Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Braxton Bitches


Ahhh, the joys of the third trimester of pregnancy. While it is challenging to deal with other third trimester splendors including but not limited to heartburn, constant gas, energy depletion, chronic back pain, tender breasts, itchy tummy skin, going pee-pee every 14 minutes, fitting through doorways, walking like a damn duck with a bathplug up my rear end and of course, my favorite - discovering egg shells in my $30 maternity panties, I think the WORST part are the Braxton Hicks contractions! 
It's really fabulous that I can't pick up my other little ones much less a grocery bag, bend over, have sex, get in or out of a car, stand for more than 10 minutes or get out of bed without having my uterus tighten and look like cone-belly. Here's a little tid bit of Real Deal with Braxton Bitches:

Braxton Hicks contractions (BH) are actually a tightening in the muscles of the uterus. Your brain sends your body signals to prepare for labor by contracting the uterine muscles, resulting in these uncomfortable contractions. Usually lasting between 1 and 2 minutes, BH contractions can occur throughout your pregnancy, strengthening in the last months before delivery. They are named after the English doc who first discovered them in 1872. The discovery of BH has contributed to the mystery of false labor and the whole labor process. What I have noticed personally is that BH begin a lot sooner, the more babies you have birthed. During your first pregnancy, it is more likely not to feel them until the last few weeks. Now on my 4th pregnancy, I am feeling them quite intensely at 32 weeks. My doctor mentioned today that my body is more aware of what it needs to prepare for sooner this time. My thought: Dear body, if you know what I need so well, then don't bug me with this with physical drama and get your rear in gear on delivery day. In the meantime, beat it BH.

Another tid bit for you -mostly for first time pregger mommies- If you're curious how to tell the difference between the BH and the real deal, keep these things in mind:

  • Unlike real labor pains, Braxton Hicks won't increase in intensity.
  • Labor pains will increase in frequency, occurring closer together. Braxton Hicks contractions will eventually go away on their own.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions tend to be irregular, with no precise pattern to them. Real labor pains will have a definite pattern.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions are not as painful as real labor pains.
  • Real contractions are in the lower part of your abdomen and BH tend to be at the top.
And a final note on the facts- Sex triggers them- particularly if you orgasm. Try to save your Big O for the end of your intimate time as you will want to lay on your side after… Really don't have much in me to keep going when cone belly comes and I can't sit up. A full bladder or the sensation of a full bladder triggers them so- PEE. Dehydration causes them as well so drink a glass of water when they come on (then of course, you have to tinkle again or you will have more).

All in all, they are quite pesty, those Braxton Hicks; however, the silver lining is that my body is formally getting ready and the end is near!

7 comments:

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