Ode to Braxton-Hicks

You know what the difference between pre-term contractions and pre-term labor is?  Pre-term labor means the baby is coming.  It’s productive.  pre-term contractions are just painful with nothing to show at the end of the day but…a cranky mood and uber-tender pelvis.

Yesterday I had Braxton-Hicks all day long.  Not one or two an hour, but consistently all day long, worse in the afternoon.  I had an OB appt scheduled at 4 and thought it wasn’t a big deal so didn’t call my OB (or husband) and didn’t say anything until I arrived at the doctor’s office.  Evidently, I should have called them.  A couple contractions at this stage (just shy of 30 weeks) are okay, but all day long could present a problem.  They did an exam and I’m not dilating so it’s not pre-term labor, just good ole’ Braxton-Hicks.  Or “uterine practice” as my mom called it last night. 

I was told to drink more water (I already guzzle 1/2 – 1 gals/day), NOT lift or carry Sam AT ALL UNTIL 6 WEEKS AFTER DELIVERY, and “rest more.”  ie: take it easy.  If I have occasional contractions that’s fine, but anything more than 4/hr and I have to call the doc again and go in to be checked.  If I have consistent contractions I may have to be placed on bedrest which I DO NOT WANT, so I’m going to do my best to be as lazy as humanly possible for the next 8-10 weeks.

This morning Mimi is kicking and punching (her arms are finally big and strong enough) frequently but I’ve only had 3-4 contractions since 7 am so this is much better.  Hopefully this was a 1 time thing and we’ll make it til the end. 

I tell Mimi all the time that she just has to make it ’til 37 weeks.  That’s my goal.  Full term.  Once she’s there she can (1) hurry up and be born or (2) stay and cook for another couple weeks.  Completely her choice. 

So — now I know what contractions feel like.  They suck.  I feel badly for anyone who has (1) a long labor (2) a natural childbirth (3) inadequate drug coverage during labor.  Let me tell you, that “preemptive” epidural I have to have?  Sounds pretty darn good right about now.

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Published in: on August 17, 2012 at 10:12 am  Comments (11)  

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I had a million braxton hicks as well, but I’m sorry to disappoint you, but they don’t feel like real contractions. A braxton hicks is a feather massage compared to a contraction – so yay for your preemptive epi!

  2. I also had BH’s all the time & have to agree with Meghan…they are a pain, but nothing like birth contractions! Hope you can get the rest you need!

  3. I had tons of braxton hicks and did labor and delivery drug free. Fortunately, my labors were very short, but that also meant by the time the contractions got strong enough for drugs, it was too late.

  4. Umm… this is getting pretty exciting Meg.

    • Kate — only you would say contractions are pretty exciting. And I love you for your optimism!

  5. I only had B-H when I would walk the dogs. And it just felt like super tightening – which, really, is nothing like what labor feels like. And I can tell you that because you already have plans in place to avoid feeling labor. But really, sit your ass down, that baby is NOT baked yet.

    • Well then here’s the real question: you are supposed to get exercise when you are preg. And the only thing I do is walk. Now, admittedly, somedays I walk about 45 mins, usually more like 20, but yesterday was a 45 day. If you are supposed to get exercise, why is exercise the reason I’m having B-H? Don’t get me wrong, if I need to, I’ll drive into work every day and get someone to cover my court call so I don’t schlep over to the courthouse, but it doesn’t make sense that I’m supposed to be active but NOT supposed to be TOO active.

  6. Rest, rest, rest! About being induced…Kris has had more kids than contractions. And they are perfect!

    • I guess I should have said that she felt. She has no idea what they are really like.

  7. I had Braxton Hicks throughout both of my pregnancies. They were constant, usually every time I’d switch positions or engage in physical activity. And they were worse with the second pregnancy. And like everyone says, they aren’t even 1/10,000th of the sensation of real labor contractions. Looking back, I think my body was telling me to take it easy, and stop moving around so much. Very difficult for me to do!
    Anyway, I absolutely LOVED being pregnant, so I hope you’re enjoying every moment. And I loved breast-feeding even more!
    I’m enjoying your updates :)

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