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When are contractions an issue?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm 24 weeks tomorrow and I've been noticing that every night I have about an hour where I'm definitely having contractions. Not Braxton Hicks, but owie, have to breath through them contractions. What's the "rule"? How many in an hour are too many?
post #2 of 15
I don't remember what my doc told me in terms of how many per hour was too many, but I was admonished to take it easy. I was told if my contractions didn't go away after hydration and rest, or became more frequent, I was supposed to contact my doctor.

At this point, I'd try to do a whole lot of nothing. You're gestating. That means you can sit with your feet up at every opportunity.

Do you have help available to help manage the kids and the household?

Best wishes, and take it easy.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have been taking it pretty easy (for me), but no, there's really not tons of help. We don't have family in the area and we can't afford to hire anyone.

I've also been feeling crampy (but it's hard to tell that form round ligament paint) and noticed more discharge this past week. I should probably just call, but I'm concerned they'll over-react. The contractions are happening a couple times a day-- there tend to be three or four in an hour, and then it goes away. It's not the same as Braxton Hicks, which just take my breath away.
post #4 of 15
What about families in your church? Are there some that if they knew you needed help would be there?

My own twin pregnancy experience is one of fairly normal stuff until 28 weeks. Then, I spent a month (well, almost) in the hospital and the rest of my pregnancy until 38 weeks on "house arrest".

My point is only to encourage you both to take seriously the "go easy" suggestion, and also consider seeking help in your friends. It can be very humbling to ask for help, but in my experience people often really want to help, and feel good doing so.
post #5 of 15
if you're having to breathe through them, please do call! as someone who had her babies early... i would definitely get it checked out. you are still early, and it's better safe than sorry, right?
post #6 of 15
I gotta agree. If they're enough to make you stop talking and breathe, then they're too strong, regardless of how many there are. And with discharge, and cramping, I think would be very concerned.

I think the usual recommendation is more than four an hour, for more than an hour.

The real issue with contractions of course is whether they're leading to cervical change. I would be asking for a transvaginal ultrasound, to measure cervical length. Or a My first DS was born at about this time. I never even realized I was laboring until it was way too late to intervene. I don't know for sure that we wouldn't have been able to stop it, and buy DS a little more time so that he might have survived. But I don't know that we couldn't have, either.

I contracted a LOT during my twin pregnancy-- I had a period of time every evening when I contracted, sometimes as much as six or seven times an hour. But they were weak, disorganized contractions that I only noticed if I paid attention. And they never became "labor," and were always gone by the morning. Even so, I went three times in the late evening to see my HCP, because there's no sense taking chances.

A fetal fibronectin test is expensive, and a positive result doesn't mean too much, but a negative result can be extremely reassuring.
post #7 of 15
With respect to preterm labor my doc said to call labor and delivery if contractions happened at 10 minute intervals, if there was any change in discharge, or any bleeding.

The first time I called L&D I was having what I realized were contractions (it's my first pregnancy, so I wasn't sure exactly what I was feeling). I lied down for a half hour and felt them every 10 minutes for 30 minutes. Called L&D, they said to go in. I was put on IV fluids for dehydration and terbutaline for the contractions. After a few hours I went home OK.

I was still feeling icky for the next few days (with a GI virus that caused the dehydration), and then my water broke at 30w 4d. Born the next day.

Lesson is: I would not hesitate to call L&D and get checked. Better safe than sorry. Better to get thoroughly re-hydrated (if that's the problem) and stop the contractions than to let them go on. Better to be resting and not exposed to anything that could make you sick, which could make you go into labor early.

I wish I could have / would have stayed in the hospital longer and/or in bed. I wish I hadn't been exposed to anything that made me sick and go into preterm labor. Please be safe. Take it easy.
post #8 of 15
Not sure if there are different rules with twins. But as a mama who has dealt with oodles of contraction/PTL issues with past pregnancies here's what I have always been told.

Lay down and drink 1L of water. If after 1 hour... contractions continue at a rate of 6 or more an hour then its time to go in and get checked out. Also go in if your having contractions with leaking fluid, spotting, or just overall have that feeling that "this isn't right".

Keep us posted I hope its nothing!
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone-- I did phone in and they said to rest a lot and call if it got worse, stay hydrated, drink water. I have an appointment on Thursday. I am really trying to take the admonitions to take it easy seriously, but it's so so hard. I'm kind of a do-er. I don't like being still. But the fact is, on days I take it easy I don't have as many contractions and I can walk at the end of the day. Days I don't, I feel horrible.

I'm really not used to pregnancy keeping me down this much, which is hard.
post #10 of 15
Twin pregnancies are NOT like singleton pregnancies. Your body has to work SO much harder!

The first chapter of the most helpful book I read (Juggling Twins -- not sure if I've linked this before) said the two most important things for a twin pregnancy are (1) REST A LOT, and (2) EAT A LOT. You WANT to do as little as possible so that all of your energy can go towards the babies. You WANT to gain as much weight as possible for the babies.

IME I rested a lot -- slept 12-14 hours per day. But I couldn't eat enough! It seemed like the twins took up so much room in my abdomen that there wasn't enough room for food. I'd take a few bites and then feel stuffed like I was gonna explode. Plus, for the first 4 months I had really bad nausea and vomiting. Bleh. It stunk because I only gained like 20 lbs at the most. I should have gained double that.
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I'm really not used to pregnancy keeping me down this much, which is hard.
No real advice just wanted to let you know I totally understand what you are talking about. I dont remember ever feeling like this until the very, very end of my other pregnancies. Its difficult when you have so much to do and so many people to look after. Hang in there and please let us know how you are doing the next few days.
post #12 of 15
Totally thread crashing here:

Annettemarie, *PLEASE* please get the word out to your congregants. I just KNOW from the bottom of my heart that there are people whose lives would be enhanced to serve you (and the Lord) this way. Please let them. You deserve to be cared for to the nth for too many reasons to list. Please don't let your own pride and insistence to do, hinder you and your babes' health. Be brave. Have faith. If needed, have 2 or 3 people come--1 or 2 to help around the house and with your other children, and someone to sit and visit with you. You can do this. It is a new skill to learn--the ability to just sit and be. Let the Lord lead you. What does HE say? "Be still."

Hang in there! I'm rooting for you!!!

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Jenne, that totally made me cry. I'm just awful at asking for help. I honestly don't even know where to begin.

This morning I got to sleep in until 8:30 and then we all went to breakfast together (DH too!). After, I had to go to the store because we were out of quick and easy (read: crappy and not-so-great) food for lunch that my oldest can make, but when we got home I had the kids bring in the food and put it away and make lunch and I slept for three hours! And then we did a couple hours of school from the bed until DH came home. My uterus was much less twitchy today.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
I ended up with a NST today as well as an internal, and everything looks great! The midwife thinks that I have a lot of "side" stuff going on-- insomnia, nausea, headache, sciatica, heartburn-- that's making everything seem maybe worse than it is, so we worked on some strategies for working on that. My blood pressure is up a little but I passed my GT test.
post #15 of 15
I'm glad things are ok and going well. I just want to chime in to conur that a twin pregnancy is not the same as a singleton. I had to slow down a lot soon than expected and I had to slow wwwaaaayyyy down. The cramping started wasy before 20 weeks and was directly related to my actions. The house looked like crap, we only got the minimal preparation completed for the babies, I cut work to the minimum they'd allow without firing me and we shipped off older dd to play with friends, grandparents, etc. as much as possible. It was survival mode for most of the pregnancy.

However, it paid off. I was able to make it to 37w5d and I'm so thankful for every minute those babies had in me. Even at that stage ds was obvioulsy not ready to come out, but he made it ok. I think taking it easy during pregnancy is a 1000 times preferred to dealing with an early baby that could have been prevented. (Note that not all preterm births can be prevented or are due to the mothers actions. I don't account my success to my actions so much as the total experience and my luck, or answer to prayer, as you choose to believe).
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