what do contractions feel like? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 06-26-2011, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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half the time I'm not sure if I'm having BH's or if baby is moving...or maybe the baby is moving during a BH?  it's not super painful or anything, and I know the BH are supposed to feel like a tightening sensation, but half the time when the baby is moving it does just feel tight...I feel so new! haha I'm sure there won't be a doubt in my mind when real contractions start hitting, but for now I remain obliviously confused

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#2 of 13 Old 06-26-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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BH feels like just a tightening- with real contractions you feel your cervix opening at least that's how it is for me. For the first 5-6 centimeters it's fine and then progresses in intensity (transition) where I have to breathe until that 9-10 dilation where I say I'm done and then my babies are usually there in a matter of a minute or two. So that's been my experience. You will know when cervical dilation is taking place although I did have one labor where things were so mild, sort of like very mild menstrual cramps and never went through the I can't take it anymore transition phase. In fact I was shocked I was fully dilated and my son literally slid out but I haven't had a birth like that since (would be great though).

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#3 of 13 Old 06-26-2011, 03:14 PM
 
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BH make my stomach feel like a rock.  You can practically tap on it, it's so hard.

 

Real contractions (for me) wrap around from the back to the front.  They are like waves.  It's like more intense menstrual cramps during early labor.  The stomach again is hard during a ctx.


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#4 of 13 Old 06-26-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narleegates View Post

half the time I'm not sure if I'm having BH's or if baby is moving...or maybe the baby is moving during a BH?  it's not super painful or anything, and I know the BH are supposed to feel like a tightening sensation, but half the time when the baby is moving it does just feel tight...I feel so new! haha I'm sure there won't be a doubt in my mind when real contractions start hitting, but for now I remain obliviously confused



I totally wonder this, too :) I posted in another thread if it's common to not have BH yet (@around 39 wks) because I'm not sure I've felt anything. But I have felt what you seem to describe - like movement yet contracting or something.. plus the belly does get kinda hard. But I don't have them that often. Whatever. I kinda like being totally clueless in a way. Keeps me from obsessing over anything. I've been so chill lately I just figure I'm not the boss right now... only baby & my "monkey" (from Ina May books where she talks about letting your "monkey" like your primitive birthing self) are in charge. I just hope that my monkey or someone knows when it's time to go to the birth center :)


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#5 of 13 Old 06-26-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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My BH contractions feel like the baby is making a rolling motion, as if it's turning a somersault or something. I think the key is to feel how tight your uterus is - my childbirth class instructor says your uterus normally feels like the end of your nose, but if you are having a BH or early labor contraction, it will feel about as hard as your chin. Active labor contractions make your uterus tighten as hard as your forehead. 

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#6 of 13 Old 06-26-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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I didn't really pick up on BH's with my first unless we were going on our long nightly walk, then it felt almost like a stitch in your side does from running only all over my belly. I didn't notice much in the way of tightening or hardness. I hardly pick up on BH's with this pregnancy but had them frequently with my DD, I know I have them I just don't notice them. Strong BH's and real contractions OTOH really make my belly stick out and feel really tight. A true contraction for me is largely dependent on position of the baby, with this baby they wrap around my whole belly and I can feel my cervix pulling up as my uterus pushes the baby down. They're sort of like a menstrual cramp, only they peak in intensity and then gradually subside. Back contractions for me normally feel like a bowling ball is coming out of my tailbone and they wrap around from back to front and down low.


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#7 of 13 Old 06-27-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuburbanHippie View Post

Real contractions (for me) wrap around from the back to the front.  They are like waves.  It's like more intense menstrual cramps during early labor.  The stomach again is hard during a ctx.



This was my experience as well (for my "whole" hour of early labor).  The BH that I get this pregnancy do sometimes involve a *slight* amount of crampy sensation, but it's not strong and definitely not something I would ever think is a labor contrax.  They make my belly crazy hard though, or as my DS likes to describe it "It's not squishy!"  smile.gif

 

 


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#8 of 13 Old 06-28-2011, 05:12 AM
 
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For me BH are either non existent or feel the same as a pre labor ctx.

Contractions to me feel like menstrual cramps getting stronger and stronger and at 6/7 cm make me hot and cold and shaky like during a fever. This is usually the time where I decide I want pain meds. If I go beyond without meds I stop shivering but at 9/10 decide that I am going home now and someone else can have this baby.

I have never had any other pain than menstrual like cramps and during crowning cervical/vaginal burning.


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#9 of 13 Old 06-28-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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I thought my BH's were just the baby pushing on me.  But then one day it hit me that it was my uterus, not baby!  How I can tell when I have one is if I feel that tightening sensation (sometimes it feels like the baby is pushing really hard or something)... I reach down and feel the top of my belly / uterus... if it is hard, I'm having one... if it is still soft, it's really just baby! 

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#10 of 13 Old 06-28-2011, 07:31 AM
 
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i didn't feel BH with my first son. labor contractions for me felt a lot like diarrhea cramps, minus the diarrhea, plus a low backache.

this time around, i've felt BH for months now, and they feel kind of like my uterus has been blown up like a balloon.

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#11 of 13 Old 06-29-2011, 04:55 PM
 
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I don't know what a real contraction feels like since I had zero with DS (never went into labor, 18 days late, Emer C-section).  I've been having a lot of BH & low cramping.  I only know what a contraction feels like from what I've read, but not all Moms have those kind of contractions either.  I guess I'll know how it feels when I have one!


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#12 of 13 Old 06-29-2011, 11:55 PM
 
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#13 of 13 Old 06-30-2011, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I felt some real contractions today! nothing regular or anything, I was just driving and it was like a few seconds of an intense cramp! but then I was too excited to be uncomfortable lol

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