Friday, August 28, 2009

Hypertonic Contractions

This was the beginning of the end for me. I had been having normal mild contractions on and off since Friday afternoon. The contractions went from every 6 to 7 minutes during the early morning hours on Monday to pretty much stopping Monday afternoon with one short one every hour or so. One long contraction that never really subsided started about 9 p.m. and was still going when my husband got home at 11:30. It was impossible for me to sit or stand because the pain was even worse when I did. Since it wasn't what I read a contraction was supposed to be like, I called my OB's office and was told by the on-call midwife to come into the ER so they can check me and make sure everything was OK. I went in fully expecting to be sent home.

An excerpt from "Maternal & Child Health Nursing":

"In contrast to hypotonic contractions, hypertonic contractions tend to occur frequently and are most commonly seen in the latent phase of labor. This type of contraction occurs because the muscle fibers of the myometrium do not repolarize or relax after a contraction thereby "wiping it clean" to accept a new pacemaker stimulus. They may occur because more than one pacemaker is stimulating the contraction. They tend to be more painful than usual because the myometrium becomes tender from the constant lack of relaxation and the anoxia of uterine cells that result.

A danger of hypertonic contractions is that the lack of relaxation between contractions may not allow optimal uterine artery filling; this could lead to fetal anoxia early in the latent phase of labor. Any woman whose pain seems out of proportion to the quality of her contractions should have both a uterine and external fetal monitor applied for at least 15 minutes to ensure that the resting phase of the contractions is adequate and that the fetal pattern is not showing late deceleration.

If deceleration in the fetal heart rate, an abnormally long first stage of labor, or lack of progress with pushing (second stage arrest) occurs, cesarean birth may be necessary. Both the woman and her support person need to understand that although the contractions are strong, they are ineffective and are not achieving cervical dilation."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Mommy Belly

Wow! I can't believe how long it's been since I wrote. My baby is keeping me so busy and I've been back at work for almost a month now so that sure isn't helping in the time department. Despite having a wonderful new baby to occupy my time and mind, I have still found time to obsess about how pregnancy has affected my body. At my 6 week check-up, I was pretty much back to my pre-pregnancy weight except for about 5 extra pounds. If I weigh close to what I weighed before I got pregnant, I wondered why I still look like I'm 3 to 4 months pregnant. I got online and obessively searched for postpartum belly pics just to be sure that I wasn't some anomaly. Well, it turns out I am. Yes, most of the women in the pictures I saw had a bit of a pouch a few days or weeks postpartum but none of them looked liked they were pregnant. I finally decided to stop looking up these pictures because it was starting to depress me.

It didn't help when I went back to work that the only clothes that fit me now are the ones that were too big before I got pregnant. I even wore one of my maternity dresses to work one day because the other dresses were really tight around my belly. Most of my shirts will no longer fit around my breastfeeding sized boobs either. And to add insult to injury, one of my co-workers very stupidly said to me on my 3rd day back.."when are you due again". I already had the baby idiot! I noticed over the last week or so that my stomach has shrunk just a little more. Today, I wore the pants that I wore on my first day back and I could actually button them up this time. So, my progress is slow but my belly is still shrinking. I was watching a slide show on MSN today about pregnant women getting their body back after having a baby. There was one lady who posed in a bikini...looking fantastic I might add...and basically said she didn't do anything. Her body just snapped back 3 weeks after she had the baby. Women like that make me sick. They really do.

I'm the kind of person that must find a solution to things that are bothering me and there are two things that have been bothering me since I had my baby. In addition to why my belly is shrinking so slowly, I am bothered by why doctors..at least mine...give so little information about c-sections and c-section recovery. I swear my doctor acted like I just had a scratch on my arm when he had cut my belly and uterus open. I had a lot of pain and swelling for the first 3 weeks and all he did was offer me tylenol with codeine. I almost felt as though, he thought I shouldn't have any pain and I was just being a whiny baby. I also want to uncover the reason why I ended up with a c-section. I know what they told me but I'm not totally buying it. So for the next few weeks, months, years...however long it takes to reach a point of satisfaction, I will be posting general information on c-sections, the real reason for my c-section, and losing the baby belly for those of us whose bodies don't just "snap back" after 3 weeks.