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Monday, February 28, 2011

March for Babies Monday: Signs of preterm labor

When you are pregnant you never expect your baby to come early.  You have a vision in your mind of a healthy 7lb+ baby and going home with that sweet little baby.  You here stories of people who had preemies and most likely know someone who has had a preemie.  According to March of Dimes, 1 in 8 babies is born before 37 weeks.

Here is a list of preterm labor signs from the March of Dimes website

  • Contractions every 10 minutes or more often
  • Change in vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Low, dull backache
  • Cramps that feel like your period
  • Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea

My first pregnancy was going so smoothly.  I had no complaints or complications.  Each doctor's visit was a breeze.  I was working full-time and had no restrictions.  Then one Sunday I was just feeling uncomfortable.  I spent the day shopping with my mom and kept having to stop and take a breath.  We went to lunch and I just could not eat anything.  We figured the baby was just in a funny spot or on a nerve.  I went home to rest and then I kept getting a crampy pain every so often.  I remember I kept reaching for my "What to Expect When You are Expecting" book and reading about preterm labor.  Not likely.  This isn't happening to me.  Yeah right.  For one hour I timed my pains every ten minutes. I called my sister who was also pregnant and she said to call our doctor.   I did and he advised to drink a large glass of water and lay on my left side.  If it doesn't stop in an hour we want you to come down to the hospital and get checked.  Well about 30 minutes later it was not getting better but worse and my crampy pains were about every 5 minutes.  So we head to the hospital.  Once there I was hooked up to a monitor and was indeed having contractions every five minutes and they figured I was dehydrated so an IV was started to pump lots of fluids in me.  They decided to do a quick check before sending me home (what the nurse said would most likely happen because this happens often to women who get dehydrated) and when they did they found I was 6 cm dilated and in active labor and I was 30 weeks pregnant.  We were quickly moved into a delivery room and I was giving a shot of steroids for the baby's lungs and a dose of Magnesium Sulfate to stop the contractions.  I was also told I could not get out of bed until the baby was born and they were going to try and stop labor and keep me on bed rest and monitored until that time came.  This was around midnight and just a few hours later my water ruptured and we were told the baby would have to be born.  At 10am Brendan came crying into the world at 3lbs 6oz ready to start his life.  We have no explanation why he was born early or why I went into preterm labor.  We are just thankful that we knew the signs and were able to get to the hospital in time for the birth of our son.


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