I’m having contractions. Lots of contractions. But it’s fine– or at least it’s fine for now, and I suspect it will remain fine– as I have a condition called “Irritable Uterus” which basically means that I contract all the time, but the contractions are not causing me to go into labor.
I think so.
However, it’s also nerve-wracking. I have frequent doctor’s appointments to measure the length of my cervix, just to be sure that nothing is “happening” in that department. So far so good. AND my doctor prefers to do abdominal ultra sounds to measure (instead of the Pants-Off Variety), so for that I could pretty much kiss him. So far, ye ol’ cervix remains well within the “safe” range, so we’re just keeping an eye on things. However, since I’m 18 weeks, baby isn’t viable yet and won’t be for weeks, so these contractions NEED to remain of the “harmless” variety. (How many times can a person use “so” in a paragraph? I think I must have a record.)
IU is usually a benign condition that doesn’t lead to preterm labor. The contractions are constant– I have them every time I stand up, have to pee, walk fast, walk up or down stairs, or stand up for a long time. Getting any real exercise seems pretty much out of the question, as my uterus gets so tight I can’t stand up straight or lift my legs to take the next step. I even have them while sitting still and sleeping (strong enough to wake me up), especially if it’s been a busy day.
The nerve-wracking part is that how will I know if/when they change from this harmless “irritable uterus” state to signs of actual-factual preterm labor? Mostly, I feel calm that that’s not going to happen, but days when I’m contracting almost constantly make me start to doubt. It’s also frustrating to not be able to move around normally without discomfort. The contractions don’t hurt, per se, but it’s tight and uncomfortable. My doctor is wonderful about it all, always reminding me that if I need to come in between my already frequent appointments “just to reassure myself”, he’s happy to see me. He even said “if they tell you I don’t have any openings, you tell them that I do for you.” So at least he’s supportive (unlike some OB’s that apparently think the patient is MAKING IT UP, enough that the tagline on this website is “It’s not in your head.” I can’t even imagine being treated that way.)
Not being able to go out for a nice long walk is driving me a little nuts, I’ll be honest. After hibernating (and barfing, have I mentioned all the barfing? Just once or twice?) all winter, I’m ready to MOVE. MY. BODY. We’ve been compromising with shorter, slow walks, and it’s better than nothing, I suppose. It’s certainly better than bedrest. I feel like my body is turning to mush, but at least it’s in the name of growing a human, right?
I don’t have any activity restrictions other than “listen to your body.” So basically, if I’m trying to go for a walk and contracting like a sumbitch? Slow down. Or better yet, STOP. Beyond respecting what the body is saying, patients with IU do not need bedrest (unless the condition transforms into actual preterm labor, of course). (Preterm labor is defined as the cervix shortening, softening, effacing, and/or dilating in preparation for labor. Since by definition IU patients don’t have any cervical changes, they are not considered in preterm labor.)
While I’m unloading here about my pregnancy woes, I should also mention that I’ve also had a terrible time sleeping lately. I don’t think it’s related to IU. I have no problem falling asleep, but I’ve been waking around 2ish and not being able to fall back to sleep until 5-5:30. I’m not upset or worried about anything; my brain is just awake. I usually have zero problems sleeping (wow, people with chronic insomnia… I bow to thee), but being over-tired is making me feel easily overwhelmed all day.
Basically, I’m a blast to be around, is what I’m saying.
So! That’s what’s been going on around here. You?