Dd1 I had my waters break. Went to hossy 3 hours later. They said I was only 1 m dilated. She popped out 3 hours later.
Dd2 I had the squits the previous day, and felt generally ill. Dd1 was with us at my mum and dads, and we left her there as they were having her anyway (convenient) and then drove home, go called in as couldn't talk through contractions. She arrived 3 hours later too.
With me I had a show, and then almost immediately the contractions started. They are painful enough to make you stop whatever you are doing and double up. You need to wait until you have three painful contractions every 10 mins before heading into hospital, so I bounced on a ball for a while, had some lunch (which I promptly vomited!) and went in about 2pm. DD was born at 3am next morning.
With the benefit of hindsight the braxton hicks I'd had the previous day had been pretty severe, and were probably a sign things were kicking off.
I knew . Because it hurt to the point I had to stop what I was doing and couldn't talk through contractions! Not just niggles and ligaments but pain from my back stretching round my hips and bump went rock hard each time.
DD1: waters broke. I thought the whole thing was hysterically funny for some bizarre reason and I giggled all the way to the hospital - where the contractions kicked in & the giggling stopped.
DD2 - um, well, I didn't know. Standard check up at 39 weeks. Midwife said I would have to be induced on my due date due to size of baby (Was in Belgium, predicted 9lb size freaked them out). Did an internal & told me I was going nowhere as I was 5cm already. They did a trace, showed me the contractions happening (couldn't really feel them). Finally they broke my waters at 8cm, whereupon I went from what felt like "not in labour" to no breaks between contractions. DD was born 45 minutes later
Waters broke at 6.30pm. No mistaking it for anything else! Contractions started at 11pm. They were more intense than anything I'd felt before and I couldn't sleep (any Braxton Hicks had eased on resting in bed). Had DD at 7.22am.
I woke up at 4.30am with what felt like period pains (like my period was about to start). I went to the loo and had a bloody show so I knew it was happening. Contractions then started coming regularly (again it was the same sort of pain, like period pains). My waters broke about 18hrs later and 3 hrs after that I had DS (at 2.15am). He was back to back which is why it took longer but it also made it more painful and the pain was all in my back.
In hindsight I had some signs I was going to go into labour imminently as the whole of the week before I just didn't feel right. Had a lot of discharge (sorry if TMI), and felt tired, didn't want to go far from home or be left alone. I also had a funny turn and had to call the midwife out who said I wasn't in labour because if I was I wouldn't be able to put my make up on. This time I plan to give birth in full make up just to prove her wrong!
for 3 days prior my nesting antics went into over drive! Felt a mild period pain - then woken by a small leak at 4am. Did some house work then at 9.00am decided to go to hospital as my waters were really leaking. Contractions started at midday and lunchtime the next day dd arrived.
I don't think I really 'knew' as I had loads of false starts. Mild contractions (tightenings/period pains) started on wed night, got all excited, then stopped. Started again following morning, never really got stronger or regular. Felt disappointed again. Had routine midwife check and was 2cm, she did a sweep and then they got stronger but again stopped over night. Started to think I would be pregnant forever and was getting fed up with thinking something was happening and then it stopped. Started to become regular and stronger by Friday lunchtime, went to hospital at 5.30 as painful but was only 3cm. Would have been sent home but her heart rate was high so they put me on a drip to speed it all up and by then I realised that I has not been experiencing anything like the proper active labour contractions! One epidural later and she was born at 1.51am on sat morning! Will definitely chill out next time and just enjoy the last few weeks of -- freedom-- being pregnant rather than google after every slight twinge.
I didn't know. Although I had had a show over a week earlier and was a week overdue, I decided over 24 hours into labour that it was a kidney infection. My contractions never took on any regular pattern. My dh had to beg me to go to hospital. I was 6cm when i finally did go in. It took another 10 hours before ds showed up