What are the signs labor is coming? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering...
What signs (if any) did you have just before labor? How long did it take you to realize you were in real labor?

With my two babies, my water broke first--so it was obvious that labor was coming. The first time it was weak contractions for 12 hours before pitocin induction. (Didn't know any better at the time. The second time strong contractions started within 30 minutes.

How did you know you were in labor?

Did you have any early signs, where looking back at least you could see labor was coming soon?

I'm not asking because I'm impatient or reading something into every little twinge I have or anything!
Okay, yes I am!

Mom to 5 amazing kids! (DS8, DS7, DD4, DD2 and DS0)

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#2 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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:

I was induced : w/ #1 so I have no idea either, other than the ones you can find online...

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#3 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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with my 1st, I had no signs until labor began...ctrx, which I didn't know if they were "real" or not, but after an hour or so, the frequency revealed that they probably were. I also had bleeding and loose bowels. This started around 11:00 pm and by 3:00 am I went to the hospital (still not really knowing if they would send me home!). I was only 3cm, but had her at 8:30, so things went pretty quickly after that.

#2, I was induced...got to the hospital at 6:30am, pit started (I was 4 cm and almost 100% effaced, having ctrx every 7-8 minutes, but I didn't feel them), didn't feel any ctrx until they broke my water at 7:30am, and then it was fast and furious...she was born around 9:00am. I don't wish to repeat this labor, it was by far my most intense and scary.

#3, I woke up around 3:30 am and just couldn't sleep. I got on the computer and noticed I was having ctrx (not painful, like braxton hicks ones). I decided to time them, they were happening every 7-8 minutes. I woke my dh up at 7 am and told him I thought I was in labor (still not sure as the ctrx weren't painful). On the way to the hospital, they grew in intensity, though not unbearable. I was 5 cm by the time we got there, and she was born at 10:30 am. I'm hoping for another one like this!

I had zero inclinations that I would go into labor until it actually happened. I do remember that we DTD the previous night with #3 (not the night I went into labor). I'm thinking my cervix was just ready anyway.

I just hope I'm not busy when early labor hits, or I might miss it!

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#4 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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Sigh. I'm having this same problem.

With DD, we DTD and I got ctx from that which just kept getting stronger... we were walking around, too. I actually didn't know sex + walking could 'induce'... We just had to pick up some stuff last minute for the labor! So when they kept getting stronger, it was a big shock. DD was born at 38+6 weeks and we had to break the sac as she was crowning (which I regret, she probably would have been born en caul... took the midwife three tries to 'scrape' the bag to get it to bust).

So with this one, I don't know? I've also had false labor/prodomal labor for the past few days. So I never know what's a "real" ctx and what's just the false labor ctx. I've also never had my water break on it's own so I don't even know what to look for there, either. I feel like a first-timer! Sigh.
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#5 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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nothing other than being 41 weeks and counting until I woke up with what felt like strong menstrual pains, then I realized they were coming and going, so I sorta rested and monitored for awhile and after a few hours I realized its probably the real thing, and it was.

mom to Reaghan born underwater into midwife's hands 1/17/07 & Myra born surrounded by doulas and midwife at home 1/12/09. Birth Educator, and Photographer, Baby #3 Coming May 2013!

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#6 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Follow-up question for those who have labored both with water broken and not broken...

Do the contractions get much more intense after the water breaks?

(Always had water break first-so I don't know!)

Mom to 5 amazing kids! (DS8, DS7, DD4, DD2 and DS0)

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#7 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 08:31 PM
 
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I was induced (at home, castor oil and AROM), and WHOOBOY did the contractions get more intense once my water broke!
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#8 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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I'm totally obsessing about "how will I know?" My sister lives two hours away, and she's the one who'll come tend to dd for me. Through the whole pregnancy, I've thought this is a good thing as it will keep me from getting to the hospital too early during labor and giving in to unnecessary interventions. Now, though, as I get closer and have all these intense BH, I worry about if I'll know soon enough. With my daughter, my water broke and contrax began five minutes apart about 45 minutes later. That was pretty obvious that I was in labor. Now, I find myself noticing several contrax in a row and I begin timing, but then they'll peter out.

We did take a tour of the new L&D unit at the hospital this afternoon. It was quite empty, so I gave baby a heads up that tonight might be a good night.

Amanda, momma to Caroline (5/31/05) and Mary Elizabeth (1/8/09)
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#9 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr'smom View Post
Follow-up question for those who have labored both with water broken and not broken...

Do the contractions get much more intense after the water breaks?

(Always had water break first-so I don't know!)
Wondering about this too. I had one start with water breaking, but baby was really low so it was just trickles and the second one, water didn't break untill pushing him out. I am supposing that if there is alot of fluid loss it might make a difference in intensity?

  chicken3.gif Christian SAHM to DS 3/04, DS 1/06, and DD 1/09 and expecting a new little one in May 2012 selectivevax.gif  nocirc.gif 

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#10 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr'smom View Post
Follow-up question for those who have labored both with water broken and not broken...

Do the contractions get much more intense after the water breaks?

(Always had water break first-so I don't know!)
When my midwife broke my water, I had a ctx almost immediately that absolutely hurt like you-know-what. However, after that I was pushing, so they felt like pushing ctx.
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#11 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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With my first 2, I had never had any BH so as soon as ctx started I knew I was in labor.

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#12 of 21 Old 12-28-2008, 10:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr'smom View Post
Follow-up question for those who have labored both with water broken and not broken...

Do the contractions get much more intense after the water breaks?

(Always had water break first-so I don't know!)
IME, yes! My 3rd labor they didn't break my water until I was 8 cm, ctrx were painful but I could breathe through them and still talk in between. Once they broke my water, WHAMMO, I feel like I'm breaking in two. My 2nd labor was all like that (they broke my water at 4 cm).

Melissa, loving wife love.gif and mama to 4 girls now! DD 12, DD 10 1/2, DD 4, DD 2 Happily homeschool.gif, doing lots of hang.gif very little sleeping.gifof and as much as I can knit.gifsewmachine.gif reading.gif
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#13 of 21 Old 12-29-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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With number 1. I was in pain the day before labor started. My DS was descending and it caused a lot of pain. The next day I was in labor with extreme back labor.

#2, my water broke first and I started getting mild cramping about 10 minutes later.

#3, I had to be induced because my DS was in distress.

#4, I had been having contractions for a couple of days. I was sent home from the hospital once. The next time I went in I was 3cm and had to have DD turned because she was transverse.

#5, was also transverse. My water broke the day I was scheduled to have him turned, so I had a c-section. I had mild contractions that started about an hour after my water broke.

: 2:Ma To 6 :12,8,7,5,2,1&
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#14 of 21 Old 12-29-2008, 07:37 PM
 
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My actual labor, the contractions feel like the cervix is affected. A pulling, pinching sensation that gets more intense.

First time I was having mild ctrx when my water broke and things sped up, 7 hours later, baby. This time water broke in transition and baby was here 20 minutes later.
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#15 of 21 Old 12-29-2008, 09:09 PM
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(hi, I'm an early Feb dd lurker)

My first time I woke up with slight menstrual feeling crampiness and loose stools. Figured it was pre-labor or false-labor and went about my day, with contrax happening irregularly all day. By 11 pm that night I had bloody show but was still unconvinced I was in "real" labor. My cousin had told me she went for a week with this type of symptoms before her labor started so that's kind of what I was expecting. My contrax got worse over night, but they were still rather irregular and so I didnt' call the midwife. By 6 a.m. I felt my mucous plug pop and there was no denying it was labor. I sat on the toilet feeling like I had to have a bm, my water broke and I could feel the head. Definitely labor! By the time the midwife got there I was ready to push.

Second time was induced with castor oil so I knew it was coming. Mild contrax for a few hours followed by very intense contrax for about 2 hours. Water never broke she was born in a caul.

I think it is hard to tell with early/mild symptoms whether it is "really" labor or not - just wait and see if the contrax get stronger, and even if they're not gradually getting closer together if they are regular and stronger it's probably labor... bloody show and mucous plug loss are good signs but again some people have this happen fairly early and still don't actually go into labor for a long time. It's so different for everyone!
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#16 of 21 Old 12-30-2008, 01:38 AM
 
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With my first DS my water broke and after about a half an hour I started having definite contractions. There was no mistaking them as the "real thing." From the beginning they were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting around 45 seconds and I had to breathe through them. I didn't really have any pre-labor, but looking back on it there were some signs leading up to going into labor. I had been losing my mucous plug for about a week, I had been having lots of cervical twinges, the amount of discharge had increased, my blood pressure went up (which isn't really your typical "signs of labor" thing, but I think for me it was), I was dilated to 2-3 cm at my midwife appointment that week, and I just didn't feel quite right for a few hours before my water broke - like I couldn't really get comfortable. I had also been having some very mild cramping the day before, but I didn't recognize it at the time as possible contractions. I'm sure it will be a very different labor this time around, but I'm hoping some of those same signs are present so I know it's coming!

Sarah , wife to Tyson :, SAHM to Landon (5), Coleson (3), and new baby boy due any day!

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#17 of 21 Old 12-30-2008, 02:04 AM
 
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I felt like I was in labor for two weeks. I would feel the pains and that would last for a few hours and I'd get excited, but then they'd go away! What finally made me realize I was in true labor was when I had to stop walking and pause. I felt like I was being squeezed or hugged very tightly. I would lose my breath and time started to warp.
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#18 of 21 Old 12-30-2008, 10:03 AM
 
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All of my labors started naturally, without water breaking. If you notice 2 a.m. seems to be "the" time for me! I don't use my birth pool until I get "pushy".

1) (Day before labor started we had a small fire...I overreacted and dropped to the floor from a really bad side cramp...other than that the day before labor started was normal.) Woke up at about 2 am uncomfortable. Noticed light contractions about every 10 min, took a bath to see if I could get them to stop. I lost my mucous plug. At about 5 a.m. woke DH up at, contractions were about 5 min. apart. At 5:30 a.m. called midwife...she arrrived a bit before 6 a.m. I was 5 cm. Contractions became 3 min. apart. Started pushing at 8 a.m. Water broke during crowning of baby's head. Baby born at home in water at 8:30 a.m. (I labored a lot on the toilet, side-lying on the bed, and on all fours in the hallway.)

2) (In the morning, my husband and I were intimate...I was 6 days over my due date.) Contractions started ever so little at 10 am. Continued to have putsy labor throughout the day. I went shopping, cooked food, spent time with family, and napped throughout the day. Lost mucous plug sometime in the early evening. Called midwife at midnight, when contractions were 7 min. apart (Thinking I may go fast). Contractions didn't really get going until at about 2 a.m., when they were 5 min. apart. I slowed danced labored with my husband with every contraction, then rested/slept on the bed in between....and of coarse toilet labored a bit. At about 6 a.m. or so contractions became 3 min. apart. I walked around our apartment and stopped with contractions. I was exhausted from the lack of sleep, but still very functional. A little after 9 a.m. I started to push. Water broke during crowning of baby's head. Baby born at home in water at 9:40 a.m.

3) (The day before, I had taken a horse drawn carriage ride through the park grounds...it was quite a bumpy ride...I was 7 days past my due date.) Contractions started just before 2 a.m. They were putsy contractions at least 10 min. apart, but when they came they would peak right away. (I realized throughout the day, it was because of baby position...his head wasn't directly on my cervix, but on my left hip.) I wasn't used to these type of contractions so I called my other midwife to come just in case since she lived a few hours away (the other one, sadly, moved away a month prior). I lost my mucous plug at about 7 a.m. I used the rebozo to try to lift baby out and reposition him, I did side stepping, walking, etc...Nothing was working right away. The whole day contractions were 8-10 min. apart. I walked over 5 miles throughout the day and of coarse nappped a bunch. I even walked to Pita Pit for lunch. I ate and ate and ate. At 7 p.m. we watched the Russian Waterbirth documentary. (I idolize the midwife who pushes her baby out with such calmness!) Anyway, finally at about 8 p.m. contractions started to get 5 min. apart.....I labored over a birth ball, over a chair, over the table, over the coach, on all fours, I labored standing up leaning on my doula, at about 11 p.m. contractions grew to be about 3 min. apart. I felt pushy at about 12 a.m., got into the birth pool and labored there for a while...contractions grew apart again (about 8 min.)...I labored on all fours...the children sat down near the pool...in between contractions I would talk to them). I felt the urge to push...and boy did I ever....all the food I had consumed had not been eliminated yet and I didn't think that is what it was....but it was! Along with the elimination, I pushed so hard that my water broke. After that was out of the way....I started to feel truely pushy at about 1:30 a.m.....I tried to push on all fours...but my body wanted to push in almost a lithotomy position with my husand supporting me as an anchor in the pool from behind. Baby was born just before 2 a.m. at home in water.

Christine (wife, mom, doula for 8 years, and midwifery student)
DD12, DS10, DS7, DS4.5, DS2.5, & #6, a boy, due mid-Sept. plan 5th home waterbirth


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#19 of 21 Old 12-30-2008, 12:15 PM
 
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My first sign was that stand up sit down lay down stand up walk sit down kind of uncomfortable. I was in geting my taxes done and the receptionist told me I shouldn't be driving (I told her that it was a mile to the hospital- I would be fine- of course that wasn't my hospital- but it was fine). I then drove over to DH"s grandma's house and hung out with them for a while before I went home. That was the absolute beginning for me. Never noticed a bloody show or mucus plug.....

as for the water breaking- mine were artifically ruptured both times and I have no desire to ever have that happen. I don't care if I am in labor for a week- there is no way to describe how the intensity of contractions increases after that. the water is a cushion for both you and your baby- had I realized that- well it would have been much easier I think.

Iowaorganic- mama to DD (1/5/06), DS1 (4/9/07), DS2 (1/22/09), DS3 (12/10/10), DD2 (7/6/12) and a new kid due in early 2014

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#20 of 21 Old 01-02-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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I've been at 4-5 cms and 90% effaced for over a week - and was at 2-3 cms and 80% effaced for 3 weeks prior to that. So every little twinge, every weak contraction, every bit of mucus is making me CRAZY!

I was induced with #1, and so want to go naturally this time around.


TMI
I was just blowing my nose and peed myself. I'm pretty sure it was urine and not my water breaking. Lovely, either way! LOL!
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#21 of 21 Old 01-02-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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My first "sign" of impending labor was losing parts of my mucous plug and experiencing very light bleeding (pinkish and only needing a pantyliner) for 24-36 hours before my first contraction.

I knew I was in real labor when I was jolted awake at 2:47 am in the morning with a truly horrendous contraction and had another exactly 7 minutes later...then another 7 minutes after that. lol

I'm wondering how different it will be this time around!
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