The joys and sorrows of a stay-at-home mom, wife, home economist and woman.

Early Start

This morning I woke up around 4:30 a.m. with a really bad cramp in my leg, and realized I was also having some major contractions. I have been having them almost every night, and last night they were particularly strong, so we just chilled and watched TV before going to bed, and they had stopped. Being a tired mama (who isn’t even at 27 weeks yet), I did my best to ignore them and go back to sleep, but Jonathan woke up a little before 5:00 calling for Mama. I went in to his room hoping to settle him back to sleep, and he insisted that he needed to nurse- so much so that he sat up and deliberately threw his paci over the side of the chair. We haven’t nursed in the morning for almost a month, but I figured anything to get a little more sleep for both of us. He did not go back to sleep, even after being at the breast for more than 40 minutes.

During this extended nurse, which would otherwise have been quite pleasant, I had plenty of time to listen to my body. I started timing my contractions, which seemed pretty regular and strong. Turns out they were a consistent 4-5 minutes apart, lasting about 45 seconds. I am at pretty high risk for preterm labor because of my septated uterus, so a little before 6:00 a.m., I decided it was time to take it seriously and go to the hospital. Woke up Benjamin, got us and Jonathan dressed and out the door. Yet another time we are so very thankful for grandparents who live a little over a half mile away. We dropped Jonathan off at Nana and Bapa’s house, and drove to Florida Hospital Altamonte. (We have to pass 3 other hospitals to get there, but it’s where my midwife practices, and is a great hospital to give birth in.) I continued to have regular contractions on the way, and we spent some time praying. When we got to the hospital, I checked in at the ER and they took me right up to Labor & Delivery.

After signing a few things, they hooked me and the baby up to the monitors. She was doing great- nice strong heart beat, moving around lots, no sign of distress at all. Of course, as soon as they hooked me up, I stopped having contractions, which was fine by me and Benjamin! The nurse told me that, especially given my high risk, that I should always come in to be checked if anything seemed unusual. They also tested my urine, checked my cervix (closed), and did an fFN test, which measures the hormones your body releases as it prepares to labor. If it is negative (which it was), there is less than a 1% chance of going into true labor on 7-14 days. So after about 2 hours they sent me home with orders to do NOTHING today, rest, and drink lots of fluids. (Although the nurse was pleased with how well hydrated I was.) My mother-in-law, Becky, volunteered to watch Jonathan for me all day, bringing him home only to nurse and take his nap.

I’ve been thinking that it was time to really get serious about weaning Jonathan (who will be 20 months tomorrow) for a while now, because it has gotten really painful to nurse due to increased sensitivity. (Plus I’m sure I’m not making much milk and it seems my milk has already started changing over to producing colostrum for baby girl). And now, every time I have nursed for the past several weeks I have started to have contractions. Nursing releases oxytocin, a hormone that stimulates contractions and labor (it’s what they give women to induce labor.) I talked about this with my midwife, and she agrees that this is most likely why I am having so many strong contractions and that it is time to wean, since I am so high risk for preterm labor. I could definitely use a bit of a break from the demands of nursing before I start all over again in 3 months (hopefully not sooner.) So now we have to break the news to Jonathan- who I am quite sure is not going to be pleased with the situation.

So, right now I am very thankful that the contractions stopped, and thankful for a day or two with strict orders to rest. (Even though I would normally use any Jonathan-free time to get stuff done. We are working on his big boy room and hoping to move him into before Thanksgiving.) I have been feeling for a while now that I won’t make it all the way to my due date, but I sure hope we can make it most of the way there, and am praying towards that end, so that when we welcome our little girl into the world and our arms that she will be healthy and strong and ready to come home.

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