Yesterday I was talking with a friend of mine about her pregnancy, and we got on the topic of mine, and how my doctor missed my Preterm Labor (PTL) symptoms. Had she caught them, I may have stayed pregnant longer than 24 weeks.
I’ll give her this: I had a subchorionic bleed my first trimester, and I was in her office very frequently because of the heavy bleeding associated with that condition. However, the bleed stopped once I hit my 2nd trimester. I started bleeding again a couple of weeks into the 2nd trimester, but this time I had very strong back pain and what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions (note: I have never been pregnant before, and as everyone’s motto seems to be “Every pregnancy is different,” I had no idea what was normal and what wasn’t). I went to the Dr. to get checked out, and once I got to the office I went in for an ultrasound. The technician had a hard time even seeing Jonathan’s head because it was so far down, hidden behind some bone down there. I asked, “Are babies always like that?” because I thought they should be swimming around and whatnot. She said they sometimes are, and I went to see the doctor.
She saw the US pics and recommended that I go home, get off my feet and drink plenty of water. I told her I was concerned about the lower back pain and she said to get a heating pad because it was probably just the common ligament pain associated with getting further along in pregnancy. Like I said earlier, I had no idea something was wrong, but in my gut I had a feeling that something wasn’t quite right. I asked the nurse if she thought my pain was normal, and she told me she couldn’t say anything without the Dr.’s ok.
I went home, did as I was told, and I was back to normal the next day. However, several days later the symptoms were back. I laid down and did what I did the last time, except for curiosity’s sake I started to keep track of my contractions (I did know contractions would be regular and close if it was real labor). When I saw they were 5-7 minutes apart, I thought I should call the doctor. This time it was a weekend and I had to call the OB/GYN who was on call at the hospital. He told me to come to the hospital immediately. VERY long story made drastically short – I delivered my baby a week later. I was only 24 weeks and 3 days along.
My doctor missed my PTL symptoms because I had a troublesome pregnancy from the beginning. My instincts told me just drinking water and putting my feet up wasn’t going to cut it. Trust your gut!
For more info on preterm labor visit www.marchofdimes.org.