Living life in the carpool lane..

Posts Tagged ‘preterm labor

I’m writing this way ahead of time, hoping that I will actually make it to this day… if anything changes, you’ll see it in a subsequent blog post…

If all goes well, I’m 36 weeks today!  It’s a big deal.  It means that I don’t have to be off my feet all the time.  I’m allowed to walk around more.  In fact, I’m encouraged to walk around more to start regaining some of the strength I’ve lost due to being off my feet for so long..

It also means I no longer have to do nightly progesterone dosages.  I’m so glad to finally be done with those!

But being on my feet again AND no more progesterone also means that this baby can literally come at any time…

My next doctor’s appointment is on Monday.. I hope I make it to then to see if I’m finally dialated…

Any moment now… I’m hoping that she can stay in until I hit 37 weeks, since at that point she won’t be considered a late preterm birth.. 38 weeks would be best.. who knows?

It’s getting super real and I’m getting super excited to finally see this little girl…

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False labor.

When I was pregnant with M, I had my share of Braxton Hicks, but I never had false labor.  When I was pregnant with M, my water broke at 36 weeks to our shock and surprise and before we knew it, we were parents.

But false labor?  Nope.  Never.

Until last week.

We were all in bed.  Then, it started.

It started out as Braxton Hicks, nothing out of the ordinary, just the normal tightening and discomfort.

But then, it kept coming.  One after another.

I did what was suggested of me to determine if it was truly preterm labor.  I went to the bathroom to empty my bladder, I drank a lot of water, and I lied on my left side.  Nothing was slowing it down, it felt like it was increasing everything.

I recently downloaded an app called “Full Term.”  It’s an app that helps keep track of contractions.  All you have to do is hit “start” when a contraction starts and “end” when it ends.  The app times it and calculates the frequency.

Because the tightening started coming in intervals, I decided to use the app to keep track.

The contractions were lasting for 50 seconds to a minute long and coming in ever 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.

As the tightening continued to come and go, the intensity started increasing.  It started getting harder to talk through.  I started using breathing techniques that we learned three years ago during our Lamaze classes we took when pregnant with M.

I decided that I needed to that the anti-contraction medicine I was given back in October when my cervix first shrunk.  I had been hesitant to take it because I hate taking any sort of medicine while pregnant.  However, the app was showing that I had at least 10 contractions within the past hour, so I had to take it.  I figured that if I didn’t take it and I went to the hospital, the doctors might give me something stronger to stop the contractions and I didn’t want that at all.

So I took the medicine and called Labor and Delivery to ask how long it would take the medicine to kick in and slow the contractions down.

By then, the contractions were hurting.  Not only were they hard to talk through, they were hard to breathe through because they were hurting.  I kept concentrating on the breathing exercises to try to calm myself down, but I was obviously very nervous.  Was this it?  Were we going in?  Were we going to have this baby at 34 weeks?

Labor and Delivery told me that it would take about half an hour for the medicine to kick in and to wait about an hour to determine if we needed to really come to the hospital or not.  So I got off the phone with them and continued to try to relax and concentrate on breathing, hoping the medicine could kick in soon.

Within half an hour, I noticed the intensity of the contractions were decreasing.  Then as the hour progressed, the contractions also started to space themselves farther apart and decreased into just a mere uncomfortable tightening.  By the time the hour passed, everything was done.

If I didn’t have that medicine, who knows what could have happened.

I’m hoping that the episode didn’t cause my cervix to dialate.  I’m hoping that I can still last the week and have this baby AFTER Christmas…

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I’m having laptop issues at the moment so I’m writing using my mobile app. Please excuse any and all typos I may overlook…

My doctors appointment last week showed that my cervix shrunk again. I guess it’s somewhat normal, since I was 33 weeks pregnant at the time of the appointment. (I’m 34 weeks today.)

Doctor also said that I’m starting to open, which means I’m starting to dilate. It’s not big enough to give an actual measurement to, but it’s still a start.

So basically, my doctor is thinking that in about two to three weeks, this baby could be born. With that prediction, she will come out at about the same gestational age as M.

This past week, I’ve really taken it easy. I’m trying everything to slow down what’s going on down there.

At the appointment, the baby weighed about 4lbs. That means in about two weeks from then, she could weigh about 5lbs. I just want her to weigh between 5 to 6lbs and be strong enough to not go into the NICU.

So now we are trying to get everything as ready as possible. My bags are packed, everything we can remember to clean has been cleaned… Labor & Delivery is on speed dial…

I guess we just wait….

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Can you believe that in a little over two months, I’ll be a mother of two?

Well, it could be a sooner than two months given my history, but still.

In two months, give or take a few days, M will be a big sister.  I will be a mother of two girls.  My family will grow from three to a family of four.

It’s a little overwhelming to think about.  These two months will fly by so fast with the holidays being right in the middle of all of it.  Before we know it, the new year is here and we are anxiously waiting for this baby to arrive.

It feels like forever that we were trying to get pregnant.  It feels like forever that I was posting about the disappointment month after month of not being pregnant.  It feels like forever that I finally had the great news to share and all my posts started revolving about morning sickness.  It feels like forever that the chances of the baby’s survival were 50/50 due to the large bleed I experienced towards the end of the first trimester.  It feels like forever that I was thinking that the bleeding and spotting would just never end.

This pregnancy feels like forever, yet it feels like it’s zooming on by.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been out of work since July.  Maybe it’s because it’s been one scare after another.  Maybe it’s because the doctors appointments have been so frequent.  Maybe it’s because we’ve had to take this pregnancy week by week.  Maybe it’s because we’ve had to cherish every day that I’ve been pregnant and not in the emergency room or in Labor & Delivery.  Maybe it’s just because we are so anxious to meet this little girl already.

I’m hoping I make it two more months.  If I don’t and she wants to come early, I pray that this baby will come out late enough to be completely healthy, just like her older sister.

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Read about my subchrionic hemorrhage here.

After being on bedrest for about two months due to my bleed, I thought I was in the clear.  My monthly OB apppointments were showing that the hemorrhage turned into a clot and it was dissolving on it’s own.  While it was still present in my womb, it wasn’t bleeding.  The OB continued to keep me off work.

In September, my OB noted that the hemmorrhage/clot had completely resolved.  However, I was experiencing a lot of pressure whenever I would stand up for long periods at a time.  I would also feel a bit of cramping if I stood up or walked for too much.  My OB measured my cervix.  My cervical length was 5cm, which was very good.  My OB was confident that I was ok.  But because of the pressure, my OB was not comfortable with me returning to work, especially since I had to work in the lab again.

This was a minor setback.  I couldn’t be up on my feet for too long, but at least I was off bedrest and my life was sort of beginning to go back to normal.

Then in early October, I noticed a slight sign of a small bleed.  I called Labor & Delivery and I was told to go in right away.  Luckily, the bleed wasn’t anything serious.  However, they did notice that my cervix shrunk from 5ish cm to in the course of three weeks.  While my cervical length was still considered “normal,” the fact that it shrunk so much within the course of three weeks caused them some major concern.

I ended up staying at the hospital overnight.  My first night away from M.  My first night away from my family.  I couldn’t sleep a wink.

I was monitored for contractions the whole night and in the morning, they checked my cervix again.  Thankfully, nothing happened during the night.  I was sent home with orders of modified bedrest, nightly progesterone dosages, and now doctors appointments with the high risk OB weekly.  I was also sent home with some anti-contraction medication that I am to take on an as needed basis.  At the time of writing this post, I’ve only had to take it twice.

The first of the weekly appointments showed that my cervix shrunk again.  Nothing too drastic, but I was now at about 2.7ish cm from 3cm prior.  I got put on more restricted bedrest, with an application for a disability parking placard and a referral for a wheelchair to allow me some fresh air.

And now.. we are here.  I’ve had another appointment with the high risk OB that showed my cervix didn’t move from the last week.  But they still want me to remain off my feet as much as possible.

This was definitely not what I had in mind when I was wanting to get pregnant again.  But I’m very thankful for all the doctors for helping me do everything I can to keep this baby in me.

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May 2020