Dec 22, 2011

Braxton Hicks, Preterm Labor or a Bladder Infection?

I have been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the past two weeks. For the most part the contractions have only been light to mild, last maybe a minute or two and then are gone until another day. Well today after a bit of Christmas Shopping I got the worst pressure and menstrual like cramps of my pregnancy. I called the doctor and she told me to drink lots of water, lie down and go to Triage if I didn’t feel better in an hour. My friends, an hour later, at 33 weeks my husband and I went to the hospital scared that our baby was on his way out.

The contractions started around 1:30pm and by 4pm I couldn’t take it anymore and called my doctor. At this point the contractions became about 15 minutes apart and were accompanied by a sharp pain in my pelvis. When she called back I told her about the pressure, shooting pain and recurring menstrual cramps. We made the plan for me to go to the Triage unit if it didn’t get better. At this point I was already freaking out from the idea of being in preterm labor and how I didn’t wan’t to have my baby 7 weeks early. Needless to say the stress only made the situation worse. I ended up not going to the hospital until two hours after the phone call. I just kept hoping with enough water and relaxation the pressure and contractions would go away.

When we got to the hospital we were taken right in after registration, woohoo!! I was immediately asked for a urine sample and then put into a room. The nurse came in, asked way too many history questions and then checked me for dilation. Thankfully I was not dilated AT ALL! She said the contractions just were not hard enough to make me dilate. Next she wrapped two belts around my belly. One monitored the baby’s heartbeat and the other tested the contractions. I was also hooked up to a constant blood pressure armband. Then she said she would be back in 10-15 minutes and was off.

Long story short, the girl in the next room sounded like she was in crazy labor and scared the crap out of me. I could clearly tell I was far from her level of contractions and labor. The nurse came back 15 minutes later and agreed, but then she dropped the bomb...“You have a bladder infection!” A WHAT??? The nurse said I had moderate bacteria in my urine. News to me, no pain, no issues urinating, nothing, I was floored. She said that the infection could have also been contributing to my pain and pressure and definitely could cause the contractions. She gave me an anti-biotic and said get dressed and meet me at the nurses station.

I was discharged 10 minutes later with orders to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, pee plenty of times and call the doctor in the morning. My urine sample was sent off for further tests that will be back in 12 hours, so by the time I call the doctors office tomorrow they will know if I have any other issues. All in all I am relived that I was not experiencing true preterm labor, and that I was sent home to my own bed. Tomorrow I will find out more about the infection, but thanks to antibiotics I will be on the mend in a day or two.

On a lighter note, my big boy was bouncing around and kicking the crap out of the monitors. He was kicking so hard and so much my husband could see him kickboxing in there. He was rolling around and more active than I have ever known him to be. It was so nice and reassuring to feel him trying to tell me to he was ok and to get the stupid monitors off his mommy.

After this whole experience I can tell you that I am SO glad I went to the hospital. It was so comforting to be there and have a trained professional tell me what was going on and not to worry. Not that I have had any other incident during my pregnancy that made me think to go, moving forward I will not hesitate like I did today. If you are reading this because you are looking for answers to the pain and pressure you are feeling, call your doctor and go to the hospital, you and your baby will be so glad you did.

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit


  1. I had my gall gall bladder pain in back removed a few years ago and I suffered with pain in my right shoulder area as well.

  2. I had nearly the same thing happen to me at 33 weeks. I thought I was in labor. Crazy right

  3. I just went through the EXACT same thing. Honestly I felt like I was reading my own story only I was only 23 weeks. What was so crazy was that I didn't have any of the normal urgency or burning that comes along with utis, just the contractions and pelvic pressure. The crappy thing for me now is that I just finished my antibiotics 3 days ago, but still have the same symptoms along with blood in my urine & cloudy urine. It looks like the macrobid didn't work, so today I went into my dr & they took a culture to find out exactly the type of bacteria it is & what antibiotics will be more effective. I hope they can get rid of it asap. Utis can cause real preterm labor & I'm already at high risk for it. 😞