It's a good thing that hubs and I had our birth class and hospital tour last weekend, so that we knew just where to go when we had to show up at Labor and Delivery last night. Yup, ugh, that's right. Four hours at the hospital, and thank God we didn't make it past the triage stage, but it was still zero fun. So let me back up. I'd been having a few (what I thought were) Braxton Hicks contractions a day, starting about a month ago (week 28ish). For me it was painless, only slightly annoying, tightening of my whole stomach. Everything would get rock hard for maybe a minute, maybe less, and then back to normal. Dr. Google helpfully let me know that this was normal, and not to worry unless I starting having more than four to five an hour.
I woke up on Sunday morning with a slightly more than "just annoying" Braxton Hicks contraction, but tried to ignore it and go back to sleep. When I woke up and got showered, I was noticing that they seemed to be coming pretty often. I timed them at one point around noon, and they were running about five minutes apart for awhile, and then going away, but still really not causing me any pain at all. All day long I was semi-aware that they were coming and going quite a bit. So finally around five o'clock I decided to call my midwife. I really thought that she was going to tell me to lay down (although I had tried that already), drink some water (even though I had been chugging it all day), and to just report for my non-stress test as scheduled at eight am the following morning. Nope. She asked me how far I was from the hospital, and said she would meet me there.
Labor and Delivery seemed pretty quiet, and we were put in a room in the triage area right away. One of the first things the nurse asked me was how much water had I had to drink that day. I proudly held up my one liter evian bottle and said I was on number three. She said I should be on number FIVE. Seriously? That is 169 ounces. That is TWENTY-ONE normal eight ounce glasses. She hooked me up to the monitor (one for baby's heart rate and one for my contractions) and smugly said she'd be watching from the nursing station for my contractions to go away as I guzzled my water. One hour, two more liters of water, and twelve trips to the bathroom (dragging the monitor wires with me) later, and the contractions were still going strong, showing up as regular little hills on the monitor printout. As much as my well-hydrated self was happy to prove smug-nurse wrong, I was pretty worried. Baby O' was a rockstar the whole time thankfully. His heart rate was never a concern, and he was throwing quite the party, happily bouncing around to reassure his scared momma that everything was cool.
My midwife came in to run some tests and make sure that my contractions weren't amounting to anything getting started in the labor department. One test that was pretty fascinating to me was the fetal fibronectin test. If the test comes back negative, it means that you have a 95% chance of your baby staying put for the next ten days. If it comes back positive, it means nothing except you win a whole bunch more tests. So she tested, and we waited. And waited.
What did people do in hospitals before smartphones?
It took about an hour, but the good news was worth waiting for. No signs of labor or infection, and a negative fetal fibronectin test. Since the contractions were still coming, I was given a shot of terbutaline to relax everything. It worked, but made me feel like crap in the meantime. About an hour later we were discharged and told to really try to take it easy, and to watch out for any signs of labor or contractions that were getting more intense.
Today's been better, and I've noticed a bit less of the tightening feeling, although it's still there. Any good vibes, prayers, or wishes that Baby O' stay put for at LEAST another month would be greatly appreciated. It's cold out here, kiddo, and everyone would be a whole lot happier if you cooked a little more!