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I'm wondering about the variety of what different feelings women have had in first stage labor. I've heard so many different things: menstrual cramps, clamping down, backaches, or like intestinal cramps. Mine were sort of swelling and clamping of the uterus with a little backache that came with them. What were yours like? I tried to post a poll but the server was busy, still - please describe what you felt? Also was it a posterior baby, did you have pitocin, castor oil, anything to change things from just your body's normal work?
 

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Every woman is completely different and pain levels differ. I work L&D as an RN and I have heard them described in MANY ways. For me (I had to be induced for medical reasons both times with pitocin) it felt like a boa constrictor wrapping it around my belly and squeezing for the first part and later it just plain hurt like hell. I cannot describe the latter part, you have to feel it to experience it, but it is definitely something that will keep you on your toes. I will freely admit, I took the epidural because I was a chicken...sorry mamas, and really wanted the pain relief.
 

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Mine felt like intestinal cramps.
 

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Mine felt like an intense bubble inside of me building and building and building. At the same time, it felt like a tight belt around my hips, trying to squeeze the bejeebers out of them. The hip thing was the worst. I could not get into any position that gave me one iota of relief. It didn't go away between contractions, either, just got less intense.<br><br>
I had an OP baby, and eventually a c-section for failure to progress (stuck at 9.5 cm).
 

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During my second birth ( at home, unmedicated, properly positioned baby ) first stage labor contractions were very mild and simply felt like a painless tightening of my uterus that sometimes made it hard to breathe. Second stage was-horrendous lol-but went by very fast. During my first birth, first stage contractions were awful because I was stuck in bed with a posterior baby and then augmented with pitocin. Second stage was so painful I don't even remember most of it and barely remember my son being born. Your experience I think will vary greatly on your state of mind and surroundings as well.
 

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Agreed that it really depends on the mama, baby's position, etc. DS was ROT and turned during labor, so for me contractions started out like really intense menstrual cramps in my back that would build and reach a peak and subside. Eventually they felt like they were wrapping around down low in my pelvis. I didn't receive any drugs or take anything to change the intensity of contractions.
 

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As far as sensations went, they felt the same as my BHs: an overall tightening and hardening of the belly. But whereas the BHs were mostly painless, these felt like a bad stomachache.
 

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It felt like, well, contractions.<br><br><br>
It felt like my uterus would just build up and get tighter and tighter and tighter until it couldn't get tighten any more and then would slowly become less tight.<br><br>
I really dont know how to describe it.
 

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Mine felt like my lower back kept getting Charley Horses! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> (OP baby)
 

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Unlike my BH contractions, my active labor contractions started at my back and seemed to wrap around my abdomen.
 

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early labor definitely just felt like mild menstrual cramps.
 

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Felt like I was being shredded from the inside out with a sword. Sharp, intense, and beyond NOT tolerable. Both times pit. induced. I have no idea what natural contrax. feel like. I've had some doozies so far w/this preg. and they hurt but it was a different experience entirely than the others, I am sure real labor will hurt, but it won't be as bad. It can't be...I don't think it would be survivable!
 

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Mine felt like a tightening in my back. I did hypnosis and I labored in a tub most of the time. They really weren't too bad at all.<br><br>
When it was time to push it felt like i touched an electric fence, kind of convulsing my body. I pushed for an hour and a half. I was really tired.
 
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