Monday, September 28, 2009

Braxton Hicks contractions

What are Braxton Hicks contractions?

Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic uterine contractions that start about 6 weeks into your pregnancy, although you won't be able to feel them that early. You probably won't start to notice them until sometime after mid-pregnancy, if you notice them at all. (Some women don't.) They get their name from John Braxton Hicks, an English doctor who first described them in 1872.

As your pregnancy progresses, Braxton Hicks contractions tend to come somewhat more often, but until you get to your last few weeks, they'll probably remain infrequent, irregular, and essentially painless. Sometimes, though, Braxton Hicks contractions are hard to distinguish from early signs of preterm labor.

Play it safe and don't try to make the diagnosis yourself. If you haven't hit 37 weeks yet and you're having more than four contractions in an hour — or you have any other signs of preterm labor (see below) — call your caregiver immediately.

By the time you're within a couple of weeks of your due date, your contractions may get more intense and more frequent, and they may cause some discomfort. Unlike the earlier painless and sporadic Braxton Hicks contractions, which caused no obvious cervical changes, these contractions may help your cervix "ripen" — gradually soften and thin out (efface) and maybe even dilate a bit. This period is sometimes referred to as pre-labor.
How can I tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and true labor contractions?

In the days or weeks before labor, Braxton Hicks contractions may intermittently become rhythmic, relatively close together, and even painful, possibly fooling you into thinking you're in labor. But unlike true labor, during this so-called false labor the contractions don't grow consistently longer, stronger, and closer together.
What can I do if my Braxton Hicks contractions are making me uncomfortable?

If you're within a few weeks of your due date, try these measures:

• Change your activity or position. Sometimes walking provides relief. At other times, resting eases contractions. (True labor contractions, on the other hand, will persist and progress regardless of what you do.)

• Take a warm bath to help your body relax.

• Try drinking a couple of glasses of water, since these contractions can sometimes be brought on by dehydration.

• Try relaxation exercises or slow, deep breathing. This won't stop the Braxton Hicks contractions, but it may help you cope with the discomfort. (Use this opportunity to practice some of the pain-management strategies you've learned in your childbirth preparation class.)

When should I call my doctor or midwife?

Call your caregiver right away if you haven't reached 37 weeks and your contractions are becoming more frequent, rhythmic, or painful, or if you have any of these possible signs of preterm labor:

• Abdominal pain, menstrual-like cramping, or more than four contractions in an hour (even if they don't hurt)

• Any vaginal bleeding or spotting

• An increase in vaginal discharge or a change in the type of discharge — if it becomes watery, mucusy, or bloody (even if it's only pink or blood-tinged)

• Increased pelvic pressure (a feeling that your baby's pushing down)

• Low back pain, especially if it's a new problem for you

If you're past 37 weeks, there's no need to call your doctor or midwife just for contractions until they last about 60 seconds each and are five minutes apart — unless your caregiver has advised you otherwise

Above were extracted from BabyCentre. Last checkup (wk33) Dr asked if I've experienced Braxton Hicks contractions, and I told him I don't know since I'm unsure of how it feels exactly. He described briefly to me, and it sounded much more relevant and "imaginable" than what I've read about in books or website. I guess I experienced it before in the 3rd trimester, but somehow I thought that it was some weird 'stunt' done by the baby :p

After monitoring for 2 weeks, haha... yeah, I can now recognise the Braxton Hicks contractions. But it always follows with a kick or punch from the baby after 30s or 1minutes. Probably was his reaction towards the 'squeezing force' surrounding him few moments ago :p

It's amazing to know how God create our body and function. The Braxton Hicks contractions is actually a "practice" for the uterus to expel the baby out from mother's body when the time comes. Creative creator. He takes care of all details :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Great Big God and His creations

During this pregnancy process, the Almighty God has encouraged both Yong Sheng and I in many ways. It's a joy to have a baby. It's a greater joy to know that you are part of a miracle. It's even greater joy to know that you are the miracle yourself.

Read a book recently that each and everyone of us were from the combination of below:
1. 1 out of 100million of daddy's sperms
2. 1 out of 100thousand of mummy's ovums

Out of so many other "candidates", why God made me from that particular sperm, and that particular ovum? It could have been someone else to live instead of me. But God has chosen the particular ones for His unique reason and purpose. No one is an accident. Through the years you may have heard miscarriages or infant death happening around. Why God chose us to be alive till now?

It was a blessed CG meeting yesterday when Freddy shared on Laminin. It was the first time I heard bout it, but it made the verse Colossians 1:15-18 more meaningful, and suddenly made sense to a mere human....

Colossians 1:15-19 (New International Version)

The Supremacy of Christ
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

After the CG I noticed that PCC ISMA Mania mentioned about this too. In case you are interested, go to the links below.

God is great. Huge and tiny stuff, He's in them. Amazing. My little baby, you got to know this God, love Him and serve Him.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What I like about 3rd trimester

Used to miss 2nd trimester when it ended few months back. Probably when people tell you that 2nd trimester is the best period you will enjoy, since it's the most energetic months you can enjoy. Haha... to be frank, wasn't really looking forward for the third trimester =(

But after able to cope and handle constipation, heavier weight, increasing tiredness, leg cramp etc, I've also learnt to look at the bright side. In fact, one thing I like most is the movement you feel in your tummy everyday. I still remember that I started track if I'm now able to "sense" the flapping of butterfly wings since week 16, but only ended up disappointing, till about week 18 when I started feeling something moving, but not really obvious ones... It was till 2 days before my week 20 checkup that the baby finally kicked me harder, and enabled me to answer Dr. Low's question "Have you started feeling the baby movement?" "Oh yes.... (finally I'm confidence I felt something)"

Since week 20, baby became more active with increased activities, more kicking, somersaults, hiccups and so on. There were times where you can actually play with the little baby, by tapping back when he kicks you. I recalled testing his "maths" by tapping once, and he kicked back once. Then tapped twice, and he kicked twice. I think he was able to kicked back thrice, but when I tapped four times, he simply gave up, or bored of playing the boring game :p Chew was happy when he was able to get the baby to response to his tapping.

BabyCentre says that at 32 weeks, baby's movements will reach a peak of activity and from now on, you will notice an increase in the frequency and type of movements as your baby gets bigger and stronger. Am now 33 weeks. Yeah, stronger movements. Sometimes can feel his 2 hands and 2 legs moving at the same time, at four corners of my stomach... haha... the guessing games is just fun and funny. Am just wondering if I'd ever see his footprint or palm mark on my tummy. Can Hi5 then :p

Was a Europe baby, but now slowly transitioning to a US baby. Daddy pray that he'll be a pure Malaysian baby when he's out, sleep when time to sleep, active when time to awake :p

Monday, September 14, 2009

How to minimize puffiness

Came across this article in BabyCenter and found it interesting :) Thank God yesterday Dr said that I do not have signs of water retention so far, but it's good to prevent :p Yeah, my face is much rounder now compared to pre-pregnant days - I know.... Am glad most friends says that I'm not as huge as they'd have imagine...

Can I do anything to minimise the puffiness?

• Elevate your feet when possible. At work, it helps to keep a stool or pile of books under your desk; at home, try to lie on your left side when possible.

• Put on waist-high support tights before you get out of bed in the morning, so blood has no chance to pool around your ankles.

• Drink plenty of water. Surprisingly, keeping hydrated helps your body retain less water.

• Exercise regularly, especially by walking, swimming, or riding an exercise bike.

• Eat well, and avoid sodium and salty foods like olives and salted nuts

Great... the bolded point comforts me a lot as I always drink some water after every toilet visit in the midnight. Well, just to wet my throat actually... Nowadays I have to wake up at least twice every night. Welcome to the 3rd trimester, again :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hello Chiang Mei! 30 Weeks Pregnant

Hello Chiang Mei!
30 Weeks Pregnant

That's what BabyCentre greeting me today. Phew. Time flies. Am now officially entering the 'last quarter' of my first pregnancy journey. Still remember when I entered 2nd trimester, the journey still seems so long. I told Yong Sheng, we are not even one third done. But now, wow, good time really flies. Second trimester, the most energetic stage went on so fast... Well, probably there were travelings and holidays which goes along with it.

Really don't know what to expect for this 3rd trimester. What I realised it that I'm getting hungrier earlier nowadays. And need to eat more frequently. Well, baby you enjoy all the food mama eat now. When you comes to the world, you'll have ONLY milk for the first 6months ya :)