Honestly, this week is a blur. We had David‘s mom come and spend the weekend with us. It was really nice having her visit. She made the long trek here on Friday, braving holiday traffic through the GTA. She stayed until Sunday evening when we figured that would be the least busy time on the highway on a long weekend. We had a really good visit and it was wonderful to catch up. It’s hard knowing that it will be a while before we’ll be able to make the trek to see David’s family again. We had planned to get out there possibly at Thanksgiving, and definitely at Christmas like we do every year, but with the bed rest and not knowing when Anika will come into this world, we definitely won’t be there for Thanksgiving, and most likely won’t be there for Christmas either.
David’s mom and I chilled on the couch together for a while this weekend, both crocheting. It took me a bit to realize we were using almost the same colour of purple. I was also getting David to snap some pictures and then do video instead of what I was doing so that I could message them to my sister Eva because I’m teaching her how to do granny squares, and she needed some reminders. I was thinking of recording some higher quality videos and uploading them to YouTube, but I haven’t done it yet. I just haven’t set it up for some silly reason. I have to be careful how much crocheting I do because I suffered repetitive motion injury from it last December while motoring through making four blankets and a scarf. I have slowed down since then, but it’s definitely nice to have something to keep my hands busy with while I’m on bed rest.
Monday, David and I had some much needed time just the two of us. I tried to stay off my feet as much as possible. David took me out of the house for a drive through lunch and we ate it in the car. Then he drove us around for a bit. We chatted about current events and aside from a brief bout of motion sickness, it was really nice.
On Tuesday I had a visit from one of my work friends and her baby. It was really nice to see them and to see how big her baby girl has gotten! We had Swiss Chalet for lunch and a nice visit. She also brought me some amazing Jelly Beans. I was feeling pretty good on Tuesday, Anika was doing good too.
On Wednesday we went for my anatomy scan. Eva drove me and we got a little lost for a bit because of bad GPS instructions and construction. We ended up getting there a little late and it wasn’t until we were in the parking lot that I realized I didn’t have the requisition for the scan. My stress was pretty high when we went in and then they were trying to figure out how to solve the requisition problem so that I could get my scan. the policy is no scan without a requisition, so I was kind of surprised when I got called into the ultrasound room. I explained to the tech the issue with my requisition and that I had one on file for a cervical scan and she said she’d start the anatomy anyway. Suddenly I was hit by a full blown anxiety attack, trouble breathing and tears and everything. She asked me if I was okay and I somehow managed to explain that I was having an anxiety attack, but that she should do the scan anyway and I would work on calming down. I focused on my breathing and after a while the tears began to slow. She asked if there was anything she could do to help me and I asked her if my daughter was okay. She said she was great, wiggling around and making it hard for her to get the images and measurements that she needed, but that she had seen every angle of Anika and with those quick glances she looked perfect. About half way through she decided to give up on chasing Anika around and we switched to the cervical scan. I knew something was wrong because she was suddenly less talkative. Before she switched back to scanning Anika she told me that she was going to try and get a hold of the doctor. I asked her what was wrong even though I knew it was my cervix. She wasn’t supposed to tell me anything but she let slip that it had shortened. She finished up her scan and then called Eva in so that we could actually see Anika. She had chilled out a bit, still kicking and wiggling a bit, but staying in relatively the same position. She looked so beautiful. The absolute hardest thing about an incompetent cervix is knowing that my body can create and grow a perfect and healthy and beautiful baby, that my womb can nourish her, but I can’t keep her safe on my own. Left to do what it’s supposed to naturally do, my body will fail, and give up on this perfect little life.
I went back to the waiting room to wait for the next step. I can’t tell you if I waited five minutes or an hour. But I was called back into the ultrasound room so that she could grab two more images of my cervix and then we were allowed to go since I had an appointment to see Doctor M the next morning.
I really didn’t know how to feel on Thursday. I really didn’t know what to think or what to expect. My sister Mary drove me to that appointment and sat with me, chatting while we waited, keeping my mind busy so that fear barely had a chance to enter. My blood pressure was still in the good range, but high for me at 120-someting over 70-something. I’d gained another pound, great news for Anika.
We talked to the intern first and she went over some of the results of the anatomy scan. She mis-read how much my cervix had shortened and told me it was 10% or 1mm shorter. She also gave me info on Anika. She is little, but not scary little she’s in the 20th percentile, she weighs about 12.6ounces. She is hitting her developmental markers and there was nothing worrisome at all in the scan. She confirmed that, yes, Anika is a girl. Then Doctor M came in and we got down to business. My cervix had shortened by half a centimeter. It was now 1.48cm long, and funneling. She confirmed that it was funneling last week too. Of course, I had a lot of questions, and she was very patient (as always) to answer them for me and let me know what our new plan is going to be. She’s going to have me doing weekly ultrasounds and appointments with her, and if my cervix is under 1cm at 24 weeks I’ll be transferred to the antenatal unit at McMaster, a nearby teaching hospital that has a children’s hospital attached with a level three NICU. At that point I’ll be given the steroid for lung development, and probably admitted for “a few weeks”.
I found hope in Math of all things. I know that as long as my cervix stays closed, no matter how short it is, we can keep Anika in and as long as Anika is in she is safe. 24 weeks is less than 5 weeks away… I lost an average of 0.25cm a week over the past 2 weeks, and even if I continue losing at that rate I will still have some closed cervix at the point when Anika is viable and they are able to do more to intervene on her behalf.
I was doing way better emotionally than I had expected and I made the conscious decision that moving forward I was going to be more sticky about my bed rest, and spend more time horizontal, ask for more help, and make less transitions from room to room. I had maybe 20 minutes from the time that Mary left to when David came home from work and Mia and Kaiden coming by for a visit. In that short window of time Anika did something AMAZING!! She decided to completely move from my right side to my left. I put my hands on my belly and I felt her with my hands! It was so cool! David came in the door maybe five minutes after it happened. I couldn’t believe he missed it. All I have wanted since I felt Anika move for the first time was share that feeling with David. Mia and Kaiden came in not long after that. Mia made us supper of salmon, veggies and rice. It was quite yummy! And then we played a game of Splendor because Kaiden had been really wanting to play it with us.
I went in the car with David on Friday. He had to do some work at his old job, right now he’s working full time at the new place and part time at the old place and also helping my sister Becky and brother-in-law Denis with a home business they inherited from Denis’ dad. He has a lot on his plate. I stayed at Mary and Bill’s and took up their couch, laying down but with my head up enough to eat, drink and socialize. David ended up with a visual migraine at work that turned into a headache. I really wished that there was something I could do for him. I hate when he’s hurting and I was so frustrated that I couldn’t rescue him or drive us home.
That evening I got a call from David’s aunt. It was wonderful to hear her voice and to let her know what was going on, and to get her advice. She told me a bit of what was going on there and asked how David was doing. I really appreciated the call.
By Friday night David and I were riding a little high emotionally and we really needed to talk things through because right now there is a lot to stress and be worried about and we have both been conscious of not wanting to overburden the other. But in reality we need each other and we need to communicate to keep us healthy. We had a good long talk and David rested his head on my belly and talked to his daughter, he told her about just how much I wanted to be a mom and just how much he wanted to be a dad and that we haven’t had an easy road to get here, but that she is worth all of it. And all we want is for her to be safe and strong and born at the right time. We talked about how we are going to figure out how to put money away for her future, whether it be for schooling or a wedding or a home. We talked about how we are going to set up her room and what our steps are going to be to get that done.
Anika, I hope eventually you will be the one reading these blog posts and I hope that you see beyond the struggles and the mundane every day things. I hope you see the love. I hope you see the love between your parents and how much love we both have for you. I hope you see just how many people love you and just how much you are wanted in this world. You are our miracle. You are so loved.
Every one else, please send up your prayers, your thoughts, your good vibes, whatever you believe in, I ask for it all that my cervix stops shortening and that we can keep Anika safe and cooking for as long as possible. Thank you.