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Messages - Angela

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1771
This is a great question! I've asked an expert on exercise during pregnancy bed rest if she would write an article on some exercises women can do after bed rest (but while still pregnant) to help get their strength back. We hope to post that on the News & Articles page (www.keepemcookin.com/news.aspx) in the next several days.

Recovery can be really tough. You want to do so much after sitting around so long, but your body just can't do it. Other women have the opportunity to get used to the gradual weight gain, but women on bed rest don't. For me, I tried to balance easing back into things with pushing myself harder a few times each day. In the meantime, you could start with the pregnancy bed rest exercise video by the expert I mentioned earlier: www.mamasonbedrest.com She has clips on her site.

If you find that your lack of energy is turning into weakness or extreme fatigue, be sure to mention it to your doctor. It's easy to pass things off as "normal" pregnancy pain/discomfort/fatigue, but it can be a symptom of something more. Especially mention any dizziness, nausea, seeing spots, headache, or bleeding gums.

Why have you been on bed rest, if you don't mind me asking?

1772
Hi, maesmomommy.
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I think it's a great sign that you are healing well emotionally if you are thinking about trying again. I have talked with MANY women who had great success with the combination of cerclage and the 17P shots, plus bed rest!

That is wonderful that you are already researching those options, and are interviewing OBs. You want a doctor who will take every opportunity to keep your baby safely cookin'. Some OBs aren't as proactive as others.

I've posted an article about the various options for the prevention and treatment of preterm labor here:  www.keepemcookin.com/prevention.aspx    Check out the section on the importance of cervical length. That'll be something to keep an eye on. I really believe that is what saved my son: When I was in preterm labor at the hospital at 24 weeks and they were getting ready to send me home because the contractions had eased up, I asked to speak to the attending physician (as opposed to a resident). I told her I would feel much more comfortable going home if I knew the contractions hadn't been causing cervical change. Could she do an ultrasound? She agreed, and my cervix was just 1.5 cm in length. That's not normal until just before delivery! I was put on hospital bed rest for the next few days, and medication to limit the contractions for the rest of the pregnancy. It was a looooong, tough road, but we made it to 39 weeks. Your doctor can schedule you for regular cervical length check every few weeks, probably starting around 16 weeks.

Did any of the doctors mention the possibility of you having an incompetent cervix? If so, I can direct you to some good sources of info.

So glad you are taking a proactive approach to your next pregnancy! I wish you the best!

1773
Hi, there! I've been thinking about you a lot these last few days. Glad to see you here!

My Little Guy is now 10 months old, but I clearly remember the depression I experienced during my many months on bed rest! I know it can be nearly impossible to be positive when you are staring at the same four walls, are stuck in your house, and have nothing to do but worry that your baby arrives safely. I guess that's why I spent a lot of time researching preterm birth and how to prevent it. That was one thing I did to help me feel in control of the situation. I reviewed the symptoms of preterm labor just about every day, to be sure I was on top of it!

I know you've said you feel like no one cares about you or supports you. But people do--even if it is people like us on the Internet! And your nurses and doctors! And even the family members who don't have the time to stop by or are too scared to tell you they are worried about you.

During my bed rest days, I didn't want to see anyone, or call anyone, or have guests come over. But that was EXACTLY what I needed to do. To welcome people into my space. To tell them what I needed. Each day, try to reach out to one person; I know it is hard. Any family members, a religious group, coworkers, even old friends through Facebook.

And anytime you want to vent here, feel free! Even if it seems like a silly thing. I was upset that I never got to go maternity clothes shopping, with being on bed rest starting at 24 weeks. And I think we were all too afraid to jinx thing by planning a shower. :+( It's normal to miss those things! And even be upset about it.

Tell me more about you. Is this your first child? How many weeks are you? How did you discover you have PIH?

Talk soon,
Angela

1774
I had the waves of nausea too! Around the same time: weeks 36 to 39 (when I delivered). It was like "Hold up, stop the Earth, somebody turn the lights back on." One doc said it was probably heartburn. :+( 

Glad they checked your liver; I'm guessing they checked your kidney function too. That is measured by checking the "creatinine" level in your blood. For me, it was my kidneys that suffered from the high BP (followed by acute kidney failure after delivery).

Hope you'll continue to let us know how you are doing! In the meantime, here's a list of preeclampsia symptoms to watch for: www.preeclampsia.org/symptoms.asp An easy symptom to miss is hyperactive reflexes. Have them check those at your next appointment. :+)

1775
The globby discharge could have been part of your mucus plug. Your mucus plug can "regenerate," but it is always a reason to call the doc if you aren't yet at 37 weeks. Especially if you're having other preterm labor signs. So glad you are staying on top of this!

I've posted some info on "normal" discharge versus "mucus plug" discharge at the bottom of this page: www.keepemcookin.com/talk.aspx

TMI, I know, but we gotta talk about this stuff. Right? :+)

1776
Do you think there is a genetic link to preterm labor and/or preterm birth? Why or why not? Did your mother or grandmother have issues with preterm labor or preterm birth? Your sisters?

If anyone is able to find a study that explores a genetic link, please let me know...

UPDATE (2/8/2010): New Research Shows Genes Of Pregnant Women And Their Fetuses Can Increase The Risk Of Preterm Labor. Click here: www.keepemcookin.com/news.aspx

1777
I'm sorry to hear you are on bed rest, but I'm glad you're being proactive in keeping your baby cookin'! You ask such a great question! So many women don't realize that the tightness is a contraction. I was actually a couple months into my second pregnancy when I asked my sister-in-law (who was 6 months along) "Has your tummy gotten hard yet?" She said "No. Should it be?!?" And that was the first time I realized that I had contractions from very early on in my first pregnancy! I thought a hard belly was just normal! So for the rest of the second pregnancy, I was able to recognize contractions. (Which started at 17 weeks!)

For me, during contractions, the hardest part of the belly was around my belly button, and the tightness radiated out from there. I'd feel the tightness from one side of my waist to the other. Other times I would feel some pain/tightness in my lower back, and then feel the tightness come around to the front.

There were times when I'd feel the baby pushing his head or butt against my belly, but it would just be firm in that one spot. It didn't go all from waist-to-waist or all the way around like contractions would. You'll want to call your OB anytime you have 4 or more contractions in an hour. And also keep an eye out for these other symptoms of preterm labor: www.keepemcookin.com/symptoms.aspx

I am SO happy to see a first-time mom getting care from a perinatologist. So often it isn't until after a woman has had a serious episode of preterm labor or that she has delivered early with a previous pregnancy that precautions are taken (such as transvaginal ultrasound and bed rest). --Angela

Ladies: How would you describe what contractions feel like?


1778
What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: a year later--Message from Erin
« on: May 22, 2009 at 05:28 PM »
A mom from another forum just sent this to me, and I'm forwarding it to you:

For grieving support I would suggest she join LAMBS - a list specifically for those who have lost all their children in a multiple birth, whether their loss is recent or years ago. The list is associated with the Center for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB).

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/LAMBS/

For Incompetent Cervix support she can join making miracles. This group is for people to learn more about the incompentent cervix, share stories of previous loss, and support each other through subsequent pregnancies with a cerclage in place.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Making_Miracles/

I'm very sorry for her loss, it's very heartbreaking. Unfortunately I too know the pain of losing a child to Incompetent Cervix.

Regards,

Erin

1779
What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: a year later
« on: May 22, 2009 at 05:26 PM »
Hi, Holly.
I think its a good sign that you are able to write about your experience now. Maybe you're healing, and starting to move forward? And if you fall backward, don't be hard on yourself. It happens to all of us! A few close friends who have lost babies agree. You're just going right along, and then something triggers a memory and brings all that back. We've also talked about how getting through the first year is the hardest. You're almost there!

I absolutely dreaded Feb. 28th of this year, the one-year anniversary of finding out one of our twins had died in the womb at 17 weeks. Yes, it got tougher and tougher as the day approached, but since then I feel like it has gotten easier. I can hold on to the good parts, like seeing them together on the ultrasound, without totally loosing it. :+)

Whenever you need support, a month from now or a year from now. I'm here for you!

1780
What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: After a preterm scare
« on: May 20, 2009 at 02:58 AM »
RE: "I don't wait for a callback anymore; I consider my call a warning to the doctor that I'm coming in!"

LOL!  And that your sister had the baby in the waiting room while her hubby was moving the car?!? That is TOO much.

Talk soon!

1781
What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: New here bed rest at 33 weeks
« on: May 19, 2009 at 09:11 PM »
Kaitibear,
 Here are some replies from the folks at Twitter:

From NikiD22: i am 32 weeks and dilated to 2 cm... also with my daughter at 29 weeks i was 3 and half cms and managed to make it to 33 1/2

From Jazziy:  I was 1 cm with my son for almost 12 weeks and no bed rest and weekly visits to my doc.

From chukwumaonyeije:  Many patients will dilate 4-6 weeks before actual delivery. Ask your doc about FFN test. Also ask about a cervical length by ultrasound. It's more reliable than a digital exam to tell your risk. Good luck.

From laura1109: I know of a lady that was pregnant with triplets at 31 weeks dilated at 5 and made it to 35 weeks+ in full hospital bedrest.

From fentonslee: i was 2cm for like a month with DD

And I dilated a cm or so every few weeks, holding steady at 4cm dilated for about 3 weeks. With bed rest and Procardia/nifeipine, made it to 39 weeks. Stay positive! And keep us posted.  (Here's more info on the FNN test: www.keepemcookin.com/news.aspx)

1782
Bed rest IS brutal! It gives you all the time in the world to worry. But it is worth it though, I promise. Every time I look at my little guy, I'm just so in love. I probably won't hold the many months of bed rest against him at least until he's asking to borrow my car. :+)

Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend, as far as visitors or spending time with your man?

1783
What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: After a preterm scare
« on: May 16, 2009 at 03:00 AM »
Hello, Artjewel. You've come to the right place!
Your post is WAY too familiar to me. I'll try not to get too riled up, but it is experiences like yours that inspired the idea for KeepEmCookin.

It was probably my 7th trip to the hospital with contractions, and I remember saying to my hubby, "This is dumb. Let's just go home. It's probably nothing. They're going to think I'm a kook. Really, let's just call back and say we aren't coming." So even with everything I had experienced with previous preterm labor episodes (in two different pregnancies) I still didn't want to be "a nuisance." Sheesh. Of course, I was indeed in labor, again, and I got there in time to have a shot of terb and to increase my dose of nifedipine.

I finally realized that all pregnant women have a right to request care, whether it is needed or not. Sometimes the nurses looked at me like I was crazy, and sometimes they said, "It's good you came in!" We are the only ones who can speak up for our babies. And, we know best when something is different or just isn't right with our bodies.

I created a series of scripts for describing your symptoms in a way that your doctor and medical staff can best understand what you're experiencing. Here's a link: www.keepemcookin.com/talk.aspx

Feel free to post, vent, ask questions, and share your experiences any time!
--Angela

P.S. My Little Guy arrived less than 90 minutes after water broke. Barely made it in time. A couple of months later, a friend of mine, pregnant with Baby #2, delivered IN THE PARKING LOT. I think it's great you plan to get to the hospital quickly!

1784
What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: New here bed rest at 33 weeks
« on: May 16, 2009 at 02:31 AM »
Hi, Suze.
Welcome to the forum. A second opinion would probably ease your mind . Every mom wants to know she's doing all she can do keep her baby safely cookin'.

Everyone is different, of course, but I'll share my experience with nifedipine (brand name: Procardia). I started nifedipine at 24 weeks when my cervix had shortened to 1.5 cm and I was in the hospital for contractions. They kept me there for 2 days to see how my body responded to it, then sent me home on it. It worked VERY well (along with bed rest) for limiting the number of contractions I'd have in a day. A few times we had to increase my dose, when I would start getting contractions about 15 minutes before the current dose was due. My doctor kept me on it until 37 weeks. Another doctor in her practice prescribes it only until 34 weeks (I saw him a couple of times), but my regular doc and I are of the same opinion: If you find something that works, why not keep those babies cookin' as long as possible?!?

I will say though, I've talked with women who have experienced very low blood pressure, dizziness and vomiting. In my case, it made me feel like a zombie, but it was tolerable. My little guy arrived at 39 +4. :+) If you do go back on it, you may want to get a blood pressure cuff so you can monitor your BP at home. If mine was too low, I was instructed to skip a dose. Also, if your BP is higher than normal, keep a VERY close eye on it when you go off the nifedipine. I developed (discovered?) pre-e when I went off of it.

Keep us posted!

1785
FETAL FIBRONECTIN TEST

The fetal fibronectin test is a very effective tool for determining when labor in eminent. Fetal fibronectin is a sticky protein that keeps the baby's fetal membranes attached to the mother's uterus during pregnancy. This protein is normally detected in vaginal secretions before 22 weeks and after 35 weeks when it begins to break down naturally . This test may show that fetal fibronectin is present, even before other signs of preterm labor occur. A negative result reassures you that there is more than a 99 percent chance you will not deliver within the next two weeks. A positive result does not guarantee that labor will occur within a specific time frame, but it does allow you and your doctor to treat the preterm labor more aggressively in order to prevent preterm birth.

You can learn more at www.fullterm.net

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