(Closed) Early labor signs

posted 6 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
Member
1245 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

When I was pregnant with my first, I was so concerned that I wasn’t going to realize that I was in labor and give birth at home.  That didn’t happen 🙂

You’re right – labor cramps can be dull or sharp, high or low.  With all three of mine, each labor was very different.  Contractions start dull usually, kind of like someone poked you.  Then it can feel sharper like a stabbing feeling and as you’re really close to delivering, it goes through your entire body, not just your abdominal area.  If you do it without pain meds, it will be like nothing you’ve ever felt.

With the first, they started off as rather sharp, but I thought they were the Braxton Hicks kind as they were irregular.  As the evening wore on, they started to get more intense and I started timing them.  When they got more regular and intense, that’s when I went to the hospital.  And something inside of me said this is it, like I KNEW it was the real thing.  

Don’t worry about going to the hospital for a false alarm.  Happens all the time.

Now with my second, I was already dilated at 2 since 36 weeks, so that was more like a dull cramping and I just knew I was in labor. When I called the doctor she said she didn’t think I was in labor and I told her, no, I know I am.  So she had me come in and kind of laughed when she saw me because I was already dilated to almost 7!  She said obviously I was correct!

The third was more like the first, more sharp, but they didn’t hurt as much, probably because I knew what to expect.

Don’t worry – you will know!

Post # 5
Member
1855 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@roxy821:  For me, it was the duration more than the feeling; I started having contractions weeks before I gave birth and was 2-3cm starting at 36 weeks (gave birth at 38 weeks).  I knew I was truly in labor when they just kept coming; we’re talking 2-3 hours of timable consistent painful contractions, and when I finally went to the OB to be checked, I was 5cm.  I had back labor so for me it was a strong cramping in my lower to mid back and belly and I wasn’t able to walk through contractions.  

Post # 6
Member
228 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@roxy821:  I don’t have labor experience (yet!) but I do have Strep B and I believe the most critical thing is getting to the hospital right after your water breaks, if you’re not there already. It’s the breaking that can cause bacteria to make its way to the baby.  🙂

Post # 8
Member
1855 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@roxy821:  I used an online program like this one, http://www.contractiontimer.com/ , to monitor my contractions.  You just hit the space bar when you feel it start and hit the space bar again when it stops.  It shows the spacing, the length of the contractions, etc.  There are also phone apps if you don’t have access to a computer when you start feeling the contractions.  Maybe put in a call to your OB, if you haven’t discussed this already, to see when he/she thinks you should head for the hospital (i.e. when contractions are 30+ seconds every 7 minutes, etc).

Post # 10
Member
1622 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Early labour and active labour are a bit different for everyone, but the general rules of thumb are that active labour contractions (ie. “the real thing”, “it’s time to go to the hospital”) ar regular every 4 minutes or so, lasting for about a minute long, and that’s been going on for at least one hour (the 4-1-1 rule).  At this time, your cervix is *usually* dilated to about 3-4 cms and it’s time to be admitted and start the antibiotics.

I would be very (very) surprised if any doctor told you to go to the hospital with contractions more than 5 mins apart, even for antibiotics.  That’s not true estabilished active labour and it’s too early…UNLESS your water has broken (or any other concerns). With group B strep, the recomendation is that antibiotics are to be started once you’re in ACTIVE labour (as I described above) or once your water breaks, whichever comes first.

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