At 35 weeks! All along I've been expecting this baby to come at 42 weeks, so when I woke up to a strong BH contraction at 6:00 a.m. yesterday, I didn't think much of it. Then I had another one, and another one, and I decided to get up and pee. The contractions kept coming and then suddenly my back started to really hurt a lot. I knew that the baby was posterior, and a small part of me began to wonder if perhaps I was in labor, and was experiencing back labor. But the back pain never went away. It would get worse with the contractions (which weren't bad at all otherwise), but would never stop. I thought if it was labor, then there would be a break of some sort between contractions. Plus, being only 35 weeks and having nothing coming out of my yoni, I just really didn't think it could possibly be labor.
But I couldn't just ignore the pain either. I paced and tried hands and knees (hoping to get the baby to turn), and tried a hot bath (hot water on my back felt good) for a couple of hours. I started to feel like I was gonna lose it, and like something was wrong. Dw called our doula to come over, and went to take the boys to preschool. While she was gone, the pain got so bad that all I could think about was that if this was labor, I needed an epidural. I just wanted a little break from the pain, but there wasn't one.
The doula arrived just about the same time that dw got back from taking the boys to school. At this point I was throwing up and was very spacey. I used the hypnoborthing stuff pretty well and was able to stay very relaxed even though it didn't really touch the pain. We called the midwives, and they said to come in. The doula thought I was definitely in labor. We didn't have anything ready. No diapers or baby clothes or anything. I was too out of it to really care. Dw and the doula were so excited and kept saying, "you'll be holding your baby soon!" and I just couldn't care at all. My best friend arrived and drove us the 45 minutes to the hospital. It was a very hard drive. I was throwing up and it was much harder to stay focused on keeping relaxed and not tensing my muscles. I was having contractions every 4 minutes for about 60 seconds, but I could barely feel them in my abdomen, I only felt them on the left side of my back.
We got to the hospital and somehow made it up to the birthing center. They had to get a 20 minute strip on the baby, but luckily could do it while I was on hands and knees. My support team was so great, but I was definitely starting to fall apart. They say I was doing such a good job at staying relaxed, but in my head I was definitely thinking that if this was just the beginning of labor, I was going to need an epidural or something. The midwife came in and checked me and my cervix was still long and closed. She said that she thought I was probably experiencing a kidney stone something or other. They checked my pee and found me to be incredibly dehydrated and my pee was full of blood. I'd been drinking plenty of water, but it wasn't coming through.
As soon as I knew for sure that I wasn't in labor (I really hadn't thought I was because the pain felt "wrong," and everyone always says that even though labor hurts a lot, it feels purposeful in some way), I wanted drugs NOW. I definitely had a much harder time staying relaxed and centered once I knew that the pain was not bringing me closer to my baby. It had been about 6 hours at this point. They gave me a shot of demerol, and it really didn't do anything, so they put some morphine in my IV. It brought the pain down from a 10 to a 6 or so, but I was still pretty miserable (and out of it from the drugs). I had an u/s which showed the kidney stones, and then just had to lie in bed waiting for the stone(s) to pass while they pumped me full of fluid. I still wasn't peeing, it took about 4 hours for the pee to finally start to come out, and when it did it was dark brown from all the blood. Finally, around 4:30 or so, they'd given me enough drugs that I was able to fall asleep, and when I woke up the pain was gone. It was like a miracle. I spent the night in the hospital getting more fluid (and I wanted to make sure the pain didn't come back), and now I'm back home and feeling pretty fine (just tired).
I am so happy that it wasn't really labor and that that's not what labor feels like! I was going to be really disappointed. I think the key to labor being manageable is probably the break you get between contractions. Also, now I feel like I really should get things ready ASAP because it was no fun to think the baby was coming and have nothing ready for him. It was a good experience to get to practice the hypnobirthing and to have my support team all gathered around me helping me. So, I partially feel more prepared for labor now, although I'm also a little scared of it (what if it DOES feel the same way??!!).
Through it all, the baby was great, very active, and I never worried about him. I never worried about uterine rupture or any of the other fears I've had during the pregnancy. I was just so focused on getting though it and staying calm, and my mind couldn't really wander to other things. So that was nice to know.
Anyway, if anyone starts having really intense back pain (especially one-sided back pain), you should definitely get to your care provider ASAP since apparently kidney stones are fairly common in pregnant women. My midwives think mine happened because of the baby's position (low, head-down, and posterior, pressing on my left kidney) causing a blockage. I still love him anyway
, and am more excited than ever to meet him!
And I'm really glad to still be pregnant! Nothing like thinking it was all going to end sooner than I'd planned to make me really appreciate these last few weeks!