Irritable Uterus (Yes, That’s a Thing)

Today I’m writing about something that I didn’t realize existed until this weekend: an irritable uterus. No, I didn’t make that up.

irritable uterus
Image from bloom.life

Update on Me (36ish Weeks Pregnant)

Brief backstory: I am on my third pregnancy. With each of my first two babies, my water broke at home 3ish weeks before my due date. I wasn’t having any contractions either time. But we called up my doctor and were told to head to the hospital, and both times I was admitted right away once rupture of membranes was confirmed. After waiting 2 hours for labor to start on its own (which it didn’t) I was put on Pitocin. Both times I opted for an epidural once I was dilated to about a 5. And both times, within a few hours, I was holding a healthy baby girl.

So here I am on my THIRD baby with zero idea what really going into labor is going to feel like. I’m TERRIFIED of not making it to the hospital in time and having my baby delivered in the passenger seat of my car.

False Alarm

Back at the end of August, when I was 34 weeks to the day, I started having regular tightening that I was pretty sure were contractions. I’d been having one or two of those a day for the past month or more, so I wasn’t too concerned. I went grocery shopping and started feeling more and more of them. None were excruciatingly painful by any means, but a few were uncomfortable to walk through (like really bad period cramps). I got myself home and got in bed with a big bottle of water, but even then, the contractions kept coming until they were about six minutes apart. So we decided we’d better get to the hospital.

We went up to L&D where I was hooked up to a monitor to see what my contractions were doing. Sure enough, I was having some, but they were little and fizzled in regularity as time went on. I was sent home (which was great—I didn’t want my baby to come at 34 weeks if I could help it). The phrase the nurse used was that my uterus was “irritated,” and I was told to stay hydrated and take it easy. As it happens, I was dilated to a 2, but the L&D nurse didn’t seem worried about that either, since apparently that’s not unusual for someone who has already had several babies.

So I’ve been chugging water diligently since that false-alarm visit and have scaled down my workouts. I’ve been attacking an adult coloring book and a biography of of Alexander Hamilton as projects that will keep me off my feet. I’m doing everything “right.” Yet I still have these mild contractions, sometimes as often as every 5 minutes, and sometimes for hours straight, regardless of what I’m doing.

What Is an Irritable Uterus?

I did a bunch of Googling (probably a bad idea, but what pregnant woman doesn’t?) and found that lots of other women out there are told they have an “irritable uterus” too. Blogs and message boards are FULL of women whose experiences sound similar to mine: frequent, uncomfortable but not usually painful contractions that just don’t let up, EVER. Here’s a more authoritative take on it, but really, I didn’t find much that looked like it was from a legit medical authority. I’m glad I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow so I can talk to my OB about it.

irritable uterus
I was extra uncomfortable and bummed over the weekend, so I went out and bought this shirt. Yes, it DID make me feel better. Hehe.

I’ve started just trying to ignore the contractions. At this point I know that I don’t need to run to the hospital for something that’s been going on for weeks and doing nothing. But I hate that I have the occasional ish-painful contraction that both gets my hopes up AND stresses me out. I’m 35 weeks 5 days today, which I know is earlier than ideal for my Scarlett to come. But still, I’m getting big and heartburn-y and tired of being pregnant, and getting SO excited to snuggle a little baby. And I know that though Scarlett really ought to stay put for another 2–3 weeks at least, she’d probably be fine if she came now . . . and that train of thinking gets me so impatient and bummed that I just have to pull out my coloring book and will myself to do anything but fantasize about cuddling a newborn (or envision a horrifying scene of Mark delivering my baby in the passenger seat of our Accord on the shoulder of the freeway).

Irritable. To heck with my uterus being irritable: I’M irritable! And uncomfortable. And confused. And paranoid. And cranky. Really, I just want Scarlett to be born healthy, when the time is right, and in the hospital. I’m sure all those things will happen, but it’s still hard not to worry.


Have any of you been told you have an irritable uterus? Was there anything you did that helped it calm down? Or at least, that helped YOU calm down?

 

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas — Freezer Meal Friday

Happy Freezer Meal Friday! This week went FAST. I guess that’s what happens when Monday is a holiday.

The recipe for this week is Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. These are not even remotely authentic to any culture. Pretty much, these are just comfort food. But since I’ve lightened up the recipe from a much more calorie-laden version I used to make years ago, these come out fairly healthy. And they’re good. So, so good. 🙂

freezer meal friday

Ingredients

21 tortillas (I prefer to buy the ones you cook up at home. If you use uncooked tortillas, make them beforehand but undercook them slightly)

3 lbs chicken breasts

1 jar of your favorite salsa

1 container light sour cream (I don’t care for full-on fat free, but if its taste doesn’t bother you go for it to slash even a little more fat from this recipe)

2 bars Greek cream cheese (THIS STUFF IS AMAZING! Lower fat, higher protein, and still a great taste. Win win win)

1 can 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup

1 small can diced green chile peppers

5ish cups of shredded cheese

Directions

  1. Put your chicken breasts in a slow cooker and cover with a jar of salsa. Cook on low for 6–8 hours, or until chicken shreds easily with a fork.shredded chicken
  2. Make the white sauce by mixing the sour cream, cream cheese, soup, and diced green chilies. If it seems way too thick, thin it out with a little milk.
  3. Pour half of the white sauce over your shredded chicken. Mix together until chicken is moistened.

    creamy chicken enchiladas
    I went a little too sauce-heavy on my filling this time. Oops! Still yummy though.
  4. Distribute chicken filling between your tortillas. Roll them up burrito-style and place into as many foil pans as desired.img_5240
  5. Top the assembled enchiladas with the remaining white sauce.img_5243
  6. If you’re freezing these, you are done for now. Top with foil and pop them in the freezer.chicken enchiladas
  7. On the day you plan to serve these, put them in the oven at 350 for about an hour, or until warmed through. (Note: these do just fine straight from frozen. No need to thaw beforehand unless you want to speed up the warming time by a little).
  8. For the final few minutes in the oven, top the enchiladas with shredded cheese and put your oven on broil. Remove from oven when the cheese is nice and bubbly.

On the Side

I like to do these with a bagged salad from the store as a side. Chips and salsa are great too, especially if I have some fresh fruit or veggies in the fridge to round out the meal a bit more healthily. And of course, one of my go-to sides with a Mexican dish is chopped bell pepper alongside cooked black beans topped with salsa and cilantro. YUM.

Nutritional Info

These numbers are per enchilada (the recipe makes 21).

Calories: 371 | Fat: 17g | Carbs: 29g | Protein: 26g