Exactly one week ago, I began to get cramps, pains, and overall discomfort. I have been dealing with Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks now, something that took some getting used to since I didn’t really experience them with my first pregnancy. But, these pains were different. They were happening more often and hanging around a lot longer. I just wasn’t comfortable.
So, on Tuesday evening, I stretched out on our chaise, feet up, and stayed there all night until I went to bed. The pains eased a bit and I thought nothing more of it. Until 24 hours later.
On Wednesday afternoon, things kicked up again. While I had been feeling ok during the day, once again the pains and discomfort had returned. Tired of guessing if these were normal pains or something more, I called my OB/GYN. They felt the pains were more on the normal side from the way I described them, but encouraged me to make a visit to the hospital if the cramps returned and I was still uncomfortable. So, an hour later, I was on my way to the hospital.
Strapped to the monitoring machine at the hospital, we could hear not only our baby’s heartbeat, but could hear him kicking and moving up a storm. So much so, that when the doctor came in to talk with us, she turned down the machine’s volume and laughed about how active our baby was. They of course searched for infections and preterm labor signs, but suspected that the reason I was having fake contractions was due to a lack of water in my system.
Dehydrated? I looked at my husband and said, “How can that be? I drink lots of water!” Of course, the nurse and doctor didn’t believe me, but I assured them that I drank close to my 64oz each day. It didn’t help that my body was proving me wrong, though, and that my urine test was “off the charts,” as they said.
After an ultrasound and pelvic exam showed that my cervix was not beginning to dilate, but was in fact, extremely long (save the jokes!), the dehydration theory was brought up again. As the doctor explained to us, the hormone that your body releases when you’re dehydrated, is almost an identical twin to the hormone released when you’re ready to have the baby. So, your uterus mistakenly thinks it’s time to go into labor and begins to have contractions. All because you need to drink more water! Who knew?
A couple of hours and a $200 copay later, I was on my way home with instructions to drink at least 2L of water every day. I was also told that when I get cramps, I should stop what I’m doing, lie down on my side, and drink water until it passes. Thankfully, now I know what to do and all doubts regarding complications were put to rest.