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So confused...preterm labor again? countrytink 4 kids; Ohio 646 posts
10th Feb

I have been having BH for weeks, and they have been pretty bad when I'm at work. They always pretty much stop when I get off my feet and drink water. Anyways about 4 hrs ago I started having contractions, not terrible, but every 5-10 min. I've drank at least 3 liters of water since then, had two huge BM (tmi...but seriously the biggest since I've been pregnant). Now the contactions are about every 10-15 min and that's with me lying on the couch. If I get up I instantly have a contraction. I feel like I did with my last that came early...but it could just be in my head. 

Waiting on the doc to call me back and trying to not stress. 

1stTimeBabyMaker 1 child; California 3831 posts
status 10th Feb

I'd at least call L&D and ask

Summerfrost 51 kids; Massachusetts 6564 posts
10th Feb

With a history of PTL and having contractions that you can't stop on your own, it means it's time to go to L&D. I have PTL with every pregnancy along with an incompetent cervix. Outside of not moving and drinking a bunch of water, there isn't much else you can do at home. It's also better to go in now instead of having bigger issues later on because you didn't. I don't know your history either, but it might be time to talk progesterone shots with your dr. Also, there are meds they can give you stop contractions. It is more likely that you will have PTL issues if you have a history of it. 

countrytink 4 kids; Ohio 646 posts
10th Feb

Getting checked now. I am already on progesterone injections. My cervix has changed they said, just a cm- hopefully I don't progress any. Just want this little girl to keep baking as long as possible. 

countrytink 4 kids; Ohio 646 posts
10th Feb

Got a dose of procardia and my first celestone (steroid) injection. Just hoping that the next time they check me that my cervix hasn't changed. 

Summerfrost 51 kids; Massachusetts 6564 posts
10th Feb

a cm long or a cm dilated? Dilation would be a really big deal. 1cm or not. It might mean hospital bedrest and stuff until you're stable. Steroid shots so I guess this means you're around the 24 week mark. If they get you stabilized and if they send you home, it will mean bedrest for sure though. Next pregnancy (if you do this again), it might be time to have the cerclage talk and treat the PTL more aggressively than they have been. Procardia never really did anything for me. The only thing that worked was indocin (indomethecin is the generic i think) or magnessium if it got really bad. Indocin worked if I caught it early enough. The terb (terbetulin ..spelling?) wasn't much fun. (that's the stuff that makes your heart race). 

Fingers crossed that they get things under control. Make sure you take bedrest seriously if they let you go home. Also go back in if you have any more than 4 contractions per hour. Don't wait until you can time them. I know it's really hard with a job and children, but it's important. I'm not sure if you've delivered early before, but I did twice. Once at 23 weeks when it was too early for the steroid shots and once later on with my youngest. It was always touch and go though throughout my pregnancies. Going in to L&D and having to do bedrest and ignore how insanely messy the house gets, sucks. Hospital bedrest sucks more. 

Thinking about you guys!

countrytink 4 kids; Ohio 646 posts
11th Feb

They said my cervix was a "fingertip thick" and that I was dialated between a fingertip and 1 cm. They gave me the one dose of steroid and I have to go back tonight at 6 for the second dose. I'm taking the procardia every 6 hours (10 mg) for now. It didn't do much for me last time either. I was put on it after two doses of terb at 33 weeks and made it to 35...which he was fine and healthy so it worked out.

I'm NOT on bedrest...I'm so confused. I asked the doctor like 3 times and the nurse several times about restrictions...NONE!! I explained that I am a nurse and have a very stressful position where I am on my feet for several hours at a time without opportunity for rest. (They know, I work at the same hosp. in ICU, I just couldn't believe it). They kept saying that there are no studies to show that physical activity increases my chances for a preterm delivery...which in someone without my history I'm sure is true. I plan on asking whatever doc is at L&D again today, because I am supposed to work tomorrow, I'm in charge, and we are still having very high census on our unit. 

My husband is freaking out. My step-daughter is a twin that was born at 26 weeks, and her sister passed at 2.5 months after birth from an infection. When he found out they gave me the steroids from the lungs he sort of shut down. He doesn't want me working, he sees how much I've been struggling with this pregnancy. This is our planned last baby and I hate that he is so stressed now.

I just want to make it to at least 36 weeks this time...I can afford to take time off without pay, but I would use up all of my FMLA with that. I can't afford to lose my job. Not that I think I would, I have an amazing boss, I'm just freaking out...which is probably not helping the situation at all.

I haven't had any contractions since about 11 last night and its 6 am now so I'm hopeful that things have stopped for now. Any other helpful ideas would be appreciated. 

Summerfrost 51 kids; Massachusetts 6564 posts
11th Feb

Do you have an OB? Are you seeing a high risk dr? You might have to ask for a referral. For me there are 3 tiers of bedrest. The first one is pelvic rest which i'm on from 10 weeks on regardless of contractions,etc. That means I can't lift anything over 10lbs. I can't have sex (nothing in the vagina, no orgasms,no nipple stimulation). And I have to take it easy. I've always been yanked out of work with all of my pregnancies at some point. It's normally very dramatic with some emergency and then I end up on full bedrest. 

The 2nd tier which is primarily where I hang out during pregnancy from weeks 15 to 30ish. I have all of those restrictions about and I have to be sitting down as much as possible. I can shower, I can make quick meals, but that's about it. I can also make occasional trips to do *light* shopping once or twice a month as long as I'm in a wheelchair or electric cart. I'm a couch potato for 3 months.

The 3rd one is all of those restrictions plus I have to be laying down with my pelvis elevated. No getting up unless I need to pee. Cooking, driving,etc, is all off limits. limited showers. 

If they can't get the contractions to stop or my cervix gets too short or starts dilating with the 3rd tier, i'm admitted to the hospital.. .given the steroid shots...etc. 

I have U/S done every 2 weeks (vaginally <---important for accurate measurements) to measure my cervix length and look for dilation. Normal is anything over 2.5cm's. It shouldn't be below that until 30+ weeks. They start medical intervention at 2 cms and everything starts getting real scary if it gets shorter than 1cm. 

The reason dilation is bad this early is because it exposes the baby/amniotic sac to bacteria from your vagina. You and baby can get infection, your water can break from it, it can cause contractions,etc. (this reminds me... have they checked you for a UTI or BV?) The other thing is when you start dilating, your amniotic sac can start bulging into your cervix. This speeds up dilation and puts extra pressure on it. It can cause premature rupture of membranes. I've had that happen twice. The first at 22 weeks and with my last baby at 35 weeks. If your water breaks early, it's bad. It's basically a guarantee of early delivery. They won't let you stay pregnant past 34 weeks and most people spontaneously go into labor within a week or 2. Also infection is practically a guarantee at that point. It's the point of no return, but I guess so is labor. 

I'm siding with your husband in this one. You should be on bedrest at least until 28 weeks. You *really* don't want a micro preemie. It's not an experience I'd wish on my worst enemy. It is awesome that you've had enough time to get the steroid shots. That will help a lot. There is also hope that you can deliver at 35 weeks. I think it would be very difficult to do that though as a full time nurse. 

Right now, I get the freaking out part of this. This is all a shock to you I'm sure. (Random thought .. did they do the Ffn swab?) But from my perspective as someone who has had a micro preemie who died also, jobs are important, but they're not worth the cost or emotional baggage of delivering early. Are you 26 weeks? 

countrytink 4 kids; Ohio 646 posts
11th Feb

Thank you so much for all the information. I am seeing an OB, just a regular one. I am 28 weeks and 5 days today. I had an FFN last week and it was negative. But with my last preterm delivery it was negative and I delivered a week after it was done, so I don't have much faith in them. 

I agree that I shouldn't be working, doing what I do at this point. It's too stressful on my body. The past two times I've worked I've almost been in tears from the pain and I supposedly have a high pain tolerance from what I have been told my nurses and doctors. I called my boss today and told her what was going on. She said that she will have someone else be in charge tomorrow and I said that's fine. I told her if I start having any pain or contractions I will have to leave. She says she understands. I am turning in my FMLA paperwork to the doctor on Friday when I go, and I'm really going to push on why she doesn't think me being off work is a better idea right now.

ETA: she did swab me for BV and checked my urine...everything was negative.