Or can it just kind of START and kick in with no warning signs? Are both equally likely?
I'm due Tuesday and hoping he'll be born on that date as it would give our family two "equinox" celebrations ... as of now I've only had very very very very mild false contractions, just in the front of the belly. Nothing real.
I'm kind of hoping that tomorrow, I'll just GO! into labor with no signs or warnings.
Of course with my luck lately I'll end up going 2 weeks late.
Some people never have prodomal or long early labour, it just sort of kicks in all at once.
I wasn't one of those people- I had 2 hrs of "early" labour, 2 hrs of nothing, then labour started for real after that.
Mucus plug, bloody show, or early, intermittent contractions aren't necessary for labour to start. Some people see all of them, some see a few, some see none.
Grace - wife to Jeff and mama to Nigella (11/08) and Orrin (01/10)- expecting a new addition (05/12)! Life is a whirlwind, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride!
Mama to DS (03/09) and DD (10/11) and married to the love of my life
Becky, sahm to 25/04/2000 Chloe 12/04/2002 Cameron 19/02/2004 Caitlin 28/06/2005 24/07/2006 and Caden 14/03/2008
19.05.2012 18.08.2012 24.05.2013 25.6.2013 04.09.2014
But yeah, I guess labor just "happens" when it happens - no matter how you look at it.
I woke up to contractions 2 minutes apart at 1:00am. There was no "early labor"
For my second, Sort of.
My water broke a day and a half before I went into labor. I wasn't having any contractions. Baby sounded good and water was clear so we just waited for labor to begin. Bam! Labor began at 3:30am and again 2 minutes apart. It took less than four hours this time.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
With my second, I'd had no signs or anything and then woke up in the middle of the night to what i thought were braxton hicks conractions, started timing them an hour later "just in case," found they were 2 minutes apart and had her 2 1/2 hours later!
Then the water breaks and look OUT! Baby is born in under 2 hours, both times. No noticeable mucous plug, no bloody show, nothing. An hour and 48 minutes with my first, an hour and 8 minutes with my second - 2 pushing cx - and the cord was wrapped loosely around her neck twice, which slowed her down!
I was 3 cm dilated and fully effaced for 5 weeks leading up to the birth though.
My best friend had three precipitous births. The first, her blood pressure was high that morning (in retrospect, a sign of labor), so she was hospitalized, on monitors, etc., and nothing to indicate she was in labor until within 25 minutes of the first birth (twins). The second, she had been told to go on leave from 36 weeks to monitor for 2 hours a day to catch any "silent" contractions, and still, despite having seen nothing at all to indicate any contractions the night before, woke up at 7 with contractions and gave birth at 7:30 (in her bathroom). The third, same deal with taking leave, noticed some hardening of the uterus at noon (was supposed to "monitor" by spending 1/2 hour every few hours relaxing with her hand on her belly to feel for uterine hardening), ran to the hospital ASAP and gave birth within minutes of arrival.
Another friend, with #2 thought she had weeks left to go because that morning's check up had shown minimal effacement and no dilation and besides she had no signs of anything happening, water broke in the grocery store and she gave birth 20 minutes later in the hospital waiting room (hospital 5 minutes from store). With #3, felt sluggish one evening, baby born at home 1/2 hour later.
So yes, my almost-personal experience makes me believe that a woman can give birth with little to no "prep."
Now for me, with #1 had sporadic contractions from Sat., regular 15 minutes from Sunday night, 2-3 minutes from Monday night, gave birth Wednesday morning. So plenty of prep. With #2, regular contractions all night Wed. night and Thur. night, very few during the day. Friday sporadic contractions all day. Friday night active labor, birthed near midnight on Saturday. Plenty of prep all around. Hadn't been checked either time until arriving at the hospital deep into transition (with #1, around midnight Tuesday; with #2 at 10:30 PM Sat.), both times between 8 and 9, so no clue how long I was actually dilating.
Mom to DD born Jan. 08 and DS born Oct. 09, and "baby sister" due Oct 2013!
House mom to ten boys, ages 8-11 at a group home! Yes, I must be nuts!
Gillian - Wife to an amazing DH, Mother to 5 wonderful kiddos.