Photo by bam61907
We're following a first-time pregnant mom, Brittany (bam61907), on her exciting journey from bump to baby. Check back every Wednesday for the latest developments!
What's Happening with Mom:
This week has been a roller coaster. Thursday evening I was shopping when I started to have bad contractions -- every 4 to 5 minutes and I had to stop to catch my breath.
"Well, you are definitely having contractions," the doctor said.
Now they were two minutes apart and coming on strong! The doctor checked everything that might explain early labor: my cervix (closed), a urine sample (negative), swabs for infection (negative), hydration (perfect).
The doctor also did another swab test to see if I could go into the labor in the next two weeks -- negative. To stop my uterus from contracting, he gave me an injection of the preterm labor drug Terbutaline. Within a half hour, they slowed immensely. My cervix was slightly softer than at the first check, but still closed.
So, they let me go home. I'm still having some contractions, though weaker and less frequent, so I'm guessing they are just Braxton Hicks. I'm a little worried about Aubrey coming before her lungs are developed, but the doctor said it could very well be a few more weeks. Then again, she could get really comfortable and decide to stay in until 40 weeks. There's no telling!
Other than that, my belly feels so unbelievable heavy now. I'm still planning on working right up to the day I deliver, and after that I will have six weeks off. Sex is very uncomfortable, but I am going to start just dealing with it because I heard sex and the sperm can soften up the cervix. I don't know if it is true, but it's worth a shot!
What's Happening with Baby: Watch out, Mom. I'll be gaining a third to a half of my total birth weight during these final weeks, which means you'll packing them on fast and furious, too. Right now I'm a little over four pounds and measure nearly 18 inches. Oh, and I'm thinking about settling into that head down position -- though I still may wait till the last minute. You'll just have to be surprised!
Question of the Week from Answers:
Are preterm contractions the same as preterm labor? -- anonymous
CarolynBarnett: "There is a difference. There are Braxton Hicks contractions, which are not real labor, but they also should not hurt. They should be slightly uncomfortable at their worst. True pre-term contractions would equal preterm labor, but the only way to know is to be seen. I had it at 33 1/2 weeks, it felt like pre-menstrual cramps, but they kept getting worse."
lovinangels: "You need to see if the contractions are 'productive' -- that you are dilating. If you are not, it is likely that they will put you on light duty and have you ride it out -- happened with my first two. Also, drink as much water as you can. Dehydration can intensify cramps, Braxton Hicks, and cause all kinds of rotten pregnancy issues.
Did you experience Braxton Hicks contractions? How could you tell they weren't the real deal -- or were they?