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Labour details... please don't just tell me 'you'll know!'

(40 Posts)
aerokitkat Wed 21-Apr-10 11:53:18

I'm hoping some of you might be able to tell me what the start of labour was like for you.
I'm 37 weeks and have had so many 'signs' it's not funny!
But when I try and ask anybody what to really look out for, they just say 'oh you'll know when you're in labour!'
That's all very well but it can't be the same for everybody! I wonder if anybody could be a bit more specific about how it was for them.
Did you feel different on the day, or the days before? Did you know it was coming? How did you know it was the real thing?
All responses gratefully received ;)

Haliborange Wed 21-Apr-10 11:59:33

The first time I had no signs at all. I woke up at about 2am with a backache which came and went. It was very hot so I got up and sat in a cool bath. After about an hour I realised my backaches were coming every so often. I thought I must be going into labour because if I met a woman who was at 41+5 who told me she was having regular crampy backaches, I would tell her to call her MW! That was just the beginning though; it took a looong time to get anywhere.

The second time again I woke up with a backache. This time I did have warning though - I had had a lot of BH and a vile temper in the few days before. The ache that woke me up somehow was a bit more fierce than the BH, sort of hot and prickly. And when I went to the loo I had a show so I knew something must be moving down there.

You will know, btw!

megonthemoon Wed 21-Apr-10 12:01:18

I didn't have a sixth sense when I woke that that would be the day. I had been having regular shows for 3 weeks beforehand but nothing had happened so I'd kind of given up! We had a very normal day, no different to any in the previous few weeks, and then I suddenly developed a very intense backache when in restaurant with DH that evening and couldn't get comfy and I just knew that this was it. I went to bed 3 hours later, having had no other signs and I suddenly had a massive show and then first contraction.

FWIW, my mum and mother in law both knew they were going into labour, both times, when they got a very uncomfortable backache. It felt very different to usual pregnancy aches and pains - very concentrated in small of my back.

So sorry, but I think you do "just know". And when it happens, you realise why everyone says that, however infuriating it is! Am now pg with DC2, and I know I'll "just know" this time.

aerokitkat Wed 21-Apr-10 12:03:17

Thank you
I had a show a few weeks ago, and my Braxton Hicks are getting very strong. I've had terrible mood swings the last few days and feel pretty under the weather in general. Abdo pains and back ache most of the time.
But I know that all and any of these things can happen in the last few weeks. Just helps to know what to look out for to take it seriously!

bilandsildrivemecrazy Wed 21-Apr-10 12:03:18

The agonising pain generally gives it away wink

Haliborange Wed 21-Apr-10 12:03:49

yes -concentrated. That's a good word for the backache that I get too.

LoveBeingAMummy Wed 21-Apr-10 12:08:14

Hi aerokitkat

You sound a lot like me, knowledge is power and you have to know everything and every posible outcome grin

I had gone to starbucks for a gossip and got home at about 9pm after filling my face with hot choc and choc cake. DH and i went to bed and as i was sittig there watching tv i felt a fizzy in my tummy, dh said he wasn't suprised with all the choc i'd eaten blush. I woke up at 3:40am with the back ache/period pains everyone has talked about and just lay there (scared shitless it was starting) and then it came again about 8 mins later. That was it really, i went downstairs and didn't wait dh up, had tea wathced telly. Once dh got up i called th ehospital who said take some painkillers and have a bath. Before i got in the bath my body had a clear out (iykwim) whilst in the bath i heard a pop and my waters had gone. Got out of bath got dried and then the rest of the waters came out. Now it was really hurting got Dh to call hospital and got dressed. Had some ceral before we left but throw it up as we were about to walk out the door. Had to get petrol on the way to hospital (yes really) and got there at about 8:30am, yes was in the morning rush hour traffic. And had dd at 11:18 that morning.

I had left dh sleeping and was even going to send him to wrk (his was a lorry driver ffs!) as i was convinced from all these stories about it taking days and days, that it would be ages but it wasn't.

Good luck

aerokitkat Wed 21-Apr-10 12:08:32

See that helps! So basically unless it REALLY really really hurts... don't take much notice ;)

bilandsildrivemecrazy Wed 21-Apr-10 12:09:55


aerokitkat Wed 21-Apr-10 12:13:33

Thanks LoveBeingAMummy. Just reading all these different experiences is great And yes, I do kinda feel the need to know what's coming! I'm very impatient ;) I've had a couple of scares which lead to hospital stays (including being given steroids etc) so it feels like she's been coming for a LONG time, but of course she'll probably hang on in there til the end now ;)

suiledonne Wed 21-Apr-10 12:16:08

Its hard to generalise as everyone's experience is so different.

On dd1 I did have that sixth sense feeling that something was about to happen but no pains or any physical signs all day. I just knew I was better off in bed taking it easy.

Had first twinge around 3.00am and from 3.30 the pains were bearable, not agonising at all but very close together so I decided after an hour that we should go to the hospital - a 40 minute drive away.

Got to the hospital around 5.30 - still not in agony at all, just managable regular pains.

Midwife examined me around 6am ish and said I was 2cm and only in very early stages.

You can imagine everyone's surprise when dd was born less than 2 hours later.

Total labour from the first minor twinge to delivery 4.5 hours.

Only really very painful for the last 30 minutes or so.

I tell people now just go with your instincts. If you think this is it then it well might be.

Haliborange Wed 21-Apr-10 12:18:30

The second time at least I didn't have much in the way of pain until I was probably 7 or 8 cm (and I had been contracting all day). The first time I had pain from the off but I was scared which I doubt helped.
Don't rely on massive pain as an indicator. Some of my friends think labour is not much worse than a bad period, and is very manageable in the beginning...

puddock Wed 21-Apr-10 12:25:34

But you will know.
Best advice I had was "ignore whatever signs of labour you get for as long as you can - until they get to the point where you just can't ignore them any more".
To answer your OP question, no, I didn't feel any different the night before. My mum came for dinner, waved her off at 11pm saying she shouldn't hold her breath, nothing would happen for weeks - rang her twelve hours later to say "um, it's a boy!".
Good luck

aerokitkat Wed 21-Apr-10 12:27:49

This is all very helpful Thank you so much!

DefNotYummyMummy Wed 21-Apr-10 12:28:47

I woke up with a start at 3am and had a pain like cramp. Tried to get back to sleep and then had another one. And another one just as I was trying to drift off back to sleep. I realised that these were quite regular - every 8 minutes. Got up. Went into the other room to try to sleep and leave DH. Couldn't. Called my Aunt to come over. Called hospital and they said to come in whenever I couldn't handle to pain. DH woke at 8am as did my DS. Had a bath, but this just seemed to speed them up. By 11am they were every 5 minutes and it had started to be painful by then and so went into hospital by 12pm. Waters broke as I was setting up in the room. Baby born by 4:30pm.

It was painful towards the end, but at the start I knew as I was getting these cramps so regularly. It was really weird to see that every 8 minutes I would get another bad cramp. They weren't painful, but definitely there.

Good Luck !

LadyOfTheFlowers Wed 21-Apr-10 12:30:15

DS1 stopped and started for days so I can't say I was 100% sure even when it was the real thing. Plug passed days before etc.

DS2 started with 2 min apart 1 min long contractions from the off - couldn't really mistake that.

DS3 was a slow build up on the day, when pacing wasn't helping and as the pain intensified I knew it was it. Felt a bit restless/uneasy before the pain began.

DD1 (born Thursday ) the day before I woke in an absolutely filthy mood. I was evil to my Mum and brother who had come to mine to allow me to rest up. Like PMT - really irrational.
Felt quite teary too.
Went for a walk that evening on my own to get some air, had a bath, went to bed, was woken in the morn by mild contractions - tried to go back to sleep, once I had 5 regularly spaced I thought I best get up and it escalated from there.

The first 3 times I never really had any obvious warning signs or clues, but real big change in me the day before DD.

puddock Wed 21-Apr-10 12:34:41

LoveBeingAMummy, it is spooky, we have near-identical experiences! Waking up with contractions in the small hours, not waking DP up, having a "clearout", bath, throwing up cereal - and my DS was born at 11.17 shock.
Now if it was crunchy nut cornflakes you threw up, that would be really eerie.

LoveBeingAMummy Wed 21-Apr-10 15:24:47

Oh my god it was......No not really it was cheerios grin

DoulaKate Wed 21-Apr-10 16:27:15

Had diarrhea (confused), then my mum made me have a long walk, got quite a few aching feelings around my back which came and went. Cooked a big meal for everyone, which I then subsequently threw up!! Back pains grew increasingly more intense to the point where my breathing had to change to cope with it. This all happened from the morning, until I would say I was in full swing (strong contractions) from about 8.00pm in the evening onwards. Had baby at 5.10am the next morning. Phew!

DoulaKate Wed 21-Apr-10 16:29:36

Oops, my smiley didn't work. Think I used the wrong brackets!It should have beenconfused instead of (confused).

SpikyPiixie Wed 21-Apr-10 20:32:01

With number 3, had a whole day of contractions & kept these going by keeping active. By 11.30pm everything seemed to have stopped so we got ready to go to bed...... then the MOTHER of all contractions .... 'We have to go to the hospital NOW' I say. No3 born less than 2hrs later. The only advice I can give is 'When you can't take the pain - GO IN!!!' ;)

aerokitkat Wed 21-Apr-10 21:07:57

Wow.... so many different experiences! It's all really interesting
My BH have eased off. Now I just have backache and feel sick!
From reading all this, you really can understand why we're all so very relieved when baby finally gets here ;)

MumNWLondon Wed 21-Apr-10 22:54:42

I didn't know... even when I got to hospital, but looking back the things to look out for where:

a) runs of contractions last several hours even though I was lying in bed resting / having a bath / watching TV


b) contractions I needed to focus on / breathe through rather than talk through

In the few days before I had runs of BH, stronger than I'd had over the previous few weeks.

I don't agree about the really really hurts though, because that was what I was looking for and it didn't happen until around 10 mins before he was born! Even when we got to hospital I was sure they'd just fade out and they'd send us home!

SilkyBreeks Thu 22-Apr-10 10:00:24

I am at very similar point to you aerokitkat! Having loads of "signs" but different every day, so decided to pretend that baby isn't possibly coming til at least 40 weeks...hopefully that will make the time go faster!

CMOTdibbler Thu 22-Apr-10 10:06:30

No signs at all - my waters went pop with no contractions at 12, went to hospital (as 35 weeks), monitor said I was contracting, and I was 3cm dilated. Kept in, about 5 I wondered if something was happening, but at some point between then and 10pm I went into full labour. Had to walk round during contractions, chucking up etc. I can't give you an exact time as there was no one with me, and it was only when a mw came in to give me antibiotics that I was found

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