Monday, April 11, 2011

So About Those Pains... My Foray into Pre-Term Labor

So those va-jay-jay pains I was having last week? The ones I self-diagnosed with the help of Google as ligament pains as my body prepared for labor? Well - I was preparing for labor all right... but at 29 weeks,  labor is not ideal to say the least.

Luckily Lil D is still where he belongs at just 29 weeks along - inside my belly - growing, developing and thriving.

However, I was scared that wasn't going to be the case. Here's what happened...

Wednesday night/Thursday at midnight: I was having trouble sleeping, as usual. I headed down to the couch so I could toss and turn without waking up my snoozing hubby. At about midnight, I started to feel major Braxton Hicks contractions - so intense they began making me nauseous. I don't remember feeling anything like that with Paige, but I figured it was nothing serious since they weren't coming regularly. The contractions kept coming - each time squeezing the bottom part of my belly/uterus so tight that I would start to dry heave. I even vomited a few times. And Lil D was not enjoying any part of it. After each contraction, he would go crazy - kicking and punching and letting his frustrations be known. At around 5 a.m. (still not having fallen asleep) I realized the contractions were becoming somewhat regular. So I pulled out my trusty iPhone to time how close they were coming - ends up, between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., they were coming 4 minutes apart. YIKES! However - they weren't what I always thought contractions would be like. No pain, per se. Just crampy-like tightening and uncomfortable.

So I went upstairs to wake up Daniel and let him know there was def something going on and put him on alert. I ended up dosing off for an hour or two. Miss Paige had her 15 month well visit scheduled for that morning, so Daniel prepped her for that and off they went. I called my OB/GYN to let them know what was going on and see what they thought I should do. They advised me to get in a warm bathtub and, while soaking, guzzle three bottles of water. I sat in the tub for an hour, guzzled the water, but with no luck - the contractions were still coming 4 minutes apart (at this point, it is 10:00 a.m.). Ay yi yi.

Over the next two hours, I hemmed and hawed over calling the doctor back. I didn't want to be the crazy prego who cried wolf. I rationalized that it was just Braxton Hicks contractions, and they would go away on their own. But at the urging of Daniel and my Facebook friends, I called and they told me to come right in for a check up. As soon as I arrived at the doctor's office, they ushered me back and hooked me up to the monitors - fetal heartbeat and uterine contractions. Just as I suspected, the contractions weren't showing ont he monitor. However, the nurses - and then doctor - could feel them happening by putting their hands on my belly. They actually couldn't believe I wasn't in pain. So the doctor gave me a pelvic exam. And jsut when I thought she was going to say I needed to go home and rest and increase my fluids, she said, "You need to go to the hospital right now. The contractions are making your cervix thin out." WHAT?!?!? My cervix is thinning?! That didn't even happen when we TRIED to get labor started with pitocin last time with Paige at 39 and a half weeks. So off I went to the hospital (can we say de ja vu of last time??).

To make a long story short, they continued to monitor the contractions and were able to get them to slow down, and then stop completely by midnight. Luckily, no drugs were needed - just three IV bags of fluid and laying flat on my back. And, the other good news - my cervix stayed sealed shut. So although it started to soften and thin out a bit, there was no dilation of the cervix. HALLELUJAH! Plus, they said there was no medical reason they could find as to why my contractions started. Basically, they chalked it up to overdoing it in the days/weeks before (i.e. my excursion to IKEA plus 5 mile walk), exhaustion (from not sleeping at night) and dehydration (probably from the vomiting).

So what's next for me and Lil D? Rest. Lots of rest. Plus lots of fluids. And hopefully another 10 weeks of pregnancy before he makes his big arrival. Another day, another situation... And people wonder why we're stopping after two babies? THIS is why! : )