Starting to Shorten...

We had another sonogram/measure my cervix appointment on Monday (eclipse day!). Unfortunately I had to go to DC Monday night for work and just got back Wednesday night, so I haven't been able to blog the results, which, to be honest, are a little scary...

Baby still looked great on the abdominal ultrasound and his heartbeat was measuring perfectly. We didn't get much of a look because the doctor wanted to switch to a vaginal ultrasound to get a more accurate measurement of my cervix (yay.. the pants on streak has finally ended...). At the time, I had no idea what my previous measurement 2 weeks prior was - I only knew that the doctor said it still looked good. This time, she said it measured 3cm and that it had shortened since last time.

Cue the worry and I started asking questions. Apparently at my last appointment when I was 22 weeks, my cervix measured 3.7cm (according to the internet, a little on the low end, but about normal for how far along I was at the time). But in just two weeks, it shortened .7cm - and that seemed like a lot to me!!! At 24-28 weeks, "normal" is 3.5-4cm, so I was well below that.

My doctor didn't seem overly concerned and said that they will only start to worry if it gets below 2cm, which is when it could cause pre-term labor. That's all fine and good, but I'm sitting there thinking, "well... if it shortened by .7cm in 2 weeks, then it's going to be below 2cm SOON!"

As usual, I left feeling kinda freaked out even though my doctor didn't seem worried. We scheduled another appointment to measure again for 2 weeks later (Sept 5) and I went home to pack for my DC trip and later google the crap out of "cervix length during pregnancy." I also posted about my questions on my various Facebook groups. After some research, I felt slightly better...

Apparently cervical measurements are very inaccurate. They can vary day by day and even depending on which doctor is doing the measurements (I've had 3 different doctors all three times we've measured). Your cervix doesn't shorten at a constant rate - so even though it seems to have shortened a lot over the last two weeks, I could go on Sept 5 and it still be at 3cm. So, this was promising. 

At the end of the day though, while it's normal for your cervix to shorten as your pregnancy progresses, it's typically a third trimester thing, and mine is definitely shortening sooner than normal. This is expected, obviously, since my uterus is smaller, and we knew this was coming - it just sucks to hear the reality after all the good news we've had. So what does it mean? It means we keep going in for measurements to check on the status. If it gets under 2cm then more drastic measures will be taken. Potentially bed rest, or progesterone injections, as well as injections to help the baby's lungs mature quicker. It also means that it's possible for me to go into pre-term labor within these 2 week measuring breaks if my cervix shortens significantly before we know about it. Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do now but just wait until Sept 5 when we measure again.

The good news is, we've reached viability. So a cervical cerclage (where they literally stitch your cervix closed - ouch) is out of the picture. They only do this prior to 24 weeks. Once you reach viability and the baby can survive outside the womb, it's not worth the risky procedure. The other good news is that I've been feeling great! I feel Coleson moving around so much every day and I know that each week that passes by allows him to grow more and more. I'm just praying my body can keep him cozy in there for awhile longer!

Luckily my work has been super flexible with allowing me to be home (or close to home) throughout my pregnancy. I've now reached the point where I literally don't know what each week will bring and so it's nice to be able to be home and near my doctor if something were to go wrong. Plus, I have doctor's appointments at least every two weeks, so I can't be gone long anyway.

I cannot believe how quickly the summer flew by and that it's almost fall! Fall is my most favorite time of the year, so I'm reallyyyyy looking forward to the next several weeks. Our baby shower is next weekend, my bestie's bridal shower is the weekend after that, and then we leave for a week in OBX on the 16th!! Once we get back I'll be in full fall mode and hopefully we will be able to wrap up all of our baby to-dos!

Oh and I almost forgot... I turned 27 on Sunday! It was pretty much the worst birthday ever because I had an awful cold and was in bed all day (p.s. you can't take NyQuil while pregnant....), but I did get to spend time with my sister and both of my parents on Saturday (and did lots of shopping!).