A story of premature birth and the NICU roller coaster

Signs and symptoms of Premature labor, my story with Preterm labor

on November 18, 2012

Premature labor is scary to put it mildly. You never expect it, you never want to experience it and there are so many variables. My Dr went over all the signs and symptoms of what I should expect and what not to ignore etc ,just a few short weeks before my son was born….at 25 weeks and 5 days. I should mention ,that I had a cervical polyp that was bleeding ,causing spotting early on in my pregnancy and I now suspect a possible case of Subchorionic hematoma. This is a blood clot that usually resolves but sometimes can cause complications to say the least. I was ultimately diagnosed ,after he was born ,with an incompetent cervix. Needless to say ,I feel I have bad luck when it comes to anything medical. I am lucky I got to have my baby for 6 short months ,because some women loose their babies during the pregnancy before labor is even a thought, and some are stillbirth. Some arrive but don’t make it but a few days or even hours…or minutes. It’s a real tragedy that a parent never gets over. My main concern, is that I didn’t seem to follow the textbook list of signs or symptoms ,at least not that I can tell. Maybe I’m just oblivious despite all the research I had done before and during my pregnancy. My doctor told me the bleeding from my polyp wasn’t anything that affected the baby.. and that all bleeding I would have was most likely from this, unless I had other symptoms. Well I must have been leaking fluid the few days prior to my unexpected delivery, because I would go to the bathroom with only a trickle of urine. I assumed it was a uti and drank tons of water the first day I felt this way. Then the next day I felt pressure like a bowel movement, which should have been a red flag, however, I did in fact relieve my bowels ,and after water and rest it seemed to subside. I had a super mild pain in my left hip, which early on I had ,and was told it was a uti, so I drank my water again ….and since it was the weekend figured I would call the dr Monday if anything else seemed odd. Well my issues went away again. I was on vacation from work, and thought I was dehydrated and or perhaps needed rest ,as my job was demanding. Well ,the night before my son came ,I had belly button pain which was more of a discomfort but no other cramps or anything of note.(the labor and delivery staff told me bellybutton pain can be contractions…had not been told this before ,and my gyno said it wasn’t a sign….I beg to differ)I drank water and decided I was definitely going to the dr Monday as something wasn’t right. I relaxed all of the next day ,expecting my husband and I would go to the Dr ,when I suddenly started sweating and that hip pain was back, now it was more pronounced but not horrible. So I said I need to go to the dr now, and strangely I couldn’t get through on the phone ,despite their answering service. So as I’m sweating horribly, a pain shoots across my lower back ,and I thought I had a bowel obstruction or uti for sure…(.drink water and lay on your left side as dr recommended was working no longer). Now at this moment, I thought could this be premature labor or Braxton hicks but I reminded myself that my dr told me it wasn’t either one if after water the pain subsided and I hadn’t had any other signs till now or so I thought. Mind you I wasn’t supposed to be at any risk since the appt just a few days prior gave me a good bill of health and I was told baby looks REALLY good and my vitals were EXCELLENT. Anyway, I went to the bathroom to get ready for the ER ,when I noticed some blood and the pain across my back now wasn’t letting up. In about twenty to thirty minutes this sweating and back pain was taking me over and now I felt I’d made a mistake listening to my dr about the water and the uti and the stupid polyp. Why didn’t I just go in sooner, I tell myself till this day, however I was reassured that in my case, the labor went so fast that steroids wouldn’t have helped. Well before I could finish on the toilet my water broke and quicker than you can imagine my baby soon followed. I couldn’t believe it, I was in total shock and disbelief, why is this happening ….he’s not ready. I know many of you will say, how stupid can she be, doesn’t she know her body etc….I too ,just two weeks prior said the same things while watching YouTube videos of births….unexpectedly videos of preemies and stories of home births and yes…toilet births were popping up. I thought to myself, God forbid, I could not handle that. It was depressing and I thought…I’m not stupid enough not to know I’m in labor. The hospital staff assured me this is more common then folks know. Most women are lucky enough to know before hand that they are at risk for preterm labor, and they are closely monitored by their drs. This will sound crazy to most, but I had a dream just about a week or two beforehand ,that my son was born early and I was crying saying….this can’t be my son…he’s not ready…it’s not supposed to happen this way…and I was given a choice to accept the circumstances or not…I said of course I will keep him…even this way…he IS MY SON. The staff in labor and delivery at the hospital told me ,that if I had delivered him in bed or in the car, instead of the toilet, he may have died right away. They said the toilet water sort of shocked his system. The time it took to call 911 ,and have them respond as well as him being in shock so to speak probably saved him. This is because he didn’t try to take his first breath right away. If he had, that would be more time he was struggling to breath on his own. When the paramedics got there and determined he had a pulse ,they cut the cord. I didn’t know what to do. They whisked him away to the hospital. While I was in the ambulance ,they told me he was stable and they would eventually transport him to where I was ,when it was medically safe or possible to do so. My point to this story is no matter how wonderful your Dr is, trust your gut, or in my case don’t trust yourself. Question everything, and don’t be paranoid ,if that’s possible but be proactive. It’s better to be sent home from the dr or the ER feeling like you’ve overreacted than to have something like this occur. You never know how much time is if the essence. I still wonder if I had gone in a few days prior( I only had a 3 day span from symptoms till birth ) could They have delayed delivery for even a week? Everything happens for a reason and perhaps God didn’t want me to go to the ER only to be sent back home and deliver in the waiting room or the car ride home. I had been told that happens a lot in cases like mine. I feel horribly guilty nonetheless and I just want women to be aware sometimes there are undiagnosed reasons for preterm labor, sometimes it is spontaneous I suppose, but be aware it can happen to anyone. Learn from my case please. I have some useful links about the signs and symptoms you can check out. If you have fears or concerns, call your dr or visit your ER.

Signs that I had…you should call your dr in my opinion or go to the ER

1. Urinating but trickling instead of normal urine stream
2. Feeling pressure like a bowel movement, even if a small movement follows….if your 20 weeks or more I would call the dr to make sure it’s nothing more than bowel strain
3. Hip pain, in my case mild left hip pain…it went away with drinking water and laying on left side, but came back
4. Belly button pain or weird pressure….could be uterus contracting even if no other cramps are apparent.
5. Sudden onset of sweating, even if its warm out, this could be your body going through one of the phases of labor…in my case there wasn’t much time before delivery…20 to 30 minutes
6. Sudden or increased back pain, lower back in my case, shooting across lower back near tailbone and above.

**** Be your own advocate, get educated about your body and pregnancy. Don’t second guess yourself. Have questions all the time for your dr ,and make sure you voice ALL concerns and pains whether you think your overreacting or not. Even if your not high risk ,or have no known medical issues ,be aware that these things can happen in any pregnancy. It is my wish that everyone has healthy full term pregnancies… including myself in the future. I may sound like I didn’t have a clue but believe me, I researched and read up so much my eyes could have popped out. I just hope to make women aware of my situation in hopes it saves them from going through it, or at least helps women to act quickly. thank you as always for reading my blog.


6 responses to “Signs and symptoms of Premature labor, my story with Preterm labor

  1. mmmarzipan says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your story and all the things that led up to the delivery of your son! You are so brave. I really appreciate you sharing this list of things to look out for too. My own experience with about 20 different doctors (not kidding) this pregnancy tells me that they don’t always know what is going on! Clearly! I love the advice “be your own advocate”… and the whole “listen when your body talks” mantra is also a great one (and one that I am living by especially since receiving my high risk diagnosis. Thanks again for what you are doing to raise awareness! I am amazed by your strength and motivation to do this. The very best to you 🙂

  2. saifsmom2012 says:

    I forgot to mention, my class that I signed up for at the hospital, kept getting pushed back. I was paranoid and wanted to get in right away, this stuff would have been covered, they said oh your not due till September….you have plenty of time. They rescheduled me so many times and I was due to take the class in August which didn’t settle we’ll with me. I had my son in June.h

  3. Oh my… How scary it must have been for you…….!! Thank you for the symptom list; you’re so right! Listening to our gut is so so important…! My doc says triage at the hospital will rather see a patient 20 times for something that turns out not to be an issue after all, than miss that one time an issue does occur. Even after hearing that, I still feel bad about bugging people and wonder if I’m overreacting to things before calling triage… I don’t think I’ll feel that way again after reading your story….! It’s absolutely brilliant to hear that your little one was born in a way that gave him a fighting chance!! I hope he and you are as well as you can possibly be…!

    • I’m so so sorry. I just read that your son became an angel a few months after his birth… I had no idea… This is such an inspiring blog… And your little one is absolutely gorgeous in the pics you have up…. I hope this finds you well.

      • saifsmom2012 says:

        Thank you. I miss him everyday. I am trying to spread awareness with my blog and its an outlet for me. I’m still figuring out this grieving thing too. Thank you again for stopping by my blog. 🙂

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