Pregnancy/Postpartum

39 Weeks Pregnancy Update: Pre-Labor and Hospital Visit

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39 Weeks Pregnant!!!

This week has been something of an interesting week.  I have been having Braxton Hicks contractions for some time but I found out at my last doctors appointment that my contractions are now actually dialating my cervix and I have begun to progress.  At my last check I had dialated to about 1 cm and my cervix was also softening (also known as effacement) and her head is engaged but he said it wasn’t great but there is still time.  From my understanding when a woman’s contractions are changing the cervix but it is changing very slowly and contractions start and stop and don’t lead to actual birth, this is called Prodromal labor or pre-labor.  It is actually a form of true labor because the cervix is dialating but it is not active labor.  Currently, I am having contractions every 15 to 30 minutes.  Sometimes they are closer together (like every 5 minutes) and sometimes they slow down to almost non-existent.  At my last appointment my doctor also scheduled an induction date for May 8th in case I don’t go into labor naturally but none of us think it will come to that.

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As for today’s events and why I ended up in the hospital in Labor and Delivery.  The last few days I have had a terrible itch on my feet, mostly on the bottoms of them.  There is no rash, just a deep, awful itch that seemed to be getting worse and spreading to other parts of my body.  I have been constantly scratching the bottoms of my feet especially on anything that has texture like carpet or a hard edge like chair legs and the edges of table tops.  The sharper the better but there was really no relief.  I didn’t think anything of it though since I am pregnant and itching happens in pregnancy, until last night when I couldn’t sleep at all because of the itching.  I finally got on Google to see if any other pregnant Mama’s had dealt with this and what remedies they used for it.  However, my search immediately popped up with a condition called Obstetric Cholestasis which is a problem with the mother’s liver which causes her not to process bile correctly and can lead to stillbirth.  Needless to say I became alarmed and immediately woke my husband up and told him my concern.  We called the on-call nurse about it and she said we should go into the hospital and get it checked out, just in case.  The concern was that Bella would need to be emergently delivered, whatever that looked like, today!

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I will say that the experience was not the best I have had at that hospital.  The nurse was almost condescending and at first was acting like we were bothering her because we came in because my feet were itching and then when I told her it had been going on for a number of days she suddenly wanted to know why we waited so long to come in if it was so bad even though we had just explained that it had been progressively getting worse.  I have to say I was really frustrated with her attitude and struggled not to show it and remain nice to her.  As soon as she left I signed to my husband how I felt about her.  He helped me to calm down and reminded me to give her grace since we do not know what has been happening in her life that could be causing her to act this way.  He is such a good man!!! :-D.

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She actually did warm up to us after a while and seemed to become more compassionate to our situation as time went on.  I was put on monitors to measure her and my contractions.  Bella kept squirming away from the monitor though and making it hard on the nurse but after a time it was determined that she was doing just fine in there.  In the end, my blood work came back fine also and we were allowed to leave with our minds more at peace and the recommendation to put my feet in cold water and the reassurance that once Bella is born the itching will end.  While there though and hooked up to my contraction monitor I had two big contractions and lots of little ones too.

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The contractions I have been having aren’t painful, just uncomfortable.  In fact, I didn’t know I was progressing at all and thought I was just having Braxton Hicks.  I know that a lot of mom’s who have this Prodromal labor say that they thought they were in real labor (even not first time mom’s) and that their contractions were just like their real labor contractions.  So, I feel blessed that I am having a pain free experience thus far.  :-D.

I hope everyone is doing well.  Shalom! 🙂

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