On Tuesday night, January 18th, I felt like I had horrible gas. I decided that was what it was and went to bed.
By 4AM I realized that I was having contractions. I started timing them, hoping they were Braxton Hicks contractions and would go away. But they didn’t.
At 8AM I called the doctor’s office and by 9:30AM I was at the doctor’s office. They did an ultrasound and determined that my cervix had thinned from the last ultrasound. The doctor put me on a med to try and stop the contractions and sent me home.
I took it easy the rest of the day. The contractions stopped for a while but by the next morning (Thursday, Jan 20) they were back, so we went to the hospital.
We got to the hospital about 5AM and saw the doctor at 7AM. During the time between they tried to monitor the baby, but it’s hard to keep a 22-week baby on a monitor because there is so much room for the baby to move. They also had me mark when I was having a contraction.
Once the doctor came in, I was started on Ibuprofen to stop the contractions. It worked and I was sent home after 6 hours, with instructions to rest, but not to take anything. I spent the rest of Thursday and all of Friday resting, but by Friday evening the contractions had returned. I spoke with the doctor on call and he told me to take more ibuprofen and see if that worked. It did work for a while but at 5AM on Saturday I woke up with bleeding so we got dressed and went to the hospital.
I was monitored in the ER first because there were no beds available in Labor and Delivery (L&D). In the ER the doctor did an ultrasound and discovered that my cervix had shortened even more. I went from 4cm on January 10th; to 2.5cm on January 19th; to 1.3cm on January 22. We had been told that 4cm was normal; 2.5cm was border-line and 1.5cm was a concern. As soon as the doctor knew the cervix length he said I could not get out of bed and immediately put in a catheter. Not the most fun experience in the world, but they thought it would help.
Within the hour I was moved to L&D and put into Trendelenburg, which means I was flat on my back and my legs were positioned higher than my head. The goal was to take the pressure off the cervix and buy more time. The side effects are: really bad heartburn and a lot of pressure in the sinuses.
They also started me on an antibiotic in case I had an infection, Ibuprofen to stop the contractions and Zantac to help with the heartburn. After 24 hours on the Zantac with no relief I asked for Tums, which did the trick. So the doctor agreed to let me take that as needed and discontinue the use of the Zantac.
The plan was simple: see what would happen over the next day or so. I responded well to the Ibuprofen so I was moved to another room that was less busy and they continued monitoring me.