So we headed to our doctor appointment assuming we would receive good news just like we have at our previous visits. The visit started as usual with an ultrasound to measure the length of my cervix, then we always manage to get some get pics of the baby. The ultrasound technician is the best I might add!. Anyhow after the ultrasound was complete she told us that she was getting an extremely short measurement and that we would need to wait because the doctor needed to be consulted. OMG. I officially got scared. Thoughts went running through my head while Julian googled as much info as he could on his phone to see how serious the situation truly was. We assumed that the worst that could happen would be some bed rest at home for a couple of weeks. Boy were we wrong. The doctor came in to consult us with a large envelope in hand. The first words out of her mouth were, "YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO THE HOSPITAL RIGHT?" I wanted to fall off the exam table! (But I didn't lol). Julian and I just looked at each other like what just happened?
The doctor then explained to us that for some reason the length of my cervix had shortened by over half the amount it was measured at just 2 weeks prior. Ok, to explain this a little bit: the length of the cervix should be fairly long at 22 weeks because it is not time to deliver the baby. Most guidelines say that the optimal cervical length is anything greater than 3.0cm. Well, mine only measured 2.1cm which is a great deal shorter, and the shorter the cervix becomes the more like you are to go into active labor and deliver. Most know that the age of viability for a baby is 24 weeks, therefore we were oh so close but not there yet. This devastated us to the extreme. The thought of making it this far without having a baby to bring home. We didn't lose hope though.
I begged my doctor to let me go home to pack my bags for what I thought would be a short hospital stay. And while I was home I shaved my legs!!! Hey! Just in case I was there longer than expected. I said goodbye to my four-legged child and off we went to the hospital. We parked the car and went straiht to the admissions office. An hour later we in our new room. The nurse came and all the admission papers were completed, my IV was started, and we waited for more information.
WEEK ONE: 22 Weeks
The doctor came in to explain the next step. Immediately in the morning I would receive another ultrasound to verify the length of the cervix. The length they obtained was even SHORTER!!. I officially began to panic! So two days later the doctor performed an exam swab called a Fetal Fibronectin (FFN). The test reveal a "Negative" result which meant that it was a 99% chance that I would NOT go into labor for the next 14 days! WOOSAH. . .BREATHE! So for the next week Julian slept on mini-twin bed that was awfully hard! I on the other hand was restricted to the bed at all times! And was only to get up to use the bathroom and a 2 minute shower every other day! But we managed! Visitors poured in with gifts for the baby and I, along with tons of snacks, magazines, etc.
WEEK TWO: 23 Weeks
I had survived my first week of hospital food and everything else that came along with it! I was placed on a monitor each day that looked to see if I was having contractions. And thankfully there were NO
contractions! So I continued to stay in bed! And Julian came to visit each night. Things had become pretty routine. My weekly ultrasound showed that the cervix had grown. So bed rest was working! YAY!
WEEK THREE: 24 Weeks
This was the most important week! The week of viability--which meant that if the baby was born at this time there was a chance for survival outside the womb. I was given steroid injections to help the baby's
lungs mature in the event that I did deliver. I received a consult from the neonatologist to explained the statics of infants born this early and the length stay of the NICU. My weekly ultrasound was done and it
showed that my cervix had gotten longer again!! I also received another FFN swab that was negative! All great signs that this baby was not coming anytime soon.
WEEK FOUR: 25 Weeks
I have officially been in the hospital for a month! OMG! I am tired of the hospital food, bed, and everything else! But I am showing no signs of labor. My doctor came in with the best news ever! I can go home the day before Thanksgiving if I have another good ultrasound. I got even luckier and they did my ultrasound a day early. On Wednesday I waited for my discharge instructions and headed home.
Special thanks to my awesome husband who took care of the home and dog while I was away. We joke that I was a deployed for a month for Operation Baby Petty! Now I will continue my bed rest at home and have made it to 26 weeks!