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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!<br>
I am over 39 weeks with my first. Am I REALLY going to know when I'm going into labour? Are my contractions going to hurt? My BH have gotten so crushing sometimes and they seem to go on and on (no matter what I do, sleep, walk, sit, right now using a heating pad and feeling a little twinge of crampyness)... I just don't know. I am hoping that contractions won't hurt until they really need to. The quality of my BH have changed over the last few weeks overall, and today in particular I've had a couple that have lasted about 90+ seconds. They are now going on and on.<br>
???
 

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My contractions felt different from BH and they mostly didn't hurt. (None of them hurt at all for the first 3 hours of my 6 hour labor.)
 

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maybe I am wrong and I never had BH, but I felt like that was more like a muscle spasm pulling tightening feeling, and contractions felt like period cramps at first. But I was induced, so that didn't last long!
 

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The main difference for me was where I felt them. BH I felt just in my belly. Some of them were very strong, but all in the belly. Early labour contractions I felt down low in my belly radiating around to my hips/lower back and down the front of my thighs.
 

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I agree with the PP's.<br><br>
With my last baby had I very intense B.H.'s and I would say that at times, they were very uncomfortable and I was sure they were contractions.<br><br>
When real labor started, I KNEW it even though they weren't necessarily more painful. They were lower and didn't extend to the top of my uterus like the BH's were. They were like menstrual cramps. They were less of a tightening and a squeeze and more of an ache.
 

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For me B-H are a gathering/tightening feeling with the energy coming from sides of my belly towards the top and the energy feeling like it peaks around the center of my belly and I may have a feeling of pressure down below but no pain.<br>
real contractions start at the bottom, work their way to the top of my uterus and then at the peak everything is organized andpuhsing down and the energy feels like it is going down and out through my pelvis and yes, they hurt. For me all contraction pain is focused purely at my cervix-zero back, hip, leg or belly pain. They are also much more regular and have a more definite feeling of starting and stopping while B-H kind of start and stop in a fading kind of way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hmmm... I sure hope that these BH are actually doing something, I am getting sick of them<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">
 

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The only difference I found between BH and real labor... was that real labor ended with a baby in my arms.<br><br>
I went to the hospital several times with DD with BH, less than 10 minutes apart... strong... but of course within an hour of getting there it would FINALLY taper off to nothing.<br><br>
It got frustrating to the point that the morning DD was born, my now ex-dh told me that if it wasn't real labor again he wasn't taking me to the hospital the next time. And walking in, even I questioned it. They werent regular... but they were less than 10 minutes apart and I just felt like I needed to be there. She was born 3 hours later.<br><br>
BUT... every woman's experience tends to be different.
 

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I agree that BH tend to be a simple tightening of the uterus, whereas "real" ctxs are more crampy, menstrual-like, and eventually will include far more than just the obvious protrusion of belly (that gets hard with a BH). I definitely felt them wrap around my back - tho I can't recall now if they started or ended there. Some feel them in their thighs. They definitely start low, peak, and recede. Early, early ones are harder to tell, though.<br><br>
Certainly, if you're contracting at all, it's doing *something.* Could be toning and prepping, could be moving baby, or effacing, or even dilating. But every ctx will do *something* to get you closer! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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My BH contax felt a lot like my first stage labour. Once I hit about 4-5 cms though, there was no mistaking that these were REAL contractions and maybe I'm a wuss, but they fricking hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was up in the middle of the night to eat cereal and feel more BH/contractions (they were still squeezy like BH and predominantly up top squeezing) but also felt like low-down period cramps. Would these be more like real contractions? No cramps today so far, only BH!
 

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How something feels is really subjective, so I am not sure what to tell as far as if your having BH or some early *real* labor ctrx. BUT, from my experience, what you've got going on probably is doing something towards some form of progression, like thinning your cervix. You are far enough along that that's what I would suspect. I do just what you are doing the last couple wks of pg, and I end up having 2 hrs labors when things actually get going. I am not guarenteeing that's what will happen for you, but I would surprised if you had a labor longer than 12 hrs or so.
 

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I agree...that far along you could be having stronger BH/prelabor. With my second child I had BH everyday that were pretty strong and stayed at around 2 cm for a week and a half. The rule of thumb really is if you are able to make them stop by changing your position. If you're having one while sitting does it stop while laying down, or walking...no matter how long they last? And can you talk, function through them? With even strong BH you ought to be able to stop with an "ouch" and rub it out, move around and still go on with your business. For me anyway real contractions floor me. I could be talking and then suddenly contraction and all talking stops and I have to concentrate almost beyond my control. And theres no getting away from it. I'm about 34-35 weeks and my BH are stronger and longer this time which they usually are with subsequent children...but even when it lasts a long time I can still keep on doing what I was doing without much thought interruption.<br><br>
If you're having contractions that literally cause you to stop in your tracks or go to your knees and require your concentration and breath, I'd look at that as some labor signs. But then again they are different for different people. Even the BH are doing somtehing. When my midwife asks me about them she likes to say "Can't expect you to run the Boston marathon without practicing first!" lol. It's hard to explain but when you see the statement "you'll know"..it's true. With my first I was "but how will I know?"...well 2 children later...it's just true...you'll know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>terra-pip</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15481627"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">"Can't expect you to run the Boston marathon without practicing first!" lol. It's hard to explain but when you see the statement "you'll know"..it's true. With my first I was "but how will I know?"...well 2 children later...it's just true...you'll know.</div>
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I sure hope so<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> My uterus should be able to run the marathon by now no prob! I have been having BH of some sort since about 20 weeks despite this being my first!<br>
I am looking forward to my 4 hour labour <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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My BHs were the sort that I noticed not because of pain, but the tightness sort of made breathing hard. Contractions for me didn't hurt substantially until transition. I don't rely on the "I'll know the difference" concept because when it hurt with my first I was 8.5 cm dilated. Thankfully, my clue that I was in labor was my water breaking (and there was meconium) so I went to the hospital. 3rd baby, same thing, water broke because otherwise no clue. And since she was going to be VBAC I also headed in to the hospital quickly (not that I needed to, she took her sweet time!). I do think you may be starting something if they are getting more intense. GOOD LUCK and congrats in advance!
 

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I honestly didn't know the difference for sure until about an hour or two before my babies were born.<br><br>
I think my body does the work of labor bit by bit -- which is great, because the end comes fast.<br><br>
I was 4cm the day before my last ds was born, but there were a few nights of being up wondering "is this it?" and pouring water on my belly, knowing that if it stopped after 2-3 hours, it wasn't it. If it continued, I was having the baby.<br><br>
All three of my children have been that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I like to hear all the "i didn't know the difference" kind of stories- that's what I'm hoping for <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Don't worry about the pain...it's gonna hurt on some level. I don't think anyone here is saying it didn't hurt, just there was a difference in how and when it started. Ina May Gaskin (author of Spiritual Midwifery) likes to say in her book that instead of pain think of them as pressure or as an elemental force you have to learn to work with. One thing that I have always heard is when you're in labor and you try to "run away" or get away from the pain or make it stop it only hurts more. It's just something you have to work with. I have always felt a difference in my labor pain as compared to other pains. I get a cut or a break or stomach bug or anything else that hurts and my body (most peoples body) goes into emergency mode.."somethings wrong here and it needs to be fixed quick...danger." But the labor pains seem more like "okay this hurts but there's no danger...I'm okay...just have to work with my body here to get this done."<br><br>
If that helps at all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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