How did you known when labor was coming/ had started? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 04-16-2011, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's been almost 5 years since I've experienced labor because my DD2 was a RCS after my midwife dropped me for HBAC when I was 10 days "overdue."  My first two labors started with my water breaking on its own, so those were obvious!

 

I've been having crampy contractions and back tightening contractions off and on for a couple of days along with the normal uterus tightening BH contractions.  TMI:  I've also been sick to my stomach and had diarrhea for a few days. Maybe it's a sign labor is coming soon?  It's doubtful though as I've never gone into labor before 40 weeks.

 

What were the first signs of your previous labors and when did you know it was the real thing? 

 


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#2 of 23 Old 04-16-2011, 06:35 AM
 
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I'm in the same boat. it's been nearly 4 years since my last labor. I'd drink some water and try to take it easy and see what happens. My labor with DD started with my mucous plug coming out Friday, bloody show Saturday and early Sunday morning some strong contractions.


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#3 of 23 Old 04-16-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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After my water broke I still didn't believe it til they told me I was 7cm, lol.  Second time I remembered the pain difference between early labor and active.  Although I wondered if I was in labor many times, there was no doubt I was once I was, if that makes any sense.  So for me, if I'm not completely sure, than I'm probably not.  I get contractions 5-20 min's apart all day the last 2 months of every pregnancy so it's frustrating!

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#4 of 23 Old 04-16-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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Definitely the stomach symptoms could be the body cleaning itself out - stay hydrated and positive mama!


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#5 of 23 Old 04-16-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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With my first, the signs were spread over a long time (10 days or more of occasionally losing plug, having a bit of show, a few contractions that petered out fast, that kind of thing).  Then my water started leaking and then contractions started for real a couple of hours later.

 

Second time around, I had show and contractions first thing in the morning, they petered out for 3 or 4 hours and then it all started back up again and progressed from there, with the contractions making it pretty obvious that labour day had arrived.  I can't even remember if I lost any plug in advance - I don't think so.  I am clinging to this thinking "well, I see no signs of anything, but maybe that doesn't mean it's ages and ages away". Wishful thinking for me...? :P

 

Sounds like thigns are definitely happening for you, even if it doesn't mean labour is imminent, I found when I went through days of stuff like that it helped to think that pressure on the cervix from contractions was helping to ripen things up and get me ready for the real deal :)

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#6 of 23 Old 04-16-2011, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepetals View Post

Sounds like thigns are definitely happening for you, even if it doesn't mean labour is imminent, I found when I went through days of stuff like that it helped to think that pressure on the cervix from contractions was helping to ripen things up and get me ready for the real deal :)



I definately don't think I'm close to labor given my history of always going past 40 weeks, but it is definately different for me to have cramps and back contractions before labor begins.  I still fully expect to be pregnant for at least a couple more weeks. I'll hope that at least these contractions are doing something.

 


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#7 of 23 Old 04-16-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr'smom View Post

 I'll hope that at least these contractions are doing something.

 



If nothing else, they are of course strengthening/preparing the uterus. 


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#8 of 23 Old 04-16-2011, 06:34 PM
 
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I had prodromal labor for about a day before it really kicked in. I had contractions all day long anywhere from 3-10 minutes apart. then I started having diarrhea and throwing up..thats when it got real. It could be a sign, but if you take it easy and drink water and nothing gets more intense, it's probably still BH or prodromal labor, which is real labor, it's just slow and spread out. my sister had prodromal labor for 4-5 days before labor started getting more intense, and she was dialting as well.


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#9 of 23 Old 04-16-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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For me, I was crampy for a few days before labor started, then the day before I felt really 'off'.  I can't even explain the 'off'-ness, I just knew something was up.  Then my water broke before I started having contrax with both of them.  


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#10 of 23 Old 04-16-2011, 07:39 PM
 
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Sounds like something is happening for you. Sometimes I've had prelabor stuff like that, and other times I don't have any signs till right as labor is starting.

1st - planned c/sec for breech at 38wks, no prelabor

2nd - failed induction turned c/sec at 39wks, no prelabor other than bh

3rd - homebirth at 41wks, a couple of weeks of miserable, painful cramping that would start in the late afternoon and last till the morning and was hard to distinguish from real labor pain-wise, lost mucous plug a day or two before, as well as leaking water that re-sealed a day or two before

4th - homebirth at 39wks6days, NO signs whatsoever, not even bh, super fast labor and footling breech, first sign was seeing my mucous plug and he was born 3 hrs later

5th - homebirth at 40wks+ a few days, couple of weeks of crampy contractions that gradually got more and more painful and some that kept me up at night but went away in the am, then one am my water broke, baby was born less than 3hrs after my first contraction and about 8hrs after water broke - I think I lost my mucous plug the day before

6th - homebirth at 40wks+ a few days, lost mucous plug 2 days before labor, morning of labor I had no appetite and was very weepy, 1st sign of labor was water breaking, baby was born 3hrs after 1st contraction and less than 5hrs after water broke

7th - homebirth at 40wks+ a few days, loss of appetite a couple of hours before labor started, lost mucous plug a day before, 1st sign of labor was bloody show and painful contractions that quickly turned into transition

8th - homebirth at 40wks, stomach upset and frequent bathroom trips all day before going into labor that night, first sign of labor was contractions 5min apart, then a short while after bloody show


As crazy as it sounds, even after going through labor this many times I still wonder if I'll be able to tell when it's the real deal or not, or how much warning I'll have. Some of those prelabor contractions that can happen days or even weeks ahead of time are every bit as uncomfy as active labor ones for me, so it gets very hard to distinguish based on how painful they are. I just have to wait and see if they stick around or turn into transition. What's hard though, is that when it's the real deal my actual active labor phase is usually very short, less than an hour and then I'm heading into transition which is unmistakeable.. the shaking, shivering, I don't want to do this anymore feeling. Then we know it's time to call the mw. So far they've always made it in time, though we've had some close calls where I'm ready to push when they walk in the door.

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#11 of 23 Old 04-17-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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So glad you posted this thread, mama! I've had two "is this it?" moments this time around and this is my third!  On what I knew to be my EDD, my water started leaking with my first, I had contrax for about 2 hours and then it broke completely...baby was born about 8 hours later.   I was 40+8 with my 2nd and had to be induced via ruptured membranes (she barely passed her biophysical profile and hadn't moved at all overnight...) and DD was born 3 hours later. Seems like my body is definitely warming up for the big event this time around...although I thought I was having contrax last night and it turned out to be stomach cramps;)  


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#12 of 23 Old 04-17-2011, 05:18 PM
 
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#1- it felt like my cervix was just stretching like a rubberband for a couple of hours one day, lost my plug next day with the same contractions, later that evening water broke (I realized it was labor).

 

#2- felt like I had to pee...every 12 minutes

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#13 of 23 Old 04-17-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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For me it was radiating contractions that would wrap around my back and radiate down into my cervix. When I had to start breathing and moaning through them a little (was a natural reaction) then I knew it was time. No clue whats going to happen this time around! I wasnt ahrdly uncomfortable with Emmalia's birth 20 mos ago until my water broke and I was in transition.


 


 
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#14 of 23 Old 04-17-2011, 09:03 PM
 
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Baby #1- 41wks- midwife stripped membranes and I lost my mucus plug that night before bed.  Woke up in the middle of the night to pains, went back to bed and woke up an hour later with full blown contractions that I couldn't sleep through.  They escalated pretty quickly so there was no doubt it was labor.

 

Baby #2- 39+6 wks - had a weird burning sensation my back.  Ignored it for a while until I realized it was consistently 3mins apart that the burning was coming.  Called HB midwife and explained that I was uncomfortable but had no pains in my stomach- just in my back.  She headed over and in the meantime my water broke.  5 mins after my water broke, contractions hit with fierce intensity- no doubt it was labor at that point.

 

I've had tons of crampy BH's the past several weeks but they definitely do not have any timing or increasing intensity to them.  I am really hoping I go into labor and it is very obvious this time as DH did the baby delivery with DD2 as it was just too fast.

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#15 of 23 Old 04-18-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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Thanks for posting this, jr's mom. I've been wondering the same. As of November this year it's been 9 long years since I've labored and I've forgotten everything leading up to it. Plus with him I had no  bloody show that I recall, no loss of my plug that I noticed and my water never broke until I was already in the hospital and they did it there. So much for having warning from those signs, lol.

 

I just keep watching my body for unusual changes and hoping I'll know when to call DH in time to make the 2 hour trip to the hospital.

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#16 of 23 Old 04-18-2011, 11:32 AM
 
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With number one, I remember bloody show and painful contractions being the showing signs that I was in labor. The doc broke my waters but looking back I would not have had that done. 

 

With number 2, I had painful BH contractions for a couple weeks before I went into labor, but once real labor kicked in, I could definitely tell the difference. I was like, yep, I'm having a baby soon. No bloody show or anything else. My water did break as I was walking into the hospital.


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#17 of 23 Old 04-18-2011, 11:42 AM
 
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I keep getting mentally down because I haven't had hardly any BH but then I just remind myself that some women just skip that part and get right to the "good" stuff.

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#18 of 23 Old 04-18-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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39w and I had no signs of impending labor until my water broke on our evening walk.  Labor didn't really start until about 5AM the next morning though and I knew it was real because the contrax were painful, my body voided everything and I lost my mucus plus.  I delivered a few hours later.

 

Looking back though, I think one thing may have made upcoming labor obvious- I had been cooking like a fiend all week.  Morning noon night I cooked and cooked until our huge chest freezer was full and I had a huge spread prepared for a party the next day.  The night I finished was when my water broke. We ate well postpartum ;)


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#19 of 23 Old 04-19-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gummibears View Post

Thanks for posting this, jr's mom. I've been wondering the same. As of November this year it's been 9 long years since I've labored ....


Same here, but with both of my first, there was no real sign. I had more BH stuff with dd, but they always went away if I hydrated and laid down for a bit. If my mom hadn't been there flipping out with dd, I would've stayed home that first night, and slept MUCH better, even though I was having some fairly regular contractions. But since she was there flipping out, we went to the hospital that night and I was 4cm+ so they kept me. I should've just gone back home, but who knew? I was not where I'm at today mentally. But when I could no longer sleep through the contractions the next morning, I believed it.

 

With ds, I was hopping mad hopmad.gif(that smiley cracks me up) because I didn't go into labor essentially the second dh got home from his last run before his week off, ds's EDD. Then the next morning, contractions woke me up, and I knew immediately that they were "the real thing".

 

But I had no bloody show, no "cleansing", no rabid need to clean or cook, not even really any BH stuff in the couple days prior that I remember, but I may have just been used to them. With ds I spent the last half the pg feeling like I wanted to "bear down" but don't remember any real BH with him. My water didn't break with either baby until seconds before they crowned either... so?? For me it was just the relentlessness and intensity of the contractions that tipped me off.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyNichole View Post

I keep getting mentally down because I haven't had hardly any BH but then I just remind myself that some women just skip that part and get right to the "good" stuff.

Exactly! I wore myself out walking and walking and doing all the stuff you hear and I hoped would bring on labor, but ... I don't think it made any difference. I don't think it hurt anything, either, but I don't think I'll be trying quite so hard this time. Making myself MORE tired than I already am isn't going to make anything easier for anyone.
 

 

Edited to clarify my typos.


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#20 of 23 Old 04-19-2011, 01:31 PM
 
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This is such a helpful thread!!! I'm 38weeks tomorrow and since late last week, I've wondering...maybe three different nights if this "was it". I haven't had any show or mucus plug or water breaking, but I've had contractions that are very regular and some intense that have petered out after an hour or so...........I'm hoping to have a doula come in from eight hours away, and I'm kind of afraid I won't know when to call

 

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#21 of 23 Old 04-19-2011, 05:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyNichole View Post

I keep getting mentally down because I haven't had hardly any BH but then I just remind myself that some women just skip that part and get right to the "good" stuff.



No BH whatsoever with my first...had bloody show and labor started that same nightsmile.gif  I was 39w 3d.

 

Bloody show seems to be a good sign for me, but usually I just have one contraction that is so different from the rest that I know it's real.  I can't even explain what I mean, I just know.


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#22 of 23 Old 04-20-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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I didn't really have any signs ahead of time with my second (first was induced, so obviously no signs there).  I do remember waking up in the middle of the night feeling kind of nauseous and I was shaky--I thought, "Oh no, I'm coming down with a tummy bug."  A little while later, I had cramping that felt like I needed to go to the bathroom... tried and couldn't, pain went away (contraction subsided, but for some reason I didn't realize it was a contraction since it was so different from all the contractions I had up until that point).  As I walked out of the bathroom, another one hit, and THEN I knew.  And it was so intense, I woke my exhusband up and said, "Either I'm in labor or something is seriously wrong with my intestines... either way we need to go to the hospital!" He was born about 1 hour 15 minutes later. I never had bloody show, lost my mucus plug, etc... and my water didn't break.

 


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#23 of 23 Old 04-20-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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For me I had at least 3-5 days of constant, 24 hour contractions. They're mostly irregular, moderately uncomfortable and sometimes slightly to moderately painful. This is my pre-labour and warm up. If I just go about my day and ignore it, it's not so bad at all... but I imagine if I tried to micromanage this phase and time the hell out of it I'd probably find myself exhausted and disappointed very quickly. Following that my contractions would usually very suddenly get intense and closer together, usually over a period of less than an hour. I can't really describe it: they just *felt* inherently different. Often for the first hour or so I'd be questioning it, "Is this really labour? Have they really changed?". I'll take a shower, or lay down, or drink a bunch of water and see if they change... and if the answer is NOPE and they get worse then I know I'm probably in early labour! By that point I'll check my cervix to see if baby is down, I have a bulging bag or my cervix has changed, and usually I find one of the three if not all three at once. ;) The last two times I checked myself in that situation, my hand came out with a big clump of mucous plug - ewww!

At that point I just mill about until I can no longer function normally. I do NOT time contractions and do NOT watch the clock. Once it's clear that I can  no longer get up and walk around, even between contractions, then and only then do I call the midwife!


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