Premature Labor, Crazy Contractions and Switching Doctors…Again. 33 Weeks

Last Monday, a little over a week ago, I had an appointment with a new doctor. My last trip to see my old doctor included her being rude and unnecessarily condescending (yet again), and we decided that we’d had enough of it. I met with another doctor in the practice who was perfectly fine, and since she was seeing me for the first time at 33 weeks, we had this conversation.
So, have you had any complications in this pregnancy that I need to know about?
Me: Nope.
Her: Do you have any questions for me?
Me: Nope. But I’m supposed to be going to Kentucky this weekend and staying there next week while my husband is away for work. Is that okay? Do you have any concerns about that?
Her: No. Just be sure to take a copy of your prenatal care, just in case.

That was Monday.

On Tuesday night, I started having lots of contractions out of nowhere. While I was sitting at the table, feet up, drinking water and chatting casually with Chris, I had 5 contractions in 20 minutes. I went to lay down and called the nurse. While I was talking to her and then waiting for her to call me back I had 3 more in that same hour. In the next hour I had 12 more. The nurses strapped me to a monitor and discovered that the contractions were coming every 3-5 minutes, and I was dilated 1 cm. They gave me some medicine to stop the contractions, and sent me home. The medicine didn’t stop them completely, but made them less regular, which I was told was the goal.

On Wednesday I tried to talk to my doctor all day. I wanted to ask about the night before, what could have brought this on seemingly out of nowhere, what advice she had for me regarding Braxton Hicks in the future, was it still fine for me to go to Kentucky, etc. I never talked to her.

The nurse called me back a few times, I would ask her a question, and she would tell me she’d call me back. The nurse was giving me answers, but not really listening to me, a few times cutting me off in the middle of a question to give me an abrupt answer. My general response was to still count the Braxton Hicks, and regarding going to Louisville I was told, “Well, there’s no guarantee that you won’t go into pre-term labor again. So just make sure you have a copy of your pre-natal care with you just in case.” Thanks. Very reassuring.

That evening was more of the same. Lots of contractions, though not quite 12 per hour like the night before. The nurse who had discharged me from the hospital told me not to worry about the contractions unless I couldn’t talk or smile through them. I thought, “Well yes, I’ll come back in if I’m IN LABOR, but what about the Braxton Hicks in the meantime?!” We weren’t sure what to do, but stuck around the house that evening and tried to get some sleep, thinking we’d get up if they got worse.

On Thursday I was so fed up with my “care” that I decided to switch doctors again, to someone who I know in town and have heard excellent things about. She had delivered several friend’s babies, she was close, and the hospital she would deliver in was super close. (Literally 4 minutes from our home, instead of 40 at the other doctor and hospital.) I called to see if she could get me in and she did the next morning.

I tried to take it extra easy that day. A friend kept Jayce that morning so that I could sleep. I stayed off of my feet for the afternoon. We all went out of town that night for dinner and made a quick trip to the mall. There was no dawdling, Chris dropping me off at one door and picking me up at another after we had made our 3 stops. But that was too much. As soon as we got home I was horizontal for the rest of the night. A few hours later as I was falling asleep, I had 5 in 10 minutes. In the next 10 minutes I had 3 more.

We thought that these contractions were maybe brought on because I was just exhausted or had overdone it, and should try to sleep. We decided that if they kept up for the next half hour that we would go to the hospital. We kept comforting ourselves saying that we would be talking to a doctor in the morning (the one we were switching to) and would get some answers then.

On Friday I met my new doctor and she was amazing. I told her about my crazy week. She then proceeded to do a full work up on me, and a full exam – she even checked my ears! 🙂 She took blood to test, and given my premature labor scare and subsequent evenings of contractions, she recommended a steroid shot that would give a boost to the baby’s lungs and brain to development, just in case she decided to make an early entrance. I told her how I had been losing my voice a bit and coughing more that week, trying to completely kick the cold that I’d had a few weeks before, and she put in a call to my general practitioner about getting me a different inhaler that would help me better. While we were talking I was having several contractions, so she called up to have me monitored after my visit with her was over.

Also, she talked to me. What a difference it made to just be able to get some answers!! Even as I was sitting hooked up to the machine I realized that I was so much calmer to have had someone listen to me and talk through what they were thinking!! She told me she didn’t think I should go to Kentucky. I called Chris and told him I couldn’t go, and that he should cancel his trip to California for the next week and he did. We were both surprised to discover how relieved we felt. We didn’t mind changing our plans at all, we just wanted to get a doctor’s opinion and were happy to follow whatever they had thought was best! She pointed out the fact that if the baby came early than she would need to stay in a NICU in Kentucky, which we had thought of, but also that there are areas in the drive between here and Louisville where there is nothing for 1-2 hours at a time, and the trouble we would be in if something would happen with the baby in one of those areas.

Furthermore, the steroid shot needed to be given in 2 doses, 24 hours apart. I was to have the first one on Friday, so I’d need the next one on Saturday. That was our answer. I was staying home, and we were being taken care of.

This post is perhaps already too long, and the “story” of our crazy week has more to it, but the good news is that baby and I are both okay. I am still just trying to process the busy and hospital filled week, and how in one week’s time I went from having “no concerns” over the pregnancy to 5 visits to the hospital, 1 overnighter, and now bed rest.

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3 thoughts on “Premature Labor, Crazy Contractions and Switching Doctors…Again. 33 Weeks

  1. Wow Erin, I'm so sorry that things have been so crazy for you. I'm glad you have a doctor you like…that makes all the difference in the world! I'll be praying for you and your little girl. 🙂

  2. Hi… I started following your blog after you announced baby on lemon tree:) I too am expecting a girl… In technically 4 weeks… Although I too had false labour already:( thankfully mine stopped on it's own although I did have an extra visit to the Dr…. I was 35 weeks at the time… Scary. Now I'm thankful I'm 36 weeks and the Dr is not worried if I go into labour now.
    I truly hope your bed rest helps and you can hang on for four more weeks!!!
    I am also happy to hear you finally have a GOOD CARING Dr. :):)

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