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What Does the Onset of Labor Feel Like?

Posts: 12335
2/23/11 9:59 P

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Snarf Snarf Baby born February 28 at 12:55pm via an unmedicated and natural birth. She weighed 8lbs, 4oz and 20.25 inches long.

1 week - 9lbs, 3oz and 22.25 inches
4 weeks - 11lbs, 1oz and 23 inches
10 weeks - 14lbs and 25 inches
16 weeks - 16lbs, 2oz and 26.5 inches
EBFing rocks!

Posts: 3657
2/22/11 4:00 P

My first started with violent vomiting and diareah every 5 min. My mom noticed I was puking every 5 min and told me I was in labor.

My second, I just had a feeling similar to diareah cramps like if you have every had food poisoning - but worse - that I decided to time and they were every 2-3 min.

Posts: 502
2/19/11 11:39 A

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My first was an induction. My second and third followed the same pattern. I did have a time of false labor with one of them. It was just BH contractions, the tightening of the belly, but they were spot on 2 minutes apart for about 4 hours. It was the middle of the night, and after packing up I decided to lie down and let my hubby sleep a little more before waking him. I fell asleep and when I woke the BH were gone. Not labor!
When my labors DID start, both times I had a really intense time in the bathroom. Both times I woke up from sleeping to the first contraction. They felt very different from BH. They began down deep inside in back and worked their way all around to the front. It feels like a really gradual tight squeeze to me. They gradually squeeze tighter, hold at "the top" for a second and then gradually release.

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2/18/11 4:13 P

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With my son, my water broke precontractions, and it did not speed up labor.

With DD, I felt more uncomfortable and felt more BH contractions (I feel BH contractions alot during pregnancies) and the BH contractions were more uncomfortable - particularly on my back. I felt like I could live through them, but at the same time, I'd felt questionable about them for a week, and this particular day - I decided that I was ready and I wanted it to be it, so i started visualizing it was time, telling baby in my mind she could come and I started rocking my body into that position to come. We went to the hospital, and I timed my contractions in the car they were 5-7min apart. I just wanted to get there and get comfortable have things ready before I was under stress _ i really wanted to do it naturally and didn't do so with my first. Anyhow, I don't know if it was the visualizations but I had the baby 13hrs after early labor.

And I'm so glad I went to the hospital and stayed at the hospital even though I was only 3cm dialated and not progressing 3hrs after I got there. Because at 1am (6hrs after getting to the hospital) in the morning I woke up no longer able to tolerate the contractions in any position that didn't involve standing up and moving around- and I would have hated that car ride to the hospital- not being able to get up and move around!! And instead being able to get in the tub right then and there without the worry of what happens if I don't get to the hospital soon enough.

Posts: 204
2/16/11 10:12 A

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Well, all the books try to say that "real" labor will feel like a band from back to front tightening around you. And that abdominal pain was not sign of real labor.
They are full of crap (at least in all my cases)
It felt like a(TMI!) diarrhea/menstrual cramp that grew exponentially by the thousands!
None of mine felt like a tightening. None of them started in my back (I had no back pain with any of my labors) Just like horrible diarrhea/menstrual cramps that were so bad I couldn't stand it.

And I have strong water, I guess. After 3 hours of hard labor, my water didn't break until I started pushing.....that was with my first. My second two the doctor broke my water (since it looked as if it wasn't going to break until I started pushing in those cases,too)

Edited by: TMILLERRN at: 2/16/2011 (10:14)

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2/15/11 1:35 A

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My labors were all really fast.
Some of them, I went into labor on my own and/or my water broke. Like the other ladies said, it feels like cramps that get stronger and stronger, along with the tightening contractions.
With my last few, I was induced, and it felt pretty much the same, except in the beginning I didn't feel much, but when it kicked in, I felt the stronger contractions almost right away. Lucky for me, it took less than an hour for me once they did kick in.

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2/14/11 11:58 A

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I think everyone is different. For me, my waters broke - but gently, just a trickle not a sudden POP! and major flood alert - both times, and from then it was a couple of hours before I had a contraction I could feel AT ALL. Then, both times, gradual build up of contractions in both frequency and intensity.

The first time I wasn't "officially" in labor until about 8 hours after my waters had broken, which seems daft to me since the change was so gradual over those 8 hours.

Conversely, a friend's labor was almost the opposite - she woke up feeling a bit "off" and having mild contractions, called the hospital and they said leave it a while, so she dropped her toddler at his gran's, did a couple errands, then went in to get checked, and 40 mins later her baby arrived. Her waters broke right at the end.

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2/13/11 7:29 P

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I went into labor while I was sleeping but I woke up knowing something didn't feel right. When I sat up in bed I felt a gush of fluid, like I just popped a bubble in my crotch. The contractions came right away.

I just knew it was happening.

Marty's recent new words: "wannee (I want it)", "eyes" and "boobs" oops :)
Posts: 677
2/12/11 2:08 P

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my water broke and contractions were pretty noticeable two hrs later. they started out feeling like menstrual cramps. and came semi regularly.

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2/12/11 12:05 P

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With my first my water broke and then labor was induced the next day.

With my second I had contractions every evening for several hours over about a week, they were never really painful but they were maybe every 6min then stopped around bed time. One night I went through the same routine but I just felt different and they were a tiny bit painful, they still stopped at bed time though. Around 1am I woke with one strong contration and I just knew this was the start of it, I'd never had a contraction wake me up. Labor was still very slow, I had a strong contraction every 20min until about 9am when it moved to every 6min but still manageable, they would go strong every 6min for an hour or two then back off. Every time they started up frequently again they were stronger. This lasted until some time early the next morning when I decided to head to the hospital. I was still only 2cm at that point and sent home lol. I went in again a few hours later and was at 4cm and stayed. From there on out the contractions weren't super regular but they were so strong there was no way you could miss it. For me it was a very long slow process and for the first 12 hours or so I wasn't sure if it was going to keep going or if it might stop and I had a few days to go. I didn't head to the hospital until I was in so much pain I was crying but both of my babies were posterior so it happened early.

My water didn't break until I was pushing the second time and the early contractions felt like cramps, the later contractions were all in my lower back.

Edited by: HOPE2B at: 2/12/2011 (12:07)

Elijah Curtis Due March 25th, 2008
Born March 12th, 2008
Emery Rimon Due May 23rd, 2010
Born May 8th, 2010

Posts: 1001
2/12/11 10:31 A

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With my first my water broke (gushed!) and my labor was induced.

With my second, it felt like really bad period cramps that got worse and worse. And when I couldn't talk through them I went to the hospital.

Posts: 408
2/11/11 10:47 P

Mine felt like I was starting a period - dull, heavy feeling at the bottom of my stomach. The difference was that I also felt a little lower back pain, which I never had during my periods. The heaviness eased up and then came back half an hour later and so on. So I knew it was time! My water did not break until I started pushing so no big gush like in the movies.

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2/11/11 9:48 P

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My 'labor' was literally weeks long. At 34 weeks I started dilating and having very strong and often braxton hicks contractions. I was 1 cm. at 34 weeks. I honestly thought I was going into pre-term labor because I felt so bad, felt so much pressure and my contractions were starting to hurt. Not so much.

By 36 weeks I was 3 cm dilated after two more weeks of strong bh contractions. I felt like the baby was coming out my butt. Surly this was labor. Not so much.

By 38 weeks I was dilated to 5 cm. Still no real labor although my bh contractions were starting to keep my up at night because the were so strong and uncomfortable. I could literally feel my cervix dilating at this point.

So then at 38 weeks 6 days I realized that I could reach up inside of me and stroke my baby's head. She still had intact membranes so I couldn't feel hair but just touching her head was enough to send me running to the OB. The OB checked me and her eyes bugged out of her head. I was almost 7 cm dilated and almost fully effaced. No 'labor'. I told the lady that if she sent me home and I had my baby in the bathtub that I was not going to be a happy camper. So they broke my water and then she came out a couple hours later.

So, anyways, my labor was kind of different and lasted for weeks. But my actual active labor was 2 hours (which actually seems kind of long since I started at about 7 cm!).

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"Stuff's about to get real"- My husband, upon finding out I was pregnant with our 4th. ;)
Posts: 31117
2/11/11 5:32 P

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LOL! I see.

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Tempus fugit.

Posts: 2884
2/11/11 4:45 P

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I wish I could help you with this one but my water broke with #1, I induced with #2 (but apparently I HAD been in labor, or so they tell me), and #3 was a c/s.

Quite honestly be prepared that it is not time to go until you can't talk through a contraction.

Lucky parent of the best kids in the world!

Posts: 12335
2/11/11 4:40 P

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In other words, how did you know you were experiencing labor? What did it feel like?

BabyFit Community Team
Snarf Snarf Baby born February 28 at 12:55pm via an unmedicated and natural birth. She weighed 8lbs, 4oz and 20.25 inches long.

1 week - 9lbs, 3oz and 22.25 inches
4 weeks - 11lbs, 1oz and 23 inches
10 weeks - 14lbs and 25 inches
16 weeks - 16lbs, 2oz and 26.5 inches
EBFing rocks!

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