Nervous - how am I supposed to 'know'? *small update - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 11-24-2008, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been having contractions for the past 4 or 5 hours. There isn't really a regular pattern but they have all been between 2 and 10 minutes apart. They certainly don't hurt, but they are strong and different-feeling enough that I am quite confident that they are contractions. I'm trying to decide whether to go to bed, or go to the hospital. No bloody show, no broken water. I guess I am convincing myself to go to bed, but the hospital is 30 minutes away (provided no traffic). If we get there too early we can go hang out in the recovery rooms (they're like hotel rooms) until things get moving again. Ughh, everyone says you just know, but I'm not so sure!

I guess I just need reassurance that it isn't silly to go to bed... if I'm in active labor I will wake up in plenty of time... right??

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#2 of 23 Old 11-24-2008, 11:09 AM
 
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It's not silly to go to bed at all, here's why:

If you can sleep through them, it really can't be active labor. Possibly early labor. But that would mean you should have plenty of time. I have about the same commute to the hospital, but I promise, you will KNOW. It will be hard to walk and talk through contractions that are indicitive of active labor.

You're doing great, hang in there! I bet you it will be soon So get your rest if you can!
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#3 of 23 Old 11-24-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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You need that regular pattern to happen. Sometimes they'll tell first timers to take a nap, shower/bath or something else to see if they disappear.

To me, the prelabor stuff is crampy, achy more. Not sharp at all. When I am in actual labor there it turns into a distinct sharpness. Not an ache, starts to feel more like a leg cramp almost (charlie horse) in the abs. A definite beginning and end to the contraction. Also, there are REGULAR intervals...they can start off pretty well spaced, like every 10 minutes or so. But, as time passes they not only get stronger, but closer spaced.

If it were me, I would not go in until I was absolutely sure it was labor. And, if it is, you will know. Definitely with a hospital birth and the fact that you're a first time mom. Once you go in you're 'on the clock' and going in early sets you up for all sorts of unnecessary interventions. The adrenaline rush you have from changing locations to a hospital in labor can also stall you out in early labor.

First labors can last a day or two also. Like a long marathon. So you want to catch the rest now while it's early.

For many of us, we have *many* 'is this it?' moments before the real thing happens. Even if it's not labor, definitely it is softening up and dilating you to get you ready .

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#4 of 23 Old 11-24-2008, 11:18 AM
 
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yep. Go to bed! Even if it is *real* you need to rest now. The birth could last 2 days, and you need to rest when you can. As long as you don't have a regular pattern that increases in frequency, you are better off staying at home. Eat, drink, shower, sleep.

My labors were pretty fast, compared to others' stories, but still, if I were to have gone to a hospital once I *knew* it was real, I would have had plenty of time. Both labors went from nothing to something within 2 hours, and it was very obvious!

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#5 of 23 Old 11-24-2008, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, thanks so much for the reassurance... I'm off to bed!!

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#6 of 23 Old 11-24-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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I hope you're feeling a bit better after your sleep. You'll know when the contractions get longer and closer together and you have to focus all or most of your energy on the contraction until it releases...GOOD LUCK!!!!
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#7 of 23 Old 11-24-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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Also make sure to drink a lot of water!

Our birthing coach also said not to go to the hospital until its 5-1-1+intense. Contractions come every 5 minutes or so, last longer than an hour, have been going on for at least an hour and are too intense to hold a conversation.

Good luck!!!

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#8 of 23 Old 11-24-2008, 10:13 PM
 
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Yes, I agree with the rest here ... rest!!!

I don't like to say "real labor " or "false labor" because each contraction is doing SOMETHING ...
however, if it is early labor, you can go to sleep, relax, move around, etc and not have to focus much on each contraction.
When they start coming in a pattern (and your pattern could be 5 min apart, then 10 min then 5 min then 10) AND increasing with intensity ... meaning, after an hour they are stronger and after another hour, even stronger and harder to ignore ... THAT is when you pay closer attention.

These warm up contractions are great though ... they're all good!!!
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#9 of 23 Old 11-25-2008, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much... I am very glad that I didn't go to the hospital last night!! I guess in some ways I did just 'know' that it wasn't time. Still, we had the bag packed and were pretty close to going. I haven't experienced much in the way of BH or cramping so to have consistent, strong, noticeable contractions for 4-5 hours was really an intense experience. Throughout the night I had a several strong contractions that woke me up, but this morning I haven't really felt anything.

I really appreciate the tips though on what actual labor feels like. These were very strong and couldn't be ignored... but they weren't sharply painful and I could still talk and walk. Also, although I could always tell when I was in the middle of a contraction, the beginning and end were hard to recognize. It is nice to note that there were several signs pointing to this not being 'it'. I think I'll have a better idea next time they strike!!

Whew, that was exciting though! We're back to business as usual around here and DH went to work, but I have to admit that I'm getting a little bit excited. I'm going to take a walk to the store and get some stuff to cook for dinner tonight. Maybe that will jostle the ole uterus back into action.

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#10 of 23 Old 11-25-2008, 12:34 AM
 
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Yay! You're on your way. With DS I had regular contractions, off an on, for three days before he was actually born. It's so easy to get overly tired during that long run up to the real thing - particularly because it's so exciting. How can it not be!

But do try to rest as much as possible. Sleep as much as possible. Your body will keep working at this for a while, and you want to be as rested as possible when the hardest work begins.

Congrats! You're almost there!

NICOLE | Natural livin', co-sleepin', mostly vegan, work at home mama to N (7) and L (2)
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#11 of 23 Old 11-25-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrainthailand View Post
I'm going to take a walk to the store and get some stuff to cook for dinner tonight. Maybe that will jostle the ole uterus back into action.
Eating, walking and sleeping - the 3 most important things to do during pre-labour. Sounds like you're on the right track! How exciting

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#12 of 23 Old 11-25-2008, 03:11 AM
 
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I've been having pretty regular contractions for nearly 2 weeks. When I'v bothered to time them they have been 10 min apart and sometimes even 2-3 as well. Certain times of day they space out though. They are strong but not painful, just uncomfortable. I think it's just this way the last weeks of pregnancy?! I can't even count the amount of times I've read threads like this where women ask if they are in labor and describe pretty much the same thing.
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#13 of 23 Old 11-25-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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I just checked in to get the update on you, Terra. I'm glad things are progressing. I had NO idea what labor would feel like so I know exactly what you mean. I guess I should be relieved that I got a big neon sign in way of my water breaking.

Walking in the light with DH, DD (11/08), DS (4/10) , four dogs, and one insouciant cat.
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#14 of 23 Old 11-25-2008, 07:33 PM
 
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When you are in labor you will know when one contraction starts and stops. BUT for me my contractions were never a consitant pattern. They did keep getting stronger but the time between them the whole time would go from 2 minutes to 15 minutes to whatever. I could never go on that to tell me if I needed to go to the hospital. Also, with my first when I left for the hospital I could walk and talk during contractions, but when I got there I had my baby 45 minutes later. All natural!!

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#15 of 23 Old 11-25-2008, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks 100%Mom - this is exactly why I was second guessing myself. I remember reading that they don't always settle into a strong pattern... mine weren't getting progressively stronger though, so I guess that is another thing I'll need to keep in mind.

Yesterday I had another few hours of contraction in the afternoon. Again, no pattern. They were much stronger this time, even a bit painful, but they only went on for a couple of hours and last night, nada. So, I guess nothing is eminent!!

Call me crazy, but I do think she has moved down a fair amount. My doctor confirmed that she was engaged a little over two weeks ago, but she hadn't moved any lower due to being a bit posterier. My doctor suggested I needed to find a way to keep myself off of my back at night (a real problem for me - I sleeping on my back). So starting two days before that first round of contractions DH has been smushing me between him and the headboard on my left side. Anyway, I'm no expert but I feel like her butt is at the top of my uterus now and I definitely feel like everything is a bit lower. Also I have really sore thighs/hips - a deep dull ache. I don't know what that is about, but I blame sleeping on my side.

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#16 of 23 Old 11-26-2008, 04:59 AM
 
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I had 4 weeks of prodromal labor and I couldn't tell you the difference between that and final labor, aside from my water breaking and it lasting more than 5 hours (which was the longest my prodromal labor would last). But I still knew... but it was because my water broke. I'd have 'known' a few hours later if I hadn't when my water broke, though. I can't explain how, but it became pretty obvious, even though there was no change in pain/intensity or duration. And don't worry, you'll wake up in time I had the hardest time sleeping--and I can sleep through a LOT!

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#17 of 23 Old 11-27-2008, 01:45 AM
 
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Terra: not to change the subject tooooo much, but DH just told me about the riots in Bangkok airport. Is it just the airports that are being affected? He has a friend who has a girlfriend who is stranded there. I think she's found a family to stay with, but should she consider getting a train to Kuala Lumpur or something? I understand if you're a bit too preoccupied at the moment to think about this!

--janis

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#18 of 23 Old 11-27-2008, 05:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No problem. Sorry she is being affected by this mess. : Right now it is just the airports. People seem to feel that the protesters will clear out of the airports soon, so I think many people will wait it out until they can fly. This move by the protesters is spectacularly unpopular and is costing the country a lot of money so it would surprise me if it lasts long. If it were me and I could spare 2 or 3 days, I would wait it out and see what happens. But if she needs to get home, the train is probably a good option. They have shut the railways down in the recent past, but I haven't read anything that they are planning to do that now. Best of luck to her!

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#19 of 23 Old 12-06-2008, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am cracking up right now because I just lost my mucus plug and it is hilariously gross and obvious. I can't believe I was worried I might miss that!! It was like a giant blob of brown and yellow rubber cement. DH is lucky he is at the gym otherwise I surely would have wanted to show him.

Had my first internal check at my weekly appointment yesterday and I was 2cm, my doc sent me to L&D to be monitored for 20 minutes. Baby is strong and I was, and still am, having regular contractions. Strong, but still not really painful.... my doc sent us home and said to stay there until I am really in pain. I can't believe I am sitting here wishing for pain

hoping, hoping, hoping that today (40+5) is the day!!

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#20 of 23 Old 12-07-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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how exciting!! :

Sending peaceful labor vibes your way! : I had my 3rd at 40+5...here's hoping you will too!! good luck and I hope you are holding your babe soon!
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#21 of 23 Old 12-07-2008, 05:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by xakana View Post
I had 4 weeks of prodromal labor and I couldn't tell you the difference between that and final labor, aside from my water breaking and it lasting more than 5 hours (which was the longest my prodromal labor would last). But I still knew... but it was because my water broke. I'd have 'known' a few hours later if I hadn't when my water broke, though. I can't explain how, but it became pretty obvious, even though there was no change in pain/intensity or duration. And don't worry, you'll wake up in time I had the hardest time sleeping--and I can sleep through a LOT!
Ah, you give me hope. I've had what I guess is prodromal labour for about 3 weeks now, and I'm getting pretty fed up. Nearly every day or two, I'll start up with contractions and they'll last anywhere between and hour and eight hours and then trail off.... It's so annoying! I feel like baby will never come out. So maybe I'll be lucky like you and it will just happen. It would be great if they didn't get more painful, as they are really easy to integrate at this stage! (But I'm prepared for hard times too.)
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#22 of 23 Old 12-07-2008, 08:06 PM
 
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Come on, sweet baby! Terra, I'm thinking of you and prying that this is it!

P.S. I felt the same way about the mucous plug--that grody little signifier is not to be missed!!!

Walking in the light with DH, DD (11/08), DS (4/10) , four dogs, and one insouciant cat.
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#23 of 23 Old 12-07-2008, 09:04 PM
 
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Thinking of you and checking in regularly, hoping for updates! EBV's for you!:

One gorgeous solstice babe 12/08, two smitten mothers - mothering consciously with conscience and compassion. Birth & Postnatal Doula. Student Midwife. Expecting #2 November '12.

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