I am 33 weeks and having contractions! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 04-30-2003, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I am 33 weeks and have been having painful contractions which I thought were just really bad braxton hicks. I went for my regular appt last night and told the dr and she checked me and said that my cervix is soft and that I am having real contractions not braxton hicks. I am not dilated though. Has this happened to anyone? I am so afraid I wont make it to full term. She suggested going out on maternity leave now instead of the 15th, I am trying to hold out till at least next week. This is my second baby and I never experienced anything like this before.
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#2 of 12 Old 04-30-2003, 06:38 PM
 
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Hi Jennifer,

I had tons of bh contractions from weeks 20-31 and then at 31 weeks they started changing my cervix. It was soft and started dilating. My midwife suggested modified bedrest and prescribed brethine as needed. I still had tons and tons of contractions (confirmed via monitor) - like 8-10/hr up until around 37weeks. Then they pretty much stopped and my dd was born on her due date.

I know you're probably tired of hearing this by now, but drink TONS of water, take it easy as much as possible and if you can, have someone else prepare dinner, do the grocery shopping, etc....

Good luck to you!

Jen
Korina 10.04.01
edd 12.10.03
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#3 of 12 Old 04-30-2003, 06:46 PM
 
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Sending your baby stay put vibes. Best wishes to you!
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#4 of 12 Old 04-30-2003, 07:24 PM
 
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Jennifer, what did your MW say she'd do if you continued having contractions? Did she say bedrest or a brief hospitalization with whatever the contrax-stopping drug is called?

What's her plan? I'd sure call her back and ask for specifics! Because she can't catch your baby at 33 weeks, that's too premature for her to handle legally, so it would be to her benefit to stop your labor!

I'm 31 weeks and feeling your fear, mama - I've had BH contrax that get pretty strong, so I know that "oh, no!" feeling!

Hang in there, get a solid plan of action, and RELAX - practice those relaxation techniques and breathing now!!

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#5 of 12 Old 05-01-2003, 12:11 PM
 
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With each pregnancy my Braxton Hicks got stronger and sooner. They did soften and efface my cervix and with one of my pregnancies I walked around 4 cm dialated for 3 weeks! Actually went way over due. With my 4th dd I had polyhydromosis (to much amniotic fluid) and had my baby 5 weeks preterm at 35 weeks. She did just beautifully and I was able to take her home the next day. Good luck and keep thinking positive thoughts.
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#6 of 12 Old 05-01-2003, 12:21 PM
 
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Exact same thing happened to me with dd at 29 weeks. I laid down, drank, etc and gave birth to her the next day because by the time I went into the hospital I was fully dilated!

Do something! I'd go to the hospital immediately. If they can't get the contractions to stop, they may want to give you steroids to help mature the baby's lungs.

We had to spend 3 months in the NICU because my Dr and I didn't react fast enough and it was HELL.

I'm not trying to scare you, but I don't want anyone to go thru what I did.....
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#7 of 12 Old 05-01-2003, 01:19 PM
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Even when I have had Braxton-Hicks that were pretty painful, they have subsided after taking Hyland's Calms. I had 'episodes' of increased *strong* BH at about 32 weeks and at 36 weeks with both pregnancies (caused by baby growth spurts, maybe?). At 33 weeks in a second pregnancy is it unusual to have a soft cervix? Did she say how effaced you were?

I can feel myself 'ripening' and sometimes it's strong BH, sometimes it's some twinges that I know are me dilating... how is she sure that they are 'real' and not BH? Did you have one while she was examining you? I have not actually been checked yet this time because if I am dilating and not in labor that will make me grouchy (I'll be 40 weeks this Monday). I know that last time I was 2cm dilated before I went into labor, and that was my first baby, so I am sure I am already a little bit dilated by now and probably pretty soft.

I don't mean to be asking 20 questions, I just thought what you are describing was'nt unusual. Was'nt Busybusymama walking around at a 4 and 90% effaced for two weeks before she had her baby? For a first time mom I'd be more concerned about what you are experiencing, but for a second baby... also I have noticed I have more BH when I am stressed, maybe you can switch to half-days at work? I did that for my last week and it has made life so much easier.

I agree with Riley'sMom that if you really think something is up, then by all means GO IN. But if you're not sure you may try the Calms, it certainly could'nt hurt... if it works then it's just BH, if it does'nt work then you know what to do. HTH, I don't mean to be a know-it-all but I just thought this was'nt uncommon in multiparas and the Calms really helps me when the BH get worrisome.

XM
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#8 of 12 Old 05-01-2003, 02:35 PM
 
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One thing you might ask for, if you've got access to it, is a fetal fibronectin test. It involves taking a swab of your cervix, and I think 48 hours or so have to pass since your cervix was examined (so the test results won't get confused), but it can really be reassuring if you're dealing with this sort of thing now. As I understand it, if you test negative, there's a really good chance (like 98% or something) that you WON'T go into true labor for at least two weeks. Apparently it tests for a protein that's only released at the very beginning of pregnancy and when delivery is coming soon (I wish I could explain it more fully; I recall it being a fascinating protein).

With my first pregnancy in 2000, this test was just starting to be used, so although I always tested negative with it, they kept me on bedrest, mag sulfate, etc. when the B/H were starting to have heavy episodes and I was starting to efface at 28 weeks. But I ended up going totally full term, not going into true labor until my due date!

I'm now 23 weeks pregnant with my second, and the B/H are starting here and there, pretty strong already! I'm determined to be calmer about it this time around (and I'm lucky that we have my past history to give us more info than you've got), but my midwife had the great suggestion to start using the fetal fibronectin test when I hit the 26-week mark or so (assuming the B/H start getting heavier and more frequent, as they seem on a path to do). If it's negative, I'll be able to relax, knowing I very likely am "safe" for at least two weeks from that point on. And then we'll just do them as needed.

I know all that stuff about wanting to minimize bothering the cervix, etc., but this is really just a little swab and I figure they'd be down there checking my cervix all the time anyway once the B/H started in earnest again.

Anyway, perhaps worth looking into!

darcy

P.S. I also found two things helpful in calming my B/H the first time around (had just as good if not better luck with these remedies than any of the chemicals offered at the hospital, in fact!): warm baths with essential oil of chamomile and lavendar, and taking homeopathic magnesia phosphorica. The gentlebirth.org archives have more natural remedy suggestions, too; I may try some of these later.
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#9 of 12 Old 05-01-2003, 08:14 PM
 
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Warm baths! I have been having very intense contractions(I am 30 weeks). My miswife said it is very common in second/third/fourth pregnancies. She suggested, lots of water(of course), a lot of protein, and warm baths. These have helped me quite a bit. It is so relaxing, thereby relieving the contractions.
Take it easy and try not to worry. It is very common!
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#10 of 12 Old 05-05-2003, 09:41 PM
 
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Hey mama, any updates???? Where are you????

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#11 of 12 Old 05-06-2003, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry it took me so long! Thanks for all of your advice. I started to do less, stay off my feet, no lifting, I am still at work but I think I get more rest here than if I was home-lol! I still get them but not as painful and not as often. The minute I get stressed though- look out!
Also the doctor had said not to have sex and I noticed that afterwords I would get alot of contractions, she said something about sperm affecting the cervix? So my dh isnt too happy but better to be safe than sorry.
I was just really freaking out because I do not want to end up in the hosp or on magnesium- I have heard horror stories and well as far as the hospital goes- I cant stand being in one.
I am 34 weeks so I need to make it at least 37 weeks!
Watch I probably jinxed myself and will be overdue now
:
Hylands Calm really works huh? I will have to get some of that.
Now I am dealing with a wicked cold. Anyone know of anything I can take that is safe- Sudafed is not cutting it and I hate taking meds when pregnant. I mostly have nasal congestion and scratchy throat.
Thanks again for your concern and I will keep you all posted!
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#12 of 12 Old 05-06-2003, 04:47 PM
 
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I had wicked contractions early with my 3rd. My Dr had told me that unless they exceed more than 10 in an hour, not to worry. I was 3 cm dilated for 4 weeks before my due day and continued 2 weeks past and ended up induced.

Relaxing is the best thing you can do. Another 3 weeks and it's party time!

Hope all goes well.
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