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Messages - Angela

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Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything / Paging Rheam1984
« on: March 27, 2009 at 10:18 PM »
How are you doing? I know the losses you've faced have been so hard. Do you feel you are coping OK? Do you have good support? Have you seen your OB recently, and have you thought about when you might try again?

How did your scan go? Any change?

Thanks for taking the time to be her advocate. I think you are right to be concerned. Here's a short answer to your question:
"The length of the cervix is expected to shorten as a pregnancy progresses, but a length of 3.0 cm to 3.5 cm isn't expected until 32 to 36 weeks." You can find more info from two major studies on cervical length and preterm labor here:

Statistically, your DD may be just fine, but I'd like to recommend two things, based on my personal experiences with an early-shortening/softening cervix. First, please print out this list of preterm labor symptoms ( for her to keep at home on the fridge and also somewhere at work.  Please have her call her doctor if she has any of the symptoms, OR she can go straight to L&D to have her cervix checked.

I'm also concerned about her symptoms being overlooked, because the symptoms of preterm labor can be so similar to the normal discomforts of pregnancy. You can also print out this guide for how to describe her symptoms to her doctor:  You mentioned that she's been having pains. Can you describe them?

I do hope her doc will do another u/s on the 9th, even if just to give her peace of mind. Please let us know how the appointment goes. And don't hesitate to get in touch!
Keep 'em cookin'!

CDC Reports Slight Decline in Perterm Birth Rate

The annual percentage of preterm births in the United States dropped to 12.66 percent in 2007, compared to 12.8 percent in 2006, according to preliminary data released by the CDC last week.

"It is a small victory, but still significant," says Angela Davids, founder of, an organization that educates women about the risk of preterm birth and
the warning signs of preterm labor. "If the percentage of preterm births in 2006 had been the
same as it was in 2007, there would have been 6,528 fewer babies born prematurely in 2006," Davids


Thanks for sharing your story! You've given other women a lot to learn from -- especially knowing to listen to their bodies and to be aware of preterm labor symptoms ( You went through SO much, it is just unreal. I hope you'll check back and offer support to some of our hospital bed-resters. We've just started an outreach campaign to about 10 MD/VA/DC hospitals, so we will likely see more of the hospital "prisoners" on the forum (in addition to those on "house arrest").

My little guy turned 8 months old this week. I did 3+ months of bed rest before he was born, and then almost 2 months of very limited activity afterward due to pre-e and kidney failure. I wish someone had warned me how HARD the recovery/rehabilitation would be! Every day I figured it had to get better soon, but I probably should have done physical therapy. I'm sorry you still aren't feeling 100 percent, but you've got a great attitude and that will really help. Some days I just felt so beat down, but I found if I pushed myself a bit more a few times each day, my strength seemed to grow.

Thank you for being an advocate for yourself, your daughter, and other moms everywhere!!!

What do you all think about this article? Too negative? Or realistic?

(Reuters Health) – Being born too early can do lasting damage. A team reports that many 12-year-olds who were born prematurely with a very low birth weight have lower IQs and more developmental problems than similarly aged children who were born at term.

Dr. Betty R. Vohr of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and colleagues compared outcomes of 375 children with birth weights between 600 and 1250 grams born between 1989 and 1992 with 111 age-matched full-term "control" children.


I've talked to quite a few women lately who have said that their doctors won't stop labor once they have reached 34 weeks. One of the doctors at my OB/GYN's office said the same thing  (because their "NICU outcomes were so favorable," he said), but my usual doctor said to continue with bed rest and nifeipine until 37 weeks. Developmentally speaking, there is a world of difference between 34 weeks and 36 weeks, and even a big jump between 36 and 37.

Had anyone's doctor said that they won't stop labor after 34 weeks? And why would this be the standard protocol?

We have a right to medical intervention when it is in the best interest of our babies, and if it is not a risk to ourselves (as with preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, etc.). Shouldn't our goal be 40 weeks? With my first pregnancy I didn't know what the treatment options were. With my second pregnancy, I did, and I was able to ask the right questions and keep my little guy cookin'. I want that for EVERY pregnant women. If you haven't had a chance already, please take a look at the most current treatment options here:

I look forward to hearing what you ladies think...

Making the Best of Bed Rest / Article for Single Moms on Bed Rest
« on: February 21, 2009 at 11:17 PM »
Full article:

Being prescribed bed rest during pregnancy is never easy. But when you're a single mom, being put on bed rest comes with unique problems. Depending on their restrictions, single moms may need help with everything from food preparation to childcare to household chores. Even when family and friends volunteer, it's often difficult to accept help.

Ladies, what other advice can you offer?

Any single moms out there who want to talk? What makes bed rest especially challenging for you?

Hi, Beccah.

Sorry you're going through this. I'm glad you are continuing to ask questions though! Don't let the "little" hills fool you. The monitors can be adjusted to make the hills bigger or smaller, depending on how much variation they are trying to see. You're right to be most concerned about the consistency of the contractions!

Your situation sounds similar to my first pregnancy. At 29 weeks I had a handful of painful cramps and just felt like something wasn't right. Like you, my cervix had already started to shorten and they told me I'd probably deliver at 36 weeks. Well, I was back at 33 weeks in full-on labor. They were able to stop it with mag sulfate, and although I had several more episodes of PTL, my daughter stayed put until 39 weeks. (Thanks to bed rest, I believe.)

With my second pregnancy, I had learned about how the length of the cervix is a strong predictor of preterm labor. I requested transvaginal ultrasounds on those occasions where the pressure seemed to be stronger or the contractions more consistent.  Please check out the information on cervical length I have compiled here: My short answer is that it sounds like your cervix IS starting to ripen on the early side. I'd take it easy for now, and definitely get an appointment to have your doctor check your cervical length by transvaginal ultrasound. That will help you and your doctor decide if it would make sense for you to be on bed rest  or on a medication to reduce contractions. (See for information on treatments for preventing preterm labor.)

I'm glad you are being proactive in seeking more info! We ladies have to remember that WE are in charge of our pregnancies.

What kinds of symptoms ( are you having? Can you tell us more about the pressure you were feeling? Any cramping? Tummy feeling hard? Any more spotting? Any change in discharge?


Making the Best of Bed Rest / 5 Ways Prison Is Better than Bed Rest
« on: February 19, 2009 at 10:53 PM »
Five Ways Prison Is Better than Bed Rest

1) Daily showers
2) One hour of exercise each day
3) Time spent outdoors on chain gang
4) Spending time with others in similar circumstances
5) Conjugal visits

Any other comparisons, ladies?
And, who wants to start a topic for "5 Ways Bed Rest Is Better Than Prison"?

What's Your Story? Tell us. / An anniversary
« on: February 14, 2009 at 02:10 PM »
I really thought February 28th would be the hardest day. That is the day in 2008 that we had our "big" ultrasound at 19 weeks, only to find out that one of our twins had died in the womb. But today has been surprisingly tough. Tonight we're getting together with all the same family members we had dinner with last year on the weekend after Valentine's Day. While we were eating dinner, I felt both my babies kick at the same time. One up high on my right side, the other down to the left by my pubic bone. It was amazing, and one of the most unreal -- yet so VERY real -- moments of my life. That night, the family was so excited and so happy.

I had a doppler a few days later, and was able to tell the nurse exactly where the babies were. We found the heartbeats with no problem. I'm trying to hold on to the good parts of these memories, but I guess it is too soon to think that I won't feel the bad parts, too. I just hope I can keep it together tonight. I haven't done a good job of that today! We have a wonderful little boy who is just the happiest person you'd ever meet, and I am so thankful.

Hi, Sandisays. Welcome to the board. This must be such a frightening time for you. I'm so glad to hear your family is there to offer support--even if they do drive you and your kids crazy sometimes. :+) Not being able to pick up your kids for hugs IS the worst. We put a mattress on the floor so that my daughter and I could still share hugs without me having to bend over or pick her up. 

Could you give your doctor a call to see if you should be sitting  down or lying down? I know if you're having contractions or high blood pressure, you should be  lying on your side because it improves blood flow to the baby. I haven't read what to do for clots, so give your doctor a call. They're there to help! I'll keep you in my thoughts...

Please let us know how you're feeling, and what happens at your next appointment.

Has anyone out there had a similar experience they can share?

So glad to hear the good news! The change in cervix length must really make you feel like you're doing all the right things for your little one.

Your son sounds so mature. It's amazing how well kids adapt. Talk soon!

Hello there SusanFLA!

Just wanted to check in! Did you and your son do the sibling class yet? What did he think? And how do you feel about him becoming a brother? I know I was so nervous about my daughter (now 3) having to "share" me with our little guy. It's six months later and she's still testing  her boundaries (especially when I'm changing his diaper or giving him a bottle), but there are also times when they are SO cute together: smiling, tickling, giggling.

Talk soon,

Hi, Tamika.

Welcome to the board! I'm sorry to hear that your pregnancies have been so challenging,, especially with the loss of your child with your second pregnancy. I am very glad to hear you've already made it to 30 weeks, and it sounds like you have a good team of doctors. Feel free to write any time, or ask us our opinions, or just chat.

I know what you mean about getting all the support you can get! I had a case manager at the hospital who would call me every couple of weeks, and a home health nurse who would stop by once a week to give me 17P shots, and they were both absolutely wonderful! Even so, I still felt like I needed more support, especially from other women who had been through difficult pregnancies. Probably because the days on bed rest are SO long..

Are you on bed rest at home or in the hospital? How is your son handling having his mom on bed rest? You mentioned having a good support system. Do you have family near by or who can stay with you?

Talk soon,

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