Should I be feeling recognizable contractions? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 12-13-2008, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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So, first pregnancy here. I feel really weird because I haven't been feeling anything that's made me say "that's a contraction!" I'm at 38w4d and would have thought I'd be feeling some BH at least. Instead I've felt a handful of cramps that I thought "hmmm" and feeling my belly get really tight I assumed they are contractions, but again, nothing that I would defintiely say that's it. Plus they seem to be more like cramps that last 5 minutes long instead of going away after a minute or two, and changing position, exercise, etc. doesn't help them. So I don't know. They're also all very low--I haven't felt any tightening or cramping anywhere near my belly button or above. I did have an NST on Thursday and in the 1/2 hour I was there recorded 2 very small contractions (that I didn't feel).

I'm just so frustrated because I'm 0cm dilated and not even effaced and I feel like my body isn't doing ANYTHING to get ready to birth this baby. Like I'm failing Pre-Labor 101 or something. I mean shouldn't SOMETHING be going on? I would just feel so much better if I were making ANY kind of progress. BH, even irregular, effacement even w/o dilation--SOMETHING! Is it even possible to go from zero to baby in a couple of days or am I doomed to weeks more???
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#2 of 9 Old 12-13-2008, 07:36 PM
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If it makes you feel any better I don't usually notice my BH contractions. I never *felt* my belly tighten. It was just recently that I realized, oh...I've been having them all along because I happened to rub my belly when I wasn't having one and noticed how soft it was compared to how tight it usually is. I guess I had been having them so often that I didn't even realize it was happening because it seemed normal. Maybe you're having more happening then you realize?

I'm a first time mom too.
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#3 of 9 Old 12-13-2008, 07:37 PM
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Shelby its possible to go from zero to baby in a couple of days, AND those things are probably contractions. The belly tightening are DEFINITELY braxton hicks, and the low ones are probably some "real" contractions. Mild and disorganized still but they will ramp up when you are ready. Dilation and effacement does not mean much, some people dilate early and walk around like that for weeks, others don't dilate at all before going into labor. The only thing its useful to know for is if you are planning an induction or membrane sweeping it is more likely to be successful if you are dilated. If you are planning to wait til you go into labor it doesn't matter if you are sewn closed actually. When your body is ready to go into labor you will dilate.

Take some cleansing breaths and see if you can find a little more zen, or a last minute project to occupy you. First time mom's do typically go overdue and 41 weeks is more typical than 39, baby still needs that time to bake.

I know you are frustrated and in pain, and if the pain really is too much than you might have to consider an induction, but if you aren't going to than make peace with at least a couple more weeks. Tons and tons of hugs.

I'm so ready too but now I'm sick and I'm actively hoping this little one holds off a couple of days, that's depressing too, since I feel so done.
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#4 of 9 Old 12-13-2008, 08:59 PM
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I'd say very possible. I didn't know what braxton hicks or contractions were with my first. I didn't feel a thing until I was in labor.

S-d D which made them three. M grew lonely, and now there's baby D.
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
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#5 of 9 Old 12-13-2008, 09:02 PM
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Women can go from 0 to complete in HOURS so don't worry at all about that. I walked around 3cm dilated and 75% effaced with my first for a good 2 weeks and went 5 days over. It really means absolutely nothing. I haven't even done cervical checks late in pregnancy the last two times because it just means so little. I'm not even remotely curious as to what my cervix is doing because I'm confident it will do its job when the time is right!

I have hardly ever felt contractions until labor either. We've got time left too (I'm due 12/22), so don't get too antsy yet... I know it's hard but first timers do tend to go over so no use worrying until at least 40 weeks.

mama to 3 girls: Abigail 2.12.05, Eliana 8.26.06, Willa 1.9.09
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#6 of 9 Old 12-13-2008, 09:07 PM
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Shelbyscout, I am due the day after you are, and this is my second baby, and I am not having anything that *I* recognize as contractions either. My midwives have not done any internals on me, nor did I have any with my last pg, despite being with an OB, so as far as I am concerned, nothing is going on. I have had BH's t/o this pg just like last time, but they haven't changed. In some ways the "nothing going on" is frustrating when I hear about all the other women having this contraction and that dilation; but in other ways, I also don't have to deal with the "you're 3cm dil/60% effaced and should go within a few days..." and then you are still pg 2 weeks later.

I didn't have any contractions with DS prior to labor, and my water broke suddenly at 39 w 2d, so things can DEFINITELY come out of no-where and surprise you.

I am trying to be more zen, but between being uncomfortable, tired, impatient, and having a 26 mo old who doesn't sleep...I am DONE but at the same time it's not going to be much easier once DD is here- just different!

Kelly, wife to DH, mom to Caden Reese (10-2-06), Tessa Brynn (12-26-08 ), and Maddox Quinn (7-16-11). Fur-mama to Finnegan, Ripley, Raisin (my little kitty amputee) and Kimchi. 748/2011, 2028/2012-I did it!! 2023/2013-Again!!! 404/2014
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#7 of 9 Old 12-13-2008, 10:30 PM
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The tightening you are feeling is bh. This is hte first pg that I have ever felt them and this is my first baby. Mine are exactly like you described, w/ a tigthening that last for a long time and then comes back for a while. Not necessarily a pattern or anything. I never feel anything until I start to feel like I am getting my period then have a baby in several hours. Just bcs you don't feel it doesn't mean your body isn't doing anything. Trust your body and know that it can be busy w/out you.

nicole wild.gif,  mom to 3 boys here on earth jumpers.gif 9, 7 and 4.5 and 2 girl's fly-by-nursing2.gif2.5 and 10/16/11. Always remembering my babies in heaven:  Sam (9/7/05) at 12.5 wks  angel1.gif, Morgan (2/13/06) at 6 wks angel1.gif , Emeric angel2.gif (8/9/10 at 17 wks) and Pepper angel1.gif (11/26/10) at 8wks. 

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#8 of 9 Old 12-14-2008, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone--I'm feeling better . Coming to zen terms with this baby and all--I just need to center myself a little better. A friend who lives out of town called at the last minute to say that she was nearby and wanted to know if I could go out for lunch. HECK YEAH!!! So it was great to see her and catch up for a bit, and got me out of this funk.

I guess I have a hard time trusting my body because I feel like there's more I should be doing. But millions of women have done this. It's what my body was made for. Ooooooommmmmmmm.
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#9 of 9 Old 12-14-2008, 01:06 AM
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With my first baby I felt Braxton hicks, sure, but no contractions until 10 days past my EDD and I rolled out of bed at 3AM thinking, "so THAT's that a contraction feels like!" DS#1 was born 7 hours later.

With baby #2 I thought I'd have prodromal labor or something, but no, my body just isn't into it. I had my first contraction at a little before 11PM and 5 hours later DS#2 was born (on his EDD).

This is baby #3 for me. My EDD is tomorrow or Monday (eh, it's not an exact science, who knows), and I still haven't had any prodromal labor.
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