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How do you know?

(20 Posts)
mrsnlw Mon 14-Jul-14 17:04:49

My one concern about the whole labour process is how will I know Get out of my head Whitney Houston! when it starts. I know it doesnt generally start with your waters breaking and can take days.

How do you know when it's happening?
Would you ever not realise?
How do you manage to stay at home and not mercy dash for the hospital?
How do you keep yourself occupied at home in the early stages?
How do you keep yourself occupied when you are in the hospital?

Sorry if these questions seem daft... I'm a first timer and have no clue!blush

Ducky23 Mon 14-Jul-14 18:38:08

Most people will probably say different but I really didn't know when I was in labour!!! i just thought I was in pain. DH was trying to get me to go the hospital and I said no! He then called my mom at 1.30am to come and get me. My waters went about 3 hours after getting to the hospital and dd was born about 15 mins after that.

Jenninlw Mon 14-Jul-14 18:42:29

I knew because I started having contractions in middle of night every 10-15mins - mine were like a period pain and concentrated in my vaginal area but other people have different pain. Then they didn't go away - they slowed down in middle if day but after a nap they ramped up again. I had a bloody show in the morning and other disgusting bits fell out during the course of the day. I had loose bowels all day emptying me out! I also had colostrum leaking from my nipples with each strong contraction! Yuk!

I did a lot of walking around the house, up and down the stairs, drank raspberry leaf tea and went out for a bit of last minute shopping in m&s and toys r us! Just kept myself busy really and passed the time measuring the length of my contractions on an iPhone app!

Jenninlw Mon 14-Jul-14 18:43:39

Also after my waters broke I went hospital and was 9cm dilated so had enough to keep me occupied ha ha!

scrivette Mon 14-Jul-14 19:37:55

I was woken up by my waters breaking and ten minutes later was having very strong pains, three minutes apart so I knew! Everyone is different though.

Thurlow Tue 15-Jul-14 15:11:56

They're not stupid questions at all! I didn't really know for hours. I started having contractions in the morning but they were just mild tightenings and it took a few hours to realise that they were quite regular.

I did two dashes to the hospital (had a loooong slow latent phase), the first time I was sent home, the second time I refused to move and stayed in the ward to be nearer the drugs. Both times I was immensely fucked off to find out that I wasn't dilating at all.

At home I just sort of watched a lot of TV and bounced and walked around. In the hospital, to be honest I basically just zoned out. Time seems to pass quite differently. I remember spending the whole of the first night at home, not able to lie down, watching awful telly, and honestly those 6 hours or so just went very quickly.

duvetfan Tue 15-Jul-14 22:13:02

I thought I had indigestion. Timed my pains and realised they were 6 mins apart and called the hospital. Told to take a bath and call back in an hour. Phoned back saying I was in pain and paracetamol wasn't cutting it. Told them my contractions were 4 mins apart and was told to come in. Ds was born 4.5 hours later. All very fast and really grateful I didn't just sit there blaming indigestion as that's what it felt like to me at that stage. These are not daft questions. I didn't really get an early phase as I was 4cm on arrival at the hospital so I am afraid I can't answer the other questions. Good luck.

theborrower Wed 16-Jul-14 10:03:49

When it came to it I just knew. My contractions started and were like clockwork from the word go.

The first time I thought they might have been BH but the clockwork regularity gave them away, and they didn't go away if I walked etc. They were every 5 minutes from the start, gradually getting closer together.

The second time labour started with an upset tummy and clockwork contractions, but very quickly I found myself having to breathe through them again. They were every 4 minutes from the start. I'm guessing they got closer together but I wasn't timing them by then smile

Disclaimer: I know that not everyone's contractions are so regular. In a way I'm surprised mine were so predictable.

WantAnOrange Wed 16-Jul-14 15:50:02

In both my labours my waters went first, just like the movies. grin

I would say, you might not know right away, but you will know soon enough, if that makes sense because it won't stop until you have a baby! Most first labours are on the longer side so you are likely to have plenty of time. I recommend box sets on TV, going for little walks (just up and down the street, my neighbours must think I'm mad), bouncing on birthing ball and mumsnetting!

Frizz1986 Thu 17-Jul-14 20:14:55

I thought i was having braxton hicks and was just being a wimp.
This lasted for 4 days with me timing them on an app. They were so irregular i was convinced it wasnt the real thing as surely i would know when it was.
Lost my plug but even that didnt tip me off as i know it can be ages after that labour starts.
I knew when my waters went on day 4 and then the pain got too bad to speak.
Got to the midwife unit within an hour and was already 6cm then dd arrived 50 mins later!

Shahsham Thu 17-Jul-14 20:26:31

DS1 - panicked cos I couldnt feel him moving. Went to get monitored at 9pm and was asked why I hadnt mentionned the contractions (couldnt feel them but they were why I couldnt feel DS moving). Was told Id give birth the next day and went home. Felt contractions through the night (I slept mostly) but they werent painful until the next morning. Waited til they were very regular and painful and went into hospital. Gave birth 8 hours later.

DS2 - I just knew. The contractions were very different to braxton hicks which Id been having for weeks. Stayed at home all night whilst they got stronger and closer. Went into hospital at 7am and gave birth 2 hours later.

DS1 - I slept and did my hospital bag whilst at home. In the delivery room I just zoned (DH read!)

DS2 - I mumsnetted whilst at home (through the night) and in the hospital I didnt have time for anything except get through each contracion!

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Thu 17-Jul-14 20:28:09

Dd1 I was one of the "lucky" ones whose waters broke before anything else happened
Ds I sort of knew maybe because I remembered how it felt from dd

NotHerAgain Thu 17-Jul-14 21:46:26

Because I woke up naturally at 7am on a Saturday morning - which for someone like me could only mean one thing!! And it all went quick and strong from there.

Once labour contractions kick in (unless specific issues), you will know. Enjoy smile

LightUpLightUp Thu 17-Jul-14 22:33:20

I was getting tightenings ever three minutes but they weren't painful so labour go early never crossed my mind. I stood up and my waters broke and that's when I put two and two together!

badfurday Fri 18-Jul-14 10:12:47

Mine started at around 3am. I was sure I wasn't in labour and thought i had a dodgy tummy. I was expecting period type pains but my pain felt like I needed to go to the loo! I went into the spare room so I didn't disturb my husband and after about and hour realised the pains were actually every 5 minutes! Went into husband, phoned delivery suite etc. Had a show at about 6am. Showered and went to hospital. (My waters didn't break until I started pushing) Was 7cm dilated and baby Badfurday was born at 11am.
Everyone will feel pain differently, and experience labour in different ways.

CulturalBear Fri 18-Jul-14 16:29:36

I was the same as you OP, totally clueless. I lost part of my show during the day on the Saturday, then waters broke at 2am the next morning. Second lot of waters went while in the shower at around 8am (oh yes, there are two!).

Had been having period pains but nothing very painful or productive. Hospital confirmed waters had gone (without internal - bonus!) at around 11am and sent me home saying contractions would kick in properly within around 24 hours.

They did, but were inconsistent (three in ten minutes, two in 15, 4 in 15, 3 in ten etc), so was talked out of going in by the midwife on duty at 11pm.

Eventually was back in hospital to be put on drip and speed things up at 6pm the next night.

So if your waters go, you're on a definite countdown. I was surprised it happened like that - I expected I'd end up massively overdue and induced for being late! Try not to worry about it too much - as most have said above, most people get a lot of notice.

ch1134 Mon 21-Jul-14 20:49:16

So jealous of all those people who didn't know. I'd have done anything for a last minute dash... I had backache from midday, then unbearable pain every 5 mins from midnight. Went in at 6am when pains were 3 mins apart. Baby born the following midnight. Keeping occupied! Getting through the pain took every ounce of my being right from midnight and right through the following 24 hours... baby was back to back.

mrsnlw Tue 22-Jul-14 12:31:04

I'm currently 37+2 and have been speaking with my MW yesterday and we are planning to do a stretch and sweep next Monday when I am 38+1 as I am little, baby is starting to take it's toll on me and my body and also because I dont want to go over 40 weeks as I have fought hard to have my baby on the birth centre and will be made to have the baby on the labour ward.

So a few questions please - have any of you had a S&S at 38 weeks and been successful? She said she will try and do it again a few days later if the first doesnt work and we will probably get 4 in before I'm 40 weeks.

I am starting with the other "induction methods" such as being on my birthing ball, eating curries etc etc. Has anyone found a method that helped them?

We only have an hour and a half for an antenatal class and I realised I know bugg*r all about breathing techniques etc. Do these just "come to you" or is it worth me having a read up about it?


mrsnlw Tue 22-Jul-14 17:23:07

Oh and also, just been to the loo and had a snot like substance when I wiped. Have had more pressure down below today too.

Scuttlemum14 Tue 22-Jul-14 21:50:25

Snot is bits of mucus plug but unfortunately that's doesn't mean anything as it regenerates. Pressure means baby is likely moving down which is good but again doesn't mean anything as a lot of babies engage well before they are born. Sweeps are also hit and miss. In a word, if baby isn't ready to come then nothing works. Sorry to be miserable but my first came ten days early with no help. This one I'm due tomorrow and despite sweeps, pressure and mucus nothing is shifting it!!

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