June 23, 2016

FTLOG, drama baby

So! Update again! *@&#%&@^$#!

After I got home from yesterday's visit, I was catching up on some work when I offhandedly noticed that my Braxton-Hicks contractions were ramping up a bit. Not particularly concerning; I've been getting them quite regularly since 24 weeks and I've been assured they are nothing to worry about as long as they don't increase in frequency/intensity.

By about 8, I realized that they hadn't let up in hours, and seemed awfully darn frequent, like... sort of constant. And they were awfully strong.

At 8:30, I decided to start timing them to see just how frequent they were. I timed them for an hour, during which I had 11 contractions, spaced almost exactly 5 minutes apart, ranging from 30 seconds to 1:30 each. Oh. Well. OK then.

(Now, these were still not "real" contractions - not like doubled over, can't talk, in pain contractions. They were still Braxton-Hicks level: my entire uterus would get tight and hard as a rock, and I would often find it easier to "breathe through" them while they were occurring, but certainly no level of pain that I would classify as problematic in any way. Still. Every 5 minutes seemed excessive. And the symptoms of pre-term labor are not necessarily the "you'll know it's labor!!" symptoms of full term - the primary one being "Four or more contractions in one hour, either with or without pain," which clearly I had far surpassed.)

Now, the sheet they had given me with info on the beta methasone shot did mention it could cause an increase in contractions. But like.. how much of an increase? Was this acceptable? How would I know?? So I called my doula, who suggested I try a hot bath and a large glass of water to see if that calmed them down. But she also said that if I could sleep through the contractions, they were incredibly unlikely to be pre-term labor. So I drank water and took a hot shower (I am not a bath person) and went to bed. And fell asleep! Success!

...only to wake up at 1am because my contractions had ramped up considerably. I now had a deep, menstrual-cramp like pain in my lower pelvis, and I could feel these contractions coming on before the actual tightening of the uterus: the crampy pain would start in my lower back and wrap around the front of my pelvis, then my entire uterus would seize up. These were a little less regular than the contractions earlier in the evening, but were still averaging around 5ish minutes apart. They did not increase in frequency or intensity, however, and by 3am I was able to fall back asleep, so ta-da! proof I was OK.

When I woke up the next morning, I felt.. awful. Completely unrested, still crampy, and the Braxton-Hicks contracts were still coming one on top of the other. My doula suggested I would have some sort of intuitive sense of whether I was truly in labor, but what the hell do I know!? The descriptions of pre-term labor are, like, entirely symptoms that you can have at any other time, but randomly might also mean you're about to drop a baby. I decided to call my ob/gyn from my car outside of Starbucks before driving all the way to work to get their take on it.

Their take was: go to the hospital RIGHT NOW PLEASE we'll call to let them know you're on your way.

So obviously I burst into tears, went back home and hiccuped to Chris that I had to go to the hospital, and headed over. Chris was supposed to get on a flight in about 2 hours for important lawyer things, so timing could not have been better. He packed his bags in about 2 minutes and followed me to OB triage.

The good news: everything is OK. My contractions ramped waaaaay down the SECOND I was hooked up to monitors (OF COURSE) but they confirmed I was still having them every 10 minutes, which is still not exactly ideal. However, a second cervical exam in 2 days (OW AGAIN) showed that the troubling contractions, the ones which I'd had overnight and were engaging my lower pelvis, had NOT dilated me any further, which is excellent news. They did give me stern instructions to NOT WAIT should I get any more contractions like that in the future though, because those are the kind specifically designed by your body to cause dilation.

They tested me for a UTI while I was there too, since those can also cause contractions. And while I'm clear on that front, I am apparently dehydrated, despite drinking what I thought was plenty of water. Turns out you can actually drink a shitload of water but it's not always enough to hydrate you, because you pee it all out before it can seep in intramuscularly (...or.. something to that effect?). So I've been instructed to keep up with the water, but make sure ~50% of my daily liquid intake is in other forms, like milk or gatorade or lemonade.

Also I've been moved temporarily from pelvic rest to "only go to work and then come home and lie on the couch with your feet up and that is it" for the next week or so until my uterus can chill the eff out and stop being a dick.

SO. All in all, everything is fine (Chris even made his flight!) but GOODNESS, LITTLE LADY. (She, by the way, has looked "excellent" throughout all of this - she seems perfectly fine, strong heartbeat, no stress on her part, etc. Just doing a premature job of stressing out her POOR BELEAGUERED MOTHER, GAH.)


  1. Oh boy I'm sorry that baby girl is causing you all kinds of drama! Stay quiet with no contractions baby!

  2. Wow! For your sake I hope she's getting all her drama out of the way now, and will be a peaceful, zen baby once she's out!

  3. I'm glad she's okay! While I'm not sure if this is helpful, I had a preemie at 35w. I had ZERO idea I was in labor. Went in thinking the vomiting/diarrhea was food poisoning and *surprise* I was 4cm dilated and in active labor. So you don't always know.

  4. She was chilling through all the crazines?!! Phew. Glad she's okay! Hang in there! xoxo

  5. Yikes! She's an attention whore! :)

    Glad everything is OK and she's still in there! She needs to keep cooking for a bit more!

    Stop freaking your mom out, little one! We'll meet you soon enough!

  6. COME ON, KID. Also, I'm sure your doula is lovely, but "intuitive sense that you're in labor" is... a thing that not everyone experiences. Says the woman who was admitted to the hospital 18 minutes before her second baby was born, and who would have been sent home if my water had not been broken upon showing up to the hospital with her first baby convinced that he would be coming out any second. JUST SAYING. Intuition is great for some people, but isn't a reliable barometer.

  7. Sooooooooo she really likes messing with you doesn't she?? I really hope her "partying it up" in there will mean she's SUPER chill as a baby and child. I mean, one can hope. LIKE REALLY HOPE.

  8. You are handling all of this remarkably. It's SO HARD to KNOW anything! I remember that well. Pulling for you and for Miss Sassypants to behave a little, GEEZ!

  9. Oh, FFS, baby! Get it together! Stop it with all the DRAMAZ!


  10. Alice!!! How did I not know you were also going through IVF? Apparently this just shows how terrible I am at keeping up with blogs. Maybe she's just getting all her drama out of her system so she can be super chill once she's on the outside?

  11. Oh my gosh! I am happy you went in and they confirmed everything was okay! I hope you are more hydrated now and haven't had this frequency of the contractions since then. Geesh!

  12. Drama baby, NO KIDDING! And I ditto some of the comments above, you don't always intuitively know what's actually going on -- at least I didn't, even by the time I was having #4.
    I'm going to assume that all those BxH contractions mean you're going to have a terrific labor because your body will be "all warmed up" and know exactly what to do!
    I had very few pre-labor contractions and ended up with super-long labors, so my vote is totally for a smooth ride when you actually get there. But man, I'm sorry you're losing so much sleep now.