Today has been a more eventful day than I would like to have had at 28 1/2 weeks of pregnancy. But praise God I am at home to tell about it….
Yesterday morning I started having some random menstrual cramps and a low, dull backache, both of which are warning signs of preterm labor. I wasn’t confident that anything was actually wrong, but as a precaution I rested on the couch while drinking several glasses of water in hopes that the feelings would go away. Then after eating the lunch my husband so kindly stepped up to prepare, I laid down for a two-hour nap thinking that the cramps were perhaps fatigue induced and would be remedied by a little much-needed sleep. And they were!
This morning, however, I woke up with the same low, dull backache and some slight feelings of pressure that were enough to make me consider calling my doctor. By mid-morning I had almost talked myself out of calling when a trip to the bathroom made me seriously consider the possibility of a urinary tract infection. Knowing that UTIs can cause preterm labor, I immediately called my doctor thinking he would send me in for a simple UA. Instead I was told to head in to Labor & Delivery for a non-stress test and to have my cervix checked.
Once at the hospital I was hooked up to the monitors three times–one monitor for each baby and one for my uterus. A test which detects the hormone that would be present if preterm labor was indeed occurring was done, and that was sent along with my urine sample to the lab.
The babies looked great (Praise God!) and their monitors were removed shortly. I remained on the monitor, however, which was showing some “irritability” of the uterus but not any contractions. After lying down on the uncomfortable exam table for a while, I had the nurse adjust my bed so that I was sitting fairly erect. Not long after changing positions, I started noticing some tightenings that peaked with a feeling of increased pressure and noted that the monitor was picking up a contraction in each of these instances.
When the nurse returned to tell me the hormone test came back negative (meaning the hormone for preterm labor was not present) and that the UA looked clean, she also said, “But you are having some contractions.” I asked if that had anything to do with my changing positions, and she said that the monitors were just getting a better reading that way. She then gave me a shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions and checked my cervix. The external side of my cervix is dilated to 1 cm, but because it is still high and thick, she was unable to feel all the way through to the internal side (which may or may not be dilated).
I was monitored for another hour and a half after receiving the shot to make sure it was effective in stopping the contractions (and it was) and was then checked again (revealing no further cervical change) before being dismissed to go home.
Although they are classifying what happened today as preterm labor, I was not given any restrictions in my activity. Basically, I am to take it easy and not do anything that I don’t have to do. As for the suspected UTI, the nurse advised me to request another test for it at my next OB appointment in case it’s just not showing up in my urine yet.
Fortunately, Abel and Amariah are staying with Travis’ parents this week, which will make “taking it easy” a much more feasible option. Perhaps it was God in His all-knowing sovereignty that prompted me to send them away this week. I look at this as just another sign that He knows just what I need.
Please partner with us in prayer that these babies will not be born until they are ready and that my body will be strong for the task of carrying them to term. I look forward to meeting my babies, but not yet!