Bed Rest at 21 Weeks

I called my doc early Monday morning because I was experiencing an increased number of contractions.  They had me come in, and what I thought would be just a quick checkup during my lunch break, turned into hospital admission for premature labor.  Whoa, we were not expecting this.

My cervix measured 2.8 cm, down a whole centimeter from 4 weeks prior. Not good at all.  In fact, during the sonogram, I was having a contraction, so it even went down to 2.1 cm for a bit.  This is a big deal because the thinning of the cervix is a sign of labor, and I’m only at 21 weeks.  Despite all the medical technology we have these days, my babies are not even viable until 24 weeks. So they ordered me a wheel chair and whisked me to the Labor & Delivery wing.

When I was wheeled into the room, I thought, “no, Lord, I’m not supposed to be here.  It’s too early.”

Five scary hours later, my contractions stabilized after a shot of terbutaline, more monitoring, and they sent me home on strict bed rest and script for procardia.

Bed Rest
Bed rest differs according to the patient’s symptoms, and mine is “strict” bed rest. My battle is against gravity pushing the weight of the babies onto my cervix, which can’t handle the weight. My body has never experienced pregnancy and not to mention the weight of 2 fast growing girls. My doc ordered me to lay at an incline no higher than 45 degrees.  That means I can’t even sit up in a chair.  I can only get up to go to the bathroom, walk to the couch, or take a short shower.  No house chores.  No nothing.  Just rest and relaxation.  No problem for me, because I could barely walk due to cramping and contractions.

Wednesday, we returned for a follow-up, and unfortunately my cervix thinned from 2.8 cm to 2.6 cm, still the wrong direction.  They sent me home with a new drug, indocin, and the same orders for bed rest.

After a day on the new drug, I only had 3 contractions, an amazing improvement.  Indocin, however, can thin the amniotic fluid, so you can only be on it 48 hours at a time.

Yesterday, I measured 2.7 cm. Good news, that means my cervix stabilized, but we’re not out of the weeds yet.  I’m praying for a cervix above 3cm.  Friday, the girls’ gestational age was 22 weeks and a day, still not near viability.  So, the next 2 weeks are very critical.  The game plan now that I’m stable is to remain on the same strict bed rest, and drugs with continued monitoring.  The babies are healthy, actively kicking, and the amniotic fluid is good. We just need to keep them in there for 11 more weeks.

Today I feel great compared to the beginning of the week. I can actually walk now (to the bathroom that is), but I can still feel that my body is not well. No one has to tell me to stay in bed, I don’t want to leave the bed.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers.  I can feel you guys praying for us because I don’t see how it would be possible for me to be at peace without them. So thank you.  Specifically pray that the cervix remains calm, grows in strength and length.  A healthy cervix measures 3.8 cm to 4 cm.

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10 thoughts on “Bed Rest at 21 Weeks

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  3. I am so thankful that I found your website. I am 21 weeks pregnant with two sweet girls:) two days ago I was sent to labor and delivery because I was having contractions every couple of minutes. After three shots the contractions slowed and I was sent home. I’ve been experiencing some contractions but they are farther apart and fewer. Your story gives me huge hope! You sound like you have an excellent doctor and in 6 days when I see my doc I’m going to mention some medicines that helped you. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Your girls are beautiful:)

    • Hi Lauren, Congratulations on your girls! But, oh wow, you are going through a tough season! Are you on strict bed rest now? Please give me an update. Has your doc determined the cause? Mine was an incompetent cervix, and either my cervix or the womb cased the contractions. They never knew which one, but it would affect the other. Be encouraged, there are so many options for you and your babies. You can get through this! 🙂 I will keep you in my prayers. Blessings to you!

    • Thanks Maya for your encouraging words! I was again sent into L&D on Saturday with contractions. My cervix appeared closed but after a few hours I was dilated 1cm. The doc on call basically said that there’s nothing they can do only wait to see if the babies could hold on. We didn’t like that answer so on Monday at 4am we drove an hour to see a specialist. They measured my cervix and its at 4.2!! So that’s great still dilated to 1 which is scary but they put me on procardia which seems to be helping the contractions, they are still here but not like they were. My belly sometimes will feel hard to the touch instead of me feeling them without having to feel with my hand( make sense?). We are getting my cervix looked at again before we are sent home. Ill be on procardia and strict bedrest. They just want to make sure that it hasn’t changed. I know you’ve heard the run around about being too early but we are praying this will help sustain the pregnancy for at least two weeks! We want our girls as healthy as they can be.

  4. Hi Maya! I wrote back in July and wanted to update you and maybe another scared pregnant mom whose found your awesome blog. After 52 days of bed rest, non stop contractions, procardia, two specialist, progesterone suppositories, 2 hours of mag drip, and a scary short cervix; I delivered two tiny beautiful little girls at 28 weeks 2 days. They’re birthday is sept. 6 but my original due date was 11/27!! After 67 days for Ava And 75 days for Grace in the NICU, they are home, happy and healthy. I can’t tell you how many times I read your entries. Sometimes over and over to calm myself in times that were very scary for me. I wanted to make sure that anyone who my have read my first comment knows that we have a happy ending and we are so incredibly grateful for it! Thanks for your inspiring blog!

    • Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for your update on your precious twins. I’m so glad that you made it. Thank you so much for your word of encouragement. My hope was that these posts would spur another momma to press-on during these hard moments of bed rest. Congratulations! And please drop an update every and then about how your family is doing. Hugs!

  5. Pingback: My Bed Rest Journey | Married With Twins

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