So they've been monitoring me very closely. This time. Finally.
And thank God for that, because last Thursday I went in for my every-other-week (why does "bimonthly" have two meanings?) ultrasound to check cervical length. Basically, a long and closed cervix points up toward your baby. It keeps your kid and the bag your kid is in on the inside of you. If it starts to shorten or open up, the bag can get pushed out and even pop. Last year they never did figure out what happened; my cervix looked closed after that baby's amniotic sac burst. And then the second child came and went. Plus, I'm of "advanced maternal age" now. Thus, the monitoring.
The last few appointments have gone great. I almost felt silly hopping on the table for two minutes, the technologist taking measurements and then some quick peeks at the baby, then the doctor saying everything looked great. I was assuming the same routine for this last check, but as soon as my insides showed up on the monitor, I knew something was wrong.
Normally, my cervix kind of looks like a closed hotdog bun with no hotdog. But this time, it seemed as though some curious little person wanted to see what was inside the hotdog bun and started prying it apart. And that curious little person was now vigorously sticking its little feet and legs into that opening, using it as a springboard to launch itself around.
The tech was tightlipped when I asked if that was normal (knowing it isn't) and she said I could discuss it with the doctor in a few minutes.
The doctor said that my cervix hotdog bun was "funneling," and that kids--she called mine "the little dickens," which I love--have a tendency to stick their arms and legs where they don't belong. And oh, if I hadn't eaten a huge, dairy-laden lunch, do I think I can go straight to the Operating Room?
So Jon and I went upstairs to the OR, they gave me a spinal sedation, they flipped me nearly upside down and my physician did a surgery to put a stitch in the cervix, in the part that was still closed so that it will stay that way. Hopefully. The whole thing took less than an hour.
The entire time, the anesthesiologist and I were having a very detailed discussion about great dining in the city of Chicago (He wants but hasn't been able to get into Schwa, but enjoys the housemade sausage at Table, Donkey and Stick. I sang the praises of The Bristol). The nurses call him Dr. Justin Timberlake, and I can see the resemblance. I kept looking at my doctor squintily (no glasses), and for all the OR gear, all I could see were her eyes behind a shield. She has some of the most beautiful eyelashes I have ever seen, and doesn't look to be using mascara at all. Then it was over. Doctor said she could see the baby bouncing around in there. I wasn't going to be able to feel anything from the waist down for a while, so they kept me overnight for observation. I didn't sleep, and for all my whimpering and the aggressive air conditioner, neither did Jon.
The last week has been pretty much bed and couch rest; they wouldn't let me even go downstairs. The pain is pretty much gone now, but they did have me on some anti-contraction meds the first few days--apparently when they monkey with your business down there, your body may go into labor. That which they were trying to prevent (cervix opening, baby-bag bursting, contractions, labor, delivery) is possibly what happened with the first baby.
Today I went in for a checkup and everything looks good, if you think a hotdog bun that is flopping open on one side and pinched shut on the other looks good. We saw a little booty wiggling around in there, and the doctor said I don't have to be on bed rest, but I can't really do anything, either.
Jon keeps telling me, and I keep telling my parents, this procedure is a
GOOD THING. They did this to keep bad things from happening. But I will be honest, I am scared as hell. I don't want to think about a nursery color theme, I don't want to pick out a crib, I don't really want to think of names--at least until we make it to 24 weeks, when I know he or she has a shot to survive outside of me. I really don't want to think about the alternative.