HELP - cramping at 38 weeks (poss. early labor) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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My apologies for this post being so long. I've had a horrible pregnancy, the worst being symphysis pubis disfunction and lots of lower abdominal discomfort.

I need some help to either get things moving, or make the pain stop.

I'm 38w2d, and for the last while (weeks? months?) I've been having almost constant cramps, sometimes to the point where I can barely walk. Friday my midwife came over and gave me an exam (poss. sweeping of membranes), but she couldn't quite reach my cervix. She said it was still tucked behind the bone, and slightly to the right. She could push harder to pull it forwards (and out), but the pain was so intense that I asked her to stop. She also said that the baby's head was very, VERY low, and it's no wonder I was in so much pain.

I'm also extremely constipated, but have had a couple "healthy" bowel movements that don't offer me any relief whatsoever.

In the middle of friday night, I had a 4 hour cramp that basically felt like a contraction that wouldn't let up. Saturday morning, they turned into fairly regular contractions... Approx 55 second in duration, and occuring every 4-5 minutes. After an hour or so of this, they started to scatter all over the place. They're still occuring.

Laying down slows the contractions, but doesn't stop the cramping. Standing up, makes them start again with an intensity that reminds me of transition (VERY painful). And again, no consistency.

I also can't sit down properly because of the "softball" feeling in my butt.

I am do completely done with this pregnancy, I'd love nothing more to go into labor (but I don't YET want to induce, at least until I know how effaced and dilated I am). I do plan on taking a small (maybe 1-2 tsp) amount of castor oil to help with the constipation, but aside from that, I don't know what to do.

We're going to attempt going for a short walk this afternoon, but when those "contractions" hit, I practically fall to the floor. And the cramps alone make walking difficult.

Has anyone here experienced this before?

And does anyone know what I can do about this? I'd like to get my cervix moved more into where I can feel it, hoping that once that happens the pressure of the baby's head will get labor moving, but I'm not sure how to make that happen.

I've suffered a horrible about of pain throughout this pregnancy, and I'm absolutely MISERABLE. I also have a very high needs, busy 19 month old that I find impossible to chase around and entertain...

I've had lots of help from both my doulas and my midwife, but I was hoping someone here can help me further. My goal is to have an HBAC, but a hospital VBAC would be the next step.

Any help you can offer is GREATLY appreciated.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that when I woke up yesterday morning, I had to pee quite badly, but it was IMPOSSIBLE to do so. It felt as though the baby had dropped and was creating a blockage. Pushing to pee gave me horrible stabbing pains in my abdomen, and the only way to get anything out was to lift my belly and gently but painfully push to let it trickle (a VERY slow trickle). It took a good 10 minutes to empty my bladder.

As for the pain while sitting on the toilet, I've also found that sitting towards the front and leaning back seems to lessen the pain, although it doesn't make things come out any easier.

I haven't had any major problems peeing since that one incident.
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#2 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 09:26 PM
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Quoted: 0 Post(s) far as peeing goes, try holding belly up (as much as you can being as far along as you are ) while you pee and leaning forward a little bit to try and move baby off of your bladder. That's the only thing I can think for that.

As far as pooping goes, the discomfort you may be feeling with contractions may be heightened because of that. A stopped up colon can actually stall labor, so your body may be ready to labor, just this is postponing things. I'd do an enema before I did castro oil, as an enema is short lived and castro oil diarrhea can last a while. Also, the enema will work more quickly. I know it's gross, but I'd do it if I was as uncomfortable as you seem. Also, than "can" get things moving in labor too.

As far as cervix position, most moms' cervixes don't turn anterior till labor or till effacement happens. Sweeping membranes is also controvertial and if I would have known the risks I wouldn't have done it. With my first, we had a sweep because we were getting later and the threat of hospital induction was weighing heavily. This turned his head to be asynclitic. I'd have occasional braxton hicks a few hours a day once a week, and those got me to 4 cm. After the sweep, I went into "real" labor, and labored 27 hrs, with minute long contractions 3-5 min apart and only got to 6 cm. We ended up with CS. This time around, I don't plan on it no matter what pretty much. But it's your choice.

If you want to efface your cervix, sex is good, prostaglandins (like primrose oil) taken vaginally or orally can help too. When you feel a ctx. go into a labor squat to help baby head move further down (I know he/she is already low) and to bring cervix forward.

That's pretty much all I can think of, I hope other's have more insight. Oh, and also, I wouldn't count dialation as a sign of your body being ready for labor, I was 4 cm at 38/39 weeks and didn't go into labor till after a sweep at 41+3. But I would do everything to clear the way for baby to come out as soon as possible, as you do seem to be in a lot of discomfort. Hang in there though! Much Love to You!!!
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#3 of 5 Old 05-10-2010, 01:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for you reply. I had a meltdown of sorts this afternoon, I'm sure caused by the lack of sleep I've experienced this week and ended up phoning one of my doulas to ask her to come over, and my midwife (crying hysterically) to basically tell her that I've had it and I can't do this anymore (LOL). The contractions I've been having vary from being consistant to all over the place, but there is no rest whatsoever in between them because of all the cramping. If the pain would go away in between contractions, I'm sure I'd be much less of a mess than I am.

I did take 2 tsp of castor oil (for the constipation, not to induce) and did end up having one huge healthy bowel movement (no diarrhea whatsoever), but it did nothing for the pain. Peeing is helped by leaning backwards (forwards HURTS) and lifting my belly.

Things seem a bit better tonight, but labor still hasn't started (and the cramps haven't eased up). My cervix is still unreachable, and the contractions have completely stopped. LOTS of braxton hicks though (almost constant).

I've been doing a lot of ball exercises as well as cat/cow and squatting. Baby is LOA and so far down that even I can feel his head when checking for cervical positioning. I even felt him squirm a little and drop a little lower (or try to)... that was a strange feeling for sure. But still no sign of my cervix.

I guess my job now is to wait, and pray that my daughter has a low energy day tomorrow so I can rest (or better yet, that I go into labor in the early hours of the morning).

Thank you again for your reply and support.
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#4 of 5 Old 05-10-2010, 03:40 AM
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A long time ago I saw someone post that they were having lots of really painful prodromal labor and someone responded that they had the same thing and were finally diagnosed with a UTI. The poster went in and was also diagnosed with a UTI. Once treatment started, the pain stopped. Might be a possibility in your case as well.

Either way, hang in there! Yo can do this!
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#5 of 5 Old 05-10-2010, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion, but I've been tested for a UTI and everything is normal.

The only thing I can think of is that it's the pressure of the baby that's causing all the pain. I can't sit down at all because of the "ball", and it gives me the same menstrual "labor" type pains when he (or I) moves in certain ways.
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