When I was pregnant with my first child I had a really tough time being pregnant. I felt as if I was constantly in pain, but chalked it up to “pregnancy”. I didn’t know any different.
At 33 weeks I had kidney stones, sending my body into preterm labor. Luckily after 4 days of hospitalized pain management and labor stopping meds, my contractions were stopped and I was able to return home. But, just two short weeks later my water spontaneously broke. (PPROM – preterm premature rupture of membranes).
At just before 35 weeks, I delivered a baby girl via emergency C-section. I was lucky, she was born at 5lbs and spent just one day in NICU. Never having experience with premies, I didn’t know just how lucky I was. In 4 days I was able to go home and bring my baby with me. She had a few typical preemie issues, but overall she was healthy. I look back every day amazed that we were so fortunate she was ready to take on the world at 35 weeks.
When we got home, the next few months were stressful, to say the least. Being a first-time mom and learning the ropes with a preemie was terrifying. While my friends and family lovingly came over to help and visit with us and the new baby, I heard over and over again that I was so lucky I never gotTHATbig or pregnancy wasn’t THAT hard because I never had to carry that long. I tried to stress that hearing these things was hurtful and I would have chosen to carry to 42 weeks if it meant avoiding a preemie, but even now I still hear these comments 3 years later.
So late last year, when I was back at my doctor pregnant with my second and was offered the opportunity to explore the Makena Prescription to prevent pre-term labor, I jumped at the chance. I did some research online and reached out to friends who had taken the drug with their second pregnancies, post preemie. All had good things to say. It seemed to me like a no brainer.
I began taking the Makena Shot at 23 weeks, which is later than typically recommended. Long story short, I was seeing a different doctor who never even mentioned this prescription to me. After a quick out of state move, I found myself going back to the original doctor I saw during my first pregnancy, who made the recommendation to begin the shots immediately. Based on my research, it seems like most doctors recommend starting up the shot around 16 weeks, but can still be beneficial for women who start as late as 26 weeks.
The weekly injections were many things. Without going into too much detail, here is a quick list of what stood out to me after receiving the Makena Shot weekly, right into my glute muscle.
- Weekly shots aren’t that bad.I did have to go to my doctor to have the shot administered and found it wasn’t as much of a pain the in a$$ as I thought it was going to be. On the other hand, I have heard of many women being able to take the prescription home and do it themselves or have someone help.
- Butt shot, right into the muscle. I was not prepared for this when I went to my first injection. Each week, the prescription is injected into your glute muscle. Every week, I alternated getting my shot in the left and right side.
- They take longer to administer than a typical shot or vaccination.This is due to the thick oily solution used in the medication.
- They are more painful than most shots.On most days, I found the Makena Shot site to be painful during and sore after being given the shot. I think, like above this is due to the consistency of the shots themselves. There are a few cases when I received the shot and felt no pain at all. Each shot was administered by the same person, in the same spot on either glute and in the same office. It really did feel random.
- Redness, soreness, bruising, lumps, swelling, and itching.About 3 days after receiving the shot I began to notice all of the above. The injection site was red. Bruising would begin to form and a small knot or lump could be felt. The weirdest reaction I had was the itching. I confirmed with my doctor and midwife that it was not an allergic reaction, but the injections left me so itchy!
The rest of my experience with the shot has been rather mild. I never experienced anything (not mentioned above) that made me concerned about my health or the health of my baby. I received these shots for 13 weeks and ended treatment at 36 weeks.