Friday, December 18, 2009

The Incredible Growing Cervix

I'll cut to the chase, in case my title wasn't obvious: My appointment today went very well.

It went so ridiculously well, in fact, that I am too completely confused to even feel any sense of relief.

Here's the long version, for those of you willing to bear with me. I have to get it all out so I can process it myself, and as always, I love your invaluable advice!

So on Wednesday, to review, my cervix length was 2.8 cm as measured by the sonographer at my OB's group office. Which was actually down from 3.4 cm (not 3.2 as I said in my previous post) in two weeks, too much too quickly. My OB put me on a blood pressure medication to reduce contractions (which I'm still not 100% sure I've been having?), instructed me to take it as easy as possible with a toddler at home (not official bedrest, and a hilarious oxymoron), and wanted me back today for another cervical check. Unfortunately, on such short notice and so close to Christmas, there was no room at the inn in the OB's sonographer's schedule. So they booked me with Maternal Fetal Medicine (which deals with testing and high risk pregnancies) to do a cervical check this afternoon and instructed me to head back to the OB's office right afterwards so I could discuss the results with the on-call doctor there, since my own doc is about to go into labor at any minute and isn't taking any more appointments.

Are you still following me?

So I dropped Bean off with his girlfriend and her mom this afternoon and headed to MFM. When I arrived, I explained to the sonographer why I was there. She informed me that in addition to the cervical check, that she HAD to do a complete scan of both babies first, and hopefully I had the time for it.

Oh really, we had to? According to whom, the masked man in the corner holding a gun? I don't mean to sound ungrateful for seeing the babies... but GOOD LORD! These are the most photographed fetuses ever in history. I was completely anxious to get to the cervical check, and already feeling guilty for dropping Bean off with my friend at his naptime (which clearly he was going to miss). *sigh*

But after 65 minutes of laying on my back for the complete scans, growing more and more uncomfortable with each tick of the clock as the babies crushed my internal organs and cut off blood flow to my brain and extremities, we were FINALLY on to the main event.

The sonographer measured my cervix and then measured again. She had me change positions. "What did you say the measurement was on Wednesday?" she asked. We were both stunned to see the consistent measurement of 3.49 cm on the screen.

THAT MUCH LONGER in only 48 hours?

What the... ???

She left and came back with the MFM doctor for a quick check in. Both the sonographer and the doc praised how awesome the twins looked in their scan. Naturally, they've had much practice! They gave me a print-out of the stats and a picture of my cervix with measurement to show the on-call doc at my OB's office.

When I got there, they were winding down the day's appointments. A nurse came up to the front desk to talk to me first, and I explained the entire story to her. She then took my chart back to see the on-call doc, and because the results were so straightforward, the nurse just returned to talk to me herself.

The doc was apparently pleased with the growth (I asked if she was surprised or suspicious, but the nurse said no), said stay on the meds, continue to take it easy, and come back in one week for a re-check just to be safe.

Then I mentioned our plans to fly for Christmas.

The nurse's face changed. "Hmmm... I don't know about that..."

We talked about this for a few minutes, and then we agreed to have me back next Tuesday for the re-check. Again finding no room with their group's sonographer, they are outsourcing this cervical check as well. Not to MFM, though, so hopefully I won't have to endure another complete scan (my third in one week) and we can skip right to the goods. Then I have an actual appointment with a doctor in the practice -- not mine of course, unfortunately -- but at least I will get assured face-time to discuss whether or not to travel the next morning.

The first thing I am turning over in my brain is HOW DID MY CERVIX GROW SO MUCH IN TWO DAYS? Sure I was taking the low dose of that medicine, and I was sitting a little more than usual (thank you, Yo Gabba Gabba), and I know that the cervix can actually grow after it has shortened. But that much, that quickly, and I wasn't even on bedrest? I can't help but be suspicious -- was the measurement wrong on Wednesday? Or today? WTF?

And the second thing I am worried about is AM I BEING SELFISH FOR STILL WANTING TO TRAVEL FOR CHRISTMAS, GIVEN TUESDAY GOES WELL? Should I stay home even if the Cervix of Steel is holding strong, just in case? The nurse mentioned something about not wanting me to go into labor on the plane. I really don't think that's going to happen, truly deep down. But is it better just to stay here for the holidays? If we do travel, I will have to go two weeks between cervical checks instead of one.

Thanks for hanging in there with me... I really appreciate all the good thoughts, prayers, advice, etc. Obviously it worked!



Kristina P. said...

Wow, I really have no idea what any of this means, but I'm glad that things are going so well!

Lisa said...

Hi Sunny! Such a tough call. I'm not sure how I would handle it. Seems so bizarre to have such a change in 2 days. Maybe there was error before. Follow your instinct..know if the stress of flying and the unknown is too much or get your bags packed for hopeful holiday fun. Your a strong will know.

IF Optimist, then... said...

Hi there sweetie. I'm glad to know that at least you got some rest and the measurement is fine today. I'm with you and am wondering if the 2.8 measurement was in error. How many times did she measure it? As for whether you should travel or not...hmmmmmmmm...this time of year is mega busy, lots of people travel while being sick on the planes, there are always chances of delays, snow closing down airports, roads, etc. I don't know. I always try to weigh the risk versus benefit. Good luck on Tuesday.

Beautiful Mess said...

WOW! That's a pretty big jump in two days! I would think that traveling would be OK, if you're feeling like it. You know your body better then anyone else, so it's your call. Does that make sense? Either way I hope Tuesdays appointment goes well!

MrsSpock said...

Way to go cervix!

Traveling? I'm not a great traveler- Mr S and I both hate it- so I'd probably use it as an excuse not to travel. Whether it's not a good idea- that's a tough one. Maybe call your OB and ask?

MissMVK said...

I have to say I have been scared crapless since your last post because my cervix was the same length before (3.47) and was, at my last appt two weeks ago only 2.9. I was worried but both my MFMS and my OB said that it fluctuates frequently and anything longer than 2.5 right now is fine. They said with twins that would happen. GULP.

So I put it to the back of my mind but when I read your post about all the threats of bedrest and staying more sedentary I was all "Oh Em Gee!!!" With that said, I am very happy that your cervix appears to be lengthening even if its at a freakish rate! Keep us posted!!!

MissMVK said...

Oh and about the traveling by plane my OB and MFMS both said avoid if possible but definitely no traveling after Christmas!

Shelley said...

Excellent news! I hope it stays long for Tuesday and that you get the all clear for travel so you don't have to worry.

Mary said...

I have a feeling the measurements were just off, the u/s is just an estimate at best. I think signs to look for that are worrisome is if your cervix is open at all or if you have funneling with pressure or contractions. My ob office stopped doing u/s cervical checks on twin mamas halfway through my pregnancy b/c they found it wasn't a great indicator of pre term labor. I wonder if they will also do a ffn test to give you peace of mind, if it comes back negative its a good indication that you won't go into labor in the next 2 weeks, if its positive it means you may or may not. The selfish part of me is telling you to travel for Christmas b/c I am DYING to see you, but ultimately it comes down to what is best for you and the babies. In your shoes if the measurements are good Tues, you aren't having contractions, I'd still go, you can sit on a couch in Michigan just as well as you can in Seattle. You can always ride one of those old people things through the airport too to avoid the long walk, I'm sure they would accomodate you.

K said...

My instinct when I read this was there was an error the first time because the second reading is so much more consistent with the numbers you already were getting. Or maybe it fluctuates? Its very befuddling!

I hope its true though and that the babies stay right where they are until its time to come out and play.

Anonymous said...

I would be really careful about traveling. I flew at 24 weeks and home again at 26 weeks and ended up dialated and in the hospital. I was really uncomfortable on the plane and was having lots of contractions. I had an appt the day before I flew and I wasn't diated at all, 2 weeks later dialated and had my twins 5 weeks later. It was really really scary and I regret every minute of traveling. I have since had other doctors who say that the pressure change is kind of risky for pregnant moms, especially high risk (twin moms). I don't mean to scare you, but I wish I would have been told NO rather than you look good, travel if you want to. Good luck and sorry it's such a hard decision, especially aroudn the holidays!

Michelle said...

Well, YAY for your cervix!!! Maybe those babies should model. They have lots of practice in front of the camera. LOL

Are you coming home to Michigan for Christmas (if everything is ok).

PS I do not think it is selfish if everything is alright.

The Buschbachs said...

I've been following your blog for a while now and wanted to say hi. My husband and I are expecting twins in March. I completely feel your stress with the cervix measurement. At our last appointment I asked the sonographer to repeat the measurement 2-3 times to ensure that it was accurate. I hope things continue to get better - I'll be thinking of you.

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL said...

Yay, glad things are going well and that you felt some "relief" after your last appointment. Sorry you're having to make the difficult decision whether to fly or not. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Have a stress free Christmas and I hope everything goes well for you. Just try to relax. If you decide not to travel I am sure everyone will understand. Be safe and well!

Lavender Luz said...


You have such an obedient cervix.

Hope it (and the doc, and the gunman in the corner) lets you travel.

Sarah said...


lisawitt said...

oh no, i havent been on the computer this week, but am relieved to have read this post before the previous! glad the cervix is better and hope it continues to behave!
as for the travelling, ugh. tough decision. listen to what your doc says and you know your body best. one good thing about if you do travel is you will have family to chase Bean around and maybe you can actually get some rest!
Hang in there and sending prayers your way!

Red said...

Oh, so glad the cervix is looking better. How accurate is the measurement? Like could each have been out by a couple of mil, so that actually you have only lengthened a few more mil? Sounds strange, but good news.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that things are moving in the right direction. Tough call on traveling. I think it just depends on how stressful traveling is on you and how much you think you will rest vs. run around. Stay really hydrated on the plane if you go--that's a big factor for staying contraction free. Hopefully, you will get more good news at the next recheck and your decision will be easier.

Hope your Christmas is wonderful, either way!

Nicky said...

Congrats on your amazing cervix! (File that away under "sentences I thought that I would never type.") Um, yeah.

Jen said...

Personally I suspect that the measurement on Wednesday was wrong. The MFM u/s machine is better...Dr. C told me so when deciding to send me there due to my low quality anatomy scan. I think that you'll probably be just fine traveling, but I'm sure a scan on Tuesday should only be reassuring. And it is not selfish to want to follow-through on your travel plans. I'm sure you guys have been counting on that for the holidays and it will be the last time you probably go back there for a while.

Furrow said...

Wowee. I was thinking growing thoughts for you, but I don't think I'm that good.

You know, I am well acquainted with my cervix on a daily basis (thank you, prometrium), and I've noticed quite a bit of variation in length from one day to the next, so maybe it was a natural fluctuation.

I wouldn't skip traveling if Tuesday goes well. Good luck.

Ji said...

Good morning, Sunny:

Thrilled to hear Good news about you.
Please let it be, stay worry free, everything will come to you as you have dreamed. sometimes you have to let life take charge and wait for bliss patiently, because you are the best friend to many and you do, deserve the best!
Take good care.

Stephanie Faris said...

There is a period where you're not allowed to travel -- my sis couldn't come for Christmas with the first baby and Thanksgiving with the second baby because of it...but it was at the very end of her pregnancy. I guess with twins it's even more delicate.

Coffeegrl said...

Wow that's amazing! I'm hoping for all the best this morning at the check-in. Hopefully the docs will give you nothing but good news and tell you to run off and enjoy yourselves before the main event!