Braxton Hicks

So, once again, Braxton Hick's contractions are ruling my life.  I consider myself an expert at Braxton Hicks having experienced them for my whole pregnancy with Calder.

For those of you who don't know, Braxton Hicks are "practice contractions".  The uterus contracts just like it does in labour, except you're not in labor.    Most women get them in their third trimester and the intensity of the contraction varies woman to woman.  They can range from intense, taking your breath away, to slightly painful or annoying.  They say if you get more than 4 an hour, you should head to the hospital.

My Braxton Hicks started at 11 weeks.  I would wake up in the morning to a tightening of my uterus.  I would say these ones were neither painful or even annoying.  They were just there.  It actually feels kind of neat at this stage to feel the shape of your uterus and to realize that your baby is hanging out it there.  After that morning visit from Braxton, I wouldn't really feel any for the rest of the day...until I hit about 16 weeks.  At this point, they started getting more frequent and were now annoying.  I could easily have 6 - 7 an hour depending on how busy I was.  The more I did, the more I got.  Although the pain of just one contraction was minimal, by the end of the day, upwards of 30 contractions later, I began to feel like crap.

Here I am at 23 weeks and the pain is getting worse.  When I was pregnant with Calder, my doctor order me to drink lots and rest lots and even had me sitting to teach (which is VERY challenging at times).  I am trying my best to do those things.  It is definitely harder to do this time around.  I have a 20 month old, climbing, running, and jumping around.  Thank-goodness for Hugh.  He takes over Calder duties as soon as he gets home and I take the opportunity to put my feet up.  My sister, Jes, was here for 4 days and was so helpful as well.

I think one of the hardest part of the Braxton Hicks are the guilt that I feel.  Guilt staying home from work to get some rest, guilt teaching from a seated position and spending an entire class behind my desk, guilt not feeling well enough to chase Calder around or play with him, guilt having to let Hugh do EVERYTHING.  Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.  In the end, I know am doing these things for the baby and their health.  I really want a full-term baby and I know that taking care of myself will give my baby the best chance of going 40 weeks.  It somehow doesn't stop the guilt, though.

The last few days I have felt a different kind of cramping (feels like a running cramp in my lower abdomen that doesn't go away).  I headed to a doctor after work to get checked for a bladder infection.  She said it very likely is, so started treating me for it right away.  Bladder infections can cause pre-term labour, so it is important to be on top of it.  I am hoping that the medication is the cure, because I feel crampy enough with my Braxton Hicks.  I don't need any other cramping (thank-you very much).

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