As usual, Baby K and this pregnancy are keeping Kyle and I are on toes with no expectations. Our last appointment indicated that she is in the 80th percentile for her size and also really low..like, down there. We know she is healthy & happy in there while she grows. But just before I hit 31 weeks, we had another little surprise…
I had 3 hours to go until I hit the 31 week mark when I truly figured out something was off. My body had felt exhausted, a little more than usual, for my normal workday, but I did my best to relax with my feet up from the moment I walked in the door from work until it was time for me to go to bed. I went make my way upstairs when I immediately realized that walking was a very difficult task. I started getting this awful ache in my lower back and sat down on the stairs because the feeling was getting painful and stronger. Kyle stood there with me for what was less than a minute until the pain subsided enough for me to make it up the 7 stairs to our bedroom.
I got dressed for bed and went to lie down when the same aching pain came over my lower back and into my abdomen making my bump harden and tighten up (more so than it has in the past). It almost felt like period cramps, but on steroids. I called my mom under Kyle’s orders and she told me they sounded like labor pains and that I should start timing them. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was experiencing, but these came and went, lasting about 30-45 seconds each with 3-6 minutes in between. I had my doctor paged and gave him the lowdown. He said it sounded like pre-term labor and that I needed to get over to the labor and delivery unit and they will be expecting me and keeping him informed.
I was panicked and scared, but also felt clueless.
In my head, I knew that Baby K had so much more growing and developing to do before she enters this world. I started thinking about how we don’t have this, we don’t have that, what if she has to stay in the NICU and I am sent home without her, or what if this is nothing and the doctors and nurses look at me like I’m crazy. Seriously, I had ALL the thoughts to make the panic and fear escalate. Figures.
We got to the hospital and the nurses immediately began monitoring Baby K and myself and confirmed I was definitely having labor contractions. They checked my cervix, which by the way, NO ONE tells you how painful that process is. So, if you’ve never experienced it, just prepare yourself. It’s NOTHING like your yearly exam and it nearly made me scream. They found that my cervix were dilated just a little bit and were soft. Which I’m pretty sure can be signs of labor. So, at that point, I was convinced I would be giving birth within the next couple days…or hours. The nurse also gave me a test known as a Fetal Fibronectin. It is just an internal swab to check for a fluid your body releases before going into labor. If that test comes back “negative,” then that means you are very unlikely to give birth within a 2 week period. However, if it comes back positive, it means you are very likely to give birth within a 2 week period. My doctor explained that this specific test is very accurate and reliable, so he is comfortable relying on that test as the results come back. They also took a urine sample to test for any type of infection. A bladder or urinary infection could also be the cause of contractions.
So then we waited. We waited for results as we usually do. During this wait time, I was admitted so they could monitor me overnight. The doctor ordered a steroid shot that could potentially stop the contractions, especially if my contractions were happening but not leading to delivery. Almost immediately my contractions were less intense and more spaced out. Although they were still present, we all felt as though this was a good sign that I was reacting this way to the steroid.
The Fetal Fibronectin result came back quickly and was negative, which means it is very unlikely I will deliver within a two week period. My urine test came back negative for infection as well. All good news. Except for the fact that we still don’t know why I would be getting these contractions. Either way, we need Baby K to continue cooking for at least a couple more weeks for the sake of her development and health.
The next morning my doctor came back to chat about all the test results, give his take on what’s going on, and to….yes, my friends, give my cervix another LOVELY check. I hadn’t dilated any more and hadn’t progressed, but my contractions had gotten way better at this point, so the doctor was comfortable trusting in that test that gave me a two week window and releasing me from the hospital. Of course, this was all under his restrictions of a little bedrest for the remainder of the week.
So I survived my bedrest days and even got to go back to work Friday afternoon. For the remainder of this pregnancy, I just need to be more strict on what “taking it easy” looks like. My doctor advised me to stay seated as much as possible throughout my day and really listen and pay attention to my body. He advised me not to walk more than 100 feet at a time and sit down in between (immediately I was bummed about removing my Target shopping trips from my daily agenda, ha!). And honestly, I will do whatever it takes to keep Baby K safe and healthy. I am incredibly blessed with such an amazing support team. When it comes to being home and at work, I seriously have the BEST situation.
I will be 32 weeks on September 12th and am hoping I can keep her cooking until at least 35 weeks. I will keep you all posted on all the excitement to come!