MrsJammi - I'm 31+4 and have been having painful BH since about 1pm today. Not regular and not soooooo painful that I think they might be proper contractions, but ooooh, I just want to have a bath and bed. DH is out, 2 kids here to look after - boo hoo.
Also have quite debilitating SPD, am on crutches etc so totally feel your frustration and pain.
FWIW, I had painful BH throughout both previous pregnancies - many many "false labours". Nobody told me there was such a thing as Braxton Hicks before!
I'm 29+4 with twins (second pg) and I'm now regularly having bouts of taking-my-breath-away BH's. Several times each day I find myself thinking "am I in labour?!" just for them to subside. I didn't experience anything like this with DS. I've posted on here before and as far as I can tell it's normal. However I am having another obstetrican appt on Thurs and am going to ask - as they literally stop me in my tracks. And I'm another one on crutches and I'm sure I look like a right nutter stood huge belly on crutches deep breathing glazing over!
I am 29+5 I had horrible fluey/cold last wk so you absolutely have my sympathies (at one point they thought it was swine flu) and my BH were much worse. I know exactly what you mean about the coughing, that triggered some BH too - I coughed so much I was sick and had terrible rib pains.
I think if you are tired/dehydrated they can be more frequent. Luckily, mine aren't painful but I often get a weird sensation of feeling a bit faint/heady just before they come. Also, they are worse in the evenings.
I don't remember them being so obvious with dd but perhaps I'm just more aware of them.
My bx were much more painful when my baby was back to back. She moved at about 38 weeks and the difference to the way I felt was incredible. I don't know if that would make any difference at your stage though, but thought it worth mentioning.