Bachelorette alum Ali Fedotowsky is opening up about the “extremely terrifying” health scare that left her fearing she was going into labor barely halfway into her pregnancy.
The 33-year-old reality star, who is expecting her second child with husband Kevin Manno, awoke in the middle of the night earlier this week with “sharp pains in my uterus,” she wrote on her blog. She initially dismissed the discomfort to gas and tried to take a bath to relax, but the pangs persisted and started getting worse. They also began coming in regular, contraction-like waves.
“I was absolutely convinced that I was going into labor and was going to have a baby at 26-weeks pregnant,” she said. “In mere seconds I went through scenarios in my brain of spending months in the NICU, or even worse, not having a baby to sit with in the hospital at all. Could this really be happening?”
Fedotowsky said she got into her car to head to the hospital when the pain abruptly stopped — for good. She said the only thing she did was drink some water earlier “so maybe that kicked in? Who knows!”
When she called her doctor later that morning, she was told the contractions were probably from severe dehydration, and that some of the pain may have been from gas.
“It’s embarrassing for me to even say that because the pain I was experiencing was so awful that it seems insane to me that gas could cause something like that. But I think the majority of it came from dehydration,” she wrote. “And yes, I know hydration is super important so I always drink a lot of water, but I had no idea how severe dehydration could actually be just from one day of missing a few glasses of water.”
Fedotwosky initially posted her story to Instagram stories, prompting a flood of comments from women who shared similar experiences.
“I truly couldn’t believe it. Just because I had never heard of this before. When I was pregnant with Molly, I feel like I read every single thing you possibly could about pregnancy,” Fedotwosky wrote on her blog.
She said she shared her story to help other pregnant women, especially those "frantically searching the internet for answers at 2:30 in the morning one night in a similar situation.”
Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an obstetrician and women’s health expert, said Fedotowsky’s experience is typical for many pregnant women. She pointed out that cramping is a normal response to dehydration. For example, she said, runners who fail to get enough fluids often find their muscles seize up from cramps.
“The uterus is a big muscle, so it’s the same type of reaction or symptom you have from dehydration —muscle cramping. The uterus cramps,” she told TODAY.
Shepherd said most people in general fail to drink enough fluids throughout the day, but pregnant women are especially vulnerable.
“The body takes care of baby first, and then mom after, and sometimes that may mean mom may get dehydrated,” she said. “Your hydration requirement is going to increase during pregnancy so it’s important to make sure that you drink more than you did before pregnancy.”
She said water is the best type of fluid and advised keeping sugary drinks, like soda or even juices and sports drinks, to a minimum.