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Does your body gear up for labour?

(27 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Tue 11-Mar-14 08:29:18

My EDd isn't until the 28th May but I'm booked in for an ELCs on the 21st (a week on Friday). I am absolutely huge and so is baby and when I saw my Midwife last week she predicted I wouldn't even make it to my ELCS date.

Over the last few weeks I've been having Braxton Hicks which have been uncomfortable but not painful and I was usually only aware of them if I actually touched my bump. However, since Saturday I have been getting them much more frequently, they are lasting longer and also causing me a lot of discomfort. Last night they were at their worst. and the pain was radiating in my pelvis, hips and around my back. After about half an hour it eased off and I was able to get some sleep. I have woken up this morning to a very tight bump but no pain.

I was also told by my midwife that as the body gears up for labour your bowels have a clear out and over the last 2 days I have had 4 episodes of diarrhoea - despite having had difficulties over the last few months due to being on iron supplements.

I'm just getting a bit nervous now that labour may actually be approaching..

Rockchick1984 Tue 11-Mar-14 10:58:51

I had all this for 3 weeks prior to going into labour grin

If you go into labour it'll just be done as an emergency c section rather than planned.

oscarwilde Tue 11-Mar-14 12:03:46

Hi Writer
I forget from your earlier posts but is there a medical reason for the ELCS? I went early at 37+1 but first inkling was waters going really. More urgent cases for theatre so I ended up with an unplanned vbac (prev ELCS for failure to progress) as it was all marching along. I felt v unprepared though - had just finished work the night before and as I hadn't planned on a vbac I hadn't read up on pain mgmt, stages of labour etc. if you are worried and there is no strong medical reason why they would whip you straight into theatre I would recommend some reading so you feel more in control if you do go early.

littleducks Tue 11-Mar-14 12:16:01

I'm guessing you meant March not May? If so I wouldn't worry too much I also had this for the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 11-Mar-14 14:12:29

I did mean March grin

Oscar - My ELCS is because I have epilepsy and a heart condition that causes arrthymia (I can't spell that word) and SVT episodes. Natural labour can act as a trigger for both conditions hence why it's being avoided smile

I've been really uncomfortable again over the last few hours - I keep getting strange pressure pains radiating down my back and into my bottom. They last for about 30 seconds and then ease off again.

Misty9 Tue 11-Mar-14 14:44:12

That sounds a bit different to Braxton hicks - and if it's important that you don't go into labour then I'd get on the phone to your midwife. Ooh, this could be it! They'll probably want you to go in for checking...take a bag!
Good luck smile

Misty9 Tue 11-Mar-14 14:45:39

To add, I get tons of Braxton hicks, but the pain/discomfort is always limited to my actual bump/tops of thighs - not my back or bottom (36wks tomorrow).

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Tue 11-Mar-14 14:48:22

I was like this for 10 days or so. If you get your bloody show or they become regular, not easing off with a drink and walk around, I'd call the ward for advice.

vichill Tue 11-Mar-14 14:53:16

I had diarrhea and a massive appetite. I went into a bit of a mood too and didn't want to talk to anyone.

sittingatmydesk Tue 11-Mar-14 14:55:12

Honestly, I would call your midwife! I had strong Braxton Hicks at 35 weeks with DS2. In the end my waters went at 36 weeks, and the Braxton Hicks turned into what you are describing now. I was 5cm before I felt a "proper" contraction.

If you need to avoid a vaginal delivery, I think you should check with your midwife - they put me on a monitor and could pick up the contractions.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 11-Mar-14 14:55:49

Ooh misty you've got me feeling all on edge, but in a good way.

Usually the discomfort is just my bump which is why it's making me a bit nervous that the pain/pressure is spreading further afield.

Slightly worried that I haven't actually packed a hospital bag yet....

Farmyardanimals - I just got up and had a little walk around the house and it has eased somewhat - I'm going to take some paracetamol too to see if that helps. I will definitely monitor it throughout the day and see how things go - I'll be obsessively on knicker watch now smile

Writerwannabe83 Tue 11-Mar-14 14:57:59

EEk sitting - I feel nervous at the thought of ringing my midwife. As much as I'm ready to have the baby the thought of actually having to go into hospital to be checked and then possibly have the CS scares the absolute life out of me. I know that's the far fetched and worst case scenario but I feel like I'd rather bury my head in the sand than face it sad

sittingatmydesk Tue 11-Mar-14 15:03:26

Sorry to panic you! I was completely in denial - I put off phoning the midwife for hours.grin
If they've eased off, you'll be fine, but if they start again and are regular and painful, we'll hold your hand.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 11-Mar-14 15:08:05

Thanks sitting - when it was happening last night I was getting a bit panicked and couldn't decide whether to wake my DH or not - decided against it in the end. My midwife does her clinic tomorrow at my GP surgery so if things continue to play up during the day and overnight then I might ring in the morning and see if I can go in and see her, even if just for some reassurance.

If things worsen though I have the Labour Ward's Triage phone number on my mobile smile

I'm quite an anxious person by nature so I'm trying not to let myself over-think things or worry too much but easier said than done when home alone....

LJBanana Tue 11-Mar-14 15:13:51

I feel just like this right now. My EDD is Thursday and I don't have any of the complications that you are facing. However I just feel a bit odd as well as having some pains similar to what you describe.
Good luck as others say I think you should leave it a little while just to be sure of what you can feel then ring someone.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 11-Mar-14 15:46:15

I'm just confused because if I was a straight forward case I wouldn't call because I know I'm not in labour and would just ride it out...

....but because I'm having a CS I didn't know whether it means I have to phone in when all this really early stuff is happening...

PenguinsEatSpinach Tue 11-Mar-14 15:52:18

My body did this sort of thing for over three weeks with DD2. For everyone who says it was the start, you'll probably get another saying that it wasn't!

Assuming you don't have a massive journey to the hospital, I would just wait and see whilst it is coming and going. It's if it starts to establish that you want to get yourself in pronto. As there are medical reasons for a planned section, they can get you in pretty smartish for an emergency one if it does come to it.

sittingatmydesk Tue 11-Mar-14 20:39:00

How are you feeling now?

CrispyFB Tue 11-Mar-14 21:15:21

I'm supposed to have my ELCS tomorrow. Baby will be a week old tomorrow grin

I'd been having BHs all along, some quite strong and painful and even 5 minutes apart, but what was different for me on the day I went into real labour was:

* Soft bowel movements with no accompanying stomach cramps like I'd had from mild viruses many times in pregnancy - this was in the AM

* Blood pressure "spike" - not abnormally high, but well above my normal levels (i.e. 135/85 rather than 110/70)

* Contractions all day instead of the occasional one here and there. My BHs had been evenings only

* Contractions that did not disappear upon walking around, visiting the bathroom etc - they lessened, but they didn't go

* Feeling oddly spaced out, and more emotional than usual. Wanting personal space more (this was up to a few times before)

* Urge to get things done - not necessarily tidying or cleaning, but to finish off my todo list (again, a few days before)

There was no show, or waters breaking. As such I went about my day in denial, as the contractions were not very bad and no worse than I'd been having in the evening. I was pretty much hoping and expecting it would go away, and I wouldn't have to bother anyone with my other three DC. Other people online were telling me to call but I was all "no, really, it's okay!"

It wasn't until I settled down for the evening that they got to 3 minutes apart and I started sweating and shaking through some of them (still not that painful) that I realised I should probably call. In my case an ELCS is 100% necessary due to a permanent stitch I have that closes off my cervix, so labouring for too long can cause a rupture. I was having an early c-section for that reason anyway, but I guess she wanted to come even earlier.

I reached the hospital at 9pm, monitored for a few hours, EMCS at 2am, even though the contractions had faded away to 6-7 minutes by that point. They didn't want to take any chances and I was 37+3. Not what I had planned for the day!

So do pack your hospital bag. If you are past 37 weeks and go in, chances are high they'll do the section just to be on the safe side.

PenguinsEatSpinach Tue 11-Mar-14 21:18:01

Crispy - Congrats! I'd missed that you had had the baby. You had the childcare issue didn't you? Did your DH manage to be there?

Boogles91 Tue 11-Mar-14 22:51:42

Dont forget your blankie writer hehehe :D make sure its packed :p x

hartmel Wed 12-Mar-14 03:27:10

How are you doing??

Writerwannabe83 Wed 12-Mar-14 06:56:02

Morning all.

Firstly, congratulations Crispy !! !! grin

I found your post really useful. I actually started to feel quite unwell last night, quite shaky and faint, although all the pains and BH completely wore off. I coincidentally checked my BP but it was only 125/64 so pretty normal for me. I made myself get out of bed though to pack mine and the baby's hospital bags and I felt more calm once I'd done it. I didn't have any discomfort overnight (apart from baby's normal movements) and had a really good sleep - I've woke up feeling much better.

boogles - I've made a list of 'Things to add to the bag just before leaving for the hospital" and after my slippers, my blankie is 2nd on the list grin

So, all the drama of yesterday petered out to nothing.

My midwife predicted baby would be here by Friday so we'll just have to see.... smile

CrispyFB Wed 12-Mar-14 12:47:04

Thanks, both! grin

I did have the childcare issue, and it did end up being an issue! We had the in-laws to stay with us for the week before and my mother for the final week, with a few days overlap. Unfortunately absolute law of sod, I realised it was "something" the evening my in-laws were down in London watching a play - the only gap in our emergency coverage in the final two weeks. And my mother was not due to arrive until nearly midnight. We had to call back the in-laws from halfway through their play (talk about massive guilt on my part) which I am quite sure they were not happy about but they never said anything. I had been convinced things would peter out so I hadn't said anything before they went. So we were left without cover especially as FIL didn't answer his phone (no signal I think).

I still had my list of school parent friends who had agreed to help out up until the in-laws had arrived, so I had to do one of the hardest things I've ever done (gave me a full on panic attack in a way labour just wasn't!) and ring round at about 8pm. Two didn't answer, and the two that did weren't exactly over the moon with enthusiasm naturally, but they did very kindly agree and were nice about it. Nobody was willing to take two year old DS at first but when I said it was just for a few hours until the in-laws could get there they were fine with it. DH took them round and I just sat there and felt horrendously guilty over all of it and hoped so much they would give me an EMCS so I hadn't wasted anyone's time! I was gutted when the contractions slowed when I was on the monitors and there was talk of holding on until my scheduled date, but thankfully they picked up after a totally unnecessary (in my opinion due to my stitch) internal so they went ahead. Phew!! Honestly I am such a people-pleaser sometimes blush

Writer - glad things seem to be settling! In the final weeks all sorts of new and different things happen as the body prepares, not knowing you have a scheduled c-section after all, and they don't necessarily mean labour. Just late pregnancy. It's amazing what a good sleep can do! Although having said that, I had one of the best sleeps I've had yet when I woke up to contractions so who knows..

Good luck!!

CrispyFB Wed 12-Mar-14 12:47:54

And yep, DH was there in the end - it all worked out! grin

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