Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Labor Pains?

Yesterday I got my first hard kick from lovebug. I was driving to work when I felt her kick. It actually hurt a little and took me by surprise. I'm not complaining though, there's nothing better in the world than feeling her kick.

During my last client of the day however I noticed that my stomach felt different. The area from my belly button and below felt really tight. Painfully so and it felt more uncomfortable when I was walking or standing. I just shrugged it off thinking maybe she changed position. While running errands after work the pain was still there. It was very uncomfortable to walk around or stand nup straight. I felt like someone was stretching out my stomach. So I went home and relaxed. Chalking the tightness up to packing all day and walking the dogs. As long as I was laying down or sitting I was fine. Lovebug was still up and kicking so I wasn't too concerned

This morning however when I woke up the pain and tightness were still there. Especially off to my left side. When my dog placed her head in my lap it hurt. When I went to use the bathroom and shower, the pain was more intense. So I called my mom who told me to go to labor and delivery. I decided to hold off and did as instructed in birthing class. Drink some water and lay on my left side. That helped a bit. The pain wasn't so bad and the tightness was more even along my lower abdomen. But again when I was up and walking around I felt like someone was stretching out my stomach. Almost like I had had a hardcore ab workout.

So I called the advice nurse and she told me to go in to Labor and delivery. Now let me explain how the hospital on post that I go to does things. I have never seen the same dr once. If I need a same day appt I have to call the advice nurse. She is the only one that can schedule a same day. And her hours are from 8-11 and then 1-3. So when she instructed me to go to L&D I did. I walked into L&D and told them I was experiencing abdominal tightness and had been instructed by the nurse to come up. Even the Er has a sign saying if you are 20 weeks or over go straight to L&D. They wont see you in the er. The first Dr I ever saw for my 10 week appt was up in L&D and nastily told me that I wasn't in labor, that if my stomach hurt I needed to go to the ob acute care clinic. She said they wouldnt admit me or see me at L&D. So down I went to my dr's office. The receptionist there told me I couldn't be seen same day since I wasn't a soldier. She told me to call the advice nurse. I explained that I had and was told to go to L&D. This woman instructed me to do the same. Again I explained they wouldn't see me and that they had sent me down here. She told me to go next door to the Gyno clinic and talk to them. So off I went again explaining to the receptionist what happehed. this girl called the advice nurse who again said I needed to go to L&D. When the girl told her they sent me back they got a nurse to come talk to me. I explained everything that had been going on. That it hurt to stand or walk, that it hurt when I used the bathroom and it felt like things were stretching whenever I moved.

Basically I was told that as long as I wasn't bleeding or had a change in discharge that I was fine and needed to go home.

So here I am at home. Trying to take it easy and not freak out. My lower abdomen is still bothering me and I don't know if it's due to doing to much in regards to packing or if there is something going on with the baby.

Ladies any similar pain? Issues? What do contractions feel like so I know if I'm having one? I don't know what to do



  1. It sounds like braxton hicks contractions. Especially because they are so irregular.

    One thing I will say is that I am SO sorry you are dealing with the hospital on base and you were treated so poorly. After I found out I was pregnant I immediately tried to get a civilian OB/GYN (and I was successful). I know that if you are less than 6 months pregnant, you can request to be transferred to a civilian, it's not guaranteed, but it's worth a shot to get some decent care and not given the run around!

  2. I just don't understand why they wouldn't see you at Labor and Delivery?? Isn't that the point of Triage, so they can see if something is wrong? Also, they should know how the system works there. They know that if you don't call first thing in the AM, they won't see you.

  3. Also, to answer your question, with contractions you will feel tightness. Some Braxton Hicks, the tightness is to the point where it is uncomfortable. However, generally contractions come and go. So the tightness will loosen, then come again.

  4. I am with Erin, in all three pregnancy's after the first I knew the difference in my stomach muscles stretching & being uncomfortable & contractions. Contractions can start in lower back , radiate around to the front. Or start on your sides & radiate across the belly, making it feel very tight - but they come & go. They don't stay & never change.
    It sounds like maybe your muscles are stretching making room for baby- or like you said you may have done a little much & pulled something. Keep drinking that water, feet up & if your really concerned still go to the ER- it may be a long wait but eventually they will check for babys heart beat- etc. I did that once & felt much better when L&D wouldn't see me either.

  5. It sounds like you are having Braxton-Hicks... I had them from 16 weeks until I went into real labor with my second (not fun, but nothing to worry about). For me, the difference between them is B-H feels like my abdomen is tightening and loosening, while contractions feel like cramping (like, you can feel them all over and even in your back- like really bad period cramps). It would've been nice for them to see you though, so you would know what is actually going on. The baby rapidly changing positions inside you can cause contractions too, but those should go away after a little while. If you're going into labor you should be able to time the contractions (they should be the same distance apart and last about the same time) and they should get more painful as time goes on. There's a free app for the iphone that times contractions (if you don't have it yet you should get it), you just hit the start and stop button as they come and go and it'll tell you how often they are and how long they last and if there's any sort of pattern to them. But the rule of thumb my midwife gave me is if the contractions change when you change activity then they're not real contractions. Labor will come and keep on coming no matter what you do. And you've probably heard this, but you will KNOW when you're really in labor. There's a reason women are screaming for an epidural, that is some INTENSE pain:) But if it really is just Braxton-Hicks, don't worry that much. They stink but do help prepare your body for labor. After having them for so long with my second, by the time I finally actually went into labor I was dilated to a 5, giving me a very short labor and delivery (every woman's hope).

    Good luck, it's scary not knowing what's going on!

  6. What a pain just to try to get some help! Sheesh.

    I started feeling that way toward the end...walking brought on contractions here and there, so, I just tried to take it easy. They were BH contractions, so, not the real deal. On NYE, I had painful ones that were coming a few minutes apart. I called, they gave me a hard time but let me come in, monitored me for 2 hours, and sent me home. They said they were "mild contractions" and I'd KNOW when it's the real deal. I never experience "the real deal", though, as I had a scheduled c-section that following week.

  7. You must be at Bragg, so sorry you are going through this. It is not fair. praying for you. I agree after five pregnancies i think it is braxton hicks too. keep drinking the fluid and do not be afraid to go back in a million times

  8. I agree with everyone that it sounds like Braxton Hicks. Did you time these pains? Did you ever get a sudden onset of pain or tightness and then it slowly went away, in a pattern? Make sure you drink TONS of water and keep your feet up as often as possible. I promise you will know the difference when actual contractions start. The "cramping" sensations will get closer together and as the contractions get closer together the pain should increase too.

    I am so sorry L&D was so awful. Next time tell them you are not leaving without being triaged. You know when something feels different, don't be afraid to ask for the patient advocate next time if need be.

  9. Is it a constant tightness or off and on? I started getting regular Braxton Hicks contractions around 28 weeks, and they always got triggered by standing up, rolling over in bed, or walking for a while. If I was sitting in a chair I could even time them and they'd come every 20 minutes. I went to L&D so many times but never had cervical changes so it wasn't pre-term labor. As long as what you're feeling isn't getting more intense or closer together in time, then you are okay. I know its scary though! I had to deal with them right until the end!