly by the time that I left. I hadn’t been in a good head space these couple of days leading up to this appointment. In my attempts to just get through each day, I’ve retreated into my home isolation. My mood is good, which is to say that I am not depressed, and I am managing to keep our home life and my son’s life together. But, I don’t feel like doing anything socially (except for with a rare few people), don’t really want to talk on the phone, and keep the minimum of communication going with those that do reach out to me. I know that so many people are hoping for the best possible outcome and I feel that, I really do, but I just don’t want to talk. I cut myself a lot of slack in that regard. My #1 job, next to being a good mother to my son and a good wife to my husband, is to incubate this baby for as long as possible. Not a lot else matters.
“If you knew that hope and despair were paths to the same destination, which would you choose?”