Sunday, January 15, 2017

Preterm Labor & How It Affected Me

Going through preterm labor was the most difficult part of my pregnancy. It was unexpected, painful, and it also triggered depression. I was 32 weeks pregnant and doing makeup for a wedding the day I went into preterm labor. I experienced sharp pains in my back and stomach. The pain was so bad that I was sweating.

By the time I walked into the hospital my pain had subsided a bit. I actually told my husband that we should just leave and get dinner but he was persistent about me getting seen. It took about an hour before I was finally hooked up to a monitor. My mouth fell to the floor when the nurse told me I was having contractions 2-5 minutes apart. I also was 1cm dilated and 75% effaced!

“So what does this mean? Do I get to eat now?” The nurse laughed in my face. “No honey, your body is trying to have this baby. You are not going anywhere.”

preterm labor

After speaking to the doctor on call, I was given two steroid shots to help our sons lung development. Those shots were the most painful shots I have ever had! They also had started me on a pill called Procardia. It was supposed to help my contractions stop, but the next morning they decided to try a magnesium drip for 12 hours. Normally they would have done this for 24 hours but my case was different. They said that if my contractions have not subsided by 12 hours that I would end up having my baby. Magnesium would be the final step to stop my labor.

Let me say that those 12 hours were horrible. Magnesium makes your whole body feel like it is on fire. I can’t even count how many buckets of ice I ate. There were times I cried because I could not control what my body was doing. (We later found out that I have an irritable uterus). I was scared for my baby and his health. I honestly became my worst enemy in those 12 hours.

The one thing I was very grateful for was my nurses. One in particular prayed with me one night. God has a funny way of showing us things in the darkest of times. I will be forever thankful for those women.

After my twelve hours was up, the doctor decided my contractions were far enough apart that I could go home. I was given Procardia and was told to stay on bed rest till 35 weeks. The next three weeks were extremely difficult. My husband works very long hours and I spent most of my time alone on the couch or sitting in the bathtub. This is when depression really kicked in for me. I blamed myself for everything that happened. Constantly worrying about my baby and how he was doing. I went from always doing something to nothing. I had too much time to think.

Delivery came at 38 weeks. Our son was 8lbs and 4oz. He was taken directly to NICU because his breathing was off. While this only lasted an hour, after taking him home we noticed he would stop breathing for seconds at a time. Later we would find out he suffered from periodic breathing.

I wanted to share my story because I know there are women who have struggled with preterm labor. Your story may differ from mine but know you are not alone. Everything happens for a reason. Try not to blame yourself for something you have no control over. I believe God gives the hardest moments to those He knows that can handle them. I am here if you ladies ever have any questions or just need someone to talk to.

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