Thursday, April 05, 2007

28w Contraction Junction - What's Your Function?

Went to the doc for a checkup today. I was scheduled for tomorrow, but I moved it on up after getting frustrated with the number of contractions I've been having. I'm happy to report that cervix is still long-ish (3.8cm) and completely closed and my latest fetal fibronectin (fFN) test came back negative. So basically, everything's ok and we jsut carry on self-monitoring and taking it easy.

I've been experiencing contractions since about 25 weeks or so, but they've become more frequent. Sometimes, I can go for hours without noticing any (especially if I'm out and about). But sometimes - and especially in the evenings - I can have 4-5 in an hour or have, say, 3 per hour for 3 or 4 hours. It's not painful (I would say one of every 10 contractions I would categorize as "rather uncomfortable" the others just being noticeable not painful) but the mental aspect of it is unsettling. I lie there wondering how soon the next one is going to come and if I'm going to go into pre-term labor which doesn't help the issue.

I wonder if they would soon put me on tocolytic meds? There has been no talk of it thus far. Maybe they only do that if pre-term labor is imminent.

I can even tell that a contraction is coming because I get this weird compression feeling in my esophagus (or diaphragm?) and even sometimes some pressure feeling in my head for about 20 seconds before the belly tightens. Does anyone out there know what I'm talking about - experience anything similar?

The babelets are measuring just fine - they are estimated to be about 2lbs 8 oz now and one is only a little bit bigger than the other. Their fluids, heartbeats, other measurements and movements are all good. Now if their mom could just stop worrying and Her Highness the Uterus would kindly cease contracting! (or just do it a lot less -that would be good.)

Okay, so... now would be the time to chime in and tell me how you had contractions all through your third trimester and still went full term with your healthy baby or babies. Please no scare stories - can't take it right now.


Eva said...

I had tons of contractions from early on (16 weeks), sometimes as many as 10 an hour. In the end the OB said I had the "cervix of steel" and the contractions didn't affect it. My twins came a bit early but it had nothing to do with the contractions -- they wouldn't have budged if the doctors hadn't decided I needed them out for my own health. And now they are wonderful. I was on those drugs as well, but I'm not sure they really helped.

And I knew a contraction was coming from the other end -- my bladder would feel pressure and then the contraction would start. Funny yours is on top.

Twin pregnancies are far from easy, but the outcome is worth the discomfort and anxiety, for sure!

Anonymous said...

I had them from 24 weeks on, and they were more than anything annoying. I ended up having some pretty bad ones at 35 weeks, but the kid stayed put until the end (and would have stayed put a whole lot longer had we not gone in and ripped him from his cozy confines). I had them right up until the end and really by 35 weeks or so, I was like, pffft. As long as you aren't running a marathon, you're probably ok.

I know they're totally freaky, because you just never know, but hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I have three kids. With each of them I started contracting at 16-18 weeks and continued (sometimes even at 5-minute intervals, which was really scary). I never gave birth before 35 weeks, and my third one went to term. My OBGYN says that some women just do that, and the cervix is what really counts. None of my children have any long-term problems as a result of prematurity. You should absolutely err on the side of caution, but there's still every reason to believe your twins will hang in there long enough to be fine in the end.

Anonymous said...

Most people have contrax in the 3rd tri even if they don't notice. It helps prep for labor, kind of a pre labor workout.

Good Luck!

Jennifer said...

Here's what i think: Your cervix is nice and long and you passed the fFN test and the babies are just fine and you have NO other signs of PTL. That makes it seem like these contractions are just practice runs for your uterus. That said, I agree that the mental aspect is worrying.

When is your next dr. appt? Di he or she mention anything about WHEN you shoudl worry about them? My dr. said yesterday that unless they were making me very uncomfortable or putting me in pain, then they were fine, because, like you, I have no other sign of PTL.

From all of my research and talking to other people and talking with my docotr....everyone agrees that without any other signs of PTL then you are fine.

But don't have any regrets...if you feel like something is truly worng and this is real labor, then go back to the dr. immediately. You are 28 weeks with one is going to blame you for being concerend.

Lut C. said...

The excitement never ends!
I'm glad the appointment was reassuring at least.

Anonymous said...

I started having contractions around week 22. I was on terbutaline by week 26 but I was only using it as needed if there was a spell of frequent contractions. I did not have to stay on it all the time. My cervix was starting to shorten and efface so I was put on bedrest since I was also having some spotting. I think I was about 50% effaced by week 26. But I made it to 35 weeks on the dot.
I will say that I was vigilant in monitoring for PTL signs and called my doctor if anything struck me as unusual. They never made me feel bad for calling them for silly things (is that amniotic fluid? heck no, just a piddle problem!)
I'm so glad the babelets are growing and doing well. I found the 26-32 week time frame was when I was most worried/obsessed with PTL issues.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

I have no experience to share...

Only want to tell you that I am glad to hear that the two little ones are doing well and that I hope the contractions end. right. now.

EAB said...

I also had a very irritable uterus, with contractions starting very early (14 weeks). We made I don't know how many trips to L&D, but my cervix always hung in there. My doctor did check it more frequently than normal, manually and with u/s, but he didn't put me on any daily tocolytics. He said that in his opinion, they really didn't make much difference in preventing true preterm labor; I could have them if I wanted them, but he didn't think they'd help anything but my peace of mind. Eventually, I quit worrying about it, and didn't even bother call or going in until I'd had them every five minutes for two hours.

I did eventually go into true preterm labor at 32 weeks, complete with cervix shortening, which required hospitalization and mag sulfate to control. After that, I was on bedrest until 34 weeks, but wound up not going into true labor until 35.6 weeks, at which point the babies were born healthy.

I would talk to the doctor about steroid shots if you do keep having trouble with contractions. My doctor had actually started me on them as a precaution the day before I went into PTL -- his thinking was that they wouldn't hurt anything, and that way I'd have had them out of the way if I were to go into PTL that couldn't be stopped.

beagle said...

I have no stories, I just wanted to let you know I stopepd by and am thinking of you!

Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I'm at 32 weeks 5 days, with twins, and as in my last pregnancy (singleton) I started feeling contractions at 13-14 weeks. Last time I never went into labor, just had a c-section for breech at 37 weeks. This time, I am much more worried, thinking that I have reached critical uterus size earlier, so the contractions may do something this time around.

Anyway, the ones the docs want me to "count" are the ones that start slowly and build, hold and then slowly release. For me, they start at the fundus and squeeze down into the pelvic area, momentarily knocking me breathless and causing a flushed-cheek feeling and burning ear sensation.

So far my cervix is holding and my fFn's have come back negative. I may do steroid injections for peace of mind, because my 37 weeker had respiratory distress, so I'm kind of thinking placebo...

Hang in there. You sound perfectly normal to me!

Anonymous said...

I am currently 35.5 weeks pregnant and have been having contractions since 32-33 weeks. I have them sometimes 2-3 mins apart and sometimes 30 mins apart. They are up high like yours are and just uncomfortable, no pain really. I have been in the hospital twice over it (they worry b/c my daughter has an omphalocele and I have polyhydramnios) but other than that, we're doing great, my cervix is still long and thick. It just makes the end of pregnancy so much more agonizing then it should be, hang in there girlie, as long as that cervix hangs in there then you'll be just fine! =)