I had menstrual-like cramps during early pregnancy of all my three pregnancies but I really had no recollection of experiencing abdominal cramps as I entered the second tri-semester. The cramps worried me and made me have to go to the toilet a couple of times just to ensure that there was no accompanying blood came out. Thank God. No blood but the cramps still lingered and they pretty much got me very awake for a while.
I suspected the cramps came from my growing or stretching uterus or something as the baby is growing bigger by the minute. However, I was not sure. I am not a doctor. I was just guessing if a woman would feel abdominal cramps as her uterus shrinks back to normal post baby delivery, surely there would be similar cramps as the uterus stretches when she is pregnant.
Anyway, for the next few days, the cramps came back on and off. The cramps got worse in the evening or at night when I was lying down on my bed. By Tuesday evening, the abdominal pains had gotten very intense and long. I sat quietly, and maybe bit my lips as well, on my MIL's sofa after we had dinner at her house. An hour later, we got home and I quickly hit my bed so I could just curl up in foetal position while succumbing all the cramps. Luckily, so far I saw no blood down there. Just the annoying cramps.
Later that night, worried Mama got very worried. I let my husband know that maybe I should just bring forward my appointment to see the Gynae on the next morning, just to make sure that the baby was okay and there was nothing wrong with me. I didn't want any drama especially since we are planning to go for a short holiday overseas next week. My husband agreed and I woke up early in the morning to check with the hospital if my Gynae was around yesterday.
Bummer! The operator informed me that my Gynae only accepted patients with appointment yesterday so I had to see another Gynae at the hospital. No choice. I really needed a peace of mind with the whole cramping episode that lasted for many days already so I decided to see another Gynae.
Another bummer. This Gynae arrived to the hospital quite late in the morning. After seeing like 3-4 patients, he had to go to the labour room and indeed, he had to spend at least 1 hour there assisting birth. I waited more than 3 hours to finally see him and I think he only saw me for less than 10 minutes. Hmm... I think Naomi better goes to medical school then also study Obstetrics and Gynaecology when she grows up... Gynaecologists normally have lots of patients hence I assume they earn hefty amount of $$$ too, especially if they practice at famous private hospitals. LOL.
Anyway, when I saw this Gynae whom I had seen few times during my previous pregnancies, the first thing he did was running through my pregnancy history on his computer record briefly. Then, I told him about the cramping I had been having in the recent days. He questioned, "Where are the cramps?" I replied "On my lower abdomen and they're like menstrual cramps". "If they are like menstrual pains, then it's okay. As long as the cramps are not like labour contraction like you are going to give birth, they are still normal especially for the third pregnancy."
Next, he did a quick ultrasound scan on Baby #3. He measured the baby's size and also checked the baby's head condition. He commented that everything looked okay and normal. The baby has grown to 8.24cm this week and was moving around when we did the scan.
I wish I could enjoy the ultrasound scan longer and better as I always look forward to it but I simply could not do so yesterday. This Gynae's room was freezing like a freezer. I was shivering within a minute after I set foot in his practice room. My teeth were chattering and I began stuttering too when speaking to the Gynae, thanks to the cold room. I never understand why the hospital set the air-conditioning so crazily freezing inside doctor's room as though I just visited a Gynae in Iceland.
During the scan, I casually asked him why I am not gaining weight as yet. He reassured me not to worry about this because I should be gaining weight in two weeks' time. Also, I attempted to get the Gynae to scan the baby's genital area to tell the gender but he quickly brushed me off "Cannot, cannot. Next month!" Well, at least I asked.
In conclusion, the cramps strike during the beginning of second trisemester is apparently not out-of-ordinary provided they don't feel like labour contraction pains and no bleeding occurs. I should have believed What-To-Expect's information on this week's baby development - that some women would expect dull aches, crampy or sharp sensations on one or both sides of the lower abdomen as the uterus expands around this time.
Ah yes, when I was queuing in the hospital yesterday, I accidentally met Naomi's friend's Mom. Naomi and this boy share the same birth date. I learnt about this when I was planning for Naomi's 3rd birthday in her day care as her teacher suggested if Naomi would like to celebrate her birthday together with this boy.
After chatting with this boy's Mom for almost two hours as we both were waiting for the same Gynae, we discovered that we were resting on the bed next to each other at the labour room's recovery area hours after we gave birth to our babies back in September 2012. I never saw this woman's face then as there was a huge curtain separating our beds. She told me that her premature baby (Naomi's friend) came out within 30 minutes of her stay in the labour room. She arrived at the hospital's parking lot with her baby's head already came in between her legs. She believed that her high work pressure at that time had a major play in her a pre-term labour. Next, I mentioned to her that when I was resting in the recovery room that day, I overheard the woman next to my bed talked on the phone in Mandarin about her super quick birth experience, that her baby just came out even before the Gynae arrived. It must be her and she said yes. We both also recalled that we were put in the recovery area longer than usual because no ward was available for us after we delivered our babies. What a small world, you tell me?