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Contractions/fake labour at 30 weeks - how do you control it, anyone else been through this?

(16 Posts)
Minkyjj Mon 18-Jul-11 12:52:16

6 days ago I started contracting at 30 weeks gestation every 3-5 minutes for several hours. I drove myself to the delivery suite and was admitted - internal exam showed no opening of the cervix but strong regular contractions which were not stopping. I was given something to try to stop the contractions and also steroid injections to develop the babys lungs in case he were to arrive. They also did a swab test which showed that in theory I was not going into labour. 2 days of monitoring in hospital later and the contractions slowed and then stopped and I was sent home. Within 24 hours I was back in hospital again with more of the same. This time they slowed and stopped after 12 hours. I was let out yesterday but 6 hours after it all started again. This time I am not rushing back as I am going to see if it stops again at home. Has anyone had this happen to them. I have been tested for infections but nothing shows. I am high risk anyway and have to have a casarean so the obs freak when I turn up and dont let me out easily. This is my third child - the other two arrived early as well at 37 weeks. Has anyone else experienced this and if so how did you manage it and what helped?

Mmmmcheese Mon 18-Jul-11 15:12:53

Yes I had this from 22 weeks in my last pregnancy and DS was born at 30 weeks. I've had it from 13 weeks this time and am at 17 weeks at the moment. I was told it is something called irritable uterus - there is a good website which explains all about it if you google it - think it is the first entry.

Basically, the advice is to rest as much as possible, lying down. Keep hydrated (3 litres I day I was told), avoid any stressful situations, do as little as possible. I have found that even the smallest thing like hanging up laundry can set it off. Can your partner/husband take over all housework/cooking duties? Can you get more help/childcare for your other children? It is awful being in constant pain/worried and wondering how the baby is going to stay in much longer. But resting does seem to be the only thing that works. I was 3cm dilated at 25 weeks and managed to keep DS in until 30 weeks just by being on bedrest. The doctors were surprised he stayed in so long but I'm convinced it was because i moved as little as possible!

Minkyjj Tue 19-Jul-11 11:02:41

Thanks for that advice Mmmmcheese you are spot on with what the hospital has diagnosed it as - irritable uterus but they didnt give me any of those tips - they were just quite blase saying that the baby needs to make up his mind what he is doing! I spent all day yesterday in bed and it feels alot more settled today but as you say as soon as you move or do much at all I feel tightening pains again. I am 31 weeks tomorrow and I know that if I can keep this baby in for another 4 weeks that he will be so much safer. I have two children already who are nearly nine and six and they have been great but I do find it hard not being able to keep on top of the housework and the rest of it - especially as I know I am having a csection and that I will be pretty useless for several weeks after the birth. I think though that we will have to take the hit and get in extra help for the next month at least and see if we can make it further into this pregnancy.
How was your DS when he was born at 30 weeks - was he in special care for long? I really hope that it stays calm for you this time. I think like you I had this with my previous two pregnancies but just didnt know what it was - luckily both of them made it to 37 weeks. If anyone dares to tell me that I have never really gone through labour though I think I will explode because I have already had hours of contractions!

Mmmmcheese Tue 19-Jul-11 16:21:04

Hi Minky, DS came out crying and breathing on his own with an apgar of 7 and after 2 minutes he was a 9. he was in special care for 4 weeks but it was mainly to establish BFing. He is doing really well, despite having been diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy at 6 months. It is very mild so most people don't even notice and hopefully it will just mean that he is slow with his physical milestones - he's 18 months and cruising so doing really well.We don't know if the prematurity caused the Cp but it is likely.
I would really suggest getting extra help if you can. I know exactly how you feel but if you look at the the long-term it is worth doing everything you can to help the baby stay in for longer - and if you can just hang on a another few weeks your baby won't be far off term anyway. Hope it goes well!
it is horrible having contractions so early - months of pain!

Minkyjj Tue 19-Jul-11 17:21:05

Mmmmcheese Oh I am glad to hear that your DS is doing so well. I am sure you will find that as he gets older the things that are problems fade lighter and less noticeable over time. My kids and I have a genetic condition which means when they are small they struggle to achieve the physical milestones everyone else manages but now they are 6 and 9 they mask these things well and only a trained eye could tell - so yes I fully take your advice on board and realise that a dirty kitchen floor or a dusty sideboard is really not worth risking a lot of heartache later for. I hope that you are being well supported during your pregnancy too and I would love to hear how things get along for you over the months ahead.

lovesicecream Tue 19-Jul-11 18:15:59

I have had premature rupture of membranes twice, so different problem 2nd baby was born at 35 weeks and 3rd baby at 32 weeks he had to be intubated for a few hours but they said this was due to cord prolapse which caused his heart beat to drop, he spent 4 days in neonatal and then 6 days on the ward, he weighed 4 lb 4 , hope things work out ok for you and you manage to go a few more weeks if not longer, just thought I'd comment to let you know how well he did even though he was 8 weeks early

galwaygal Wed 20-Jul-11 08:39:54

I had irritable uterus with my two boys (not my girl in between!). I was contracting (admitted given steriods etc) from 33 weeks with both of them. They both went to full term!

I found that it was vital to keep hydrated. I also used a tens machine from 33 weeks, I know that the recommendation is not to use it til after 37weeks as it can trigger contractions, but I found I could not manage day to day without it. Just walking around a supermarket would trigger the contractions, without the tens machine I had to stop at the end of each alise to let the contractions pass, but with the tens machine I found I was able to cope better (and get the shopping done in half the time in order to get home and rest). I did have a few trips into the labour ward when resting and hydration did not stop the contractions, but it did not make them arrive early. In fact my dd on whom I had only braxton hicks contractions arrived the earliest of the three!

I did try to rest as much as possible, but once it got to my third pregnancy with two small children around, it was not possible, so I learnt to just deal with the contractions when they occurred and rest when I could.

I hope that you are able to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water.

Minkyjj Thu 21-Jul-11 08:58:34

Thanks guys, thats all such reassuring advice. I hit 31 weeks yesterday and am now trying to get to 32 weeks. Lying down makes such a difference and husband and family (even kiddies - 8 and 6!) have all stepped up to the line to try and help - if I can rest for a month or so then I will hopefully be past the danger zone and then will start doing more. I have taken to online shoppping and have booked a cleaner to come and do a blitz every few weeks so I dont get too wound up. The difficulties of dealing with trips to neonatal will be much worse than a messy house!

Mmmmcheese Fri 22-Jul-11 10:44:24

Minky 31 weeks is great! 32 weeks is my milestone too - am only 18 weeks now! Obviously I am hoping she will stay in even longer but I need a date to focus on! Hope it goes well, let us know how you get on.

Glawaygal - did you ever have your cervix monitored to see if the BH were doing anything? That's my concern this time as I was dilated at 25 weeks last time so am worried that in my case the BH do actually have an effect on the cervix, and obviously the only way of telling is to keep getting scanned. I'm getting scanned every month on the NHS but getting private appointments in between as i think 4 weeks is too long without any reassurance!

Minkyjj Thu 04-Aug-11 18:45:34

Thought I would give you an update - I have made it to 33 weeks yesterday - woopee! Admittedly I have been drinking loads of water, abstaining from anything of a naughty nature and lying down an awful lot - but its worked so far. Still get alot of contractions but it seems to be more settled than it was.

outthere Thu 04-Aug-11 20:14:34

Hiya, interesting to see this thread as I've just posted about my BH at 24 weeks... Previous twin pg with irritable uterus. First threatened labour at 23 weeks then what I can only describe as frequent BH thereafter.

I used to get contractions every evening, 2 -3 mins apart for about 2 hours. I used to worry that I wouldn't recognise real labour - and I was right!

Thanks to bed rest I managed to hang on for 10 weeks. The first day that I ventured out of the house (thinking it would be ok) was the day my waters broke and I went into real labour. My gorgeous boys arrived at 33 weeks...

I'm now starting to have BH again at 24 weeks and worrying that history might repeat itself despite only carrying a singleton this time. It doesn't help that I've been feeling sick and have an upset stomach today too sad

Does anyone know, what's the difference between BH and irritable uterus? I know that BH don't indicate preterm delivery, but does irritible uterus?

Minkyjj - well done for getting to 33 weeks! A milestone I can relate to... hope it all carries on goin well, glad you're getting some support. It must be extra hard over the summer holidays... x

BellaBells Fri 05-Aug-11 00:06:50

Im beyond happy to find this thread... I am in the exact same situation. I was admitted to hospital last week after being in extreme pain, was put onto a monitor and was told I was actually contracting so had the whole drip to stop them and steroid injections. I was kept in for 6 days as I am also high risk and the contractions didn't stop, even after taking tablets to soften my uterus. I was then told I was dilated 1cm but haven't progressed anymore. The pain is still ridiculous and am finding all if this really frustrating as all im being offered is paracetamol!!! Anyway I paid another trip to the hospital (I was discharged after being told there's not alot they can do) and was told I could have tremadol. But then at the same hospital a different dr said I shouldn't take it hmm Im now going to see a private dr tomorrow to see what can be done and how I can be out of pain as all I've been told is basically nothing, just take paracetamol!!angry how long can this last for? Why does this happen? So many questions which can't seem to be answered.

Sorry for the essay and the rant!! Hormones and pain do not bode for a happy bunny.

outthere Fri 05-Aug-11 08:26:11

BellaBells - God that sounds awful, how many weeks are you? I always found it particularly upsetting when Drs couldn't agree on advice or a course of action. I understand why that's the situation but when you're feeling so vulnerable you really need soemone to give you what feels like a definitive answer.

I used to say to people that my biggest fear was that I wouldn't know when real labour had started. Everyone would laugh at me (rather patronisingly angry ) and say "of course you'll know, you can't not know". But I was right. When the time came I was gobsmacked that I was actually in labour because it felt almost identical to the way I'd been feeling for the past 10 weeks. It was lucky I was already in hospital (due to PROM) otherwise I'm not sure I'd have made it as it was VERY quick when it finally got going...

Minkyjj Wed 10-Aug-11 23:40:22

Hello ladies, Made it to 34 weeks today - woohoo. Saying that I did spend sunday night on the delivery ward again contracting heavily and having another internal exam and also fibronectin test which again was negative so doesnt look like labour is about to start properly - I agree with the comments though about how will I know when it does actually start apart from breaking waters as its pretty darn painful and 3-4 minutes apart for hours on end - the consultant who I saw yesterday said the only way of telling is with an internal spectulum exam to see if you are dilating as she said the feeling may be the same - just one is productive and having an effect and the other isnt actually achieving anything. The real difficulty for me is that I am very high risk as I have a neural aneurism and also a rare syndrome that means I cannot undergo full stage labour because of the stress that it could cause to my body - if it wasnt for that I would just think, well, if it happens it happens!
Bellabells Codeine worked better for me when I was on the ward so maybe ask if you can take that when you need to. I also find that the contarctions can be made worse by the effects of constipation so its really important to drink loads of water and also to lie down alot as thats what has got me this far. In another 2 weeks I am going to stop the bed rest and just let it happen if it does - will be typical that nothing will kick off then. Anyway ladies - stick in there - I am thinking of you all :-)

Mmmmcheese Thu 11-Aug-11 10:59:19

Well done Minkyjj! 34weeks is great! I'm now 20+6 and 34 weeks seems like a long way away! I would do the same as you and start doing more at 36 weeks. 15 weeks to go for me first though!

BellaBells - the pain is really hard to cope with isn't it? When I'm not in pain I feel totally positive and that everything is going to be fine and then when I'm in pain I just can't see how this baby is going to stay another few months inside! I tend to get about 24 hours each week where I'm in pain and having tightenings, there doesn't seem to be any link with anything I'm doing/eating.

I'm trying to rest as much as possible but I am on my own with a very active DS 2 days a week who can't walk yet so I do have to lift/carry him and can't avoid it.

Minkyjj Thu 11-Aug-11 18:24:53

Ladies, just interested to know whether any of you have any hypermobility conditions as I do and I think there could be a link with my condition and the way my muscles and joints are affected during pregnancy. I am very double jointed, have very flexible joints and I guess this could affect how my uterus works possibly - just interested.
Mmmcheeese - well 20 weeks +6 is doing well too, just rest as much as you can and I am sure you will be there before you realise. The lifting is a big issue I think with this problem so please try to avoid lifting if you can, even if it means avoiding being out and about as much as you would like and waiting until you have family or friends to help.

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