Saturday, January 30, 2010

Why I love my study group (or: quasi-bed rest) (or: how much do you want to know about my cervix?)

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday morning, and got some kinda-annoying news that is gonna require some lifestyle changes.

First of all, the babies are doing great:-) Both are active and healthy and really good sizes (2 pounds 8 and 2 pounds 7) and are developing right on schedule. And I am doing great, too...blood pressure is the same as it was at my first appointment, no terrible fatigue, no unusual aches and pains (beyond what you'd expect). My weight is good, sugar levels are good, all of my tests have been normal and I have no swelling and bloating. My rings slide on and off super easy.

And then there is my cervix...ugh. Without the lengthy description, here is all you need to know: a short cervix means a risk of pre-term labor. If your cervix gets smaller than 2.5 centimeters, they put you on bed rest for the duration of your pregnancy. As I have detailed here before, that would be a total and complete catastrophe and would be a MAJOR pain in the ass for me. All of my efforts to stay in school this semester are for naught if I have to go on bed rest (and yes, I know this was a stupid idea from the beginning...keep it to yourself!!!).

So, at its first measurement, my cervix was something like 4.0 centimeters. It stayed around that size until about four weeks ago, when it was like 3.5 centimeters. Two weeks ago it was 3.0 or so, which was not a great trend, but not super-alarming. Well, on Friday, it measured about 2.7, and that started to get me worried. It is pretty easy to see where, in two more weeks, that number could be at 2.5 or less, which would require me dropping out of school and losing basically a whole year of school.

After talking with my doctor, we decided on a plan to try and head this off at the pass, which involves putting me on part-time bed rest. Basically, other than sitting up in class, I plan to be laying down essentially all the time. Fortunately, I can do pretty much any work I have to do laying down. It is gonna drive me crazy being that useless, but if it can get me to make it all the way to the birth (or at least close) without having to go totally on bed-rest, then I will give it a shot. One day in, and so far so good...the fact that it was 12 degrees outside didn't hurt.

This will be tough on The Boy, too. I am not supposed to be up much when I am home, and am not supposed to lift anything, which leaves him pretty much in charge of everything around the house. The obvious other complication is that Munchkin is incapacitated, he doesn't have her help, and has two patients to take care of:-)

Final story, though, about my incredibly awesome study-group guys. We have a study room that we can keep stuff in, where we have meetings, and where we keep all of the files and stuff for our semester-long group projects. It is basically like our office at school...only the six of us have to share it. The room has a conference table, a couple desks, and a bunch of office chairs. Usually, after class ends every day, some or all of us convene there to work on either class stuff or project stuff. That is where I do most of my homework before I leave for the day to head home, and really where I spend most of my time at school.

Well, my new plan as of Friday morning was to basically scrap that...and just head straight home after classes end (which is usually like 2:30 or so). I broke the news to my group members when I got to school, and they were bummed. For one, it is harder to do group work if I am not there. And second, I think that they would just plain miss me:-). However, being the resourceful future captains of industry, they weren't about to let a little medical complication get in the way, so they came up with a solution that is actually even better than mine: they stole a couch.

The lobbies outside of all of our study rooms are basically like study lounges with chairs and couches and coffee tables and stuff. So, once I told them that I had to recline whenever I wasn't in class, they figured that they would just take one of the desks and one of the chairs out of the room (leaving it randomly in the and swipe one of the couches to stick in our room. Problem solved! No word on what the facilities department is gonna do when they find all the furniture has been removed from its appropriate places, but we can deal with that on Monday.

In the meantime, I can now sneak away to the study room to lie down between classes, for an hour at lunch, and then all afternoon while I do my homework and whatnot. So now, I will have to be on my feet (or driving or sitting up, which is just as bad) from at least about 7:45 until 10:00 on an average day, which is a lot time. But after that, I will get 15-30 minutes to lay down, then usually another 90 minutes of class, an hour to lie down at lunch, 90 minutes of class and then pretty much lay down for the rest of the day.

Let's all cross out fingers that this keeps me off of full-blown bed rest until it is time to have the babies...


Brian said...

The Boy sounds like a real tropper, you are lucky ... and your classmates are a resourceful and fun bunch! Glad to hear things are going well so far with the pregnancy.

Lisa said...

Those guys sound great, hope everything works out and that there'll be no full-blown bedrest for you

Lori S-C said...

I'm willing to bet that with the use of modern technology, ie something like Skype, you could probably do a lot of your classes while horizontal. Why don't you talk to your professors about it and see if they can make some reasonable accommodations so you can get through this... Maybe they can even put a couch in the classroom for you...

Miss M said...

I am delurking from my reader to promise you that when you have 2 of the most amazing little tiny babies at home in a few months, you will not care that you missed school. They will totally transform your life. At least for a little while :) I agree with Lori, your professors may let you do your work from bed... I had a coworker work from home for 5 months on bed rest due to similar complications and it all worked out in the end. Hang in there!

Jen said...

Good luck AM! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, but it sounds like you have a pretty good plan worked out.

Accidentally Me said...

Unfortunately, being in class is non-negotiable. The whole value of the program is being around all of the people and interacting with them and benefiting from everyone's experiences and's not like there is just a lesson plan and a bunch of assignments to complete. You have to be there.

So, if I can't sit though class, then I can't be in school, which is why it is so important that I just maintain the ability to sit up in a chair for an hour and a half at a time. That's all I ask!