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Messages - juliekb

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This story is nearly identical to mine!! Although, this is my third pregnancy after having two preemies already (both at 34 weeks), so I was certain this third one would come earlier, especially since contractions and dilation started even earlier this time. I first went in at 25 weeks with regular painless contractions, like you, and 1-2cm dilated. We did steroids and monitoring for two days. I did the nifedipine in my previous pregnancies and it did nothing to stop my contractions, and my current doctor doesn't use it, so we didn't do any meds to stop them, just IV fluids. But they stopped and I was sent home on modified bed rest. I was back in the hospital at 32 weeks at 3-4 cm dilated, just like you, and regular contractions again. That time they did a 12 hour round of magnesium sulfate for neuroprotection for him in case he came early, plus a second round of steroids for his lungs. Again, I did not progress and got sent home on modified bed rest. I still fully expected to go into labor at 34 weeks like I did with my other two, but here I sit at 36 weeks with no changes. I am so happy! After having two preemies, I had just assumed I would only have preemies and that my body could not handle a fullterm pregnancy, but I feel like I could go another week to full term, I hope! Congratulations to you on making it this far. It's so nice to hear from someone who understands the feelings we have been through. I can totally relate to your analogy of feeling like a ticking time bomb since 25 weeks, that is exactly how I have described it, but people who have been through it do not understand.

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What's Your Story? Tell us. / Wonderful update!!
« on: February 19, 2014 at 01:28 PM »
After having two 34-weekers and two major preterm labor scares during this third pregnancy (24 weeks - steroids, hospital bed rest, 32 weeks - second round of steroids and Magnesium sulfate), I have reached 36 weeks as of today! I have been 4 cm dilated for a month now!!! And having contractions daily, but he is still staying in there. I am so thrilled that it is looking more and more like we will have our first ever take-home baby and first over 4 lbs! This birth is going to be such a different experience. So, it is possible to have two preemies, and then go further with the third! I was certain my body's limit was 34 weeks. So happy to be wrong.

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What's Your Story? Tell us. / It's started again
« on: December 09, 2013 at 08:57 AM »
I've posted my story before. I've had two pregnancies where preterm labor started between 24-26 weeks and was put on bed rest with both at that time, had shortening cervix, got steroids, tocolytics, etc. Both boys were born at 34 weeks and 1 day, one due to labor that wouldn't stop the other to PROM, likely related to dilation and contractions I was already having. I'm 25 weeks with number 3 now and uterine irritability and mild contractions started as early as 13 weeks this time, but serial cervical length ultrasounds have shown normal length - 3.7-3.9 cm. Then last Tuesday, I started having very strong frequent contractions with back pain for most of the night. Went in on Wednesday morning. Cervical length measured 3.1cm, so they weren't too concerned, but when they checked my cervix manually, the doctor estimated 2-3 cm dilating and 70% effaced. She said it didn't feel anywhere near 3 cm like that the ultrasound showed, but I know the ultrasounds are supposed to be more accurate, so I'm not sure what to go by. I have a curved cervix and they do have a difficult time measuring it though, so that may be part of it.

They immediately sent me to the hospital to OB triage to monitor contractions. They admitted me, put me on IV fluids, started steroid injections and kept me two days before sending me home when the contractions calmed down. Fetal fibronectin on Friday before I was discharged was negative. I'm now on "modified bed rest" as the MFMs insist that strict bed rest doesn't delay preterm birth. Been laying around all weekend and still having more contractions than I'm happy with. But I don't want to have them checking my cervix every week either, as that just irritates it more. It's so hard to know what to do, when to go in, when not to. Going to the hospital just stresses me out more, leads to more invasive checks that makes it worse, and just causes more contractions, but staying at home when it could turn into the real thing scares me too. Such a stressful time right now. Especially with a 6-year old and almost 4-year old at Christmastime. Luckily my mother-in-law and husband are picking up all the slack at home, but it's still so hard. Need some encouragement!!

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Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything / Re: 24 week Update
« on: November 13, 2013 at 05:34 PM »
Prayers!! Any updates?

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What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: Introducing myself
« on: October 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM »
Hi! Your pregnancies sound very similar to how mine go as well. I have been contracting a ton lately (I will be 20 weeks this week), had several episodes of contractions every 3 minutes for hours. But so far, so effect on my cervix. In my previous pregnancies, I started shortening at 24 weeks, so I guess I can expect the liklihood of that once again. Trying to enjoy my last few weeks (I hope!) of freedom before bedrest. I have definitely been taking it easy already, no more exercising, minimal walking, etc, but not looking forward to being unable to come to work or play with my other two boys. I am hoping when my time comes to be stuck in bed that this support group will help me through. It is so difficult. Good luck to you, and I hope to get to know you better over the coming months.

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Your story is very similar to mine, I delivered both of mine at 34 weeks due to irritable uterus. My contractions have also started earlier everytime, at 13 weeks this time around (I'm currently 18 weeks with my third). They have been getting worse and worse as the weeks go by and I'm sure I'll be on bed rest any week now. The difference in our stories is that my doctors have all taken me very seriously since I came in at 24 weeks with regular contractions during my first pregnancy. They couldn't even pick them up on their monitors that early because my uterus was still so small, but my cervix had softened and effaced, so that was when they got serious. I did terbutaline and procardia with both of my previous two pregnancies, plus 17-P shots last time and still delivered early. This time my doctors are very much against the idea of terbutaline, procardia, or magnesium as a maintenance therapy because studies show that they do not work long term to prevent preterm labor. They are best when used in an emergency case to delay labor up to 48 hours to allow time for steroid injections to mature baby's lungs, but using them daily is ineffective. I tend to agree. In my experience, the medications seemed to work for calming my contractions in the beginning, but then my body would stop responding and I would have to continually increase my dosage for them to work. Until the point where they just no longer worked and I went into full blown labor. But the risks to me were very great, especially with increasing the dosage and regular usage, at least with both terbutaline and procardia. They are both very bad for the mother's heart. Terbutaline is no longer used in pregnant women for preterm labor because it is more dangerous to the mother and studies show it doesn't work with longterm use to delay labor. Procardia made my blood pressure drop dangerously low, and I still had contractions while on them both. I don't think they did anything but make me feel more miserable. I do not know about magnesium supplements though. That is one I have not tried. I am getting cervical length ultrasounds as well, every 2 weeks. So far, the first one I had last week was all good, my next one is Wednesday. I have had some bad bouts of regular frequent contractions lately, so I'm worried I may have shortened somewhat. I'm very anxious to see. It has been so much earlier this time around, I'm definitely worried. I do think that bed rest helped me tremendously in the past. In both of my previous pregnancies, I went off the bed rest at 34 weeks, or started easing off anyway, probably overdid it, and both times I went into labor the next day. I wish you the best of luck!! I hope you're able to get your doctor to take this far more seriously. Listen to your body, and do what you think is best to stop the contractions, based on your research and assistance from expererienced midwives/doctors. Hope we both get full term babies this time.

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Thanks Jennilou! I am definitely going to check out that CD asap!

I had tons of contractions over the weekend that got me super stressed :( They put so much pressure on my bladder, I feel like I'm living in the bathroom. I'm also having bouts of nausea and horrid reflux again, which I thought I was passed, but I believe it's probably due to the progesterone injections. I can't believe all the contractions so early this time. They didn't start until about 20 weeks last time this bad. I can feel bed rest looming ahead of me. I did 9 weeks of bed rest with both my last pregnancies, and it's just miserable. I am a very athletic and active person, and especially around the holidays, I know it is going to be so hard. I know that I am overworking myself now in anticipation of bed rest. I'm a research scientist, and I'm trying to get in as many experiments as I can to get as much data as I can before I have to stay home. I'm hoping to be at the point where I can write and submit my next research article for publication while on bed rest (this is what I did during my last pregnancy), but I am still short a few important experiments, so I'm working crazy hours to get it all in. And I know this is probably why I'm having contractions already. I know I'm overdoing it, and I have to stop this! But my brain is in overdrive just wanting to prepare for the inevitable as much as possible. I'm also planning for my oldest son's birthday party next weekend. I have promised myself to take it easier on myself this week after a very stressful week last week.

I am so blessed to have my mother-in-law living in a garage apartment attached to our house. She has her own place, but is close enough to be there at a moment's notice. She did the grocery shopping for me this weekend, even taking the boys with her. She promised me she'd clean the house during the week this week to get things ready for the birthday party. She is phenomenal. My oldest is in Kindergarten during the week and my youngest goes to 2-day pre-K, the rest of the week she watches him. She will also take care of this baby when I go back to work after he/she is born. And my husband is so hands-on. He does bath and bedtime anyway, so that gives me time to rest in the evenings. He's taking on more with cooking and cleaning as well. Which is a lot because he works very long hours. But he is incredible. I am very lucky to have so many helpers. If I could just make myself relax and let them do it all for me now. I think I feel the most guilty about the idea of having to be away from work for 4-5 months or longer. I have a lot of responsibilities, several people working under me, and I'm my boss' right hand person. I feel like everything will fall apart when I'm not there. It was very different in my last two pregnanices, because they were both while I was a grad student and I somehow had less responsibilities and bed rest gave me more time to read and write papers and work on my dissertation. Plus, I love my job so much more now, I hate the idea of not being here everyday. But I also know that it will be totally worth it in the end, and after baby is here and healthy, it will all be a distant memory. Trying hard to enjoy the next few weeks before they put me on bed rest. Hope my cervix is holding up against this stupid irritable uterus of mine.

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What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: William Merle
« on: October 14, 2013 at 11:49 AM »
Congratulations on a very very near-term baby!!! To be able to nurse my baby on the day of delivery, or heck, even hold my baby on the day of delivery, is my dream!! So hoping third time is a charm for me this time and I get a full- or very near-term baby. Your post made me tear up and I don't even know your full story. Such happy news, and it gives me such hope.

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I realize this post is dated and you have delivered your baby already. But I thought I'd answer anyway, since the same happened in my last pregnancy. I too was on bed rest for 2 months and my baby boy was breech pretty much the entire time. He moved normally, but never turned. His head always stayed wedged under my ribcage. I tried everything. I also went to a chiropractor who performed the Webster technique for helping to open up the pelvic cavity to get baby to turn (with my OB's approval). Then, at 34 weeks, my water broke and he hadn't budged. I had to have a c-section. When they got in there, they discovered that he had the cord wrapped very tightly around his neck twice, very close to the placenta. I had a high-lying anterior placenta. So he was basically tethered to it and couldn't have turned if he'd wanted to. We had planned to try a version had I made it to 36 weeks, but that likely would have been unsuccessful, and potentially dangerous, considering how he was tied up. There was no other way he could have been born. While c-section was certainly not my first choice, it got him out safe and sound. Now I am planning to try for a VBAC with my third, assuming I don't get another breech!

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What's Your Story? Tell us. / Pregnant with number 3 after 2 preemies
« on: October 11, 2013 at 10:37 AM »
Hello, so happpy to have found a forum dedicated to mamas like me. It's difficult for women who haven't gone through preterm labor struggles to understand the emotions and worry that plague every single day of my pregnancies. With my first, I went in to see my doctor with painful contractions (although I didn't know that's what they were at the time) at 24 weeks. I was 50% effaced and dilated about 1/2 cm. They put me on terbutaline pills every 4 hours, bed rest and home contraction monitoring. I continued to struggle with very frequent contractions and was put on a terbutaline pump at 28 weeks and got steroid injections at that time. At 34 weeks I couldn't get the contractions to stop and my son, Isaac, was born after a very quick labor (no time for epidural) and partial placental abruption. He was 4lbs 15oz. He wasn't breathing, and had to get surfactant and was put on a cpap for 2 days. He spent only 6 days in the NICU and is now a perfectly healthy normal 6 year old.

My second pregnancy went much like the first with contractions and dilation starting at 24 weeks. I couldn't handle the terb again, so took nifedipine instead, plus bed rest. Also started weekly 17-P progesterone injections at 16 weeks. Had a scare at 26 weeks and again at 28 weeks where I was hospitalized with contractions that wouldn't stop. Got steroid injections at 28 weeks again. The morning I reached 34 weeks, out of no where, my water broke. He was breech and had to be born via c-section. Lucas was 4 lbs 7oz and came out screaming. His lungs were perfect, and he spent 10 days in the NICU to put on some weight and learn to feed. He is now a perfectly healthy normal almost-4 year old.

I am now 17 weeks pregnant with number 3. This time around the contractions started way early, at 13 weeks. But so far, no changes to my cervix. I have biweekly cervical length ultrasounds to keep it in check. I started the 17-P injections last week again. Hoping to make it to 34 weeks at least again. But the constant worry is so nagging. Everytime contractions start up, I can't help but wonder if these are the ones that will make me dilate or cause my water to break again. I feel like we were so lucky to have made it to 34 weeks the last two times, I just pray we can do it again. It worries me that I delivered my second early even with the progesterone. Not sure if it helped or not. He may have come sooner I suppose. It feels like the only preventative measure I can take at least, so it does put my mind at ease somewhat. I'm working with some fabulous maternal fetal specialists at Vanderbilt University, where I work. So I know I am getting the best possible care. My last two were born at a much smaller medical center in Texas with just regular OBs who didn't have much experience with cases like mine. So I do feel more optimistic this time.

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