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How will I know labour has started?

(19 Posts)
DanielSan Thu 06-Nov-14 01:34:55

Hi everyone, just looking for some advice, really - am due to have a section on the the November with DS2 due to having a traumatic first delivery and some psychological issues. Basically I have a phobia about internal examinations, am seeing a counsellor about this but it's early days, and the thought of it absolutely terrifies me. Am currently 37 + 2, and am having strong but infrequent BH (strong enough to require painkillers, but certainly not unbearable - they're not regular either). Because I was induced last time, I've got no idea what naturally going into labour feels like - last time I went straight from nothing to full blown contractions. I'm absolutely terrified that I'l go into natural labour, I wont realise whats happening until it's too late, and I'll end up not able to have a section, or even an epidural, and I'll end up having to give birth without any pain relief. This is basically what happened last time, and I'm so scared I'll end up in the same situation again. What does the onset of of labour feel like? Will be able to tell what's happening in enough time to get to the hospital (about 45 minutes away). I know that no one can really gie me the answer to this, and that every person/labour is different, but am just so so so scared.

wickedlazy Thu 06-Nov-14 02:26:13

This explains better than I could

TriciaMcM Thu 06-Nov-14 02:35:51

Mine was just like normal period pains that intensified and became more frequent. I did know it was it was labour as pains were very regular & I could time them on my phone. Even though DD arrived quickly enough for a first baby, had plenty of time to go to hospital.

I asked obstetrician about it this time around and he said he'd never heard anyone describe labour as like terrible period cramps (he is male though hmm) so I'm curious too as to others descriptions.

I hope that helps a little, on phone so not a v detailed reply. I'd say anxiety is worse now than when things actually kick off if you know what I mean- waiting is making me anxious about it as well & I had straight forward birth. flowers

TriciaMcM Thu 06-Nov-14 02:38:36

I don't mean every period is like labour btw! grin Just that its the same kind of pain with body cramping to get out little one. Initial pains were identical to period though for me.

Stripylikeatiger Thu 06-Nov-14 04:30:51

With dc1 my labour started off as period type cramps, I had cramps every night for about a week and I knew there were actually labour when I got up, had a shower and the pains didn't disappear, they got more and more intense and closer together.

With dc2 I woke up in the middle of the night with a pain, there was no gentle gradual increase they were intense 60 seconds+ long and 6/7 mins apart, I knew it was labour right away.

Good luck thanks

purplemurple1 Thu 06-Nov-14 04:46:08

Mine were also like mild period pain, gradually got stronger and closer together. The main and nice difference was Labour, 'period pain' only last a min or two and then you get a break unlike the hours of non stop I get with my periods.
I knew it was Labour even though they weren't regular but was surprised to find I was actually dilatting.

Heleng1982 Thu 06-Nov-14 06:33:20

Mine started off as period pains that got stronger but the moment I knew it was time was when I couldn't sit down I had so much pain in my bum ☺️

goestoshowyouthough Thu 06-Nov-14 06:40:57

I had painful bh too, thought I was going into labour a few times. The test for me was if I had a lie down and a short nap, the bh were gone when I woke up but obviously with labour the pains were there. I think if you are in any doubt, just call in

Gennz Thu 06-Nov-14 06:55:20

This is a well-timed thread for me (sorry to hijack OP) - I'm 36 + 4 and been having mild-ish period like cramps for the last few hours - about every 5 or so minutes. I also power chucked mid-afternoon - which was a bit weird and unusual. This probably isn't labour right?

I'm booked in for an ELCS in 2.5 weeks so haven't really given much thought to going into labour. And DH is out tonight at a work do getting pissed so really not ideal timing though I am well and truly sick of being pregnant

Hoggle246 Thu 06-Nov-14 07:01:37

Agree with starting like mild period pains and intensifying. I had that for a few hours before I really felt I was in labour, then I knew for sure when I had a show about 4 hours after pains first started. Weirdly pains intensified right from that moment - don't know if that was a psychological or physical link!

Gennz Thu 06-Nov-14 07:05:05

Hmmm Hoggle when you say a few hours how many exactly? Mine started at about 4pm, after the power vom (I'm in NZ) and it's now 8pm and they have been steady all evening. I thought BHs were random?

I'm not too anxious but I might throw a few more thing in my hospital bag!

Titsalinabumsquash Thu 06-Nov-14 07:05:37

I'm so glad that no one has come on and done the whole, oh, you'll know.. thing that people often say in response to this question.

I have had 2 silent labours and didn't feel a thing until it was pushing time!

Gennz Thu 06-Nov-14 07:19:20

Hmmpphh. After having cramps all evening as soon as I posted on this thread they disappeared! I was getting a bit excited at the prospect of getting this show on the road!

ImBrian Thu 06-Nov-14 07:20:29

Twice my labour started with my waters breaking and twice with Braxton hicks type contractions that got stronger and longer.

I'm pregnant with number 5 and get long runs of Braxton hicks from about 3/4 lasting a good couple of hours and prob about 5 minutes apart. When it's the real thing they'll get longer/closer/more painful. They also won't stop or wear off as much if you go to sleep.

Good luck with your section op smilesmile

TriciaMcM Thu 06-Nov-14 07:56:52

confused hmm at my obstetrician! Wouldn't it be nice to have an obs who has given birth!

Gennz & DanielSan, if pains are intensifying & becoming more frequent I'd ring maternity unit if in any doubt, especially if it's your 2nd DanielSan. I didn't have any BH, went straight to labour with mine so I wont be hanging around this time. If pains are every 6/7 mins apart and lasting one minute, I'll be calling my mum to come mind DD while I go in. First time around I waited until every 4/5 mins but that was within 30-45 mins iirc (& maternity ward told me not to come in until after a bath when I rang first).

At antenatal classes they kept telling us not to come in too early, that first labours are long, but mine wasn't and I'm glad I ignored them in the end. If I was wrong, I could have just gone home again.

purplemurple1 Thu 06-Nov-14 09:06:46

My obs has 5 kids (including twins) starting like period pains is what she said to expect.

LizzieMint Thu 06-Nov-14 09:13:31

With mine, it started like strong BH, but regular. My midwife said it's not labour until you can't ignore them.
I was still able to read a book, make a cup of tea, talk during one etc. then suddenly they just intensified and I had to stop what I was doing and breathe through them, that's how I knew it was the real thing.

bronya Thu 06-Nov-14 12:01:41

BHs go away/change if you have a warm bath or go for a walk. Mine always got less when I lay down too. Real contractions intensify if you walk, stay steady and regular in the bath and lying down.

DanielSan Thu 06-Nov-14 16:48:06

Thanks everyone! They've calmed down now, no other signs or anything. I saw the midwife this morning and she basically said the minute anything happens that seems different, hotfoot it to the hospital, they'd much rather see me unnecessarily than have me deliver in the car.

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