In some ways, it feels like I've been pregnant forever. That's probably because it hasn't been an easy pregnancy by any means. Most women struggle with morning sickness, but about 3%-5% have the pleasure of hyperemesis, which is the most extreme morning sickness you can imagine. At its peak, I was throwing up every time I got out of bed (despite being on two anti-nausea meds, including one that is used for chemo patients). I also had to go in and get iv fluids because I was so dehydrated.
Just about anything would trigger the throwing up--being touched (which the kids had a hard time understanding), smelling food, seeing food (even on tv), moving, and sometimes, it just happened without warning (like on the way to Bible study one day when I had to pull over to throw up in a gas station parking lot).
Thankfully, that has subsided. I rarely take the anti-nausea meds, and I'm only throwing up once or twice a week. However, I started having contractions back in November. They got worse after I carried Steven from his bed to the living room, and I ended up spending most of the following three days resting in bed. I was checked by my doctor before we left for PA, and everything looked good. I was just told not to lift the kids if I could help it.
While we were in PA, if I did too much, the contractions started up again, and then it got to the point on Christmas Day where they were just happening even if I didn't do anything. That's when we decided it would be best to get checked out at a hospital near my parents' house. Of course, the contractions stopped before we got there, but when they got me hooked up to the monitor, they were picking up Braxton Hicks contractions. It was the first time mark had heard the heartbeat since our big ultrasound in October, and he got to hear her kicking too. I'd been telling him that it felt like earthquakes in there because she is so active, and you could hear that on the monitor. Everyone who came in commented on how active she was and said that they had never heard such loud kicks (they could hear them down the hall despite the door being shut!). The midwife also said surprised by how neurologically advanced the baby was for her age :)
Mark and I were there for a couple hours, and they ran several tests and checked me again. Everything checked out okay, but they gave me two shots to stop the contractions, and they seem to have worked. I've only had a handful of contractions in the past week and a half.
We never got a clear answer on what was causing the contractions, but they think that it was a partly due to dehydration (which we don't really agree with because I had been drinking like crazy to try to make them stop) but mostly due to her insane activity, which I guess can cause contractions.
Since we've been home, I've followed up with my doctor, and everything still looks good. I am on limited activity, but I'd not on bedrest or anything. I just have to be careful not to do too much, and I really can't lift the kids (or anything else for that matter). I think I can handle that for the next 10 weeks if it keeps her from coming early!