waiting to exhale: last makena shot
After months of feeling like a swollen, hibernating bear, I couldn’t take it anymore with Makena.
I knew no other state of being besides lethargy and muscle stiffness since starting this once a week injection of a thick serum of progesterone. Not to mention the nausea I felt round the clock. Both my MFM and obgyn advised against stopping the progesterone, but could not give me any sort of reason as to why or what would happen if I did. So, I had to do my own investigation.
For weeks I did research on the chances of preterm labor occuring should i stop taking the hormone. I asked other mothers with an incompetent cervix if they ever came off the shots early and how long after stopping did they go into labor. Their responses seemed to be congruent with the extensive notes my home care nurse had to take on all of her Makena patients.
Roughly two weeks.
In all of the responses I got from mothers who had stopped taking their shots between 33-35 weeks, all of them went to term. Now, this was just a small sampling of responses I received, but it was enough for me to consider stopping early. When i mentioned this to my OBGYN she said she would prefer I switched to the daily suppositories rather than stopping altogether. Technically, i am supposed to go to 36 weeks, but I was going to be one vial short, and did not feel like ordering another set of four.
Originally, I was going to stop at 34 weeks, but after doing the math, decided that I would get my last one at 35 weeks. Makena takes ten days to vacate your system, so as song as I took the shot as close to 35 weeks as possible, I was good until 36 weeks. That all being said, i took my last shot at 34 weeks and 3 days. That should get me to Sunday.
As soon as I hit ten days, I will be closely monitoring any changes up until my cerclage removal the following week. Thankfully, both my doctor and triage are very near to my house, so I can get to them at a moments notice.
I am by no means suggesting that anyone get off their progesterone shots; this was just a personal decision that I made because of how awful I have been feeling taking it. In my research, I have found that because doctor’s cannot say whether or not a woman has experienced an incompetent cervix or just preterm labor after her first pregnancy, they usually suggest both a cerclage and progesterone.
Basically, if I have IC, than a cerclage might be the only solution, whereas if I just had preterm labor, then progesterone is the better option. But there is no way of knowing that if I don’t at least begin to communicate my own personal observations.
But you don’t have to take my word for it.