Did you know that you can get very uncomfortable and frequent contractions, but not be in labor? Neither did I! That is, however, until we spent the morning between my OB and labor/delivery this morning.
For the past few days, I've been getting some serious Braxton Hicks contractions that, while not consistent or timeable, were pretty frequent and when coupled with menstrual type cramping and back pain were getting scary. After a lot of laying on my left side and chugging water, I decided to head to the OB and see what was going on.
The non-stress test didn't show much, but my exam showed me dilated to 1 cm. Cue a slight internal freak out. Luckily, my midwife is AMAZING and not only did a fabulous job of keeping me calm and explaining what was going on, but also made it clear that I wasn't overreacting or worrying for nothing. Its always nice to know you're not crazy.
Now, 1 cm is not a huge deal, but with my history of preterm labor it was worth looking into. A fetal fibronectin test (FFN) was ordered and I was sent to labor and delivery for more monitoring. I had to choose my words carefully when telling J (he wasn't in the room during the exam) since I didn't want him to worry just yet. His only comment was, "I really don't want to have a baby today...." Yeah, me either.
After an hour in labor and delivery and several decent sized contractions, we found out the FFN was negative and though the contractions were real, they weren't progressing labor. "Nuisance contractions," the doctor called them. Thank goodness! When an FFN test is negative, you have less than 1% chance of going into labor in the next two weeks. The test can be repeated if necessary, so that's good to know. Ginny was moving and kicking the entire time, which always calms my nerves.
I have a regular prenatal exam on Monday and there we'll discuss how to monitor me from here on out. No one is especially concerned just yet, but there will most likely be a bit more monitoring than normal, which is okay by me. In the meantime, the contractions aren't painful, just uncomfortable, and the cramping is unnerving, but not bad. Some rest, lots of water, and magnesium supplements are supposed to help.
So, no 2012 baby for me. GOOD. Stay put, baby girl - I love ya, but please keep cooking.