I have always had physically tiring pregnancies and I wish the pregnancy magazines and the TVs, well infact anywhere you look pregnancy wise, stopped showing pregnancy as pretty much smooth sailing until the delivery.
With BG I thought the worst thing that could go wrong was that dreadful morning sickness. I never contemplated anything else. My mum had always had smooth pregnancies, except pregnancy diabetes. I watched TV and saw even those pregnancies were relatively smooth, except the odd bit of tiredness and sore feet.
At 17 weeks with BG I ended up in hospital with severe cramping, I assumed I was miscarrying, but after a scan and some observation I was sent home, just being told that happens sometimes.
At 24 weeks I went in with regular contractions, I was 1-2cm dilated and the contractions were showing up on the monitor. I was kept in for 9 days!!! Some nights I’d end up in the delivery suite as the pain had increased dramatically. I had scans (these showed up various abnormalities and I was then transferred to Kings hospital, thankfully it was all just scary and BG is perfectly healthy other than sleep apnea) and these showed something was happening. My consultant finally discharged me with ‘Irratable uterus’. I went home and googled and found NOTHING, Like literally nothing. I was told basically I would get contractions and it would go once I had given birth, some people go into early labour others don’t. I must not worry as the pain is completely different to labour.
The next few weeks I was walking around in a lot of pain, the sort of pain that brought me to tears, that would make me short of breathe. A couple of times I would have consultants just look at me confused when I mentioned My condition, I had people saying ‘no there’s no such thing.’ I had other people saying to just get on with it pregnancy has aches and pains it’s normal. I felt like I was being a hypochondriac that this pain was just normal… I just had to man up.
I did see my consultant once a week, I had a scan every fortnight and I also had twice weekly monitoring. Every time I walked into the consultants office he just laughed and said he didn’t expect me to go past 32 weeks. Yet I kept coming week after week.
21st July at 11pm after 12/13 weeks of me being in constant pain, I was tired and fed up. My pains again got worse and my mum insisted I went to hospital and I said ‘no, it feels no different to usual, they will just send me home’. Thankfully my mum did send me in to hospital and the next morning I gave birth to a perfect healthy baby just a couple of weeks early.
When I found out about MO I was petrified to go through half my pregnancy in pain, but With MO I had no pains until 23 weeks. Again I was put straight into hospital. After a couple of days something had changed and I was rushed to The Royal London hospital, I was having a drip filled with medicine to stop my labour. I was petrified, I spent a couple of days up in London in a specialised delivery suite and we were told all about how they were going to save our baby, how they would put him in a freezer bag, how he would be very poorly. Again I was sent home a couple of days later and the London consultant diognosed Irritable Uterus. He explained no one really knows about it, why it happens, whether it will result in a premature birth, but he advised the pain is the same as labour and no matter what every time the pain started to get worse I had to go straight into hospital as it could be labour.
I started to realise maybe this diagnosis wasn’t just a made up one to just send a hypochondriac home. I was experiencing labour pains, I did have a problem and it suddenly was real. My local hospital doctor confirmed this and again. I didn’t have so many appointments as BG but I did seem to spend my life up hospital.
I do always laugh to myself, my local hospital gave the due date as 11th December and London gave the due date as 9th December. MO is so rigid with timings due to his autism and true to form he was born 1pm 10th, nearly bang on right in the middle of the 2 dates. This labour frightened me as I got to hospital just before midday, and was nearly 3cm and an hour and 10mins later I was holding him. At least I had fast deliveries, it sort of compensated for the months of pain.
By the time we had SB, there was a lot more on irritable uterus. Certain triggers could make the pains worse. So I read up and got prepared… however I only got very mild pains until May 2013. I couldn’t get the pain to stop no matter what I did from the research and decided I had to go in to hospital. I spent a night in a delivery suite, they were about to discharge me with irritable uterus, when my waters broke. I had to stay in hospital to be monitored. 2 days later SB was distressed so I was induced and again after a 42 minute labour, we welcomed SB into the world. He had to go into SCBU but we were all home really quickly.
When we moved to Prague I was seeing my gynaecologist who asked about my pregnancies, I told him and also explained how my placenta although did all come out with SB it didn’t come out easily. He scanned me and advised my womb was damaged and with the irritable uterus he said my pregnancies would never be viable.
BBG decided she just had to come along. At 31 weeks I was admitted as the pain was too much for me to deal with my painkillers at home. In the time between SB and BBG they now have swabs. These swabs check for hormones and chemicals that show labour is happening. My test came back that labour would be soon, I was kept in and that night taken to delivery where I was in so much pain. I thought I was in labour but it turned out to just be my condition. So I guess that shows that irritable uterus also makes this swabs believe my body is in labour.
I decided to be induced at 37 weeks for a 3 reasons,
- So we could prepare MO and show him when the baby would be coming home.
- Mentally my depression was very intense and my anxiety was too much, I was so scared my baby wouldn’t make it and so they agreed for my Mental health to induce
- My last 3 pregnancies they had always said ‘ there will be an end, the baby will come and you won’t be in pain any more’ I wasn’t going to do it this time round, I know it sounds silly but 13 weeks of pain that feels the same as labour is exhausting and I couldn’t do it.
It was the best feeling in the world as every pain that happened After getting my inductions date I knew if it wasn’t the real deal, it wasn’t long before I would be holding my baby.
Again true to my deliveries in the past, BBG was born in 26 mins of being 2cm, at 37 weeks.
Irritable uterus I found was one of the hardest things in the world, I’ve heard that people in long labours get through knowing their baby will be in their arms soon. I never got this, I never knew whether the pain was labour or not. The pain caused my toes to curl, for me to stop in my tracks and loose breath and yet no baby. If you looked at me I just looked tired, you wouldn’t see I’d spent the whole of the day before in bed in pain, you wouldn’t see my anxiety at which painful time would give me a baby. My body doesn’t do pregnancy and people can’t see, people who have never come across it have said ‘o I get Brixton hicks, everyone does it isn’t a condition it’s pregnancy’ and all I say is ‘no’ and explain the differences.
I hope people will start to hear about different pregnancy conditions, most people know about preeclampsia and I hope that many of the unusual or less heard of conditions will be understood in the near future.
I still don’t know the cause of irritable uterus and Dad has had the snip so I don’t even have to think about it again. I do wander whether my daughters will get it, if they do I will be there holding their hands agreeing as they curse everything when the pain is so strong and there’s nothing to do but breathe as they can’t give you drugs as although the pain is intense your not in labour.
One day the pregnancy magazines will have stretch marked bumps and a tired pregnant mum huffing at her high risk pregnancy on the cover but until then I just wanted to say, keep going, it is hard but you aren’t alone, not everyone has a simple pregnancy and that’s ok. I always felt like I wasn’t meant to be a mother due to my body not coping with pregnancy, I guess I felt guilty… but it’s nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about.