Contractions at 32 weeks (but not feeling them)

I had my first non-stress test yesterday (will have 2 a week from now on), and the baby was doing great but I was told I was having contractions even though I felt nothing odd. My doctor looked at the readings and had them give me a shot of brethine to stop them. (That stuff sucks, by the way. I felt horrible!) It worked and I left after 45 minutes of no contractions. The nurse commented that I have “the most cautious doctor at the hospital,” and that some would have had no problems letting me go without the brethine.

But I thought it was interesting that I felt nothing. At one point, the nurse looked at the machine and said, “What about right now? Do you feel tightening? Anything?” But no.

Anyway, I asked lots of questions but then left and thought of more. Like, aren’t these just Braxton Hicks (“false”) contractions? If that’s all they are, isn’t that really common? And then, what’s the big deal? If B.H. contractions are as common and normal as all of the sites and books make them sound, what was it about this situation that meant they needed to stop? And if they weren’t B.H. but “true” contractions, uhhh, wouldn’t I feel something more?

So now, every little twinge or shift is making me think, “Is that a contraction?! Am I feelign my cervix do something?!” And then I’m like, “Oh, no, I’m pretty sure that’s just the baby leaning on my bladder again… Time to pee.”

Luckily, I go in for another NST on Friday and can ask the nurse questions then, as well as seeing my doctor next week. But I was wondering if any of you have had a similar experience, or can describe a braxton hicks contraction in more detail than just the usual “tightening of the uterous” which is pretty much all I find on the internet.

(Oh, one piece of good news: The nurse said that though there’s a pill version of brethine, if my doc decides I need to be on something to prevent early labor it will likely be a different medicine since brethine can raise blood sugar. Thank goodness, because that stuff was miserable!)

It depends on if the pattern of these contractions are at regular intervals on the NST. Even though these are practice contractions, they do prepare your cervix for effacing and dilating, so if they are every few minutes, your med team will be concerned, especially since diabetics tend to delivery early depending on your BS control towards the end of pregnancy.

My doc has been very attentive to my contractions for the past 2 weeks (I’m at 34 weeks now). I was on Procardia for my BP, so he increased it since Procardia can be used to slow down contractions as well. It helped a lot. For the first 2-3 days, I suffered headaches, but now I don’t. Also, about 2 weeks ago, I had a fetal fibronectin test done, which came out negative, so it gave me relieve for 2 weeks that I wasn’t going into labor soon. I’ll have another one done tomorrow. Hopefully, this one is negative as well. If it’s positive, it really won’t confirm much since a negative test is more reliable than a positive. It’s just that a negative gives more peace of mind. After 36 weeks, my doc is fine with me going into labor since most likely the baby’s lungs will be mature enough.

I’m, also 50% effaced, so I need to rest as much as possible, which is a complete change from my usual exercising and activity. Your doc may have suggested you rest or will suggest that as well. Definitely listen, especially if you start feeling the contractions when you’re really active.

That’s one thing I was wondering after I left: Were they more regular than they should be? I read somewhere that you should call and talk to your doc if you have more than 4 in an hour, and she said I was “having contractions” (so, plural) within maybe 20 minutes.

The nurse was also disappointed that my last ultrasound (almost a week ago) hadn’t included a look at the length of my cervix.

I’m very fortunate in my job… I have awesome bosses who really care about me and have said that if I need to make any changes or even just sneak out a little early to go home and rest (without logging leave), that I should do so. I’m sure I’ll be able to take things easy if my doc recommends it.

I’ve had BH for about 5 weeks now. Mine feel like I’m doing an involuntary ab crunch and holding the tightened position for 45 seconds, then releasing. My contractions are mostly in my upper uterus, but some are down low like a period cramp. Mine last for up to 10 hours at a time, sometimes being really regular, once every 5 mins. Especially if I’m out walking around.

I also have twice a week NSTs. Once a week, they check my amniotic fluid levels. If the amniotic fluid levels are over 25, then it’s a sign of early labor. My last check was at 22.

I havent had a cervix check in two weeks, I was at 1 cm, but long and hard at that time. When your cervix is shortening, you might feel “lightening” shooting “pain” down there. When it’s softening or when you’re beginning to dilate, you’ll feel intense pressure all the way down at the bottom of your belly. Some docs won’t check the cervix this late in the game because it can “wake the beast” and start labor just from checking. I know after my last check, I had contractions, spotting and cramps for the rest of the day. I believe I lost part of my mucus plug that day too, and have slowly been losing more plug daily ever since.

I’ve been having BH for 5 or 6 weeks now, a lot of pressure and tightening, sometimes at regular intervals for hours at a time… but have received nothing to stop contractions. I’m at 36 weeks now and have just a few more to go.

Your doc does sound extra cautious.