confused about labor signs - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-17-2006, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Even though this is my second baby, I am a little confused about when to call the doctor and whether or not I'm in labor.

I had been receiving weekly progesterone injections for preterm labor and got my last shot on Friday. I am now past 37 weeks and free to have the baby. For the past two days I've been having very intense cramps/contractions that I feel in my lower back and lower abdomen. They feel like horrible menstrual cramps (which is what I remember them feeling like when I was in labor with DS). I lost my plug yesterday and have some very light spotting. My body has also been "cleaning itself out" all day. The contractions don't seem to stay regular - they will get as close as 2-3 minutes apart for over an hour, but then they space back out. They do not decrease in intensity, though. I'm feeling so much pelvic pressure that I can hardly walk. I don't want to go to the hospital until I absolutely HAVE to, but I'm a little concerned that I won't really know when I'm in true labor. I know everyone says you will just KNOW when you're in labor, but I'm having a hard time believing that. LOL Part of it is my anxiety about going into labor while DH is out of town. He travels 3 days a week for work and of course is gone right now. I don't think I need to go to the hospital right now, but I wonder if labor is right around the corner and if I should tell DH to head home?

I'm hesitant to call the doctor because I'm afraid he will tell me to go to the hospital. Once there, I have a feeling they will want to start pitocin or something to get things moving - which I do NOT want to do. I guess I am just really confused and needed to "vent." LOL If you read this far - thank you! LOL
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#2 of 9 Old 01-17-2006, 03:28 PM
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I'm confused too, because I have alot of cramping and back pain today too.
I'm sure if you are really having the baby, you wont be sitting here typing.
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#3 of 9 Old 01-17-2006, 03:44 PM
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I would say you're in labor, but what do I know? I'm on my first baby! Good luck!
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#4 of 9 Old 01-19-2006, 01:04 AM
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Here's a great thread about labor signs that started recently (see esp. Lynnseedoil's reply):

I remember in my Bradley classes with my 1st pregnancy, there was a chart with all the stages/symptoms of labor. The joke (and truth) was, when you no longer pored over the chart or gave a sh!t what stage of labor you might be in, you were truly in active labor.

However, if you're DH is far away and you have a gut feeling, then go with that! My DH travels a lot and I forbade him from doing so in January up till well after baby comes (due Feb. 1st). I am not about to have this baby without his help!

Good luck,
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#5 of 9 Old 01-19-2006, 12:06 PM
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Generally, you go to the hospital/birth center when the contractions are about 2-3 minutes apart. You will not be able to talk or walk during them, and they will require all of your concentration. They'll feel like a wave that washes over you - with highs and lows. It will be intense.

You don't want to go to the hospital too early - you'll progress much faster at home.

BTW, you probably will not "wonder" if you're really in labor Well, unless you're one of the few women who just have a "little discomfort" and baby appears 1/2 hr later! But that's extremely rare.

Blessed Mama to 4 and expecting one more!
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#6 of 9 Old 01-19-2006, 04:15 PM
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I would definitely be asking my husband to book it home ASAP, but probably wait a little longer to go to the hospital. Do you have a backup support person who can drive you to the hospital if you feel uncomfortable driving yourself?

Update, please - and best wishes in the next few days for a good labor and delivery and a healthy baby!
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#7 of 9 Old 01-19-2006, 05:21 PM
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OK, as some one who unexpectedly had her second child at home on the FLOOR because labour was just sort of wandering and not really progressing and then suddenly really really was.... if you have done this before AND you suddenly feel a step up in the intensity, even if there are GAPS between the contractions, if you're talking 2-4 minutes start to start and you're experiencing really solid 90 second contractions, I would get your butt to the hospital.

I had those for about 15 minutes with ds (had them for FOUR HOURS with dd)
Then had them last about 120 seconds and he was born on the floor, not two minutes after my midwife said "oh you're only 5cm dilated, we have tones of time to go to the hospital"

Not to be hysterical here but if you think things are picking up, sacrifice your pride and get your butt to the hospital.
yes, you might not like to be sent home but you also might not LIKE having an unplanned homebirth. Yes, its a funny story to tell but it was a bit hard to deal with at the time transition on my living room floor, panting so as not to push (cause boy did my body WANT to for that last five minutes before she did) and not being able to tell dh what I was doing, he thought I was hyperventilating, my midwife was on the way but still not there with me.... and then my water breaking literally as she took off her shoes.
It was a scary15 minutes.
Once she was in the door I think I finally relaxed and he was born under five minutes of her entering my house. I swear, I bet have pushed him out before she got there but I was trying desparately to hold on....

don't doubt yourself.
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#8 of 9 Old 01-19-2006, 11:40 PM
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I think the "don't doubt yourself" advice is perfect. With my labor with DD, I stayed home as long as possible, but I KNEW when it was time to get to the birth center. Something shifted, contractions ratcheted up, and I announced that we had to go...NOW.

In my childbirth educator training, we were told to suggest a general 4-1-1 rule for when to go to the hospital. When contractions are 4 minutes apart, lasting at least 1 minute, and it's been going on for 1 hour, then it's time to go. But that's just a general rule; your intuition must also play into the decision. But definitely don't go to the hospital too early if they aren't going to let you leave!!

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#9 of 9 Old 01-20-2006, 12:46 AM
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I'm just as confused as you. Wish I could help, it sure sounds like you are. Listen to those instincts. They are usualy acurate.
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