Home » Pregnancy 2015 » Dumplin’: 38 Weeks Gestation- A Quick Update

Dumplin’: 38 Weeks Gestation- A Quick Update

Hi Friends. Things continue to be rough, with no end in sight, in the mamaetmaman household. I am finding it difficult to blog for long periods of time due to the ongoing discomfort, but I thought I’d give you an update.

So every night since Sunday night, I’ve been experiencing this excruciating pain originating from my left flank region, which travels down my back and wraps around to the left side of my belly. The pain is dull when it’s not active, but when it is active, it feels like squeezing and stabbing at the same time. The pain becomes active when I lay down- very quickly escalating if I lay on my left side (side of the pain), and flat on my back (it almost feels swollen on that side), and less quickly escalating but still escalating if I lay on my right side. Rarely, the pain becomes active when I’m sitting, and in fact is often alleviated before it becomes very active by sitting up and standing. Once the pain is active, there’s nothing that alleviates it- it just plays out for lengths of time varying from 3-7 minutes. The time in between active sessions varies greatly from 3 minutes to many hours, but more frequent at night because of the laying down aspect.

Now, on Tuesday, the pain was so bad that I decided it was not safe for me to drive to my midwife appointment, so the on-call midwife came over to do an assessment at our home. She checked my cervix for dilation- cervix was still posterior, intact but softened, and opened only to about 1cm. So I wasn’t in active labour. She listened to Dumplin’s heart rate, which was normal. She didnt know what was causing these back contractions, and thought that maybe it was from tight muscles, which made me feel very discouraged and dismissed. I am a chiropractor. I know what a pulled or tight muscle feels like, and this on-and-off intermittent pain pattern doesn’t make sense. She then told me to get some Ibuprofen (and some Rantidine for the stomach effects of Ibuprofen), and proceeded to pack up. 

That same day, I had a massage with a doula/midwife who also assessed me, and thought it could be back labour. She guided me through three contractions as they came on while we were working through some muscles in my back. My muscles weren’t particularly tight, and she felt and saw my uterus contract over Dumplin’ when I was having an active back moment. 

Then I had a chiropractor colleague come over and also assess and treat me. Nothing remarkable about my musculoskeletal system. We also did some induction acupuncture. 

The next couple of days have followed the same kind of pattern: me moaning and crying several times throughout the night due to these back contractions. Me trying different sleeping positions and failing to find one that works, and trying to sleep upright in a chair because it hurts less. Overall cumulative nighttime sleep is about 2 hours. During the day, I am a lot more comfortable because I’m standing and walking, and NOT laying down. I’m even able to go on walks with DW and the dogs. 

On Wednesday I had a repeat ultrasound, and it turns out that Dumplin’s amniotic fluid has increased a bit (which is great), and that he is no longer left-occiput-anterior, but is now exactly occiput posterior or “sunny side up” (which sucks). So I’ve been doing some recommended exercises from Spinning Babies, in hopes of turning him again. 

Last night, night four of no sleep, I fell asleep sitting up in a couch chair, but woke up to a terrible squeezing chest pain and shortness of breath. It scared the bejesus outta me, and made me want to go to the hospital emergency to be checked out. I woke up DW, told her I wanted to go to the ER, and we talked out the different ways that this could play out. We decided that today, we’d get a bean bag chair for me to create into a wedge to help me sleep upright, and if the back and chest pain persisted tomorrow night, that we’d then go to the ER. Why the ER? Because I want some answers. I want to know if these are back contractions, kidney stones, or something else. Having unexplained pain of this calibre is not good for me or for Dumplin’. To be honest, if they offered me a c-section, I’d happily take it right now. To hell with my home birth plan- I’m too tired and out of patience to fight anymore.

So right now, the four days and nights of no sleep and excruciating unexplainable pain has me at my wit’s end. All I want to do at 38 weeks pregnant is lie down and rest, and I can’t even do that. 

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32 thoughts on “Dumplin’: 38 Weeks Gestation- A Quick Update

  1. Oh sweetie I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling this much discomfort! I’m surprised to hear ibuprofen – I always thought that it was off limits for pregos. Have you been to acupuncture lately, for this in particular? Wishing you the best and that your beanbag chair offers you some ability to rest!

  2. I’m so sorry about your dismissive midwife. The same thing happened to me and it felt awful. I believe that’s what my labor so long. I was second guessing my body the whole time because the medical professionals, my miswives, didn’t believe me. So biggest advice is just to believe and trust in your body. Beanie was sunny side up with a hand by her face so that’s what kept stopping and starting labor. And causing back labor. I think everything you’re saying makes sense and fits. I wish you could feel more supported. Random but have you tried sleeping on an inner tube? If you get like a swimming blow up doesn’t have to be huge you can put your belly in the middle and take the pressure off for awhile it might even give baby the room he needs to turn. Lots of love sorry for these scattered thoughts!

    • Thanks Hun. The donut inner tube sounds heavenly. I wonder where I could find one right now. So how similar was your back labour to mine? I’m second guessing myself so much because everything I’m trying isn’t making a difference. I’m even worried this is not related to the pregnancy and even when he’s out I’ll still be dealing with this pain.

      • #1. Try the dollar store or even Walmart. #2. Very very similar. I had an acupuncturist come to my house and she managed to turn bean and it was immediate relief but hours later that little turd flipped back and the pain intensified. Stay in your zone focus on baby and use the power of positive thinking. Imagine birthing beautiful dumplin and those wonderful first few snuggles. Trust that he will be guiding you with what he needs from you. Try. To let go of the stress and tension as much as possible and just surrender to the contractions. Don’t worry “are these real or fake ” just assume they are real and do what your body needs. It may even be useful to have wifey handle everything for now. Your focus is baby and you and your wife can handle conversations with the midwives and every one else. #3 I has horrible nausea during labour and I swear to god I thought I would spend the rest of my life barfing. But half an hour after birth it was gone. That’s a normal feeling but it’s not going to last forver. It is labor

      • I’m relieved to know that your pain was like this. The midwife just treats me like I’m crazy. It sucks because wifey has to work everyday and can’t take time off, so I’m home alone most of the day. I think Dumplin’ managed to turn too last night but I got no relief, so I’m guessing the little bugger is quickly flipping back again. I’ve read that some pelvises are actually more conducive to posterior presentations- like that’s the only way their heads will be able to come out, so that’s why they keep going back to posterior.

  3. Oh, no. I am SO sorry you’re going through this. Being 38 weeks pregnant is hard enough without pain, let alone with it. I wish I had a suggestion for how to make things better, but it sounds like you’re doing absolutely everything you can to try to get rid of/alleviate the pain. Does *anyone* have any guesses as to what is causing it? Could it be his occiput posterior position?

    I’ll send you some healing energy/reiki, if you’re comfortable with me doing so, and hold hope that this gets better for you soon, or you give birth! ❤

    • No one has any idea what this is unfortunately, aside from my RMT/doula/midwife, who still thinks its back labour. It could be his position, but I kinda feel like the pattern is still weird. Yes! Please send me healing energy/reiki. I am open to it all. Thank you!

  4. I am so sorry to hear that things are so rough right now! Lacking sleep clearly does not help in anyway. I’m glad you are surrounding yourself with professionals who can help and I really hope you find some comfort and sleep between now and when Dumplin’ arrives. Sending you love my friend.

    • Thank you, friend. It’s just so hard without some indication of what this is and how to alleviate it. It kinda reminds me of the frustration we went through with all of the RPL and no diagnosis.

  5. Oh D, I am so sorry you’re going through this. Definitely get checked out by a doctor and if they offer to have Dumplin come either by induction or CS, why not. He is so big and at 38 weeks he will be fine and you’ll get to rest. Your comfort and health are way more important than any crunchy birth plan. I hope you get some answers real soon.

    • Thank you, friend. I agree. I don’t think I can take much more of this. And my mother will be flying in tomorrow morning, so at least if I have a c-section, I’ll have help for a few weeks.

  6. Oh you poor thing 😦 I was wondering how things were getting along. What you are going through sounds absolutely horrendous. I don’t deal well at all with longer term pain and the lack of sleep would have about killed me after four nights. I really hope you get some rest asap – this is not the kind of start you would want!!! Wishing you all a safe and peaceful time xxx

  7. I was wondering if dumplin head been born, I’ve been randomly checking for your birth announcement. I hope you’re able to get some relief soon.

  8. Oh friend…i feel pain FOR you. It sounds like such an awful experience to be having. I really do hope that you find someone relief soon. I know this probably isn’t much help, but I know that whenever I am achy or in pain, i try to take a warm/hot shower to help alleviate it, even if it IS only temporary. I hope that Dumpin’ makes his appearance soon so that you fins some relief…thinking of you friend, and sending some healing and “comfy” energy for you. Praying you get some sleep these next few day….

  9. So sorry you are in so much discomfort and things aren’t progressing! I wasn’t able to stand laying down for my labor, and it was only about 24 hours, so I know you must be exhausted! A TENS unit on the acupuncture points on my neck and ankle had my labor going consistently an hour later, if you are looking for ways to speed things up. My doula also told me that you can sometimes go to L&D and get a shot of pain killer (not sure if it was morphine or fentanyl) and go home so you can get some rest. Hope you find some relief!! Sounds like you are going to have your baby boy in your arms soon! Thinking about you!

  10. I’m so sorry you’re so miserable right now. This just sounds awful. It really sounds like a trip to the ER might be worth it. They’d at least probably do a non-stress test and the contraction monitor might shed some light on things. Sending lots of good sleep vibes your way. I really hope you can get some decent rest before delivery.

  11. Oh no, I feel for you. Hope Dumplin turns for you and you get some much needed rest. Cannot even begin to imagine how you must be feeling. Hope you get some relief from the pain.

  12. Have they checked your labs to make sure your CBC and Chemistry, particularly your LFTs (liver function) are ok? When the liver is distressed it pregnant women can have left epigastric/chest pain. If there are no findings in a manual assessment, it may give some peace of mind to ensure that all is well on the inside and you don’t have undiagnosed preeclampsia or anything like that which could be troubling for both you and baby. Thinking of you and hope things smooth out. You’re almost there!

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