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How will I know?

(31 Posts)
franca Fri 10-Jun-05 14:12:16

I am 37 weeks pregnant with my first child and I really want to know how I will know when I go into labour. I know about shows etc but you don't always have one do you? I already have quite bad braxton hicks contractions so i'm worried I will be in labour and just think it's these. Did you know straight away?

horseshoe Fri 10-Jun-05 14:27:34

Yes I did. When it happens you may think they are braxton hicks for a short while but there will be a point where you realise that it's labour. i cant explain whats different with them they just were.

Lucymoo Fri 10-Jun-05 14:29:03

Hello Franca,i didnt have any braxton hicks,no show,believe it or not i just had a real achey leg,i dont know whether my baby was just lying on a nerve?I went to bed,slept for a bit,woke up then heard a 'POP' sound followed by a trickle of water.It was only after that that i started getting contractions.Trouble is everyone is different but i hope this helps a bit.

s13 Fri 10-Jun-05 14:37:01

hi franca, i think everyone is different. for me my waters broke first and then i didn't get a single twinge for 36 hours. but then it was all over within 90 minutes. don't worry about it when it does happen you'll know

jampots Fri 10-Jun-05 14:42:35

agree you will just know. Id been having BH for months and although I'd had my show and my waters had broken, my contractions were just so more powerful (dont necessarily read as "painful")

also got backache and my thighs ached too

horseshoe Fri 10-Jun-05 14:56:07

I dont know about everyone else but I felt a kind of pressure that I didn't get with BH. Not a I need to push pressure but knew the baby was coming!

beansmum Fri 10-Jun-05 14:59:16

I think I must be really stupid, it took me ages to realise I was in labour. Even after having a show and then contractions every 5 mins. They just weren't as painful as I was expecting, so I assumed they were braxton hicks. It didn't matter though, babies take ages to arrive, especially first babies, so I realised I was in labour in plenty of time to get to the hospital.

It didn't help that I had seen the mw that morning and she had said bean's head wasn't engaged and I probably had a while to go.

berolina Sat 11-Jun-05 21:24:14

I had my 1st child three weeks ago and my labour started with irregular one-sided contraction-like pains which the hospital initially misdiagnosed as IBS!!! I then got definite contractions - i.e. not limited to one side - but they remained very iregular for quite a long time - I would have half an hour without and then three in five minutes. By the time I got to hospital though I was 1.5-2cm dilated. In other words, it's not necessarily going to be a) how you imagined and b) like it is in the books - but you will have a good enough idea that something is happening!
BTW, my waters never broke by themselves. I had them broken about 3/4 hour before the birth.

berolina Sat 11-Jun-05 21:24:50

Oh, another thing I had was a little diarrhoea and when tings were really getting started I was sick (nice).

dizzymama Sat 11-Jun-05 22:36:07

I agree with the pressure thing, mine came on as if I really needed the loo (oh how to say this politely?? like I needed a ...poo!!) but I couldn't go. Then I couldn't get comfortable at all. I've heard it said that if you've had a bath and gone for a walk and had some paracetamol and none of these have worked then it's more likely to be labour. I also worried like mad about not knowing as I too had had BH a lot but it is so true when people say, you'll know. All the best

mandyc66 Sat 11-Jun-05 23:07:48

hi!
you will know when you go into labour.No one can tell you what its like as everyone is different..believe me! If you think its labour go in, no one will mind. Better to be checked out than caught out!!!

jenkel Sat 11-Jun-05 23:08:34

With my 2nd dd I felt like I was constipated, but I knew I wasnt. With my 1st I was induced and had no feelings at all until it suddenly kicked in. But with my 2nd I can remember feeling generally uncomfrtable as soon as I woke up but couldnt put my finger on why and as the day progessed I just started to feel more and more constipated. DD2 was then born at 8 the following morning. I had no show, no braxton hicks that I was aware about and my waters didnt break until the very end, this was the only sign.

gingernut Sat 11-Jun-05 23:14:09

1st time, I just knew straight away when I had the first contraction, even though I'd had some painful BHs towards the end. The contractions were just different, and they kept on going (went to hospital about 12 hours after they'd started; as someone else said you usually have plenty of time to decide whether or not it is labour).

2nd time it actually took me longer to realise. I'd had a few contractions which I thought were just bad BHs during the evening but then they stopped. Woke up in the early hours with more contractions but I was so sleepy it took ages for me to think `hang on, these just keep coming, maybe I'm in labour'.

Fran1 Sat 11-Jun-05 23:28:19

TBH the longer you labour without noticing the better!

But i know what you mean, you are desperate to meet your baby, and dying to know what its all going to be like, and you have all the time on your hands to think about every twinge you get and wonder whether "this is it!"

I got through the first part of my labour whilst i was asleep and i'd thoroughly recommend it . Had dd at 41 +6 and so was booked in for induction the next day.
woke in the morning with contractions every 5mins and had dd in hospital 6 hours later. Did not have a show, did not have the runs before hand, did not have a single braxton hick, waters did not break until just before baby was born.
So basically i had no signs! and was depressed about the thought of induction, had given up expecting to go into labour.
To answer your question though, yes, when i woke with the contractions i knew straight away. As each one came i had a wave of real sick feeling rush across my body and an inability to move then it would go and i'd feel ok again.

mandyc66 Sun 12-Jun-05 07:13:18

good luck with the baby anyway and remember many women have gone into labour and instctivly recognised the signs,however small or huge!
if contractions are painful remember everyone you have is one nearer to seeing your beautiful child,giving birth will be remembered for ever as a tuly wonderful moment and all this worry before hand will be forgotten.

Satine Sun 12-Jun-05 07:25:33

Has anyone had one of those movie births where having been fine they suddenly shriek and can't move and have to be rushed to hospital that very instant?! I always fancied that, but my labours started with dull achey period type pains a good few hours before the having to crawl on all fours stage!

Fran1 Sun 12-Jun-05 09:36:13

Yes i woke up like that Satine, i slept through the dull achey pains!

mumfor1sttime Sun 12-Jun-05 10:46:03

Hi, I always wondered how I would know if it was real labour, I had braxton hicks-although these were very light and painless-through last few weeks of pregnancy.I was due in first week of January so I was convinced ds would arrive on xmas day! Every twinge or bh I was worried it was labour! I went into labour the day after my due date, I woke at 6am to go to the loo and my waters broke on the bathroom floor- I dont remember a pop noise though-I felt relieved that it was starting! I went back to bed, but couldnt sleep. At 8 am my contractions started, they felt like strong period pains, I also had achey back. I phoned hospital an hour later and they said it could be hours until I have baby and to sit tight. I had a warm bath (you can have bath after waters break despite popular belief) and tried to relax. By 3pm my contractions were 2mins apart and extremely strong- some painful, some not so painful. The contractions (to me) felt like a rush through my lower body, you definately know it is the real thing.I had my ds at 7.29pm!
Hope this helps, wish you all the best

Thomcat Sun 12-Jun-05 10:59:40

I didn't have braxton hicks so I don't know (and my waters didn't break either btw) but do bh force you onto your hands and knees with hands gripping the sofa so you can get through them? If not I guess that's a goof way to know if they are bh or not!
Also, again, I don't know about bh but do they come in evenally spaced bursts, so one every half hour and then start getting to be one every 15 mins etc?

Good luck for the next 3/4 weeks and I'm sure you'll know when the time comes but understand how you are worried about it at the moment. TC x

basketcase Sun 12-Jun-05 11:06:27

even if you don’t know straight away, as soon as they become a little stronger and regular there is almost no way in the world that you will not know - believe us all who have been there. Sure, it is all different for each one of us, different pain thresholds, different locations of initial discomfort/pain, different timings of stages but the one thing we all share is that undeniable knowledge that "this is it" once labour is kicked into a rhythm and well established.
Remember being a teenager and asking "how will I know when I have met the one and only that I want to spend the rest of my life with" and being frustrated with the constant reply "you will just know" - that was true wasn’t it ?
Don’t worry - as someone who went to hospital for second child thinking extra powerful BH was prem labour (thought I knew everything second time round ) once the real thing kicks round it all makes sense again and you just know.

mumfor1sttime Sun 12-Jun-05 11:10:44

Braxton hicks for me were feelings of my tummy tightening and then a release. They were sometimes every 5 mins sometimes they were every half hour,sometimes I wouldnt feel them for days.

mandyc66 Sun 12-Jun-05 12:24:45

might have missed this but when are you due?
didnt have bh with my first 3 really but my 4th was quite uncomfortable towards the end.Maybe because of his size.He was born on his due date so I didnt believe i was in labour but when i couldnt really move I kind of guessed it was!
the last one however was 2 weeks early so agin I ignored the pains! Went shopping to supermarket but felt odd finally went to hospital about 10.30 wanted to stay home longer but hubby was paniking..bless. thought i would deliver on the sofa or something. Baby arrived just after 1..see I could have stayed at home!!

mumoftreasures Sun 12-Jun-05 16:25:50

I had regular bh (tummy tightening) sometimes quite regular, like every 5 mins. Then I had about 4 go's where they became quite painful with it as well, starting about 2 weeks before the due date, with a few days inbetween. Every time I thought it was labour, but then after 3 or 4 hours the contractions would stop! So disappointing! Eventually the painful bh didn't stop anymore and became more painful, with me having to concentrate on breathing and stopping wiht whatever i was doing. They now had a sort of build-up and a peak. This was the real thing! (Which was actually after about 6 or 8 hrs of the milder bh, with my first one). You will know for sure, and you would be an exception if you were at all surprised by it, especially if you're so aware of your body as you seem to be. (Could happen, but unlikely. Good luck!

kama Sun 12-Jun-05 16:41:04

Message withdrawn

homemama Sun 12-Jun-05 18:38:59

Hi franca,
Everyone said to me, 'oh you'll just know!' but I really wasn't sure until mine were 4mins apart. It wasn't that they weren't painful, just not as painful as I was expecting and as I didn't 'just know' I thought it couldnt be labour!
Went to hospital when 2mins apart and v. painful but m/w said I hadnt even started dilating and it would be a long while yet. 1&half hours later I was fully dilated and ready to push!!
DS born 40mins later. No stitches!!
Not all first labours are long or unbearable.
Good luck.

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