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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Braxton Hicks...Shopping...Cerclage... Just Plain Weird.

I'm not sure if it is because I have such profoundly anti-social tendencies that make the idea of a "shower" of any kind, whether it be about as appealing to me as removing my own eyeball with a spoon, or if I truly believe what I say is my reason of opposition; no one should be obligated to buy a gift for the pollywog because she received an invitation. A gift should be just that... a gift. Frankly, it is probably a combination of both of these, right wrong, or indifferent.

In that event, I spent the afternoon today with my mom (Linderloo), my niece (Hannah) and my sister (Amy) shopping for essentials for the pollywog, and was "showered" with their gifts, and Hannah's excitement. When I arrived at Amy's home, Hannah ... who is eight, presented me with a true gift from the heart; she went to "Build-A-Bear" two days ago and created a bunny, clad in a jumper for the pollywog... and proceeded to tell me that she slept with it for two nights to give it love. So sweet!

So where does Braxton Hicks come in? Well... it is the only reason that I can come up with for constant upper abdominal tightening for the past few days, and today... it came in waves while we sauntered through "Baby's R Us" and a WONDERFUL second hand store that I highly recommend in Allentown, PA called "Rock A Bye Baby." You can look them up on FACEBOOK. Not only was it ideal for deals on essentials, but they had wonderful children's clothing and books, too... AND the ladies who were running the show there were a delight and VERY accomodating!

So... back to Braxton Hicks. Weird stuff, and if it doesn't subside, perhaps I will give the obstetrician a call tomorrow. What does it feel like? It feels like something is trying desperately to push through my abdominal cavity, and is suppressing my lungs in the process...intermittently. Franks thinks that I am just stretching and making room, but I don't know. Breathing is labored, and I feel...well...for lack of a better description...weird.

According to

"You may have heard this funny phrase before you were pregnant, but now you really want to know what it means. It all started in 1872 when an English doctor, John Braxton Hicks, described the contractions that occur before real labor. Can you imagine constantly thinking,'This must be it,' and then it wasn't. Doctors and pregnant women have Dr. Hicks to thank for clearing up all the confusion. The following information will help you determine when you are having 'the real thing' or Braxton Hicks contractions.

What are Braxton Hicks contractions?

Braxton Hicks contractions can begin as early as the second trimester, however they are most common in the third trimester. The muscles of your uterus tighten for approximately 30 to 60 seconds or as long as 2 minutes. Braxton Hicks are also called “practice contractions” because they will prepare you for the real thing and you can practice the breathing exercises you are learning in your childbirth classes.

Braxton Hicks are described as:

Irregular in intensity
More uncomfortable than painful
They do not increase in intensity, or frequency
They taper off and then disappear altogether
If your contractions are easing up in any way, they are most likely Braxton Hicks.

What causes Braxton Hicks contractions?

There are a few speculations for why women have these contractions. Some physicians and midwives think they may play a part in toning the uterine muscle and promoting the flow of blood to the placenta. They are not believed to have any connection with dilating the cervix, but may have some effect on the softening of the cervix. However, as Braxton Hicks contractions become more intense closer to the time of delivery, the contractions are considered false labor, which can help in the dilation and effacement process.

What triggers Braxton Hicks contractions?

The following are triggers of Braxton Hicks:

When you or the baby are very active
If someone touches your belly
When your bladder is full
After sex

What can I do to alleviate Braxton Hicks contractions?
Change positions; lie down if you have been standing or go for a walk if you have been sitting or laying
Take a warm bath for 30 minutes or less
Drink a couple of glasses of water, because contractions may be brought on by dehydration
Drink a warm cup of herbal tea or milk

If doing any of these does not alleviate your contractions, you should contact your health care provider."

Perhaps it has something to do with 100 degree temperatures? This is a TRUE test of patience.

...stay tuned for tomorrow's exciting installment... where I will tell you all about an impending surgery that I may have to partake in... so that I CAN go back to teaching before taking maternity leave! Cervical Cerclage (which would also make a GREAT band name).

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