How did you know when labor started? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 03-24-2009, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I read a lot of birth stories and they usually go, "Labor started at X time....etc..." but that's it! I know that the beginning stages of labor can be different for everyone and the signs the books tell you to look for aren't always there. (MIL's cousin had overwhelming back pain all day...turned out she was in labor and barely made it to the hospital. She kept waiting for the "textbook" signs)

So, what was YOUR first sign?

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#2 of 22 Old 03-24-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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Looking back I would say my first sign was emptying my stools the day before. However, I didn't think much of it. So the day of labor my first sign was a contraction followed by my bloody show.
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#3 of 22 Old 03-24-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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#1, #3, #4, #6, #7 water broke or was broken

#2 I was at a movie with dh and noticed regular contractions. Never got stronger or went away. But I figured it would be soon. When I woke up they were still there. So I figured I was in labor. Even though it didn't hurt (yet)

#5 - I was off. In my own world. didn't want to eat. But wasn't having contractions. I cried and cried and cried (cause I was WAY past due). And In the midst of crying felt a contraction. Went to the bathroom and felt another one. Then another one on the way out. So they started out 2 min apart about.

I'm not much help. My water always breaks first lol. When my mother had her 6th she told me she was in labor cause her legs ached. I was like, Um, thats not where contractions are supposed to hurt lol.

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#4 of 22 Old 03-24-2009, 05:06 PM
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It hurt like hell and I had bloody show.
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#5 of 22 Old 03-24-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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I had a false start a week before I really went into labor. It was an aweful intense cramp that woke me out of a dead sleep and made me run to the bathroom and empty my bowels. Then they kept coming but eventually petered out. A week later they started up ever so gently......I hardly even noticed and so I went to bed and when they woke me up several hours later and started to get uncomfortable I knew that was it.

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#6 of 22 Old 03-24-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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Both times I have been woken up early in the morning with painful contractions. With DD1, I had the tiniest bit of bloody show, nothing with DD2, no diarrhea, my water doesn't break until I start pushing. The only sign are contractions which feel very different to me then the regular, uncomfortable BH I get constantly. And interestingly, both labors my contractions have started off at 6-7 minutes apart, I don't have fast labors though, just contractions at that interval for hours.

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#7 of 22 Old 03-24-2009, 10:02 PM
 
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I had a lot of the classic signs:

1) strong, sharp, regular intense contractions that I *had* to lean over a counter and wiggle my hips through
2) bloody show
3) diarrhea

That said, it was my first baby and I didn't want to get all excited about nothing just in case things slowed down or stopped, so I did the first half of my labor (from about 1 am - 6:30 am) by myself and didn't mentally admit to myself that this was the "real deal." Then when it was light out, I woke dh up and told him "I think I might be in labor." Within an hour, I was definitely committed to believing it was the real deal. My baby was born around 11:30 am.

Retrospectively, I was in active labor the whole time, but I didn't want to admit it to myself just in case I was getting overly excited too soon. Denial is a wonderful thing in labor!
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#8 of 22 Old 03-24-2009, 11:09 PM
 
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oh my... I think everyoen just classifies it differently. some think labour starts when one is dilated to a certian cm. some say it's when you can't talk through contractions, andsome say it's when you just "know" you're in labour. but it wasn't that way for me either time.

I think for the vast majority it's a gradual thing. some though do have sudden labours... it's just a little unusual.

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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#9 of 22 Old 03-24-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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Im not even sure when mine 'started' I had period style cramps for about 3 days and they gradually increased in intensity. I started these 'cramps' on Sunday, and DS wasnt born until Thursday. The hideous unmistakable pain started about 10hrs before he was born, so maybe that was when labour 'started' I dunno

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#10 of 22 Old 03-25-2009, 01:12 AM
 
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Obviously this wouldn't work for everyone but I had more than three contractions in a row Up until that point, three was my record and it happened several days before that while I was falling asleep one night.

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#11 of 22 Old 03-25-2009, 01:51 AM
 
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I started having progressively stronger tightening and lifting sensations in my abdomen. It was 11 pm and I had been asleep. After an hour or so, I felt like I wanted to get up and take a shower. When I got out I told dh that I thought it was baby time. She was born at 4:09 a.m.

That was my second baby. My first was induced, so I didn't really know what it would be like. My later babies started the same way--contractions/tightening that got progressively longer, stronger, and closer together.

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#12 of 22 Old 03-25-2009, 04:27 AM
 
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My water broke with some light labor but as a midwifery student and doula I knew that wasn't it.

I count it really starting after dinner. I had to drop to my knees, I got upset about the contractions and I no longer could talk through them. That was 20 hours after water broke, he was born 12 hours after that :
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#13 of 22 Old 03-25-2009, 05:35 AM
 
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With the first, my water broke....the second & third, my cx changed and woke me up through the night and had them the next night after that (long labors)...the third, I stood up from the toilet and my mucous plug landed on my foot LOLOL...then am pretty sure I was leaking that day/eve until I woke up the next morning sure it was labour!

It is true that for nearly everyone, there will come a point when you'll know!!

Cindy, loving wife of 15 years
homeschooling mama to 4 wonderful girls, and 1 boy!  praying for #6, sch, due 4/14/2013!

 

 

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#14 of 22 Old 03-25-2009, 09:03 AM
 
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I had bloody show and very mild, regular contractions. Of course I didn't actually think I was in labor (because I thought it would be more painful), even while heading to the hospital! I just went because my husband was getting nervous and the contractions were a few minutes apart.
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#15 of 22 Old 03-25-2009, 10:48 AM
 
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I had mild, crampy contractions for 13 hours before I consider labor to have started. I had bloody show for a few days leading up to that. I don't consider those contractions labor because they were more mild than period cramps and VERY irregular - everywhere from 2 to 20 minutes apart, with no pattern at all and not progressing. It was a nice heads-up that labor would start soon though! So I went to lunch and got my nails done.

I consider labor to have started when they *changed*. It's hard to describe. I had stopped timing the pre-labor contractions b/c my midwife told me to stop thinking about them and relax, but then after I took a bath, they sort of switched gears and got stronger, so I started writing them down again - they started at about 10 minutes apart and were fairly regular, progressive, and stronger, so that's how I knew it was REAL labor. I never had a VE, so I have no idea what dilation I was at at any point during labor. But I'm fairly sure I could have guessed, since there was a point when I could no longer do other things and had to focus on the contractions, so I'm guessing that was active labor. Then there was the point where I couldn't deal at all and was losing my ability to cope, and I'm pretty sure that was transition!

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#16 of 22 Old 03-25-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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Well I felt pretty crappy the day before, and kept telling DHI felt really "weird". I actually think that my taking a bath to relax stalled my labor.

Funny thing the next day I woke up and felt fantastic and made breakfast and asked DH what we were going to do that day. Watched a Seahawks game and my BFF called and asked what was going on. I told her this baby was never going to come(I was a week late). Then this little *pop* happened and my water broke. I even said, "huh that was weird" and my fried said "what?" I said I think my water just broke, stood up and sure enough yeah it did. DH jumped off the couch so fast I have never seen him move that fast, he was like the Flash or something. That was that.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#17 of 22 Old 03-25-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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With DD I had SO much early labour. It would start, and stop after 2-5 hours. This happened around a dozen times. SO TIRING! I had my membranes stripped TWICE around 42 weeks. The second time was the day before DH had to return to Iraq (he was on leave during a deployment). When contractions started I simply refused to acknowlege the possibility that I was NOT in labour.

With DS I never had any pre-labour. My contractions weren't painful. I called my midwife like "Yeah, I'm having contractions every 2 minutes or so. They don't hurt though. Nah, this can't be labour. Labour hurts, I remember that! No, I'll call you when they start to hurt."
She came over anyway.
He was born 3 hours later.

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#18 of 22 Old 03-25-2009, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I started this thread hoping to get some insight as to what to look for...but I'm just as confused! Reading everyone's stories is fun, though!

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#19 of 22 Old 03-26-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWife View Post
I started this thread hoping to get some insight as to what to look for...but I'm just as confused! Reading everyone's stories is fun, though!
I think because it is such an individual thing, just like birth and pregnancy. I know women who have had babies in under 2 hours and myself who had a 30 hour labor that turned into an emergency c/s. We all are different and our stories are just as unique.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#20 of 22 Old 03-26-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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I woke up at 1:30AM and noticed I was having contractions. They were about 10 minutes apart all night long. I figured it must be the beginning of labor since they never stopped. The contractions didn't pick up until maybe 2PM, and DD was born at 1AM the next day. I think my labor was a "textbook" example of first time labor...about 12 hours of early labor and 12 hours of active labor (with nearly 2 hours of pushing.) I had a bloody show right around the time my contractions picked up in the afternoon.

mama to DD (7), DS (3.5), and another DS arriving in August!

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#21 of 22 Old 03-26-2009, 06:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rixafreeze View Post
Retrospectively, I was in active labor the whole time, but I didn't want to admit it to myself just in case I was getting overly excited too soon. Denial is a wonderful thing in labor!
I absolutely agree that denial works wonders! ha!

I had so much prodromal labor that when I was finally really in labor I was sure it was just another episode of my posterior baby trying to get into the right position for birth. When I finally decided to ask DH to call the midwife I was only 3 hours away from birth... she arrived at my house and when she checked me I was 8 cm!!! I couldn't believe it.. and to think I wasn't convinced 'this was it'... I didn't want another false alarm lol.

So many people told me 'you'll just KNOW when it starts' ... well, I did know.. but only at the end

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#22 of 22 Old 03-26-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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I knew pretty much the moment labor started.

I had practice contractions for about five months. Sometimes I had to stop walking for them, sometimes I had to breathe funny through them, but I was always able to lay in bed while they were going on.

Just as I was getting into bed one midnight, I had a contraction with a weird little twinge of pain that sent me running to the toilet. I didn't need to empty my bowels after all, so I though, hmm, this might be labor. Then I went back to bed, but five minutes later there was another slightly painful contraction, one that I could not lay down through. Five minutes later, another one. So I got up and labored on the living room floor. I called my midwife and my mother at 4:30 and woke my husband up at 8:30, but I'd known for sure since that third weird contraction.

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