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Very regular and intense braxton hicks, cervix starting to shorten, 32 weeks, chances of pre term labour?

(11 Posts)
PipIsOutNow Thu 06-Dec-12 09:51:14

Hey guys. I was in hospital yesterday with high bp and other symptoms of pre eclampsia and whilst on the ctg monitor noticed how frequently my uterus was tightening. Midwife recorded 3/5 contractions/tightenings every 10 mins. Some were just little tightenings, sone were really intense. None of them were painful (I'm on my 2nd pregnancy so know they're nothing like contractions!).

Doctor looked at my cervix and found it was beginning to shorten but was still closed.

I've been told to rest which is nearly impossible with a toddler to look after! I only have walk down the shop and I start contracting.

Does anyone have any experience of this? What are my chances of going into pre term labour? It's really frightening me as I want to get to at least 37 weeks and after a horrendous induction/emergency section last time I was hoping to have an elective section especially as I've had so many complications already. I'm sure they don't perform elective sections until 39 weeks do they? In which case I've got a very long way to go with a highly irritable uterus!

Any experiences or opinions would be amazing

RooneyMara Thu 06-Dec-12 10:01:58

I'm not much use I'm afraid in terms of what will happen - but wanted to wish you good luck.

I think that painless contractions can still be contractions? I've heard that before - people don't know they are having them till monitored - what did they look like on the trace?

the MW I saw the other day when I had mine, said that 'proper; contractions look like big mountains on the thing - I only had a few close-together squiggles (wasn't having the same issues as you - just thought might be leaking, am 35 weeks).

I'm sure that c sections can be performed before 39 weeks, just they may not be 'elective' as such, iyswim. They'd be for a good reason - and if you have some signs of possible PE, that's I think a pretty good reason. Though I'm just guessing.
Someone here will know...hope you manage to wait as long as poss and everything goes Ok for you smile

PipIsOutNow Thu 06-Dec-12 10:12:42

Thanks rooney

Yeah they were very obvious on the trace and did look like 'mountains' like u describe. They were reaching about 45 on the ctg with smaller, less intense ones in between as well.

I had pre eclampsia on my last pregnancy and was induced at 37 weeks. Im having lots of different complications on this one. Baby is measuring above 97th centile and I have a lot of fluid which is making me very short of breath and dizzy (I'm also anaemic which isn't helping!)

I'm just wondering if all of these contractions is my body's way of saying enough! My midwife said to me yesterday I'm effectively already carrying a full term baby. If I could get to at least 37 weeks I'd be thrilled for him to come early. I'm just a little concerned he may make an appearance before then sad

PipIsOutNow Thu 06-Dec-12 10:14:49

Oooh and although the contractions aren't painful I am very aware of them as they are quite intense. I just didn't realise how close together they were until I was put on the monitor if that makes sense!

RooneyMara Thu 06-Dec-12 10:18:28

Gosh you poor thing.

One really good thing is if the baby is a decent size, which it sounds like he is.

Are you confident that your dates are correct? In case you could be further along than they think?

As far as I know, babies born at even 32 weeks tend to do pretty well with minimal intervention, so if you can manage another couple of weeks it'll really help - everything from now on in is a bonus really.

Hope someone comes along with more knowledge than me...meanwhile, try not to do too much, I know what you mean with the walking setting off contractions. I get a lot of painful BH whenevr I try and walk anywhere.

PipIsOutNow Thu 06-Dec-12 10:24:45

I asked them about my dates but they said it would be impossible for my dating scan to be out by 4-5 weeks do I'm confident they have the right dates.

It's so frustrating and almost impossible to do nothing especially with a very boisterous 2 year old ds and Christmas around the corner! Not ideal! I am trying my best though. Just put some of the baby stuff on to wash as Im thinking it's a good idea to start packing my bag soon. Hopefully he'll stay put until at least christmas!

How are u feeling now rooney ? Did you find out if you were leaking water?

RooneyMara Thu 06-Dec-12 10:31:09

Oh crikey...I should be doing that sort of thing too, but have not got round to it blush in fact nothing is really ready!

Still unsure if leaking but it's slowed down whatever it was...fluids are the opposite to you, a bit on the low side - tbh I'm feeling like I want him to be born now, as I'm so exhausted, and have SPD etc.
But nature will take its own course for us both, I'm sure.

Take care won't you, must be very hard with a 2yo - I'm lucky mine are 5 and 9 and both at school!

PipIsOutNow Thu 06-Dec-12 13:37:40

My ds has been really good for me until today where he's been absolutely hideous! You take care too, at least we're on the home stretch now.

Anyone else got any experience of this?

BionicEmu Fri 07-Dec-12 13:34:58

I'm also 32 weeks, and having similar issues. I was admitted into hospital at 27 weeks as I was having uncomfortable and regular tightenings. Cervix was closed, but fetal fibronectin test came back positive, so I had steroid injections for the baby's lungs if it came early. Things settled down, so was discharged after a couple of days.

Was then re-admitted with the same thing at 28 weeks.They examined me and said my cervix was shorter than they would have liked and I was about 1 cm dilated. Once again, things calmed down and I was discharged after a few days.

Was back in at 30 weeks with more tightenings, this time cervix was 2cm dilated. Was kept in hospital, and at 31 weeks I was still 2cm dilated so discharged.

I keep getting bouts of uncomfortable tightenings that come every 8-9 minutes for a couple of hours at a time, but they don't seem to really be doing anything! My consultant said to just lie down and rest when I get them, but call the hospital if they get more painful or go on for more than a couple of hours (or if waters go, any bleeding, etc.).

I also have a 2 year old DS, and am finding it nigh-on impossible to rest! I felt awful yesterday as he climbed up on my lap and sat on the top of my bump, which hurt like hell and started the tightenings off again. I shouted a bit, and he cried sad Poor little guy doesn't really understand any of this, and I couldn't help but shout, it was a reflex as it really hurt. I still feel awful, don't like making him cry.

I'm high risk for pre-term labour anyway. With DS I was admitted in pre-term labour at 33 weeks, was perfectly fine except contractions and I was dilating. At 33+6 weeks I suddenly developed pre-eclampsia, and DS finally came spontaneously the next day. From a gestation point of view, DS was fine. Didn't go to SCBU, came on the normal post-natal ward with me. He was 6lb though! We were in for a couple of days as they had to monitor his blood sugar, then discharged. He was re-admitted a week later as he had lost a lot of weight though, then we discovered he had no sucking reflex. He was tube-fed for a week, put weight back on, strengthened his suck and was then fine.

This has turned into an epic post, sorry about that! But basically, I'm in a similar situation, keep getting bouts of tightenings that fizzle into nothing. But, we're 32 weeks now, which is a great gestation! I've no experience of CS, but I think if you have an elective booked but go into labour before then they can still do a sort of emergency CS. Obviously, I don't know if there's a limit on gestation (i.e. if you're in labour at 34 weeks as opposed to a full-term 37), or if there's a point where labour is too far along for them to want to do the CS. Might be worth talking to you MW or obstetrician about what would happen in that case, hopefully to put your mind to rest.

soapnuts Fri 07-Dec-12 13:44:30

I had similar on first pregnancy - except my cervix started shortening at 20 weeks and doctor told me to hang on in there until 34 weeks - after that she was pretty happy for baby to just come - you're very close and baby is measuring big so if it came it would have a good chance to being totally fine.

What I really wanted to say though was that while I started shortening really early, it slowed down and I didn't start dilating until about 36 weeks - at 32 weeks I'd say it's not that uncommon to be shortening but that most people don't know because there is no reason to be checked. I got to 40 weeks with my first despite all the drama and ended up being induced so you just never know what your body is going to do! and weirdly enough, I've had no sign of shortening this pregnancy - if you got to term previously you've got a good chance of doing it again.

Good luck, get some help around the house if you can and shove cbeebies on for the toddler!

PipIsOutNow Fri 07-Dec-12 17:18:01

Thank you both for the replies.

It's such a worry isn't it, I feel like a bomb waiting to go off! I can not do anything - even putting a load of washing on will cause hours of tightenings. I really hope they don't develop into anything significant just yet as he's obviously better off staying in to cook a bit longer. Have either of you had any period crampy pains too? Just nifgles really? My bump feels so tender too sad I'm in a right sorry state!

Hopefully as he is measuring so big at least he'll be chunky if he is born early. Just hope he doesn't come on Christmas Day!!

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