“Modified” Bed Rest – 22 Weeks Pregnant

It has been a busy, stressful and tumultuous time since I last wrote.  Every time I think of a good topic, my life gets turned upside down. Let’s get into it.

About a month and a half ago I decided to stop running.  My doctors had told me I could run up to my delivery date because of my blood sugar control and my level of fitness.  However, at about 17 weeks pregnant, my joints would get really sore after a run.  During my run I felt great, carefree, energetic, if not a little slower from carrying a mini keg up front.  My doctor had told me my joints would be affected by pregnancy because a hormone is released to make them loose to aid in the birthing process.

So instead of running, I continued to walk my dog 6-7 times a week and incorporate a 20 minute prenatal strength training session that I found online and got approved by my many OB/GYNs.  I really enjoyed the strength training because after a long day at work I would get tired, but doing the workout actually increased my energy and reduced my stress.  It also had almost no impact on my blood sugars – score!

About two weeks ago I had my regular 20-week ultrasound with a cervical measurement.  It was then that my doctor told me I had a short cervix.  What does that mean?  It puts me at risk for a pre-term birth.  A normal cervix at 20 weeks would be about 3 cm, mine was 2.4 cm.  If you think of the cervix as a zipper, the longer it is, the more closed us and secure.  When the cervix gets to zero, it starts to dilate and you go into labor.  I will put a side note here; doctors have only started measuring the cervix in that past 5 years (which isn’t a lot of time to collect data).  What if my short cervix is genetic or because, well, I’m short.  I’m a pretty petite person, measuring a height of about 5’2″.

Anyway, my doctor was not concerned, but wanted me to come back in one week to have it re-measured.  She said if it was smaller then, then I could start taking a medicine to help stop the cervix from shrinking, and if that doesn’t work then I would have the option to have a surgical procedure to close the cervix.  When I heard surgery, I panicked.  I asked “was this caused by my diabetes?  was this caused by my running?”  Both answers were no.  I felt half-relieved.

The following week I got checked, it had shortened to 1.4cm.  I started freaking out.  That was last Friday.  At that point my doctor recommended getting the measurement checked Monday AND scheduling the surgery for that Monday.  She also told me to just rest all weekend and to stop walking my dog or doing any exercise.  My husband was on a ten-day business trip and I called him to come home early.

Later that Friday, I went to the ER because I was feeling light-headed and my heart was racing.  I didn’t know what was going on.  Turns out, I merely had an anxiety attack.  My baby was perfectly healthy and snug in my body.  My brother flew in from 14 states away that night to take care of me and my dog, since my husband would not be able to get home until Sunday morning.  It was nice having my brother around because he is so humorous, he really lightened my tense feelings of stress and anxiety.

My husband and I went Monday morning to get my cervix measured.  I was so nervous.  But it had grown! From my lack of movement is what the doctor said.  It was now back up to 2.2cm.  So I didn’t have to have the surgery Monday!  Great news!

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However I am now forbidden from running, walking for exercise, carrying anything, and should limit stairs.  I am only allowed to basically walk from my parking spot to my office.  When I am home, I am sitting or laying down.  I go in to get measured this Friday.  It creates a lot of anxiety for me, because at any of these appointments, they could tell me surgery is going to happen that same day.

Even though I am having all of these issues, my baby is looking great and healthy.  It is measuring at exactly the right size!

Amazingly throughout this whole month and a half my blood sugars have been incredible.  I don’t quite know how I’m doing it, but my A1C is now 5.5.  I never would have dreamt that 2 years ago!  Getting my A1C ready for pregnancy has been one of the greatest challenges of my life, so it feels good to get a win.

For me though, the stationary lifestyle has been challenging.  I am a very active person.  Walking my dog is one of my favorite times of day, exercise reduces my stress, I have been a runner for 25 years.  That being said, I am not complaining.  I want what is best for my baby and putting my unborn child in front of myself is just the start of motherhood, right?  Selflessness continues.

 

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