Every Pregnancy Is Different

Sunday, July 01, 2018

"Every pregnancy is different."

I’ve heard this statement so much in the past, and it couldn’t be more true. My first pregnancy was almost flawless- had a spotting scare scare very early on, and then ended up being induced at 39 weeks due to hypertension. I felt completely normal throughout the entire pregnancy (besides fatigue in the first trimester), never being able to relate to the woes of most pregnant women. I walked into my induction feeling completely fabulous, experienced a labor that I’d describe as ‘fun,’ and left with a healthy baby girl that nursed like a champ. No complications, no issues for either of us.

Fast forward two years, two lines appeared on a little stick. Baby #2 was on the way! I never experienced any fatigue like I did the first time around (YAY!), however I did have extremely mild nausea on maybe two separate occasions. So far so good! 

Things were smooth sailing until my anatomy scan. The scan was scheduled a little later than it was for my first pregnancy due to the move to Minnesota. I was 21 weeks and 5 days. The shape of Ada’s skull raised concerned of a rare abnormality called craniosynostosis. The condition isn’t life threatening however it requires surgery to correct. Not the kind of news any parent wants to hear. Luckily, a follow up scan three weeks later appeared completely normal. We were in the clear!

Fast forward to 30-31 weeks. I started feeling different at the end of week 30. I can’t really explain it, but something shifted. I started noticing things that I remembered near the end of my first pregnancy- increased discharge that was mucus-like (sorry, tmi!), pressure on my lower belly, occasional dull lower backaches, and a cramp or two every once in a while. I assumed the cramping was just braxton hicks because that’s what they felt like with Ramsey and they were so infrequent and mild at the time. The biggest red flag for me though were the shooting pains I was feeling (lightning crotch). I started experiencing these around 37 weeks pregnant with Ramsey, and I had progressed at those weekly appointments. And on top of that, walking was becoming a chore- I would need to stop for breaks frequently even on leisurely strolls. I specifically remembered it being the same with Ramsey. Ya wanna hear something crazy? The dogs knew. They’ve known just like they did at the end of my pregnancy with Ramsey. Laney has been extremely clingy, more than normal. And even Lexi has been watching over me more. She would come up to the couch, put both her front paws up, and just look at me. 

I think I doubted it all just because things went so well the first time around, and this my second pregnancy. Maybe I’m just noticing things sooner because I’ve experienced it before? Little doubts like that crept in.

We enjoyed our trip to Chicago and I felt great the entire trip. We had to stop for breaks frequently while walking, and my belly definitely felt heavy and low, but besides that I felt fine. The trip was very slow-paced and relaxed, so by no means did I over do anything. We returned home late Wednesday night- June 27th. 

The following night (Thursday, June 28th) I started experiencing persistent cramping while relaxing on the couch. They started as mild period-like cramps and then became moderate-to-severe within an hour’s time. I focused on drinking water and they eventually tapered off for a few hours. When I got up to go upstairs for bed they returned, but weren’t as bad and didn’t last long. 

I woke up the next morning and got ready for my prenatal appointment. Seriously how convenient that I had an appointment scheduled first thing that day?! I mentioned everything to my doctor and was told that if I would’ve called in the night before then they would’ve actually had me come in for monitoring. Noted. So I vowed to call if it happened again. 

Side note- turns out I have a marginal umbilical cord insertion. No need to explain what that means, but because of it routine ultrasounds are required to make sure Ada’s growth is on track. So they scheduled me for an ultrasound at 11:30. We left my prenatal appointment around 10, stopped by Zach’s office, and picked up lunch before heading back for the ultrasound. Within the hour we were gone I started experiencing moderate-to-severe cramps again. I was told at my appointment that if I experienced more than 6 in an hour I needed to call in. When we returned for my ultrasound I made sure it was communicated to my doctor, and I was sent over to labor and delivery immediately following my ultrasound.

Of course by this point though they aren’t as frequent or severe. So I honestly thought we’d be there a few hours and then be sent home. Well obviously this wasn’t the case at all. They collected a few swabs and urine for testing to cover all the bases- apparently underlying infections can cause contractions. Everything came back negative except a urine test. I tested positive for fetal fibronectin. This means I’m at an increased risk of preterm labor. 

Because of this test result, the decision was made to give the first dose of a steroid shot. That way Ada would be better prepared if preterm labor actually occurred. They checked my cervix and I was 1 cm dilated and 40% effaced. Because this is my second pregnancy, it didn’t necessarily indicate preterm labor, but it also didn’t mean otherwise. The plan was to monitor me for a few more hours and then check my cervix again to see if things were still the same or not.

Long story short, they decided to not check my cervix again (for risk of causing more contractions) and to keep me overnight for monitoring. That way there would be a better chance of making it to the second dose of the steroid shot (which can’t be given again until 24 hours later). So I was moved to a room and hooked back up to the monitors. My cramping picked back up along with lower back pain. With Ramsey I had back labor- and it felt exactly the same. My nurse brought in the doctor and she checked my cervix- 1.5 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I was quickly started on a medication to try to stop the cramping/contractions. 

At first I could definitely tell the cramping wasn’t as severe. And then they were worse. My nurse was able to give more medication and for a couple hours it seemed to completely stop the cramping. They came back for a short time and I was given an IV (horror story but by the second attempt I had one) incase fluid needed to be started (apparently it can sometimes help stop contractions, and it was the only other thing that could be done). My nurse began to worry a little, because it seemed like the contractions were no longer sporadic- they were starting to form a pattern of 5-8 minutes apart. Luckily everything smoothed back out and the IV was never needed, but it’s still there just in case it ever is. 

Everything went smoothly throughout the night- no cramping/contractions at all, and it was the same throughout the day today (Saturday, June 30th). The plan was to have my steroid shot and continue medication throughout the night again. We made it to the second steroid shot- OUCHHHH is all I have to say. So incredibly painful, but WE MADE IT!! Now if she can hang in there at least another 24 hours so the steroid shots have full effect, we will be golden. I’ve felt great all day today, no cramping or anything, and I’ve been monitor free besides a couple of one-hour monitoring sessions just to check in on everything. I will not be given a dose tomorrow morning (Sunday, July 1st) to see if contractions start back up or not, and we will see what happens from there. Hopefully all goes well and we will get to go home!

UPDATE: Since I wrote this while in the hospital, and I am just now able to post I want to give a little update. I am now home! I was discharged this afternoon (Sunday, July 1st). Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly from here on out.

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  1. You are so right about each pregnancy can be so different. I pray that everything goes well.

  2. Good luck for the rest of your pregnancy, gladly you feel better

  3. OMG That must have been very scary, I'm glad you and the baby are better and home now

  4. Wow, your second pregnancy sounds like you've had a lot to handle. I'm hoping all goes well from here on out!

  5. Congratulations on your growing family! Glad you are at home.