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heavy twins or pre-term labor?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
How can i tell if i'm having early contractions with twins? I know i'm supposed to be alert for signs of pre-term labor....but i really cannot tell what is going on here. My belly feels really heavy all the time (I'm almost 28 weeks), and sometimes it feels firm or hard....but not in any kind of rhythmic way that i can say is a "contraction." I've never been pregnant before, and i don't know what labor feels like....but i don't want to be one of those moms who is having preterm labor for weeks and doesn't even know it! I try to lie down every day and monitor for contractions, but it's so hard to tell what's going on. And the babies are always moving, which complicates things more.

Can someone help me?!?!?!

post #2 of 10
I've never been pregnant with twins so it might be different....

but for me B-H contractions started out (with this second pregnancy) much like you describe -- hard, firm belly. I realized it was a contraction when it went away in about 40 seconds to a minute. When I was feeling it more often -- like 3 or 4 times in an hour I realized I was dehydrated and drank some water and they backed off.

Hope that helps a bit.
Call your healthcare provider if you're unsure, usually they are more than happy to hear from you and would rather have a false alarm than preterm labor.
post #3 of 10
Hi Kiran,

I'm not sure if this will help but here is my experience - With my first pregnancy (a singleton) I never had any contractions until labor started at 41 weeks. With my twins, I was having contractions for weeks without realizing what they were! I felt like one twin was pressing on a nerve or something - my heartbeat would quicken just a bit, and I'd have a little shortness of breath and have to take a deep breath - not in pain but just a weird "tingly" feeling. My belly was also very hard and heavy the whole time so I couldn't really tell when my belly was tightening. When I described this at an appt, they put me on a monitor and said "those are contractions!" Apparently they were completely non-productive contractions though I had them for several weeks. I even took some meds for part of that time (terbutaline?) but then stopped after 34 weeks.

I continued to have these contractions until I delivered at 37 weeks - had to be induced at that time because of cholestasis (rare - don't worry about it!)

don't know if any of this helps - they could be contractions but that doesn't mean they are doing anything but I would check with your mid-wife/ doctor just to be sure. Good luck!!
post #4 of 10
From everythign I read preterm labor sometimes does not feel like regular labor and lots of mamas dont even know when they are having it.
Because that is true I would definitely talk it over with your care provider asap.
That said, it is normal to have BH contractoins throughout your third trimester, twins or no. And it is very much as you say, the uterus feels really firm and hard. You might not feel it happenning when you arent touching your belly, but sometimes you might feel a soft belly and be able to feel the firmer baby parts, and sometimes the uterus itself is too tight to feel the baby through it .
it is very likely that what you are feelign is normal. But talk to your doc to be sure.
post #5 of 10
I feel the same way. I am 25 weeks and my belly feels very heavy with lot's of pressure down low. I have been having Braxton Hicks every day since I was 9 weeks along. It seems like my belly is hard all day long, but it is really mainly when I switch positions. Like switching from my left to my right side, getting up, laying down, etc. I think if something was wrong, you would sense it. All these sensations are annoying, but I don't feel like they are warning signs in my case. I have read signs of preterm labor are menstrual like cramps, backache and pain radiating to out thighs. I have felt all these things several times during my pregnancy, but mainly if I was pushing myself too hard.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone....although it does sound like everyone has different experiences and different sensations in this area. I think i have the rather unhealthy problem of being scared to "bother" my doctor, in case this isn't actually anything. Also, since my last u/s on friday showed everything is fine, i sort of can't believe things would change that fast....but i guess it would only take a few minutes to have an exam that would confirm that there is/is not a problem. Most of the time, i have what you, nancy, are describing -- i feel strange when i change positions or when i do too much...but then again this is my first pregnancy, so maybe i'm not as good as you are at figuring out what's actually going on....
post #7 of 10
if you have a worry, ask your doc!!!!!!! That is what you are paying them for!!!
post #8 of 10
by all means ask your doc. My doc has a nurse who screens calls and questions. If the nurse can't help then you talk to the doc. It is super helpful.
post #9 of 10
In our multiples birth prep class this was the first thing the instructor covered. Her advice, which I found very, very helpful, was to find a soft spot on your belly. At 28 weeks it's pretty much all baby, so it always feel hard. But somewhere you can find a soft spot still - for me it was on the left side, right under my ribs and sometimes on the right right above my hipbone. Then if you're not sure if it's a contraction or a baby moving or whatever, poke that spot. If it's hard, then it's a contraction, if it's not hard, it's not a contraction.

My twins were my first, too, so I didn't have anything to compare it to. No matter what, call your doctor. The worst thing about the multiples class I took was the number of drop outs. The nurse who was teaching it would give us little updates so we knew that it was because they were either on bedrest or had delivered early. I ended up being one of those and my girls were across the hall from one of the other drop outs boys in the transition nursery. So take it seriously, call your doctor!
post #10 of 10
I had BH constractions from about 20 weeks . . . it was my first pregnancy too, so I agree it's hard to know what's going on. (I was so huge I couldn't really feel much except an extreme downward heaviness all the time.)

I agree with the pp, find a spot that on your tummy that you know what it feels like "normally". (I felt firm all over, but had one spot that was my "control" area. It would get so hard it felt like concrete or pavement or something, then I would know it was a contraction.) When I would have several in a period of 15 or 20 mintues, I would drink as much water as humanely possible, then go lay on my left side and take a nap.

I could not walk any distance at all (yeah, I had to use those motorized carts in stores and felt like an idiot) and I had to quit work at 20 weeks), but I carried the babies to term and was never officially on bedrest.

Take it seriously and talk to your doctor, you want to keep those babies inside as long as possible. You can consult the Dr. Luke book, but I think I recall that I also took calcium/magnesium supplements to help with the preterm labor (again, ask your doc too.)

Good luck!
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