Yesterday I was sure I was just overreacting, but at the same time was convinced something was wrong. I've been having mild period-like cramps for about 3 days. Since that is one of the common warning signs of pre-term labor in women without an irritable uterus, I was making note of it. Yesterday I started feeling more consistently crampy, along with the feeling that the baby had dropped and was pushing against my cervix. I wasn't having more contractions than usual but felt "off" enough that I decided to go to the hospital.
The nurse at labor and delivery who answered the phone was not willing to entertain the idea that I knew what I was talking about and insisted I follow the stupid protocol of drinking a ton of water and laying down for an hour. This may work with a normal pregnancy with early contractions, but with an irritable uterus drinking a lot of water is guaranteed to speed up and intensify the contractions. I didn't argue, though, because I was worried if I showed up not having frequent contractions they would just send me home without checking my cervix or fetal fibronectin. So I pretty much intentionally made the contractions worse. Stupid, I know, but that seems to be the price of dealing with the high risk hospital here. They are still entrenched in the idea that pregnant women are clueless about their bodies and must be guided to do the right thing. It aggravates the shit out of me and makes me long for a midwife and home birth.
So I waddled to the L&D triage with a very full bladder and one pissed off uterus. Because of this the contractions, which were disorganized, weak, and 7 minutes or more apart, became very regular, very strong, and 3 minutes apart. I didn't have the pills I was given to slow contractions with me at work so they gave me the first one at the hospital (vistril). After an hour with no change they gave me a shot of terbutaline and checked the cervix (still long and closed) and fetal fibronectin (still negative). Those last two were really what I wanted to know so I was happy that they were comfortable sending me home to rest after the terbutaline shot.
Unfortunately, because this was the third and worst episode at the hospital, I am now on bed rest until I see my doctor again. I'm not sure what she will want to do because I still have the cramps and my uterus is back to being easily irritated into contractions. I had a couple of weeks there where I was even able to run without setting them off, but now just standing will do it.
The only bright spot is that I am now at 30 weeks so the danger to the baby is not as great (still significant, though) and I only have a few more weeks of worrying about it. I am kind of hoping they tell me to stay home because I can now get sick leave donated, but only for extended absences. This pattern of missing a day of work every other week is wreaking havoc on my budget. I need to be all the way on or all the way off.
I do believe someone, somewhere, has cursed me that I may live in interesting times. Never a dull moment.