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35 weeks and 1 day today! I've been on modified bedrest since the beginning of my 2nd trimester. I'm thrilled to have made it past my first child's gestational age (29.5 wks) and everything since has been a new experience. For one thing, I can't imagine getting any bigger. It's so difficult to move around (I inch my way to the bathroom), and my hips are achy from laying on the side. I almost wish I could be strapped to some kind of rotisserie-type contraption to ease the pressure on my belly as I flip from side to side ;D.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone's experienced back spasms in their pregnancy? From what I've read on Google and books so far, it's most likely the result of the baby's position. It started a few days ago and is very sporadic. The spasms move from my lower back all the way up to almost the base of my head. Totally freezes me up. Happens when I lay back down, even though I do so gently. I had really bad back labor with my first and know what the tightening around the abdomen feels like. I've never experienced "painful/cramp like" abdominal contractions, so I can't help but wonder if these back spasms are a form of BH contractions. If it persists, I'll call the doc. Just wondering if anyone's experienced it. Thankfully, I've not had any of the PTL symptoms, so I'm hoping to chalk it up to normal pregnancy discomforts.

Making the Best of Bed Rest / Gadgets to make bedrest more comfortable
« on: November 14, 2011 at 10:47 AM »
My hubby bought me the Table Mate II this weekend. It’s great! It tucks in under the bed like a hospital bed tray and you can adjust the height and incline as needed so that you can use it at the couch as well. It makes working on my laptop a lot easier.

Anyway, it made me wonder what other folks use to make bedrest a bit more comfortable. The other thing that I like is a portable massager that I use to relieve my restless legs.

What’s your favorite bedrest gadget?

Hi everyone,

Glad to be back on this forum. I’ve checked in periodically over the years since I shared the story of my first pregnancy. It’s nice to come back to such a wonderfully supportive community!

I’m now in my 14th week. Had the cerclage done last week and will get 17P shots from 16-36 weeks. Between my OB and my high risk specialist, I have appointments about 2-3 weeks which is good for my peace of mind. I miscarried at 8 weeks earlier this year, so I’m not completely at ease until I get the thumbs up during these checkups.

My doc prescribed limited activity (no exercising, being on my feet for more than 2 hours at a time, no lifting, no sex) since the cerclage until delivery. He’ll start monitoring the length of my cervix at my 18-week appt. Bedrest may be necessary depending on how things go.

It’s both helpful and scary to have the knowledge and experience I have from my first pregnancy. There’s the incompetent cervix and limited room in my uterus to worry about. However, with the current treatment plan I already have advantages that I didn’t have before, so I’m feeling optimistic about being able to beat my first kid’s 29.5 week delivery. She’s doing great btw, and is a happy, healthy 4-year old!

Side note: After my first pregnancy, I met with several doctors to determine the feasibility of correcting my uterus. Unfortunately, due to the particular structure of my uterus, there was a higher risk of damaging the integrity of the uterus. There was also conflicting info about the benefits of removing the septum so I left everything alone. Several women with BCU have delivered babies full term, and with a little help, I hope to be one of them!

Making the Best of Bed Rest / Staying sane while on strict bedrest
« on: December 27, 2008 at 11:32 AM »
I was on strict bed rest in the hospital for 6 weeks with my first pregnancy. How did I manage to stay sane? Wireless Internet access is a godsend. My husband got me a laptop and I stayed in touch with friends and family, completed my baby registry, and even checked out real estate listings for our first house :). I caught up on reading and movie rentals. I highly recommend keeping a small calendar to help you keep track of appointments and the baby’s progress. This helped me in NICU as well. It was the only way I could keep track of all the information people were giving me on a daily basis. After a few days on bed rest, things start to blend in a little, and jotting things down on my calendar was a tremendous help. 

Most importantly, I’m blessed with a wonderful family. My husband slept in a cot by my bedside (because we were lucky enough to have a private room), and my mom and sister altered their work schedule so that they could drive up the 1-hour 2-3 times a week to stay with me at the hospital. This meant I had delicious home-cooked meals or takeout! Friends sent me care packages and text messages to help me stay positive. I also asked for some alone time, which my family respected. The incessant flow of nurses and doctors (usually at inopportune times) were balanced by the fact that their close watch ensured my baby’s safety.

Looking back, I think that the prescribed bed rest was nature’s way of making sure that I would take better care of my baby and myself. I was in a stressful job, and I didn’t know enough about pregnancy to know when something was not normal. It wasn’t until I was hooked up to a fetal monitor, for example, that I realized that the tightening sensations that I had been feeling were actually contractions. I had always thought of contractions as sharp, painful sensations that made you gasp for breath. I had just assumed that the sense of “fullness” I was feeling was the normal result of the baby getting bigger.

It’s funny...a couple of weeks before I had to go in the hospital, I told a co-worker that I would rather be “nesting” than working on a project. I’ll watch my words more carefully next time ;).

My daughter was born at 29 weeks and 2 days (almost 3 months premature). Although I didn’t make it to full term, I consider it a blessing because I kept her cookin’ for 6 weeks on bed rest. Here’s my story:

In my 12th week of pregnancy, I was diagnosed with a “heart-shaped” or bicornuate uterus. I learned that this malformation of the uterus is a birth defect that can only be detected by an ultrasound. I also learned that there was a 15-25% chance that my baby would be born premature. This being my first pregnancy, it was not the news I wanted to hear. However, the good news was that my doctor had known patients who carried their babies full term and had gone on to have subsequent pregnancies. The course of action was to monitor me very closely, with monthly ultrasounds and bi-weekly cervix checkups.

In my 23rd week, the transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) showed that my cervix had shortened, indicating a higher risk of preterm labor. I was told to work from home until my checkup the following week. At that appointment, they discovered that I had an incompetent cervix – the inner part of the cervix had begun to dilate and that my cervix had gotten even shorter (2 cm). I was admitted to the high-risk unit and kept overnight. With the baby weighing only 1 lb, that’s when I really got scared. The following day they did an fFN test to assess the likelihood of my delivering within 2 weeks. Thankfully, the test came back negative and I was transferred to a regular room in the maternity ward.

During the next 6 weeks, I made two more trips to the high-risk unit due to frequent contractions and on one occasion, deeper dips in the baby’s heartbeat. As I got bigger, the baby dropped lower. The challenge was staying hydrated enough to avoid contractions, but not getting up to pee too often. My weekly cervix checks showed that my cervix continued to shorten despite not being on my feet for more than a few minutes for bathroom trips or a quick shower. Eventually, I did have to alternate between the commode by my bed and a bedpan to avoid getting up to pee 3-4 times within an hour.

In my 26th week, the fFN test was positive. I was given two shots of steroids to boost the baby’s lung development. By my 28th week, my cervix was now down to 6 mm. At the beginning of my 29th week, it was down to 1 mm and I had begun to dilate. I was put on magnesium to control the contractions. I was also diagnosed with gestational diabetes and required a daily insulin shot. It was extremely difficult to find a comfortable position because my baby’s head was right under my pubic bone. Talk about preparing for an exit! I minimized my activity even further and prayed that she would at least complete her 29th week. Sure enough, 2 days past the 29th week, she could wait no longer.

After an uneventful assessment on the fetal monitor that morning, I got up to pee and climbed into bed. That’s when I felt this huge gush of warm liquid as though a water balloon had burst inside me. My heart sank and I wished I could take back the moment that I climbed into bed (I still wish that I had eased myself back onto the bed. Maybe that would have made a difference). Those thoughts were immediately taken over by the intense rhythmic throbbing in my lower back. Ah, so this is what back labor is all about! I had to fight the urge to push until they could get me to Labor & Delivery. It was a mad rush down the hospital maze to L&D where a team of neonatologists and L&D staff awaited my arrival. We made it just in time – 20 minutes after my water broke, my little miracle entered the world at 2 lbs 11 oz and 15.5 inches.

My daughter is now 15 months old, a happy and healthy little toddler who is as feisty as she was in my belly and the 7 weeks that she was in NICU. She is an absolute joy and I’m eternally grateful to my friends and family for being there for my husband and me during that time. I learned early on that every day in my belly was equivalent to 2 days in NICU, so I was thankful for every day that she stayed put.

So if you’re on bed rest and frustrated that you can’t be your usual super human self, that’s what you have to keep in mind...You’re doing the best thing for your child – and taking control of the situation (ironically enough) – by staying put. Every day counts.

Now that I’m considering having another baby, I feel that I can benefit from my experience. On the other hand, I have some fears because of what I know now. I still feel a slight twinge of envy when I encounter women who’ve carried their babies full term without any issues. I was 31 when I had my daughter. Because I have an incompetent cervix (a term I still find amusing), I will have to get a cervical cerclage done on my 12th week, and very likely kept on bed rest thereafter. This poses many questions about when I can have another baby...I face more risks as I get older, but I’m worried about missing out on my daughter’s most precious moments if I get pregnant too soon. And what about work??

If you have the same considerations, I hope you contribute to this forum. I hope to share another success story in the future, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear from others who’ve been in the same situation.

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