Preterm Labor Contractions

I’ll be 36 weeks tomorrow and I have gone to Labor & Delivery 3 times now to stop preterm contractions. These contractions have been regular and non-stop since 32 weeks and it’s gotten rather frustrating. Even more frustrating is that there have been no cervical changes, so this isn’t even true labor. My little girl is proving to be as big a troll as her dad.

If you are sent to labor and delivery for preterm contractions, here is what you should know:

  • Before 37 weeks (considered “full term”), your doctor will want to do everything they can to stop the contractions
  • You will most likely be given IV fluids to keep you hydrated

If you get anxious about IVs like I do, I would suggest asking for Lidocaine beforehand. The nurses like to put the IVs in a vein in the wrist or hand rather than in the bend of the arm because it’s easier to keep that area straight (they don’t want you to bend the IV). These areas hurt a lot more than the arm bend which may make you flinch at the last second (like I have) and this will sometimes make the nurse miss your vein and have to dig around or re-stick you. Lidocaine burns, but it’s not so bad.

  • Your doctor will most likely prescribe Terbutaline to stop the contractions which is administered as a shot in the back of your arm
  • Terbutaline shots burn like a (expletive)
  • You may be given more than one of these shots (I was given 4 in one night once and I cried)

The weird thing about my contractions was that I was feeling pain at the very top of my belly which is not where contractions are supposed to be felt. The pain was so intense that I was given Demerol on more than one occasion. My OB actually thought I might have a gallbladder issue but, the ultrasound showed nothing out of the ordinary. Despite all of the attempts to stop my contractions, it seems I just have an irritable uterus. My OB prescribed Procardia which is a medication used to stop contractions and I was also put on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.

I’ll be full 37 weeks in 9 days and I’m really hoping that I don’t have to go back to L&D until I can leave with my daughter. I just want her here 😦 My OB seems to think she’ll be born between 37 and 38 weeks and I’m really hoping she’s right. I’m so done being pregnant at this point; I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever.

The good news is, we now know why the contractions have been happening so frequently. Apparently, I have Polyhydramnios. This means that there is an excessive amount of amniotic fluid around baby girl. I’m going to see a specialist today to see what could be causing it. I’m nervous but, the nurses have assured me that it’s common.

The good thing about having to go to Labor & Delivery so frequently is that my husband has memorized how to get there for when it’s really go-time 🙂 No chance of us getting lost, that’s for sure. I also know a lot of the nurses now so, we’ll all be old friends by the time little girl is born. The nurses have all been really nice to me and I feel very comfortable delivering at this hospital.

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