Sunday, April 22, 2012

Trip to L&D to check out Braxton Hicks

I'm 32 weeks, but my ticker is stuck on 31 weeks. 
Out of an abundance of caution, I had my first taste of labor and delivery at the Women's Hospital in Tupelo tonight.  After a full day of cleaning house, grocery shopping, prenatal yoga class and gardening (and not drinking enough water), I sat down on the couch to rest around 5 pm and the Braxton Hicks began in full force (they are not painful, just tightening of the uterus and shortness of breath).   I chugged a buch of water and took a warm bath thinking that would slow them down, but it didn't help much.  After an hour of having them at least every 5 to 10 minutes, I called the hospital and they paged the on-call OB.  He said it wouldn't be a bad idea to come in and get checked out.

So, around 7 pm, my husband and I hopped in the car and sped down the road to Tupelo (45 minute drive).  I had pre-admitted last week, so I was already in the computer system which was nice.  There was only 1 or 2 other women back there in the triage area.  I had to strip down and put on one of those terrible gowns that doesn't close in the back and the nurse strapped the fetal monitor on my belly.  Baby W was kicking up a storm and and we could hear him swishing all around in my belly.  I think the doppler really stirs him up, because he is still moving like crazy after almost 2 hours of being off of it.  He's kicking me hard in the bladder right now to let me know he did not appreciate all that monitoring business.

I had about 7 contractions in an hour while I was hooked up on the monitor, but the NP on call checked my cervix and it is still closed and long, so no worries there.  The cervical check was painful - don't think she used enough lube.  Since I was having 6 or more contractions in an hour the NP wanted to give me a terbutaline shot to stop them, but the side effects were shakiness, heart racing and sleeplessness (and the nurse said I might need ambien to sleep).  One intervention begets another and then I would feel all loopy and drugged up.  Since the contractions are not hurting, about a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10,  I opted out of the shot.  Plus, if she gave me the shot, I would have had to stay another hour which would put us getting back home close to midnight and we hadn't even had supper yet.

Baby's heart rate was great - lots of good accelerations when he moved around which is what they like to see.

We could not do the fetal fibronectin test, because we had sex last night (for the first time in forever!).  I was kind of bummed because it would have been nice to get a test result back that says there is a 99% chance you won't go into labor in the next 2 weeks.  That would have been alot of peace of mind.  I suppose if I keep having the BH that I can go in and have the test done because I will be out of the the 24 hours after sex window.

The NP told me I need to slow down and only do one active thing a day.  Can't do yoga and gardening in the same day.   It's hard this time of year to limit activity on pretty warm Spring days, but I have to start cutting back, so I don't have another episode like this.  I've read that some people just have "irritable uterus" and I think I have a touch of that.  I do know that on days I'm not real active, I don't have the BH contactractions like this.   Once they get going, it's really hard to stop them.  The NP says tylenol can help, so I will try that.  So hopefully, I won't have to go back until the hospital for at least 2 more months - this little boy still has alot of growing to before he's ready to come out into the world!

John Braxton Hicks - 1872

As an aside, I have 2 articles to recommend, if you are looking for something to read on the internet- 
1) The haunting story of 5 Ole Miss sorority girls who were killed in a terrible accident 25 years ago as told by a survivor.  These 5 women never got the chance to become mothers and the writer identifies herself as a "nonmother."  I wonder if the accident subconsciously impacted her choice not to have children. "We Thought the Sun Would Always Shine on Our Lives"
Also I googled the author's name and fertility and found this article where she talks about how Bikram yoga helps reset her body (and possibly return it to a more fertile state at age 42?) 60 Day Makeover 
2) The story of a couple who delivered at 32 weeks told from the father's candid point of view. Pain is a Gift


  1. I have never had a BH contraction! That's crazy. I'm glad all is well : )

  2. So sorry you had a scare, but glad everything turned out ok! Hubby wants the dr to check my cervix at my apt this week...I have been having lots of BH too. FYI...stress seems to stimulate them as well and a massage seems to make them go away. I had a mani & pedi this weekend...pure bliss! It is definitely hard to tell yourself to slow down when there is so much stuff you want to do.

  3. I'm glad to hear that the BH contractions weren't an issue. Let's keep that baby baking a little bit longer!

  4. Wow, scary...glad that baby seems to be staying in there. Guess it's time to start taking it really really easy, huh? Good thing you had it checked out, though - better safe than sorry. I am so glad everything is still going well for you, just a little while longer now!!

  5. Very informative post....always wondered who BH was. Thanks for the picture! Take it're right. You both have a ways to go yet!

  6. I just wanted to pop in and say hi! I've been reading on my iPhone in between feedings but find it impossible to comment with all the stupid password stuff. I always get a letter wrong and have to start over so I just give up! You're on the home stretch!!!