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Topics - juliekb

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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.

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!!

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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