My uterus likes to be different, which shouldn’t be a surprise. It is my uterus after all.
I noticed braxton hicks contractions pretty early on in my pregnancy, around 23ish weeks or so. They didn’t happen very often, but of course I looked it up to see if it was normal for them to start so early. Did you know they start around 6 weeks? You just can’t feel them until you are 20-25 weeks pregnant, who knew?
So about two weeks ago I noticed that I was having braxton hicks much more frequently. I hadn’t really had a conversation with Activist Genius about them at that point so I wasn’t sure what was and wasn’t normal. She had talked to me about pre-term labor and the signs of that to watch for. I certainly wasn’t having back pain or cramping at all so I wasn’t too worried.
Since they were happening so often, I decided maybe I should track them. So, I downloaded a nifty little app and pushed stop and start all day long at work on Wednesday (two weeks ago). After a while I checked and they were about 15-20 minutes apart… so about 4 an hour. Everything I had read said to call if you had more than 4-5 an hour, so I didn’t call. They started getting closer together, about every 5-10 minutes, and then during our staff meeting some were just 2 minutes apart. I told Wifey, who called Activist Genius. Activist Genius said to try some things to get them to stop or slow down and if nothing made them change to let her know.
My mom stopped by after work to bring Wifey a gift and see the mural, then we all ate dinner together. After she left I laid on the couch with my feet up and timed the contractions again. They were still every 10 minutes or less. This time I talked to Activist Genius and although she didn’t come right out and say it, she seemed to be urging me to come in and get checked out. She just happened to be at the hospital on call that night. I wasn’t too worried, because that’s my nature, so I was hesitant. She explained that it is very unusual to have such an active uterus with a first pregnancy. It happens a lot with subsequent pregnancies, but she was a little worried and said there was no way to tell without checking the status of my cervix. She said they could run some tests, hook up some monitors and do a speculum check, how fun!
I talked with Wifey and we decided we’d rather have Activist Genius check us out than some random OB if we had to go in the next day rather than that night. So, at 10:30 pm we headed to the hospital. They checked us in and I settled into a very uncomfortable bed and hospital gown. Do people really wear those to give birth in? I’d rather be naked, it was awful. They hooked up the monitors (to measure Bubbles’ heart rate and the contractions) and I hung out for a while. Activist Genius came back a little bit later alarmed by what she saw on the monitor in the hallway. The contractions were every 2 minutes or so. I sheepishly suggested maybe I missed a few at home or maybe my uterus was just showing off?
They took a urine sample to make sure I didn’t have a UTI, and then Activist Genius came in to do a speculum exam. It was all pretty hilarious. The bed didn’t have an easy way to do the exam so I had to prob myself up on a bed pan while Activist Genius uncomfortably examined me with a giant light that her head kept blocking. Oh fun. She took some swabs and said my cervix was nice and closed, phew. She found an OB who came to do an ultrasound to see if they could see the placenta. Bubbles’ head and arm were right on my cervix so she couldn’t tell enough about the placenta to do a cervical check, which could cause bleeding if the placenta was still covering my cervix. She said I wasn’t dehydrated, since my urine was basically clear. They ran a test for some type of fetal cell that I can’t possible remember the name of. If it was present, it meant the baby would be here in 2 weeks or less. If it wasn’t then we were in the clear. Activist Genius said she’d do another speculum exam in a few hours to make sure the contractions weren’t causing my cervix to dilate. She suggested we snuggle up and take a nap. Haha right. She brought in a chair/bed for Wifey, who quickly fell asleep. I tossed and turned and peed constantly for the next 3 hours until she came back to do the exam. No change to the cervix and no weird long-named fetal cells, so we were free to go home. She explained that I just have a really excited, active uterus for some reason. So this is my normal- contracting every 5-10 minutes, or more often, until delivery day. The coolest part is the strange shapes my uterus makes when it contracts. I should take pictures and give them names.
More exciting news (as if an excited uterus wasn’t enough) Wifey got a new job! It’s a great career move for her and more money for me and Bubbles 🙂 We’ll share it with Wifey too I guess. This is her first full-time week at the new gig and she’s going to kill it with a skillet, or something like that.