About a week or so ago I started noticing that I was having contractions. Nothing regular, maybe five a day? And they were so minor that at first I was like, “Is that a contraction, or is it the baby moving?” I started to pay more attention to my belly, and noted that sometimes I only felt three a day, and other days I felt as many as ten. When I was in for my regular appointment last Wednesday, I mentioned it to Dr. Risky’s nurse (Dr. Risky was in a C-Section). She told me when I should go in to Labor & Delivery and that she’d mention it to the doctor.
As the days passed I felt a few more contractions each day, but never anything close to five in one hour (when I was supposed to call). On Friday night, I had a couple contractions that hurt. Nothing bad, but they made me pause. And then yesterday, I had more contractions but I also had a general sensitivity/crampiness. Sort of that “about to get your period” feeling of cramps and tenderness. And, I don’t know…I just felt uneasy, like something wasn’t right. So I called Labor & Delivery, and after hearing my symptoms and history, they told me to come in.
As my mom drove me down to the hospital (I wanted Mike to stay back to give Annie her usual dinner/bedtime routine), I remembered that I had been put on anti-contraction meds with Annie, but I couldn’t remember at what point in her gestation. So I read back through my old blog posts via my phone, and I discovered that I’d started the meds with Annie at 21 weeks, and I am 20+ weeks right now. Reading that made me feel better about going to L&D – like I wasn’t imagining things, that maybe this was just my body’s baseline. Which would suck, but also makes me feel all the more secure in the decision that I will never ever be pregnant again ever.
We live about 35 miles from the hospital. If you know the Greater LA area, you know that 35 miles means it sometimes takes you 35 minutes to get there, and sometimes it takes you two hours. Luckily it was a lightly trafficked Sunday evening, so we were at the hospital quickly and I was immediately taken to a room to be monitored.
The pregnant diagram always cracks me up for some reason.
All the nurses and residents were great. I gave them my medical history and explained what I was feeling. They took swabs for tests, checked my cervix, and gave me ultrasounds (both kinds). My cervix looked long, and The Acrobat was as twisty and wiggly as usual. All good news. And, after a few hours of monitoring me, the residents (after consulting with Dr. Risky by phone) sent me home.
I’m definitely relieved that these contractions aren’t doing anything to my cervix, and that The Acrobat looked great. I wish I knew why my abdomen feels so tender, and why I am still having contractions. Dr. Risky is much more relaxed with this pregnancy, so I will do my best to follow her lead. She’s the expert! But…I can’t shake the nagging feeling that something is going on in there. When I started to feel frustrated my mom reminded me that I have no idea what is “normal” and I have lots of reasons to call in with concerns. So I will keep that in mind and do my best to be chill and relaxed like Dr. Risky.
Becca Masters says:
I can’t imagine how much you must worry. I worry a lot but i know that it’s because this is my first baby. I worry even more now that I have 7 weeks left to go.
The only thing I would say is to trust your instinct. You of all people know your body better than anyone else and if you feel like you can’t shake that nagging feeling, go back to Dr Risky and relay your concerns again if you really can’t relax. However it sounds like you had a thorough check up and I’m positive everything will be ok.
It’s funny as its very different in the US as to the type of care you get there than it is here in the UK.
I know 3 ladies who all said they “knew” something was happening but unfortunately the doctors didn’t follow up on it. I do wish the UK were more like the US sometimes. Your Dr Risky sounds fabulous. Thankfully the care I’ve had has been great so far. I’m hoping it stays that way for the next 7-9 weeks!!
Really glad everything still looks good. And as much of a pain as I’m sure it is going into L&D right now it’s good to be safe. You’re a great mom, always trust your instincts.
I’m so glad you’re Okay!!! I must say reading your post this morning really brought back some memories for me! When I was pregnant with my daughter & youngest son (which at that point was my 7th& 8th pregnancy – my 2nd & 3rd successful pregnancies). They were both SSSSOOOO active I had that same feeling when I was approx. 22 wks along.
With Sydney, the Dr told me she was moving & kicking me so much, she was actually bruising me and he said I had “Irritable Uterus Syndrome”. By the time I was 35 wks I was 6 cm dilated but my Dr was admit I go into natural labour so to all of our surprises, I lasted 10 more days like that before my water broke 17 days early. All turned out well for me but I should tell you, between her being so active and her fast delivery (2 pushes before I ripped & the kid came FLYING out), she ended up REALLY bruising my bladder. I was on meds for a month after her birth b/c along with the brusing I also got a MASSIVE infection. She was a healthy 6 lb 15 oz thankfully!!
The same thing happened with my last baby only that time, I didn’t dilate but I did bleed and like my daughter and yourself, my stomach was extremely tender & I didn’t feel right. At 27 wks I ended up having contractions and a massive bleed!! It was so scary, we ALL thought he was coming that night but it turned out at that point he was footling breech so everytime he kicked down on my cervix, I would gush blood (s0rry for being so graphic).
With both babies I was put on meds, taken off of work and was on home and light bed rest which was a HUGE drag when you have other little ones to care for. My son did end up coming early (exactly on 36 wks) but again and THANKFULLY he was born a healthy 6lbs 8 0zs.
Like yourself, Brian & I decided as much as we really wanted a 4th baby, there was just no way my body could handlle it & we really don’t want to risk loosing another baby. It still makes me a little sad but I know in my heart of hearts it is for the best.
I hope my experiences are somewhat helpful to you and maybe even put you a little on ease. If you ever need to talk or need reassures please know I’m here for you!! Take Care Sweetie!!! xoxo (Sorry this is so long).
Stephanie Moore says:
I too had stressful pregnancies, my body just doesn’t do pregnancy well so I know how nervous you are. ((hugs)) You could be sore because mini man is getting bigger and is so active. Sounds like the work up at the hospital was complete. However, if the soreness increases, bring it up again with your Doctor. Like the previous post, I believe YOU know your body and baby the best and should always listen! Hang in there!
Sending positive thoughts that The Acrobat stays put for another 18-20 weeks and that you feel much more relaxed as the weeks pass!
XOXO from GA!
Sending lots of positive, happy, calming thoughts your way. Thank God for your amazing Doctors and the family and friends that surround your beautiful family!
By the way, that “never, ever” is now Taylor Swift stuck in my head….thank you kindly.
Heather, I had contractions like crazy all through my second pregnancy. Whenever there was sound or music, the kiddo started rumbling…..Glad everything is going well!
I don’t usually comment, but love your blog! Anyway, just wanted to say that I’ve had 4 pregnancies, and had preterm labor with the first 2. With the second 2, I was a nervous wreck, thinking I was going on bedrest again, because I started having contractions at or before 20 weeks. I often had more than 5 an hour, and would fret about needing to call, and then they’d stop. It seems like when I was active, did too much, or needed more water, I’d have more. So, my doctor even took away the rule about calling if I had 5 an hour and said, change what you are doing, and drink a big glass of water and see if they stop or change. The good news is, my cervix never dilated early with the last 2, so it very well could be similar in your situation. Anyway, take care, and good luck!
I’m glad you’re home and OK… but I echo Becca above. Listen to your gut, and talk to Dr. Risky again. (And again, if you need to.) Every single time in my life I’ve ignored my gut, I’ve regretted it.
My first daughter was born at 37 weeks due to a complete placental abruption. We were both very lucky that we were in the hospital at the time, and both survived. (I had a crappy doctor who didn’t follow up on obvious red flags). I had contractions with her from 20 weeks on, and got put on terbutaline at 30 weeks because of preterm labor. I had an undiagnosed clotting disorder, which led to the placental abruption.
When I was pregnant with my second, the same thing happened (contractions at 20 weeks), so I started freaking out that it was the beginning of an abruption. I was on lovenox and baby aspirin to try to prevent that. Nope. Just an irritable uterus, like the previous poster. My contractions with my second daughter were definitely more crampy. I was on progesterone to try to calm them, but it really didn’t help. I had up to 5 contractions an hour every hour. I had to time them to be sure they weren’t lasting longer than a minute and coming at regular intervals. They were usually caused by the baby kicking, which irritated my uterus, then the contraction irritated her, and she kicked again…never ending cycle. My high risk told me that the stretching, active baby, bigger baby, and previous c-section, all contribute to more soreness the next time around. All went well with her, though. She was born at 38 weeks (induction) and was 6 pounds 8 ounces.
Definitely trust your instincts. It sounds like they’re checking everything, though.
Wow Heather, this is weird! We are about the same number of weeks along in our pregnancies, and I had the exact same experience a few days ago! Literally. At L&D they did all the same stuff to me but they also made me drink a TON of water to see if that would calm my uterus down.
They told me my uterus was “irritable”. Did they mention anything like that to you? Apparently getting dehydrated is one big reason that can happen and once I drank enough, it helped. My cervix was long and closed too but I agree: it’s SO confusing to experience that uneasiness, the pains and whatnot and still be told everything is okay.
I’m pregnant with twins this time around so it’s very different. I am with you though: never want to be pregnant again! ack!
I hope your OB plans to check you out again soon. I have to get my cervix checked my ultrasound every 2 weeks so luckily I’ll find out for sure if it really is closed and not making any progress. Maybe you can ask for a similar check rather than the manual cervix check?
I’m sorry you had to go through this too; I understand the stress. I live quite far from our closest hospital too and my poor husband was freaking out over how long it took to drive us there.
You are always in my thoughts and prayers! ((HUGS))
I had an irritable uterus with Annabel. Dr. Risky hasn’t said that yet for this pregnancy but time will tell, I guess! Yesterday I had a manual, transvaginal, AND transabdominal cervix check. I preferred the transabdominal check, haha.
Well at least they are being thorough! I do hate those transvaginal checks too.
So glad everything checked out okay, you have really been through the ringer with your pregnancies, poor thing! I am thinking good thoughts & praying for you (Mike, Annie & Maddie too) for a safe, healthy pregnancy and the best ending, a healthy, happy Acrobat added to your awesome family!
It is wonderful that you have a great relationship (and history) with your Perinatologist, it does alot for your peace of mind in the long run, yes? You are a pregnancy VETERAN (and I mean that in the best possible way), you know your body & your instincts and are not afraid to speak up if you are still uneasy in spite of checking out ok. It seems that Dr. Risky knows & respects that (as any & all docs/nurses should), plus tons of love and support from your family and friends, both on and off line (not sure what to call internet friends) -you’ve got all of your bases covered! Just hoping to help reinforce your peace of mind and enjoy growing your Acrobat, hopefully for 20 more weeks, or so!
I know how scary it can be with preterm labor alone, having had “modified” rest after contractions started at work (I’m an NICU RN, go figure!) at 25 weeks & thankfully went to have a healthy, beautiful daughter at 36 weeks (now 18 yrs. old!)-lots of time to think about all of the what-if’s along with all the great stuff, what the baby will look like/be like, akin to walking a tightrope, nonetheless! Just thinking about a tightrope and your Acrobat-I guess he is just letting you know he is living up to his name, keeping you on your toes before he even arrives!
Hang in there, take some deep breaths and try to get a little R & R, ok? Keeping fingers and toes crossed for you, everything is gonna be just fine!
How stressful. My thoughts are with you! Isn’t it great that you have these blog posts as a record so you know where you were last time out?
I agree about the pregnant lady diagram — it cracked us up too. So much so that my husband took a picture of it that looks exactly like yours.
I too had semi-regular contractions wiht my first at around 26 weeks. Unfortunatly, my contractions were effective so I was put on bedrest and managed to stay pregnant until 35.5 weeks. With my next two pregnancies, I had progesterone shots starting at week 16 to help stay pregnant. While they do work (baby 2 was born at 37 weeks, baby 3 born at 36 weeks) I contract throughout my entire pregnancy and have been told I need to have a “high tolerance to ER and office visits to be checked out.”
So, I wonder, what is “normal?” I think everyone has their own form of normal and the trick is to listen to your body and trust your instincts. And, always better to be safe than sorry.
just a data point from someone who’s had relatively ‘normal’ pregnancies… I started getting uncomfortable contractions around 20weeks that were pretty regular and sometimes 4-5/hr. They were so strong that other people could see my stomach tighten up- very weird but just the way my body was with both my pregnancies. With both I went 2 weeks overdue (post ivf, so we knew exact dates). So, your contractions could be totally harmless (but of course trust your instincts if you think there’s something’s not right).
I had way more BH contractions with my 2nd pg. Even though I had twins the fist time around I hardly ever had contractions (was on home monitoring to prove it). You’re probably much more prone to these kinds of things this time around. I don’t remember any alarming tenderness in that area, but do remember general aches and pains.
At any rate do not hesitate to call again – my perinatologist had a list of times to call on all his exam room walls and the last thing was “you just feel like something isn’t right”. I loved that.
I had the same thing with my second pregnancy…they checked me as well and found that nothing was happening with my cervix and all was well. I discovered, through the course of the pregnancy, that it happened more when I was dehydrated, which could explain yours perhaps, but that they also happened if I did ANYTHING. I’d get up and walk down the hall and start contracting. So, just to make myself feel better, I tried to sit as much as I could and let others do for me what they could. I had a 3 year old at the time as well, so this was really hard, but I did what I could. It is scary but can be completely normal
I’m glad that everything is okay, but do take it easy.
I agree with your mom. It is so hard to know when you have never had a “normal” pregnancy. I walked around in labor for days with my first pregnancy. I thought it was Braxton Hicks and there was no way I could be in real labor at 25 weeks. When I went for my check up my contractions were 3 minutes apart. Definitely, listen to your body and the Acrobat. Sending you hope and hugs. Take care.
Stephanie Elliot says:
So very happy to know that you are going to have another baby! Wishing you a peaceful second half of your pregnancy and a safe delivery!
How scary for you! Glad everything checked out fine. My OB team also has a “call us even if you just have a bad feeling about something”, which helped because I was a nervous wreck the entire pregnancy. By the time I had my 36 week check up, my OB was like “but I’ve been hearing from you every week anyway, so what else is new”
Heather….only an expert in terms of having 4 babies…I had the kind of tenderness you describe…The doc I had said that it’s still possible to have different ligaments stretching simply because of the baby doing tricks…and I got one huge stretch mark in the exact spot. I used a cool cloth when it irritated me. I don’t know if it will help, but you can try…
I SO get the “will never be pregnant again” thing. With our third baby (and after losing five) I said that over and over throughout the pregnancy. After she was born and I had my remaining tube tied (I had lost one in an ectopic pregnancy nightmare), there was a crazy 1 in a million complication and I had an emergency hysterectomy.
I am so glad all of that craziness is behind me and I know you will feel the same. I’ve got good thoughts about this baby boy and can’t WAIT to see how he resembles his sisters.
I just love your heart, Heather. You are good people.
Reading this made me feel SO much better. I just got home from spending 18 hours in L&D on a monitor for contractions that were crampy feeling and uncomfortable, but apparently doing nothing to my cervix. I’m sorry that you’re going through the same thing, but it makes me feel less scared, if that makes sense. I have several friends that are pregnant and just breezing through their pregnancies and it makes me feel like something is wrong with me. This is my first so I am a nervous wreck! Thank you for continuing to share, you don’t know how much it means!
I swear I’m gonna have an ulcer by the time The Acrobat arrives (safely and on time!)!!!!!
Glad everything and everyone is well!!!!