what do contractions feel like? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 12-08-2008, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So this is my first baby, and my DH asked me yesterday after I told him I was feeling crampy if I knew what a contraction was supposed to feel like. Then it dawned on me, I have no idea what contractions feel like. I'm sure I will know them when I feel them but for those who have been through this before, what did early contractions feel like for you?

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#2 of 6 Old 12-08-2008, 02:15 PM
 
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Well, I'm lurking from Jan. ddc. But I was really surprised with my first child that what i expected to feel was something in my belly, but what I actually felt was in my back and low back. I totally remember my first strong contraction, I was lying in bed and shot up like a spring! And I just instantly was sitting on the very edge of the bed, which is pretty much how I always labor. Straight upright sitting on the edge of something. But I had back labor with the past 2. So who knows with this one? But for me I am always feeling tightness/pain in my low back.
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#3 of 6 Old 12-08-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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Some similarity to menstrual cramps, but stronger...I definitely felt them most in my lower back, but I was in back labor last time, so I don't know how that changes things.
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#4 of 6 Old 12-08-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotharmony View Post
So this is my first baby, and my DH asked me yesterday after I told him I was feeling crampy if I knew what a contraction was supposed to feel like. Then it dawned on me, I have no idea what contractions feel like. I'm sure I will know them when I feel them but for those who have been through this before, what did early contractions feel like for you?

Well, early labor is quite different from later in labor for me. For me early labor is kind of a menstral cramp. But more distinct. Starts more abruptly and has a slightly sharper twinge. I pretty much can mainly ignore them, but the pattern does get closer together and they get stronger.

Eventually they really remind me of muscle cramps. Ever have a charlie horse, or a leg cramp? Serious sharp but with labor you obviously can tell when they're coming on and have time to prepare/cope. When they're really bad and your head starts playing mind games with yourself...well generally your baby is about to be born at that point. At least it is for me. When I starting thinking...OMG this is really bad...welll that's my signal it's probably not much longer!

Back labor was substantially different. Had that with my third who was posterior and refused to rotate! I remember it feeling sort of like my back was on fire, sort of like the contraction was focused there rather than the lower abdomen where it was before.

At least this is what I vaguely remember. As funny as it sounds you don't really exactly remember it until you're there again. Because if you're unmedicated the lovely concoction of hormones interferes with your brain recording the memory of the pain.

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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#5 of 6 Old 12-08-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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I'm lurking. I saw this post on new posts.

When I had my babies, the labor contractions were like menstrual cramps, but much stronger and the cramps travel from upper belly to lower belly, back to front in each contraction.

Good luck to you.

The best thing a mother can do is to love the children.
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#6 of 6 Old 12-08-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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For a long time I was thinking that I didn't have any BH contractions because I never felt anything that screamed "CONTRACTION!" to me (first pg here too). But then I started to realize that I was getting the same type of cramp every once in a while. For me it starts in my lower back, is similar but not identical to a menstrual cramp, and almost feels like a gas/diarrhea cramp. They're not actually painful so I'm sure they're just BH. What made it click in my mind was that when I started feeling that tightness, I palpated the rest of my belly and found that it was hard as a rock. Then after the cramp subsided, my belly went back to being squishy. That's when it finally dawned on me--contraction!
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