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pregnant after preemie

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I think there are a handful of us here who gave birth early last time.  My son was a 34-weeker (PPROM) and fear of another early birth is really starting to weigh on me at times.  Anyone else?  Any good coping strategies for the worry?  With the exception of weekly progesterone shots I'm being treated essentially as a low-risk pregnancy by a lovely midwife practice.  But now and then I wonder if I should be monitored more, if there's anything else I should be doing, what all these stinking BH contractions mean, etc.  I guess I'm just looking for some company.  Anyone?

post #2 of 17

Sorry to hear you are worried. It is fully understandable and I just wanted to stop and send a hug!


post #3 of 17

You can try the hypnobabies track baby stay in if you are into that kind of thing. That might be one of the ones you can download for free on their site (they are offering 2 free mp3 downloads)   I just started my hypnobabies affirmations, I use it at night to sleep and have started the 1st week of the course and I love it. 

It kind of changes your way of thinking.

The power of positive thinking can help a lot sometimes.



post #4 of 17
I'll be relieved once I get past the 32nd week. I know that there is no reason to expect an early birth this time around, but I can't help but think things like "only 6 weeks to go until I'm at the point where DD was born." I know it will weigh heavy on my mind that week in particular.

I am trying to think positive thoughts and squash the negative ones when they get through. I WILL have a healthy, full term baby this time!!
post #5 of 17

I think I have seen you post about p17.  I just went out on bedrest today b/c the b-h contractions went back up to 50-60 yesterday after being off for spring break and getting them down to 10 a day.  I am getting cervical checks every 3 weeks to make sure the b-h contractions aren't doing anything to my cervix (right now at 4cm)- that is the big concern.  I had PPROM at 34 wks too, but was throwing up all that day and having the usual b-h contractions, so maybe it wasn't PPROM after all.  I never let them check my cervix (till I was 10cm), so no way of knowing either way.  I am playing it super cautious this time as I am a bit traumatized from our 3 weeks in the NICU and I DO NOT want a repeat, especially with a toddler at home.  All that said, I do tons of yoga and meditate several times a week.  I also visualize my uterus calm and I talk to my uterus about staying calm until baby is ready.  Regular conversations with baby about being full term and visualizing that full term homebirth as also regular activities for me:)  I get the P17 shots and take a full dose of Vit C every day (2 grapefruits b/c I try not to supplement) b/c it is linked with a strong bag of waters.  That is in addition to the prenatal vit.  I also found these free guided imagery downloads from kaiser and plan to check them out this week: http://www.healthjourneys.com/kaiser/download/download_healthyPregnancy.asp

I think my preterm birth might have been related to work stress, so that is another reason I am so grateful to be out.  It will be a financial burden for sure, but nothing is as important as trying everything to keep little one in till 36 weeks:)  Btw, I also have a uterine septum which is linked with preterm birth and cervical incompetance, so that is the reason I am being checked.  Something to add, my obgyn knew I was having over 5 b-h contractions an hour, but didn't realize how often they were coming over the course of the day. As soon as I mentioned 50+ contractions to her she wanted me out of work pronto.  The contractions were at that rate for a week before spring break, but it was due to miscommunication that I didn't go out sooner. All this said- some women just have them a lot and it means absolutely nothing but a really toned uterus:)  Hope that is the case for you!.


post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Samhope, yup that was me on the preemie parenting thread.  I'm sorry the BH got so bad you had to go on bedrest, but I'm glad you're getting good monitoring.  4cm = yikes!  Are they checking you via ultrasound, or manually?  I hear you on the playing it super cautious.  The NICU is a traumatizing place, one that I never want to see again either.  May the break from work be just what you need for a calm, full third trimester.  I'm going to look at those Kaiser downloads, and see about vitamin C.  I hadn't heard of that one.  Your story also makes me want to ask my midwives again for a cervical check.  They keep saying it's not indicated, because I needed an induction to open my cervix after my water broke last time, but I can't stop worrying about it.  I haven't counted my BH, but they're certainly quite frequent.  If yours could get you to 4cm, it makes it a lot harder to discount mine.


ArcticRose and HawaianBlessing, I hear you on the positive thinking.  I'm such a cynic (two degrees in math, work in the sciences) that I have a hard time believing in it.  But my doula has recommended similar affirmations and I ought to give it a try.  I also hear you on the counting down to your previous child's arrival week.  I do that, too.  I feel like I'm not going to exhale until I'm term.


Gismobabe, thanks for the good thoughts.  This is more difficult than I expected.

post #7 of 17

I didn't have a preemie, but had a baby with a birth defect and spent 4 months in the NICU last time... I second the Hypnobabies suggestion. I was having major PTSD/fear issues, terrified that something would go wrong this time too, but since I started my Hypnobabies home study I have been much more confident, calm, and relaxed. The "Baby Stay In" track would be good, as well as the Fear Clearing Session and the Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations. The latter 2 have been the most helpful to me in getting over the fear and trauma left over from last time...

post #8 of 17

4-5 cm is normal:)  No worries there!  Under 2 is when you are in trouble.  I am just playing it cautious because I have a partial septum in my uterus and it is linked with a higher risk of incompetant cervix.  I am sure you are fine.  I am enjoying the reduced stress of being home though!  I get cheked via ultrasound b/c manual checks can cause other problems if your cervix is already in trouble (which mine is not;)  The study about increased vit C had the women take vit C every day in addition to a prenatal.  It is an older study that I have not read, but many midwives around here know of it and make the recommendation.  I agree about keeping it calm.  It is hard, but stress is the worst for all of this.  I am due 7/28 btw and once we make it to July I am plan birthing at home:)

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Oh samhope, I thought you meant 4cm dilated!  4cm length is awesome.  Phew!

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

p.s. thanks for the recommendations, NoahsMom.  I'll have to check those out.  4 months in the NICU-- I can imagine how difficult that would be.  It's funny, I always think full-term = safe, but clearly that's not always the case.  I hope you have an easy birth and "take home" baby this time around.

post #11 of 17
Originally Posted by pigirl View Post

p.s. thanks for the recommendations, NoahsMom.  I'll have to check those out.  4 months in the NICU-- I can imagine how difficult that would be.  It's funny, I always think full-term = safe, but clearly that's not always the case.  I hope you have an easy birth and "take home" baby this time around.

It sucked, but we were lucky to be in a NICU with private rooms, so I was able to stay with her the entire time. We had our ultrasound for this baby a couple of weeks ago, and while I was super nervous leading up to it, they were able to rule out everything that can be ruled out before birth, so as far as anyone can know, baby is healthy and we'll have our homebirth this time :)

post #12 of 17

i suppose i belong here too. My daughter was born at 34 weeks (PROM). we were really lucky, she did really well, and we were out of NICU in a week. Lots of breastfeeding issues, but they were mostly sorted out in 2 months. Looking back, I am ok, and even proud of our birth and the time we spent geting her sorted out, but recently the weight of the effort of it all has been weighing heavily on me. It was really hard to fight so hard for every inch we got. definitly not a "family centered care" facility!  We struggled with infertility and miscarriages, before getting pregnant with her, and then after as well. Now that i'm finally pregnant and into viability, the fear of another premie is really getting to me. I go from being content that i will carry this baby to term, to feeling like this baby is going to come at any time. I had some cramping last night, that i'm sure was just gut cramping, but i couldn't sleep for the rest of the night.


All this is complicated by the fact that my midwife who caught my daughter, and will catch this one too is 2.5 hrs away. We moved out of the town before i got pregnant, into a town with a horrible reputation in L&D, and no midwives at all. When i get close, i'll be temporarily moving back up to the big city to wait for baby, but i'm extra afraid that if i go early, i'll be stuck down here. One of the reasons why it went relativly well with daughter was this midwife, I trust her with everything, and the thought of going through another premie without her is really scarry.


I downloaded the hypnobabies keep baby in track, and will be adding it to my hypnobaby regiem asap!


here's to hoping we can keep these babies cooking a while more!

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

NoahsMom, that's wonderful that your NICU had private rooms.  If you had to spend so much time there, I'm glad you at least got to spend the whole time with your daughter.  My son was in a large, shared room with all the other babies (it was the NICU "step down" unit, not the full on NICU), and there was no privacy, no place for me to sleep, etc.  It made everything harder.  I'm also glad you had a reassuring u/s.  I hope your homebirth is awesome.  :)


Jen, hi.  I so hear you on the worrying more once I crossed the line to viability.  It's just so scary at times, and that really took me by surprise.  I can't imagine having to time a move back to your old midwife practice on top of it all.  How could you possibly know the best time to relocate?  I was also PPROM at 34 weeks, with "only" a week in the hospital.  But that was enough to scare the lights out of me, and to send my partner into an almost two-year depression.  I really don't want to go through that again.  How many weeks are you now?  I hope the hypnobabies track gives you some good peace of mind.


Also, a question:  is anyone else doing the fFN (fetal fibronectin) tests?  I had one on Friday, and I'm trying to decide if/when to have another.  I see a regular low-risk midwife practice for my prenatal care, but am scheduled to talk to their OB about it tomorrow.  I'd be interested in anyone else's experiences with the matter.

post #14 of 17

Hi pigirl- I'm 29 weeks now, so far so good! I know that I minimize our experience, looking back. I think i do it because I know that things turned out OK, and  i know things could have been so much worse. Maybe a bit because if i have to do it again- I want to not remember how much it sucked.


I'm going to be doing the fetal fibronectin at my next midwife apt at 33 weeks. I think it will be some piece of mind- maybe a little.


I'm starting to feel like i'm running out of time- like i better get my act together and buy a dresser! and clean out the room that will eventually be baby's. Baby will be in with us, but i'm going to need a room to hold his or her stuff!

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Slippy, I did the fFN test at my last appointment (it was negative!) and it was a huge peace of mind.  More reassuring than the negative test, even, was the midwife saying that my cervix was still clearly long, hard, and closed.  We're not opting to repeat the test unless I start having contractions, but the OB in our practice encouraged more cervical checks if I want them, calling them "very cheap psychotherapy."  I hope you get some similar peace of mind from your test in a couple of weeks.


I'm 28 weeks today, and so excited to be in the third trimester!  I really pushed myself and my partner to get the nursery and baby things (quilt, blankies, etc.) ready by today, and we made it.  I was so unprepared last time by the early labor, this time I was determined to have things ready early.  I figure that's a good way to make it so I go to 42 weeks....

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Samhope, how's the bedrest going?

post #17 of 17


Just got back from another cervical check today and all is good:)  I have started to have these menstrual cramp like contractions a couple of times a day a few days ago, so am being a bit more cautious and we plan on getting full time help for me for weeks 32-36.  Thanks for asking.  How goes it with you?

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