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Nobody get excited

Still pregnant, no indications that will change in the immediate future. My water did not break in front of the Hotty Pediatrician after all, although he did offer to deliver the baby should an urgent need arise while we sat there discussing poop.

Anyway, are you guys up for a stupid question? Because I am going to ask a stupid question and I would appreciate non-mocking answers on the grounds that I am hugely pregnant and cranky and likely to cut you if you piss me off. Here it goes: How do you know if you are having contractions?

Stop laughing at me. I had lots of contractions in the middle part of this pregnancy, but lately not so much. At least, I think not so much. What I am having a lot of is the feeling that a rather large fetus is stretching out as much as he possibly can and shoving me around quite strongly in the process. But then it occurred to me that this "stretching" tends to be a constant pressure that is usually a bit uncomfortable and sometimes even slightly painful and that it feels nothing at all like the fetus kicking and sometimes recurs every few minutes for a while and I can occasionally feel him moving during the process and I thought um, duh... are these actually contractions? I mean, not labor-indicating, baby-producing contractions which are universally agreed upon to hurt like the dickens, but contractions all the same?

Don't be rude to me. I never had any contractions with Mia, so this is all new to me.

(Chill out people, I do not think I am in labor at all, not in the slightest. Just trying to figure out what to tell the OB tomorrow when she asks if I'm having any contractions.)

Comments (75)

Hmm... Sounds like you are having some "Braxton Hicks" contractions, I've been getting them for a few months now.. Not super pleasant, but sadly, not super helpful in "the process" either, sorry. Good luck though, take it as a sign that actual real contractions are maybe on their way???

Okay,with my first, I was having "contractions" at 33 weeks and was put on bedrest. They were "uncomfortable" and felt like cramps, but tolarable at that. When I ended up 15 days late at the end of that pregnancy, they induced me to try and get the buggar out. The contractions I had following the induction were so unbelieveably out of control painful, there was absolutely no doubt. WHen I went to the hospital, I was in labor, major labor, but hadn't dilated an ounch and my water hadn't broke. So, the moral of this is, I pretty much have no answer for you. If you are having pain and/or pressure, they are timeable and reoccuring, I'd say you are having contractions. When they get to timing the apporpiate distance apart...for the amount of time...blah, blah, blah, go to the hospital girl! Good luck. Have that beautiful boy soon.

Don't feel bad. I've had three and I was sent home with the third when I SWORE I was in labor. So even if you had had them the first time - it's no guarantee you'd remember anyway. BUT, when I did have them (and when they let me stay in the hospital), they started in my back and came around the front of my very huge belly and they hurt in a nasty period pain kind of way. Good luck - it's really not so bad. Promise!

It's a good question and I remember someone telling me, "Oh, you'll know." And I thought, "Thanks, bitch. That's not helpful."

But, seriously, I did know. I thought, "Ohhhhh. Ok. That's what they're talking about."

I mean, that is to say only if you go into labor like I did - and everyone knows that everyone is different.

Can you talk through them? Breathe? Do they take your breath away? Are they regularly timed? Does your stomach got rock hard?

You know what, just call me, we will chat, I'm sitting here knitting.

Mine sort of felt like period-like cramps but I didn't really notice them because of the fluid leaking out of me that I thought was my water breaking. We went to the hospital, and they were still coming, but I don't think I noticed them because I was so freaked out that we were going to the hospital to have a baby. They proceeded to get stronger and more intense and radiating from my back. I guess it's really the frequency and duration that matters here.

It sounds like they COULD be contractions. My labor started out in a similar fashion. I wasn't sure, I started trying to time them and it SEEMED like they were coming every 8 minutes or so but then there would be, like, a 12 minute interval of nothing. And then. And THEN, about 5 hours later I had to double over or sit down when I had a contraction and I was needing to breathe through them. So what you are feeling very well COULD be real, honest-to-goodness contractions. And all this typing I've just done still means nothing because, like some others have said (and I feel like an ass, but it's true) YOU'LL KNOW.

Please don't cut me!

With my second baby, I was in labor for 4 hours before I even realized it. I thought I had really bad gas. This was on my due date, by the way. Every 5 minutes or so, I'd have a mildly uncomfortable feeling that would last about a minute or so. No big deal. So I just lay there going "if I have one more pain, I'll say something to someone".

After about 4 hours of that, I went to pee and BAM! excruciating pain. Like holyf*ck this hurts. I said to my husband "honey, i think it's time" and we called the doctor before racing to the hospital.

Husband dropped me off at the door to the ER. They were dubious since they are used to false alarm labor - especially ON the due date so they checked me out. I was dilated to a full 10 freaking cm and fully effaced!! I do not lie. I gave birth 20 minutes later to a 7lb 7 oz girl. Doctor wasn't there. Husband had barely finished parking the car. Etc. If I had waited 20 more minutes, I probably would have given birth in the car.

The beauty of easy and short labor - no drugs and no side effects. I was running marathons about 2.5 days later, too.

But I'm sure you're not in actual labor. ;)

I had something like that for a few hours. Couldn't really sleep because of the tightening or pressure but didn't imagine I was in labour. Imagine my surprise when my water broke!

I'm thinking those are contractions and Wally will soon arrive. Also, has he been quiet today? Mine all rested up before the main event.

I didn't have anything other than Braxton Hicks until after my water broke. Then the contractions felt like period cramps. Period cramps on steroids, mind you, but the same general sensation. It hurt, but not that bad for awhile, certainly tolerable. Until you are at the hospital being wheeled upstairs to L&D by a moron who backs the wheelchair into the doorway of the elevator during a contraction, now that hurts. By the time my contractions got enough to make me worry if I could handle the pain (I'm a wuss) I had an epidural and all was well.

Good luck! Come on Wally!!!

Sounds like either BH contractions or very early labour. I had so many BH contractions (they lasted for weeks and were strong enough to be timed) that I only figured out I was in labour a few hours before each baby was born.

The day before I had my first child I had Braxton Hicks contractions. There was no pain but a lot of thightening. My mom and sister walked the neighborhood with me and I woke up in lobor the next morning. I pretty much felt the same but there was cramping too. Mine started in the back and moved to the front. So when you think you are having them see if your abdomen is hard to the touch. You will feel the diff.
I hope it's soon. I picked Feb 7th!!!
So go for a walk and have that baby already! I can't wait to see him :o)

Friends have told me it feels like bad indigestion.

Mine started out like period-ish cramps and then steadily got worse after all the tricks didn't make them go away - I went to the bathroom (not to be gross but both ways...) I drank cold water, I ate and nothing worked. They were very tolerable but it was the regularity that made me think, "Well.... maybe...." And then as they got a bit worse, there was definite pressure on my cervix through every contraction. That's when I knew.

I know that you are sorry that my OB nurse self ever found you. But I will answer your question anyway.

Most likely you are having 'some' contractions. When the resident of your uterus gets to be large, you have those just because you're all stretched out.

How to tell if you are having 'labor' type contractions? If you notice that you are hurting on a fairly regular basis, lay down and have some water. Walking around WILL increase your contractions, but if they space out once you settle down, then it isn't really labor - those contractions will continue regardless. Labor contractions will get closer together, and start to hurt more. Everyone has a different pain tolerance, but if you aren't having to stop/pause what you are doing to catch your breath, then they probably don't qualify as a 'strong' contraction. Or, you can feel them - put your hand on the top of your uterus, at the strongest point of the contraction, the top of it will feel like your forehead, and will then get softer again as the contraction subsides.

And now I will stop blabbering on about contractions and labor. But I will cross my fingers that you get to try it out, just for the experience!

I haven't ready thru all of your comments, sorry if this is repeat. I would suggest timing them. My early labor contractions felt just like the BH contractions I had been having for weeks so the stopwatch was my friend. But once my water broke with by 2nd pregnancy they started progressing much faster and in that "ooh, hold onto the counter" kind of way. I think you will be heading to the hospital very soon!

My labor and delivery experiences have been so bizarre, you know I have nothing to add here that you couldn't Google. But I am curious to hear how Mia's visit went today. I hope you guys figured out a plan to help her out!

I second what some of the others have said. When they were for real, they felt like period cramps that were regularly timed. Like one of the other commenters, I had some fluid leaking that I thought might be from my water breaking so we headed to the hospital and I realized in the car on the way that I was actually having contractions. Turns out my water hadn't broken but the contractions got much more intense and closer and then there was definitely no mistaking it!

Sounds more like Braxton Hicks to me, but don't despair. I had talked myself out of believing I was ever going to have a real labor pain and then it sort of hit me, like Holy Shit, that really hurt! Then I kinda knew!

I'm de-lurking here to share my TMI labor story because my contractions were not like anything I'd ever heard of before and I had no clue that's what they were. They didn't feel like period cramps; they felt like I had to go poop. For the entire evening of my due date, I kept feeling like I had to use the bathroom, so I'd sit there and wait and wait and wait. Nothing. Then I noticed that I was going to the bathroom every 8 minutes, then every 7 minutes, etc. When my mucus plug fell out and I doubled over in pain, I knew it was the real thing. My contractions felt the same with baby #2. I'm the only person I've ever known whose contractions felt like this and I just thought I'd share just in case you had similar issues. Not likely, based on all the labor stories above, but I figured it couldn't hurt. Best wishes!

For me, early contractions felt more like a tightening of my belly. They were not particularly painful, but I could actually see my tummy get harder at the same time as the discomfort.

I don't think it is a stupid question at all; late pregnancy brings all sorts of aches and pains and, if you've never felt them before, how are you SUPPOSED to know for certain??

That is exactly how I would describe early contractions from both my pregnancies, stretching.

I'm going with Contractions. Possibly BH. Does your tummy feel tight like a drum during them?

That is how my contractions started with my middle one. They didn't feel anything like with my first. They were like I had really bad back cramps. I had my membranes stripped by the ob a day or two before and that helped speed things along. I practically ran through our neighborhood with my husband to get the contractions to increase.

With my daughter (1 week late) I had contractions, but did not know at first. After a while they were hard to ignore.

When it catches your breath and it feels like there's a giant rock in your gut, that's business!

Contractions sort of, well, grow. They start in one place and move, whether that be front to back or top to bottom or side to side. PRAY for not front to back.

Contractions also peak. They start out feeling one way and end up another.

Real, true, labory contractions will not lessen if you lie down. So, if you start having them, lie down. And wait. You might have to wait, like, an HOUR, but wait. If they continue and get closer together, that's a contraction.

Do not worry about the pain factor. Some people (not me) never feel pain. Just watch for consistent, smooth-flowing sensations. THAT'S labor.

Good luck, sister.

PS, I'm with Sunshine up there. I got sent home with my THIRD. Don't be embarrassed to ask. :)

what you described is exactly what i felt in the days leading up to the delivery of my son. and i too asked, "are these contractions??" and i too felt a little silly asking. i mean, we're women, right? we should know! ha!

I have my fingers and toes crossed for you...when i went to see my OB on my 39th week appt. he did the internal exam, said he rubbed the membranes to 'weaken' them and that he would see me the next day...and it worked. But im tellin ya, some raspberry tea, foot massage and some foreplay might just 'due' the trick. Get it? My little play on words, its funny. I mean it might not be funny because your the one who is really pregnant and uncomfortable, but you'll see, down the road. Its funny.

I agree with everybody else in that they're probably Braxton-Hicks--you feel them, but they're mainly annoying.

The only other contractions that I had before waking at 4am with CONTRACTIONS (and maybe I'm just the oddball, but the serious contractions felt more like I had eaten something that didn't agree with me and needed to make it to the bathroom STAT) were the day before Owen was born--the Dr. had done a more vigorous check than usual and we went to Target right after the appointment where I kept having contractions all around the store. They didn't really hurt, but I had to stop and just kind of breathe through them--definitely different than the Braxton-Hicks.

And sorry if this is way TMI, but uh, if you find that you're um...outputting more #2 than usual, that can be a sign that you're on your way (totally happened to me the day before Owen was born--I was all, "Great, just what I need in addition to feeling like a beached whale"). For some (lucky) women, everything cleans itself out before labor.

Good luck and hopefully Wally decides to come on out soon.

Well, I asked my friend once and she told me that it was like killer period cramps. She and I get them in a bad way, and she said it wasn't worse ! I was pretty excited about that. Not helpful ? Sorry Beth. Good luck !

I never had period cramps before getting pregnant, but I would agree that that must be what contractions felt like, but, hopefully worse than a period, cuz man, that would suck to have such awful cramps every month!. With Little Man, I thought i had consumed too much cheese at the melting pot the night before and was constipated (also had never been constipated). We were out running errands and i would have to stop and my cramp would come and go and I would continue with the errands. They never really hurt badly, i could always talk through them at that point. Finally (6 hours later), when I felt a little water (which i found out was pee, awesome) I called... "just to make sure" i wasn't in labor. She had me come in and low and behold... labor with real contractions. Yes, i am that stupid. I don't know what i expected, but I didn't think it would feel like it did. my belly didn't really feel tight or anything - it was all internal. Once i got to the hospital, they started becoming regular and everything else you hear about. With Squeaker, I knew what they were right away... and, i had an appointment that morning, luckily so they could monitor me right there.

I never had period cramps before getting pregnant, but I would agree that that must be what contractions felt like, but, hopefully worse than a period, cuz man, that would suck to have such awful cramps every month!. With Little Man, I thought i had consumed too much cheese at the melting pot the night before and was constipated (also had never been constipated). We were out running errands and i would have to stop and my cramp would come and go and I would continue with the errands. They never really hurt badly, i could always talk through them at that point. Finally (6 hours later), when I felt a little water (which i found out was pee, awesome) I called... "just to make sure" i wasn't in labor. She had me come in and low and behold... labor with real contractions. Yes, i am that stupid. I don't know what i expected, but I didn't think it would feel like it did. my belly didn't really feel tight or anything - it was all internal. Once i got to the hospital, they started becoming regular and everything else you hear about. With Squeaker, I knew what they were right away... and, i had an appointment that morning, luckily so they could monitor me right there.

(said in a calm and whispery voice) At the end I remember all my sons doing what you're describing. Sometimes their intense stretching did produce a contraction. Other times...just a really big head or baby butt ballooning oddly from one side of my abdomen. Maybe if you come and take a looke at the picture of Henry Ian Cusick on my blog it might spur labor some. I don't think Clive Owen is pulling his weight all that much in this department.

Yep, I agree that it sounds like Braxton Hicks. I got those all the time with Kate and am already noticing them with this pregnancy. I noticed they came most when I was on my feet too long, walking too fast, dehydrated or if I had a full bladder.

When my "real" contractions started I had what felt like bad menstrual cramps for a couple of days - pretty constant. Then in the middle of the night they got worse and started coming and going. Still took me a surprisingly long time to register that it was labor.

Ok, I second Jana's TMI labour story above. I woke up at 3am wondering what the hell I'd eaten. After a while I noticed this was happening every 7 minutes. For me, the pain was mostly in my back. I was at 41 weeks, and yet it still took me a couple of hours to figure it out!

Don't feel stupid. It can be hard to tell, especially at the beginning. And even if labour has begun, if you're "only" getting contractions and they're mild, they can stop even though it's *real* labour.

Labour pains are regular (not necessarily at first, and they're approximately regular, not regular to the second) and may feel like squeezing/bearing down. However, when I was in labour with my son, all the way through, I only felt pain. I didn't feel like he was being squeezed or pushed down, and I never had the urge to push; I only pushed because I knew I had to and I WANTED LABOUR TO END RIGHT NOW GODDAMMIT.

Also, you can have Braxton Hicks contractions, which are "practice" contractions. I had them with my daughter (my second kid) and they felt like real contractions, and when I actually went into labour with her, the contractions felt like the Braxton Hicks contractions (except stronger).

Basically, contractions are regular and get increasingly stronger. If your waters break then it's almost definitely full on labour even if you don't have much by way of contractions yet. If you're worried about yours, do see someone though because you might be in genuine labour but your body needs help to get the labour to advance.

When I started having contractions with my son we went to the hospital. They checked me out and basically said yes, you're in labour, but go home, come back if it gets worse. They weren't sure if labour would continue - it was very mild to begin with and didn't advance for a while (I was in labour for 3 days, FUN FUN FUN!!)

At least you're not early, which I know is a mixed blessing. ::g:: julia.typepad.com had contractions with her twins for weeks and weeks and had to go on bed rest with a home contraction monitor.

Anyway. You're not stupid or ignorant. It's confusing. When you're in full on labour, you'll *know*, but you're perfectly justified in not knowing now whether you're in very early labour, or having Braxton Hicks contractions, or not really having anything.

My thinking is that you had Braxton-Hicks during the middle of your pregnancy and you pretty-much know what they feel like. Since you haven't had much in the way of cramping over the past few months and if this is a new, sort of different "feeling"... it could be the start of early labor, which kinda sucks! It sucks because I don't care if its early, middle, late or middle-eastern labor, if I'M IN LABOR, regardless of the type, I should be in the hospital and someone should be doing something instead of saying "oh pfft.. that's just early labor".

On the other hand, early labor does eventually turn into some very urgent labor. I'll be keeping my finger's crossed for ya!

Take heart, though. Labor doesn't always start out really crampy and uncomfortable. Despite my water breaking in Target, I had no cramping prior to that event, nor did I have anything even remotely uncomfortable for a while afterward... and I was clearly in labor. I was having contractions, but they didn't start out painful. Seven hours later, we had a baby!

Just look for regularity between contractions. Three minutes, five minutes, eight minutes.. whatever, but they should be fairly consistent intervals in between. It will look something like this when you time them..

10:30 PM
10:37 PM
10:43 PM
10:50 PM
10:57 PM
11:03 PM
11:10 PM
11:18 PM
11:24 PM
11:31 PM
11:38 PM
11:44 PM
etc...

They aren't all exactly 7 minutes apart, but in the same ballpark and you have an established pattern of regularity. After a few hours of regular contractions, I'd make some phone calls and head out the door.

i am in absolute awe. the internets are so full of knowledge and insight. ask and ye shall receive.

I found that Braxton Hicks felt like a tightenting where I just had to stand still for a moment and then it would pass (this is at the end while huge). But the real things were kind of like an aching back or gas pains at first. I realized they were contractions when they moved to more regular and more on and off.

Sounds like you've been having some Braxton Hicks contractions -we pretty much all get those in the weeks prior to delivery.

MY contractions were of the super bad period cramps variety at first and then got so bad that if I could have reached past my belly I'd have done my own hysterectomy. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure you'll know once it's happening. The big time contractions are so hard that you won't really be able to think about or do anything else while they're happening. If I were you, I'd remind my OB that I'd never experienced contractions and let her tell you what to expect.

I thought I ate something bad, both times before I went into labor. Beginning contractions for me were more like menstruation cramps than Braxton Hicks.

They feel like really, really bad menstrual cramps....mine started immediately after my water broke, and were at 5 minutes apart right from that point. (exactly when you should be going to the hospital!)

Don't worry- you'll know when you're having them.....
I was doubled-over at first because I'm not used to having cramps at all!!!

Good luck with #2! I'm having my 2nd in June, and look forward to reading about your first few months with two kids! :)

Ummm, yeah. I don't think I'll be much help here. We were at the hospital, I was hooked up to the monitor and my husband said "you know, every few minutes this printout spikes way up there and then goes back to normal". I am ashamed to say I still had no clue because I wasn't feeling anything at all. The nurse came back into the room and pronounced me contracting. Still felt nothing.

ok, don't have time to read all the comments, so I maybe hopelessly repeating info, but for me the difference between branston hicks and 'real'contractions in all 5 preganancies and births was this -

'real' contractions have a definite creshendo, peak and diminuendo, particularly at the begining before they get really really intense and you're pushing the darn thing out.

branston hicks I have as a burst of pain, no real build up or let down. I hate these more than real contractions!

oh, and mine start off feeling periody too. Just like the whole inside of me is crunching, or contracting, indeed!

if you can talk/type/look after Mia pretty much through them, then whatever they are nothing much is going to happen for a while. If you're breathing through them and thinking 'you know, this hurts but I am strong, I am woman, my body is awesome, I can do this' then ditto - nothing much will happen for ages.

If you have to check out of life for 5 mins and are oblivious to everything else during them, then you might need to start making calls...

I think if I were you, I would tell the doctor exactly what you wrote there, just so she knows what's what. Those sound like contractions to me. My actual labor contractions felt like gas pains (worse than that, but that kind of sensation).

I know nothing about labor or contractions.

I just wanted to say that I bet the hottie pedi offered to deliver if necessary just so he could get a look at your goods. He wants you too but knows it is inappropriate so he couches in medical speak.

That sounds a lot like the contractions that I was having for the 2 weeks leading up to my scheduled C-section. Since I never actually went into labor, I can't offer much advice there, but I do know that I had those contractions pretty much constantly and I would go to L&D, they would check me out and then send me home and tell me to come back if they progressed, and after contracting for a few more days I would go back again and they would tell me the same thing. My point? I'm not sure. But I would talk to your OB.

For me it just felt like a really bad menstrual cramp. Like, one that could not be missed.

All I remember about contractions are from an induced state and the 1st of those practically knocked me down in the hallway of the hospital as I "went for a walk". I white knuckled my husband and the railing, could not breath and they came with some regularity from that point on. I suppose a better way to put it - you will know you are having real contraction when they happen is what I am trying to say.

Okay, seriously I want to delete what I just wrote 'cause I do not want to scare you... It is just intense is mostly what I am saying and you will know. SO LAME. Going now.

Those could be contractions and likely Braxton-Hicks. I never had contractions until they induced me with my first, but with the twins I did. I really just felt uncomfortable for hours until I made the connection that they were indeed contractions. I didn't realize they were 5 minutes apart until we were on our way to the L & D. Three hours later they were cutting me open.

Don't think I was much help there. Sorry. I promise, Wally won't stay in there forever although I know it feels as such.

I have no advice, adopted my kids, but I love that all these women have described so well their contractions I feel like I know what I missed. LOL! Good Luck!!! I hope this is it!!! I will be thinking about you.

I remember going to the hospital thinking I was in labor and was just having mild contractions so they sent me home.

When I had the real ones I just knew. Something just didn't feel right, I couldn't sleep, and they kept coming quicker and quicker, by then I knew what was up.

Then I got to go through the whole labor and pushing and almost having him and ended up with an emergency c-section.

I'll tell you what Jen told me. About every 15 minutes, she felt cramping, then it would slowly subside. That happened for a good 8-10 hours until they became noticeably (to me) uncomfortable. Shortly after that (very shortly for us), they were very painful.

Nothing to feel stupid about. I didn't know I was in labor with my second until my water broke. And she was born an hour later--not to freak you out or anything. It sounds like you might be having some contractions. Mine were all in my back, that is why I had a hard time recognizing them. I'm sure when you explain what you are feeling to your OB she will understand.

Sounds like contractions. They don't always have to hurt, especially in the beginning. I'll grant that I have a high tolerance to pain, but mine didn't hurt until they were at least 3min apart. I felt my BH contraction throughout my 2nd pregnancy (annoying little buggers!), but I'd think that since you're so close to your due date these are less the "practice" contractions and more the "warm-up" contractions.
Keep an eye on timing, more than severity. With #1 I waited til the severity was "too much to bear" and barely made it to the hospital in time.

just read all the other comments. i've got nuthin' new to say! LOL.... :)

good luck!

Beth, this is not a stupid question at all.

The day before I was due with Daya, I walked around NYC for a while, went to my midwife ppt and had a non-stress test where she said I was contracting every 5 mins, walked arund NYC some more, and STILL did not know I was in labor. One of the reasons was because my contrax never wrapped around from the back- they were only in front. (Turns out I was in back labor)

Labor hurts like a big fat bitch, I don't mean to scare you but it really does.

You are in go-to-the-hospital labor when you are contracting every 5 mins and it hurts so much you cannot breathe, walk, or talk during the cramps.

Yeah, sounds like some contractions, even if just Braxton-Hicks. (I didn't take the time to read the previous 59 comments, so I'm sure this isn't new information.). Some people describe those contractions as the baby "all balling up". The uterus tightens and pulls up when it contracts, so it can feel like little baby bottom suddenly all over the place. Then...menstrual cramps. THat's when it's really happening.

The exact reason, I had a planned c-section. I really didn't want to have to a. experience any pain, and b. I didn't want to have to play the guessing game.

That said, I did have some pre-term contractions at about 27 weeks and also at 35 weeks, and people all say, "you'll know." And they were right, because I only have three words: "OW, mother fucker." They were definitely different than braxton hicks and just plain ol' tightening.

Don't know if this helps, but mine were all different. With #1 I woke up in the midddle of the night thinking I needed to go to the bathroom really bad. Like BAD stomach cramps you would get before having diarrhea (sorry, gross) but it was the exact same feeling. #2 was ALL back labor. Awful pain in my lower back that radiated to my sides. #3 was a combo of both and the whole deal lasted only a few hours, so I don't recall much. Just searing hot pain that made me want to die. GOOD LUCK! WE LOVE YA!

Like really strong (and getting stronger) gas pains. And people kept telling me "you'll know- I swear!" But, dude, I was in labor for 4 hours before I was sure it was that and not just that I really had to poop. The midwives were shocked that I had waited so long. So, you may not know at first, but eventually it's unmistakable!

But I never had Braxton-Hicks, so I can't compare.

With my first child, I started feeling something weird (right after I ate a whole pepperoni pizza). I kept checking the time when I felt something and eventually decided to call the doctor. My water hadn't broken, so they didn't hurt at all.

I remember thinking that it just felt like mild menstrual cramps until they broke my water...then boy howdy those fuc...

...I mean, it doesn't hurt at all! Don't worry!

If you feel like you have to poop, and you go to the bathroom and try and everything goes grey, you don't have to poop. It is a contraction.

Do not feel stupid! With my first baby I felt uncomfortable, went to the bathroom and all the signs pointed to THIS IS IT. I woke my husband up, told him to get ready while I took a shower. I needed to shave my legs!
With my second baby it was the middle of the night, and I just felt like I had gas pains. I kept waking up, feeling bad. After awhile I thought maybe this was labor. It was. I had the baby 16 mins after I got to the hospital.
No one can really tell you what any of it is going to feel like. Some women scream their heads off. Others like me, chose not to scream so that the nurses would like me.
I picked yesterday for the due date. I bet you have it before the weekend is over.
Good Luck!

Sounds like Braxton Hicks or very light contractions. I had light contractions with both boys, but I was induced with both soon after the light ones started. They were almost painless, just felt like my belly was tight. Then the evil pitocin made my life heck, and contractions that felt like I was going to split in 2 started. Pitocin will do that though.

Might call the OB just to make sure, but it sounds kinda promising! Just remember that if you can't talk through it, that's when you need to head to the hospital.

Good Luck- are you in labor as we speak (er...type)? 2 c-sections here- 18 months apart. I'vee always wondered what the Vback thing is like...hope you tell as all the gooey details ;-)

Sending peaceful and hopeful thoughts your way!

I think you have all the right advise here, I just had to throw in that my contractions also made me feel like I had to take a poop! Its just all the pressure...you are not alone. Lets not even cover the fact that you actually can (and a lot do) actually poop when in labor. With both girls my labor started in my back...that was not fun. I would rather they not start there, its like car accident pain until it moves around!
Also - I KNOW this sounds ridiculous and you are really just wanting some exit only action down there, but having sex really does get labor going if you think you are starting to get close! :) Come on Wally!

Lordy! Lot's of advice already so I'm just going to tell you to pay attention to the pressure! My contractions with Lady were quite obviously contractions. Quite painful. But my contractions with Mister started out as odd aching pains that I thought for sure was a sign of an impending bladder infection. Then I started feeling pressure with the pain and I realized they were contractions.

Based on the timing, I'd call your OB just to give them a heads up. Hoorah!!!

You DON'T know what a contraction is?? ;) KIDDING! It's kind of hard to tell, yeah. Sometimes, they're so mild, you barely feel them. This time around, I didn't feel contractions till after my water broke, really.... They're kind of like waves of period-type pain. Crescendos. You might not know, and that's okay. :)

I am prego with my 3rd, but never "went" into labor..I was induced with the 2 before, so I only know the full fledge contractions during labor..But I was told if you change positions and you are still in pain its a real contractions..If you change positions and they go away, they are fake...

I didn't read all that because i'm lazy and should be working and instead I'm tuned in hoping you popped during the night.

My humble opinion is- Yes. Those are contractions and while they may not be the big production, they are dilating and effacing your cervix. See, I don't get to write that word every day.

Well, anyway, with my last two kids all that 'pre labor' labor made the actual birth go by a lot quicker because part of the work already done. (Started real labor 2-3 cm and mostly effaced)Pushing is at 9-10 cm and completely effaced.

I should tell ya, that I had 'pre labor' for a month with my last two. Not every day and not consistent, a certain few minutes apart, but enough that I knew something was going on. (and it didn't really hurt, just felt 'tight'.)

Lucky you no contractions with the first one! I am jealous!

my first pregnancy i felt great. so great that i bragged about it incessantly, and people felt compelled to tell me that DON'T WORRY - IT WILL GET SUCKY FOR YOU!!!! JUST WAIT TILL THE LAST MONTH!!!!.....
So....one day I felt like crap. I hadn't slept the night before, i had a nasty backache, and was all around not right. i realized, oh THIS is what they were talking about...THIS is the first day of the last month of pregnancy!!!
AHA!! I got it!

But actually, no. I was in labor and had her the next morning, one month early.

hahahahahaha on me!!!


but you?????? no....i am SURE you are not in labor.......

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