Look, I know that we have past the uber-critical stages of fetal development now that Seahorse has marked life at 33 weeks in utero. I read that our baby is almost fully formed and a reasonable size and capable (with medical help) to survive outside of my kangaroo pouch. Still, this does not stop me from unconsciously embarking on soul-crushing nightmares that have to do with me going into premature labour.
What a traumatic night I spent in bed, just me and my night terrors, last night. Erroll was mid flight, en route back to me from a layover in Sydney (excellent, as mum always packs a care package for us when he visits her there) so I yelped out to no one in particular. Shot upright in bed and cradled Seahorse and then had to soothe myself back to sleep.
Premature labour occurs in 12% of all pregnancies. A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. Occasionally, labour begins prematurely, defined as before the 37th week of pregnancy. Its the uterine contractions that cause the cervix to open earlier than normal. A woman might have premature labour for no apparent reason however I just read the medical risk factors that may significantly contribute, three of which I can claim:
- Underweight before pregnancy – that’s why I had to hit 54kg before I began IVF;
- Clotting disorder (thrombophilia) – that’s why I was injecting with anti-clotting meds for the first 13 weeks of this pregnancy, and
- Being pregnant with a single fetus after IVF
My nightmare, indeed.