Last weekend the baby wasn't moving around as much as normal, so I went into the hospital to make sure everything looked okay. A host of medical equipment confirmed that the baby was completely fine, but the nurses grew concerned when the monitoring machine showed I was having a lot of long-lasting contractions. I've felt some cramping and tightening but I figured I was experiencing Braxton Hicks sensations, which are pretty common for women in the third trimester. After monitoring me for awhile and performing an exam, the doctor concluded that I have an irritable uterus.
Yep. My uterus is cantankerous. With all their medical experience and research and fancy degrees, that's the term doctors have coined for a rogue reproductive organ: irritable uterus. So while I'm not in labor yet (thank God), my babymaker is apparently a little bit pissed off. Doctors don't know much about what causes uteruses to get so “irritable,” but they do know that an irritable uterus causes frequent, sporadic, low-grade contractions that last between 30 seconds and one minute but usually don't lead to labor. If it becomes more severe, women are occasionally put on bedrest. I was told to simply drink more water (a hydrated uterus is a happier uterus) and go to the hospital if I notice more than six contractions in an hour.
Hopefully my OBGYN can tell me a little bit more at my next appointment. In the meantime, I'll be guzzling H2O and attempting to make peace with my angry organ.