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how will I know?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I know this is ridiculous, but I could use some insight...

With DS I woke up in labor- it went from cramps to back labor quickly. And then I got an epidural at like 4cm. I felt nothing else until I was pushing. I never had Braxton- Hicks either.

So today I've had some cramping (started around 3:30 or 4ish). I've been having contractions irregularly for the last 2 hours or so. I don't know if this is something to keep an eye on or just normal BH contractions. How can I tell the difference?
post #2 of 8
quite honestly, just wait and see.. if they become stronger, closer together, more regular, then it's prob the real thing.. also, if resting doesn't make them go away, or taking a warm bath, chances are it's your time
post #3 of 8
I don't have any personal experience to add - first timer - but this is a neat website to time contractions: http://www.contractionmaster.com/index.html
post #4 of 8
FWIW, with my daughter (who was actually my 2nd birth... I had given birth to a child that was placed for adoption years earlier) I had several days worth of contractions before she was actually born. Sometimes if I took a shower or someone massaged my feet, they'd go away after a while. They were strong and uncomfortable, and I ended up going to the hospital about 2 or 3 times, thinking "this must be it!"

The morning she was born, I was insisting that I wasn't really in labor, that it was just another false alarm like the rest of them had been. After dealing with them for several hours, I took a shower... and they didn't stop! I finally agreed to go to the hospital and discovered that I was dilated to 5cm.

I believe the pre-labor contractions, no matter how long they went on and how frustrating they were, really helped me to have a quick and easy labor when she was born. It was a very different birth experience (for many reasons, of course) and went a whole lot better than the last time.

Are you having a UC or do you have a midwife?
post #5 of 8
Keep us updated please! I am wondering what is going on (I know it is late there) even though you really want baby to wait.
post #6 of 8
Generally...you'll know when your contractions are regular and get closer over time. You're aiming for under 5 minutes apart lasting a minute long to be really in labor (remember, these are generalizations and not necessarily true for all women). However....any real contractions you have at this point are helping to thin your cervix and some dilation, and while you may not have baby right away, your body is working!

With my first I had a full day of contractions 5 minutes apart...but only lasting 20-30 seconds...a FULL DAY! I thought for sure baby was going to come. He came 8 days later, after 20 hours of labor. #2....no day of contractions..6 hours of labor. So it definitely can differ from child to child.

Best birthing wishes!!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Still here. No baby yet. Contractions were 20 minutes apart and lasted 1 minute. Then just stopped around midnight.

DS woke up in the middle of the night with a fever, so I'm glad nothing happened. I'd really like the baby to wait awhile longer before coming, especially with a sick brother being here.

Are you having a UC or do you have a midwife?
I have midwives- and a doula for our homebirth.
post #8 of 8
Generally, if contractions are more than 10 minutes apart OR less than 30 seconds long, you can rest assured that you're not in active labor. I tell clients to start paying attention if they're closer than 10 minutes and last more than 30 seconds, then to call me when they get to 4-7 minutes apart (depending on how far I have to drive to this particular client's house ) and 60 seconds long.
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