What was the first sign of labour for you?

(55 Posts)
Pontouf Sun 07-Apr-13 19:44:17

I am 40+1 with DC2 but ad an ELCS first time oun so hae never actually been in labour. I was just wondering what people's experiences were of the beginning of labour - was it having a show, or your waters breaking or just the start of contractions? And if it was contractions did they build up from nothing or did they start off at an intensity that meant they were recognisable as contractions?!

I have had an achey back for about a week now but baby is back to back so that could be nothing to do with imminent labour. Would really love to know what sort of things I should be looking out for!

FrazzleRock Sun 07-Apr-13 19:46:20

My waters gushed out of me. No warning whatsoever. No contractions or any pain at all.

In fact I had no contractions at all until they induced me later at hospital!

Notmyidea Sun 07-Apr-13 20:14:34

I've always had a show weeks before, then several nights of braxton-hicks contractions, often regular. The first sign of real labour has been when they got more intense and didn't stop.

ghosteditor Sun 07-Apr-13 20:27:51

I had Braxton Hicks quite strongly from 25 weeks! In retrospect, I had a show on the morning of DD's birth (40+6) but they can happen weeks in advance for some people so I wasn't sure.

I had a rare nap at 4pm and was woken by a big contraction (the first real contraction I felt) half an hour later, which made me need to rush to the loo (to put it delicately). From then on I had contractions at ten minutes and was mooing on the floor for a good while. I was at nine cms within four hours though so it was all fairly rapid for me wink.

My waters didn't go until I started pushing.

Good luck!

Loupee Sun 07-Apr-13 20:29:39

My waters went first, was in bed, thought I'd wet myself! Not a huge gush though, several smaller ones.
Went to hospital, they told me I was contracting though I couldn't feel it. Ended up on induction drip!

intheshed Sun 07-Apr-13 20:34:54

Period-like cramps that woke me up at 4am. At the start it was no different to the usual aches and pains, I only realised it was labour when they started getting stronger.

Rookiebfcounsellor Sun 07-Apr-13 20:35:44

A show

Pontouf Sun 07-Apr-13 21:04:32

Thanks everyone! All very useful info! Am constantly watching a dn waiting for signs. Tons of people, including my midwife said they thought I'd be early so I am so beyond fed up now!

Dogsmom Sun 07-Apr-13 21:16:59

I had my dd last month and had literally no early symptoms, I was convinced I'd go past the due date but 2 days early I woke up with mild period like cramps, fell back to sleep for half hour then was woken again.
Went to the loo and there was a smear of blood, the cramps gradually built up and she was born the following dinnertime.

ghosteditor Sun 07-Apr-13 22:06:10

Oh dear lord yes, the bleeding! I bled a lot after contractions started - didn't know that happened shock

OhGood Sun 07-Apr-13 22:09:52

mild period-like cramps here too. Took me ages to work out what was going on - (seriously - durr - strange pain that keeps coming and going? - in my defence DD was v early.)

lemonpoppyseed Sun 07-Apr-13 22:17:56

Period-like cramps for me too, starting around 5:00 a.m. Took me a while to realise that it was labour - as above, I thought it was just the usual aches and pains...

abbyfromoz Sun 07-Apr-13 22:23:54

I had nothing until my water broke. I had been for a last wee before bed and on my way upstairs came a gush and i thought, oh crap i wet myself- then it dawned on me. Thought- best get to bed and try get some sleep in between contractions but as soon as i tried to laid down BAM! No mistaking a contraction. 10 hours later i was holding DD.

MrsBungle Sun 07-Apr-13 22:27:51

With DC1 I had a pain (not horrendous but OW!) and my show came out. After that I had regular contractions. It was just out of the blue although I had been achey for ages.

DC2 I was to be induced as my waters went but no contractions. When the doctor did an internal it seemed to send me off - a pain and then regular contractions.

UnderPuns Sun 07-Apr-13 23:27:04

DS - Had my 1st contraction after jumping off the kitchen worktop... contractions continued and that was it.

DD1 - Was woken up by a large contraction at about 6am.

DD2 - Had a bloody show 2 days before labour started, 1 day before labour started I had BH after BH ALL day, stopped during the evening but was woken up by a proper contraction at 5am(ish).

All quite boring really!

AmandaCooper Mon 08-Apr-13 09:41:52

My waters broke; just a trickle then I ran to the loo where more gushed out. I didn't have a single warning sign and I'd been symptom spotting like mad!

Crmmum Mon 08-Apr-13 10:42:47

Never ending braxton hicks for a whole day, then a huge puddle on the floor... 8 hours later show started coming away, then contractions a couple hours later.

CuppaSarah Mon 08-Apr-13 14:06:02

I had no show, no waters breaking. But for a couple days before hand I just felt different, I think it was nesting instinct without the need to clean?
The first definate this is it moment was contractions I woke up with coming 3 minuites apart.

Had a show the week before - came away in bits over three days or so.

Waters broke at 2am in bed. Painful contractions started about 6am. Baby born at 4pm

Pontouf Tue 09-Apr-13 13:58:02

Thanks all, so I had a bit of a bloody show yesterday and then today I lost a big blob of mucous which I guess must be part of the plug. This combined with intermittent back pains must mean things are on their way right? Right? Please say yes, am so fed up!

AmandaCooper Tue 09-Apr-13 17:15:52

That sounds really positive - anything to report?

When they shoved the pessary up my fanjo grin

Hope things are starting for you Pontouf

OohShiny Tue 09-Apr-13 17:22:15

I had no warning. Got woken up at about 12.30 by a painful contraction, dozed back off and was woken 15 mins later by another. And they quickly got more and more closer together and were all just bloody painful right from the beginning. I had no build up whatsoever.

Waters popped at 5am, not a lot, just enough for me to know what it was and my DD was born at 8am just 2 weeks ago. So less than 7 and a half hours from start to finish.

Good luck, it's all worth it!

ShootingStarsss Tue 09-Apr-13 17:34:13

DC1 period type cramps in lower stomach that woke me up at 4am then had a show.

DC2 real bad lower back pain, dd was back to back as well.

Pontouf Wed 10-Apr-13 15:17:06

Thanks all for your experiences. Really interesting - I love a good birth story. I am 40+4 today as STILL no baby. Nothing has changed. Am planning to ask my MW for another sweep at my appointment tomorrow. Am very very grumpy today angry sad

recall Wed 10-Apr-13 15:22:43

1st, was asleep at 02:00 and woke up with a violent kick from the baby and then it felt like a staple gun had gone off inside me, and my waters started seeping out.

2nd, kept passing this disgusting gooey snot which i presume was a show for about a week, with lots of very strong braxton hicks, then just started with cramps.

3rd, 3 weeks before due date, woke up in the middle of the night, and waters just gushed out. I remember just lying there in silent resignation thinking " Oh right, we're off then" Looking back, I remember earlier that day deciding I really did have to focus on this baby and pack my bag etc, and got it all done, bearing in mind it was my 3rd, and 3 weeks away from due date, I put that down to instincts telling me to prepare.

Ilovestackingcups Wed 10-Apr-13 15:24:20

I tried to sit down and read the paper. Baby could tell I was relaxing, started bringing me mild contractions. Tried to watch TV, baby could tell it was being ignored, ramped up contractions to 'quite annoying'. Applied TENS, tried to watch a film, baby realised she was dealing with a serious adversary, but I had the edge, until one of the electrodes slipped out and I electrocuted myself.
Had to admit it was labour by that point.
I was 40+13 when she was born, I hope you don't have to wait that long!

TryingtobelessChunkyChick Wed 10-Apr-13 15:31:06

#1, DD; had mild back-ache/period pain in the morning, didn't notice much. Went for a walk, had a show.1 hr later had first contraction (felt like stronger period pains). About 12hrs from show, she arrives.

#2, DS; BH from about 24wks, getting more insistent as I progressed. At 38+6, we DTD then 30mins later I had a contraction, more insistent than any BH. No show, no nothing!!

MyNameIsAnAnagram Wed 10-Apr-13 15:33:23

woke up at 3am with period pain type congtraction. I knew that must be the start as I was 42wks exactly and had not been having BHs or anything. got another one about an hour later, then they just gradually started increasing in freqency and intensity.

Hope it happens soon for you!

kalidasa Wed 10-Apr-13 15:52:19

I had about ten days of really tedious 'pre-labour' (on-off mild period-pain like contractions that never got properly regular or really painful). The first real contraction woke me up (the others never had) at just after 1 am. I realised immediately it was the real deal as it felt different and they were coming every 10-15 minutes but didn't wake DH until about 4 as I wanted to be sure first. Called the hospital before I woke him up! By the time I woke him up they were coming about every 7 minutes.

I had lost a clear mucous plug more than a week before but I didn't get the bloody show until just after I arrived in the delivery room, at around lunchtime when I was already more than 5cm dilated, and my waters didn't go until a few minutes before delivery, well into the pushing phase.

Baby arrived shortly after 6pm. Active labour is recorded as only 6 hours as I think they only count from 5cm dilation? Only pushed for about 40 minutes. Was all very straightforward for a first baby, they told me if I had another it would probably be pretty quick. Good luck!

Clearest sign for me (in retrospect) is that I went really calm and zen-like a few days beforehand, despite totally horrendous pregnancy (went into hospital in a wheelchair and a great deal of pain as couldn't walk by the end with SPD and I was STILL throwing up!). So if you go weirdly calm I would take that as a sign.

DangerMousey Wed 10-Apr-13 16:35:02

Had a show on the Thursday evening, and then again on Friday morning. Started having mild period type pains at 3pm ish on the Friday, by 10pm they were stronger and more regular, but still wasn't really sure I was in labour.

By midnight I was sure!!

They were every 4-5 mins apart and lasting 40 seconds. By 4am when I got to the MLU they were 3 mins apart and 50 seconds long. DS was born at 0856am!

Good luck!

ps - i never had any BH, or any other sign labour was imminent until it started. I had a failed sweep at 40+3 because cervix was totally posterior and MW couldnt even reach it. Head was not engaged at all, and I was sure I would end up being induced. DS was born as detailed above at 41 weeks exactly. Don;t give up hope!

festive Wed 10-Apr-13 17:01:13

No warning at all here either. Woke at 1am at 40+12 with strong contractions that made me want to go to the loo (bit like having eaten something dodgy but pain far worse) and severe nausea.
Didn't have a show until I was in active labour the following day about 3pm somewhere around 5cm.
Waters never broke, ds was born in his amniotic sac smile just before 1am 40+13 so almost a full 24 hrs from first contraction.

aufaniae Wed 10-Apr-13 17:05:48

Last time, my waters broke at 39+5. No warning before that at all.

Am currently 39+6, so am eagerly awaiting something happening as this baby is already a day late compared to DS!!

Good luck Pontouf, I hope labour kicks off for you soon smile

Tinkerbell43 Wed 10-Apr-13 17:17:46

I had period like pains in my back for weeks before I had DS1 2 days before i went into proper labour I had my mucous plug come away in bits over 2 days , I had no bloody show and then mild contractions started Friday night held off going to hospital but when I did I was 3cm dilated so all the period pains had been doing something ! Was then in labour for 17 hours (hmm) had my waters burst by mw at 8cm and had my little boy came a few hours later xx

tumbletumble Wed 10-Apr-13 17:22:54

I had BH for a week or two before all three.

DC1 - waters broke, contractions started soon after.

DC2 - exactly like an episode of Friends, I forced DH to have sex with me (was 8 days late) then shouted 'OK, that's fine, you can stop now' when the contractions started!!

DC3 - had contractions for most of the day - but very irregular / infrequent. Finally became 'proper' contractions around 7pm.

CitizenOscar Fri 12-Apr-13 21:04:28

Good luck OP!

No signs for me until I was woken at 3am by first contraction. Fairly strong and regular from the start (although took an hour or so until I realised these weren't just practice ones - DH gently suggested it might be the real thing)... But still nearly 3 days til we got to meet our baby!

Pontouf Sat 13-Apr-13 14:30:58

Tumbletumble that description of the start of labour for your DC2 made me really laugh! These are all really interesting. I'm afraid I have STILL not gone into labour. 41 weeks today and grumpy as hell....

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 13-Apr-13 14:39:49

Isn't the average baby 8 days late? So you are going to have your dc tomorrow for sure smile

Anyway, Sunday is a good day to be born as the song has it - bonny and blythe etc etc.

Seriously, I really had no labour signs at all until the day my labour started when I had a show.

Please keep us posted when everything kicks off tomorrow!


Pontouf Sat 13-Apr-13 15:55:42

Aah bless you Harriet, I really really hope so! I'm getting so disheartened now. Am almost two weeks more pregnant than I was when DS born!

Chocaholics Sat 13-Apr-13 16:02:58

Have had 2 DCs, in both cases no symptoms of labour, I just stood up, heard a pop and waters broke. Then in both cases no contractions for several hours just water leaking away then contractions started.

Fingers crossed you start soon!

tumbletumble Tue 16-Apr-13 10:38:22

How's it going OP?

shellandkai Tue 16-Apr-13 19:06:07

For me it was very mild cramps, that built up stronger and closer together over the night ooohhhh I actually cry now when I see women in labour on films especially as I know I'm going to go through it all over again in October lol x

us4downhere Tue 16-Apr-13 19:34:37

I am 40+3 and have been having BH every 15 minutes since last night but no pains with them. Had no signs with previous 2 DC except a show on DC1 so I'm not sure what's going on here!

Hopefully it will all start going soon as I'm fed up already - hope you have your baby now OP.

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 16-Apr-13 19:55:10

I've already told you - she had her baby on the 14th smile

Pontouf Tue 16-Apr-13 21:07:29

Hello all, thanks for all the replies. I am 40+10 today, booked in for induction on Thursday.

But <whispers> I think things might be on the move..... Had a second sweep yesterday and lost a big lump of plug this morning. Then this afternoon I lay down for a nap and started getting vague period type cramps, so I gathered up DH and DS and went and marched round the park in the hope that things might kick off. I'm getting stronger pains in my lower abdomen and my back. They are totally copable (is that a word???) with but definitely there. Please God let this be it!

Quak Tue 16-Apr-13 21:15:08

Pontouf - I think I am a bit jealous, I have such happy memories of giving birth. Anyway, I had loads of contractions for ages but the difference is when they start getting very regular and then closer together I think. Then they start to get very, very painful.
I was almost 2 weeks late and I spent all day every day googling 'what is labour like' etc etc and I think nothing I read explained what it was like for me. It is very individual.
Good luck smile

Pontouf Tue 16-Apr-13 21:46:44

Thanks Quak, I'm a little bit excited! Trying to manage my expectations, as obviously I have no experience of this and also I don't want to get all worked up only for it to stop - I am after all 10 (nearly 11) days overdue!

beautybox2 Tue 16-Apr-13 21:51:38

Nothing.. I had a sweep at 40+3and contractions started a hour later smile had my DD the next day! (Waters broke in labour not a gush a trickle)

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 16-Apr-13 22:39:45

Fingers crossed for you, Pontouf - come on mini Pont - this is your night to start the journey out grin

PleaseDontEatMyShoe Sun 21-Apr-13 20:26:51

Really hope things are happening for you Pontouf!

jessebuni Sun 21-Apr-13 20:47:46

I had a couple of bits of a show for like a week before I went into labour. The first sign that I was in labour though was when contractions were every few minutes. Before that I wasn't sure if I was having the odd twinge or just had a massive uncomfortable belly.

jessebuni Sun 21-Apr-13 20:53:10

Also in my experience with my contractions

My first child I had twinges all day but they hardly hurt, I was able to completely ignore them and go shoppin in the Xmas sales! I wet to the hospital to get checked out when they were regularly every 4mins but got sent home because they said I didn't look in enough pain to be in labour yet. It wasn't until that evening that suddenly they were every minute and hurt like hell and it was all quite quick after that.

My second was more gradual. I had a few twinges one night but nothing more then the next day I went into labour. I noticed the pains when they were every 4 mins and they gradually increased in intensity over the next hour until my daughter arrived.

LuckyOwl28 Wed 24-Apr-13 15:09:45

Early evening I seemed to have a massive hormonal surge and was just in a VILE mood, felt depressed, angry... went to bed and sobbed uncontrollably for about an hour and was disgusting to my other half.

Went to bed at 10pm and woke up at midnight with strongish period pains, then saw the very faint start of my show when I went to the toilet. By 2am they were coming on strong and getting regular. I gave birth at 7pm that evening!

Its so hard as everyone is so different! Good luck! x

GingerDoodle Fri 26-Apr-13 22:03:34

Unpainful tightenings;once every song whilst travelling up to London.
Sitting down for dinner thinking, bugger this actually hurts.
Refusing my husbands offer of duck (I LOVE duck) and hissing 'we need to leave NOW).

I should add; this was Leicester Square and we needed to (and did just make) get to Chichester!

First Tightening probably around 5.30pm, DD deliver 11:24pm.

I should add; I had really painful hips in the morning and saw the mw who didn't detect imminent labour. I had joked my friend that the sheer inconvenience of labour in London would mean I'd come home with a baby!

So I can recommend doing something inconvenience to labour.

GingerDoodle Fri 26-Apr-13 22:05:29

something that labour would be an inconvenience to*

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