Hardening of Uterus at 15 weeks

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I'm in my 15th week of pregnancy with my first child and about a week ago I started getting these really weird sensations in my lower tummy where my uterus is. It started off just a couple times a day and now happens about 7 or 8 times a day (more in the morning when I wake up or change positions throughout the day). I feel a pressure inside so I reach down to touch my tummy and I my uterus is as hard as a rock. It only stays hard for approx. 10 - 15 seconds then relaxes. It is not painful just strange....

I called my doctor's office yesterday and they asked me come in. I met with the NP and she said it is probably just a UTI and sent me for a urine sample. Now I have to wait until Thursday for the results. I have had UTIs pre-pregnancy and I do not have any of the normal symptoms except for frequent urination which I just though came with being pregnant. I drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest...

The NP also said that I am measuring large and could possibly have a small cyst on my uterus. She also suggested possible multiples but we only hear one heart beat.

Friends have suggested Braxton Hicks but 15 weeks seems very early for that.

I have also been getting really bad headaches caused by hormones and the stress of this.

Am I just freaking myself out or could there be something wrong with my baby?

Thank you

ANSWER

Of course I can't say for sure without knowing more of your history and seeing you myself. But you know that stressing yourself out doesn't do you or your baby any good, so I would suggest that you do what you can to trust that everything is ok for now.

I'm not sure why they didn't do a preliminary urine test in the office while you were there. If they did and it was all negative, they could have told you that, and then you would have known that it was unlikely (though not impossible) that the lab would say differently.

As for the size being bigger than would be expected per the dates, the simple solution to that question is an ultrasound. It sounds like you haven't had one already, as you are still not positive that it is just one baby. The most likely possibility that explains what you are feeling is that you are feeling your baby move much earlier than most women.

Are you positive of your dates? Was your last period normal both in length and strength?

I'm sorry I can't be more help, but there are just a lot of questions to ask and as I said, I'd have to see you myself to really reassure you. Good luck!

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.