View Full Version : OT: Hey moms...talk to me about contractions!!

01-16-2007, 03:59 PM
So I'm already a mom but my first pregnancy/labor/birth was apparently quite odd--especially for a first timer. I had had one contraction all day and suddenly while driving my water broke!! I remember having contractions afterwards but nothing as painful as I had prepared for--it was more of a pressure feeling (accompanied by grumpiness since my labor lasted 23 hours after my water broke and I didn't sleep save for about 40 minutes at one point)

So I'm due in 12 days and today I've been having pretty frequent contractions. These feel like my tummy turns into a rock and sometimes they are accompanied by lower pelvic tenderness/pain/pressure. My back is a little sore but I have to think about it to notice it--it's not killing me or anything. The childbirth refresher I took said contractions tend to start in the back and move to the front--I had nothing like that with the first one. I remember no back pain at all. I feel like this is my first child all over again b/c I really don't feel like I know what it is to have contractions--time the--and decide when to go to the hospital. They are uncomfortable but I don't know that I'd call them painful. Anyone remember what their contractions were like enough to describe them. The only other thing is when this "tightening" occurs--I become out of breath. I've walked, sat and taken a bath and it doesn't seem to go away although it slowed down or was less noticable in the bath....

Any thoughts? How do I know if it's real? If my water were to break like the first time--obviously I'd know but I don't really know what the contractions are supposed to feel like...

01-16-2007, 04:11 PM

It sounds like your body is getting ready.

I've had two children, and both labors were very different.

Contractions are where your tummy tightens, stays that way for a few seconds (longer as the labor progresses) and then eases off. I don't remember mine including back pain. Just intenst abdominal tightening. I went through pre-term labor with both of mine, and this was a BIG signal that I had to slow down. I missed it the first go-round because I had no clue what the tightening meant. I didn't miss it with the second and got off of my feet a month earlier.

Are the contractions coming with any regularity? How's the duration?

Hang in there girl. Maybe baby #2 will come a bit earlier than expected.

01-16-2007, 04:14 PM
Baby number one was 16 days early so this one is already later than the first!!! I'm scheduled to be induced b/c of the size of the baby on Friday if I'm still pregnant.

I'm trying to pay attention to the regularity...earlier I wasn't timing or writing things down but I had 4 in about 40 minutes. They seemed pretty regular. Then all of a sudden it seemed like they were either coming closer together or either my tummy was staying tighter than usual between contractions b/c it was hard to tell until the got REALLY tight. I had one 7 minutes ago and I'm watching the clock to see when the next one occurs. I don't know whether to remain active and walk around the house and do little chores or to sit and relax!! I really need to go and pick up dd from school but I'm sort of putting it off--trying to see if these contractions keep going...

01-16-2007, 04:17 PM
I've had 2 as well, and like both of you they were completely different!!

Baby #1 ~~ mild contractions starting in the afternoon and continuing into evening. They were not painful, just very noticeable. They continued on and got to be about 5 minutes apart (still not painful, I could talk and walk normally) so we went to the hospital. The admitting clerk was like "you seem awfully calm for being in labour" but she sent me up anyways. They weren't busy so they let me stay, otherwise I would have been sent home. Not long after being there my water broke (I was only 2-3cm dialated at this point) and about 2 hours later, ds was born. My doctor didn't make it there in time -- apparently he was another skeptic :roll:

Baby #2 ~~ I had contractions for what seemed like weeks. My midwife visited a few times to check me, only to be a false alarm. It got to the point that I didn't believe I'd really know when it was time. But when it really came, I KNEW. The pains were obviously different than what I had been having leading up to it.

So it's hard to know what to say - trust your body and don't be afraid to go get checked because you don't want to all of a sudden have the baby at home because you didn't think it was 'real'. Every labour is so different

Good luck!!! :muah:

Jan in CA
01-16-2007, 04:18 PM
From my own experience with two pregnancies and what I've read I'd say that it is possible you are in labor. They could also be Braxton Hicks contractions (http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/pregnancy/childbirth/156.html) which are preparing your body for labor. I had them a lot with my second pregnancy.

Have you timed them? Having regular contractions is usually a hallmark of labor although they can be irregular in the beginning. If your water hasn't broken and you are only uncomfortable just try to relax on the couch so you aren't moving around and see if they change or anything. And time them..

Oh and mine at first felt like cramps, but progressed to the point where it was more painful. Both pregnancies I had the hard belly and back pain.

01-16-2007, 04:21 PM
right after my last post I started having another one and that would have made it exactly 8 minutes after the previous one. I'm now waiting to see if another one comes--it seems like some are mild and some are strong...it's been 6 minutes since the last one...

01-16-2007, 04:31 PM
I totally thought you meant contractions like can't won't, shouldn't. :roflhard:

I'm such an English major nerd.

01-16-2007, 04:32 PM
that's so funny...my bf is working on her PhD in English..I should tell her that--she's totally relate!

01-16-2007, 04:41 PM

Maybe you could find someone to pick up your daughter. I think you are probably safe doing stuff around the house, but don't stray from the house. You don't know when the next contraction is going to be a strong one, and you certainly don't need to be driving a vehicle if it is.

I say do your housework if you feel like it. The exercise will help the labor progress faster if you are in "real" labor. Rest when another one hits.

Will be thinking about you...saying a prayer for you... :hug: :muah:

01-16-2007, 04:49 PM
thanks. I'm having dh pick her up--he's headed home just in case.

01-16-2007, 04:51 PM
Sounds like labor too me.

Stomach will feel like a rock. Not all women have enormous amounts of pain. If walking and bathing doesn't slow it down better call hubby, send off the little one and go...

Good luck.

01-16-2007, 05:03 PM
If walking and bathing doesn't slow it down better call hubby, send off the little one and go...

Good luck.

Who would want to slow it down?? Speed that baby up!!! :teehee:

01-16-2007, 05:05 PM
nope...no slowing down for me! Dh is on his way w/ dd..I'm just browsing the forum to try to keep my mind off of it and see if sitting makes a difference.

01-16-2007, 05:13 PM
I believe we might be seeing a baby here in the next day or so--good luck! I believe when my contractions were 5 min apart I had to call the dr, and if they continued regular like they I had to go to the hospital.

01-16-2007, 05:19 PM
Second baby's are tricky. They usually come faster than the first once labor really gets started. Early contractions are felt as tightening in the front. Contractions that are starting to change and open your cervix are felt lower and like menstrual cramps, sometimes with back pain. Have you had any "show" yet? That may also be a sign your cervix is thinning or starting to open a little. If you can not talk or walk through a contraction, definitely get on the phone to your Doctor. Second babies like to come fast, especially once your water breaks. If things really seem to be regular, a quick call with the doctor may be wise. At least he/she will know you are out there possibly starting something. Good luck to you!! :heart:

01-16-2007, 05:22 PM
Well, no show--but there wasn't any with the first one either. I only live 5 minutes from the hospital so the good thing is that I'm not far...

bad news is that they seem to be slowing down a little....

01-16-2007, 05:25 PM
My vote is for Braxton-Hicks, too. They are much more active and noticeable in the second pregnancy.

01-16-2007, 05:54 PM
I'm a natural birther (1st was a hospital birth with a 9 hr labor, second was at home with a 3 1/2 hr labor).
Here's my thinking - if you're able to sit at the computer through contractions, you're not in labor.

I had BH contractions constantly starting at 30 weeks with both my pregnancies. Turns out, I had an irritable uterus. My suggestion to you would be to down about 32 oz. of water, eat some protein and go put your feet up. If the contractions continue and intensify over time, it's probably go-time. No doubt that you're probably gearing up.

Sorry to hear you're being induced 9 days before your due date. Inductions are tough. What makes them believe your baby is "too big" for you to push out naturally?

01-16-2007, 06:00 PM
Hey! Let's call the Yarn Harlot on this one; I'm sure she would know what to do (wasn't she a mid-wife?) and what to knit in this situation.

Second babies are tricky. My contractions with my second felt more like bad menstral cramps--they got worse as things progressed, but my second child came in a matter of a few hours-just an afternoon of labor.

If you think they are contractions, you need to call the doctor. Luckily you don't live too far away from the hospital.

Wish you the best!

01-16-2007, 06:04 PM
I now vote for braxton hicks too b/c they've slowed down but I don't know if I buy the can't type or sit or talk through contractions thing b/c with my first I talked through, walked through, and even did crossword puzzles at one point when my feet got tired. I'm out of breath which makes it harder to talk--but I don't ever remember not being able to talk through contractions. But I guess thats why they say everyone is different.

They are supposedly inducing b/c of size (estimates by manually feeling my tummy and by ultrasound) say that he's between 9-11 pounds right now. But thats a sore subject--I don't understand inducing so close to my due date either--seems pointless. I had a hard time delivering my 8'12 last time so they are concerned about my ability to deliver this one. Either way--I hope he comes out 6lbs so I can tell them that their predictions are faulty (I'm a grumpy old pregnant woman right now...don't mind me...) :)

01-16-2007, 07:19 PM
Definitely sounds like BH to me -- I had them from very early on both pregnancies (from 20 weeks with DD1, from 18 weeks with DD2) aaaallllll the freakin' time. Luckily by the second time I knew what they were, and I knew the difference between those and the real thing. For me, anyways -- there was a huge difference between the two. You've probably heard it a zillion times lately -- every pregnancy, every labor is so different!

Hopefully your body is just getting ready and you'll go into labor before your induction date! :pray:

01-16-2007, 08:13 PM
Hey Christie,

The way you can usually tell the difference between Braxton-Hicks and real contractions is that real contractions will get longer, stronger and closer together. Braxton-Hicks may be consistent and annoying but that is all.

The suggestion to drink a couple of glasses of water is good because BH contractions are sometimes brought on by dehydration.

If I were you I'd be saving my energy for the work to come. That's easier said than done, I know, cause the BH contractions put you on edge trying to decide whether it's the real thing or not.

Actvity and changes in position can slow BH contractions -- real contractions won't be affected by this.

Can you take a warm bath? You might want to give that a try.

Keep us updated if you can -- we are all rooting for you!


Just in case you are wondering, I was a childbirth doula until all my childcare options fell through and I had to head for early retirement :crying:

01-16-2007, 10:56 PM
Wow Cristy, you make big babies :teehee: I hope you deliver before they induce, I mean who knows your body better, you or them :tap: Either way, have a good delivery and here's to new babies (my favorite people) :balloons: :balloons:

01-16-2007, 11:23 PM
I am a L&D RN and if I was talking to you on the phone I would ask you if the pain keeps you from walking or talking. If you have to stop what you are doing when you have the contraction/pain then they are making your cervix change. If you don't then they aren't srtong enough yet.If you have 6 of these or more an hour you need to go be checked out. Also if you water breaks with or without contractions head for the hospital.Now I will go read all the other replies. I have probably repeated what others told you.

01-17-2007, 08:41 AM
Thanks guys--obviously a false alarm b/c here I am! :) I feel okay this morning--dh came home and gave me a back rub and we watched some TV. I've been having BH for quite a while I just thought this might be the beginning of something more b/c while they felt similar--they were more intense and were accompanied by odd "cervical area" aches/pains/pressure. Maybe it just means things are opening up which is just as good to me! I guess I'll know tomorrow since I have an appointment to be checked!

I wish he was coming w/o inducement--like I said, they were only doing it b/c of size. A few weeks ago they had thought they'd do it last week but they've since calmed down about the baby's size a little--he's slowed down in growth from what they can tell. At 35 weeks 4 days my ultrasound said he was between 7.3-and 9.3 so they were afriad I was headed for an 11 pounder if I went full term. Things have slowed a little (at least one of the doctor's think so) so at this point, the inducement is just to make sure he doesn't get any bigger than he has so far. I really had hoped he'd come before the inducement--it would be nice if he did--I didn't really think I'd make it to inducement but here we are..just a couple of days away. At this point--I'll be a week away so I'm not worried about his development or anything--I hate to mess w/ nature but I'm ready to get this baby here!

And yes..I do have large babies! I'm the only one too--everyone else in the family has normal babies (and no, I'm not gestational!). My dh was a big baby although he was born at 27-28 weeks..he weighed 2lbs 7oz. His "little" sister weighed 9.bs 8 oz.--she's 5'11 now! I guess it comes from that side b/c in my family--we all come out average and end up short!

Thanks for all of the input--I'll keep everyone posted.


Jan in CA
01-17-2007, 02:48 PM
Ooooo I had a lot of the cervical area pain. It was to the point that I could hardly walk at times. :doh:

I hope the baby comes soon!!!

01-17-2007, 05:23 PM
I've had 4 babies, and all I can really tell you is that each one is different.
I had each with no meds, except a mild pain killer. My water didn't break with any of them, and I had a lot of pain. I won't describe it because I don't want to embarrass myself with the way I reacted. :teehee:

The first for me was about 12 hours labor, and a quack doctor. (sorry) I was in a delivery room that looked like a torture chamber, legs strapped down, strap around my upper waist and both feet. :shrug: It was taking forever to get him here, and suddenly the Dr. (who was complaining about missing a baseball game) said "Oh, this one's gonna have to be turned". Once turned he was there in a few seconds.

Second one was 21 hours, and induced.

Third, 1 1/2 hours. Very quick.

Fourth, I don't remember exactly but I think it was about 6 hours.

Check your contractions, if they are getting closer and stonger it could be labor, most suggest going to the hospital when they are about 5 min. apart.

I wish you the best of luck, I hope he's here soon.

:hug: :hug:

01-18-2007, 08:50 PM
Cristy, how are you doing?? :hug:

Mrs. Columbo
01-18-2007, 10:13 PM
My first was born when I was 15 after 2 hrs of labor ... my second one born when I was 21 came in the elevator on the way up to the OR ... baby's dad said "shoulda called him Otis" .. third baby is the only one I can really remember ... contractions started at 6 a.m. and all that would relieve it was kneeling down and putting my hand on my lower back .. would nearly take my breath away .. water broke at 8, hospital by 9 .. contractions still coming all the way in .. they just got worse .. I was booked for a section because I had ca of the cervix some years earlier and my cervix is battlescarred and I'd had NO prenatal classes, NO breathing exercises, I KNEW NOTHING .. however I was too far gone to section so they gave an epidural .. but she had to be pulled out by forceps because she was stuck on the curve and I couldn't feel the pushing ... that baby was 17 yesterday ...

Maybe by now the baby has arrived????

01-19-2007, 01:23 AM
I wish he was coming w/o inducement--

Aaah, inducement isn't so bad. Just make sure they give you the good drugs as soon as they will allow you to have them. I hear Pitocin can make things pretty heinous without them! I was induced with my twins, and it was a walk in the park because of the meds--I slept through most of my contractions!

Anyway, EXCITING!! Hope that baby comes out soon! :happydance:

i'd rather be knitting
01-19-2007, 01:55 AM
Has there been any update? Does anyone know?

01-19-2007, 09:12 AM
i'm a mum of 9 almost!, so i thought i'd put my input in lol...my waters only ever went with my first, for some reason they are less likely to go after 1st babies..it does sound like she having BH's i used to get mine in my back too...i disagree with saying if you can sit at computer your not in labor, i did with my last 1..but i was in slow labor and didn't actualy go to hospital till the following morning where i was scheduled for induction anyways as he was 10 days late......good luck hun....i am expecting my 9th baby in june and even i get unsure if i'm in labour or not xx

01-19-2007, 10:12 AM
OHG. 9 babies??? :passedout:

I salute you Nikki. :notworthy:

01-19-2007, 10:18 AM

Just wanted to know how you were doing...Keep us updated!

01-19-2007, 10:37 AM
Watching for new baby! :oo:

01-19-2007, 11:23 AM
OHG. 9 babies???:

My mom is one of 17 children...I kid you not. Same mother and father. Three sets of twins (of which she is one) -- boy/girl, girl/girl, boy/boy. The first two (twins) died shortly after birth. The rest, all 15 of them, are still alive (mom is in her late 50's).

Jan in CA
01-19-2007, 11:30 AM
.i am expecting my 9th baby in june

My mom is one of 17 children...I kid you not.

:passedout: :notworthy: :notworthy: :teehee:

01-20-2007, 09:00 PM
BABY WATCH!! Has anyone here heard any news? I suppose no news is good news in this case. If she's not here, hopefully, she's having a baby!!
F92A (http://www.ferrari-wiki.com/wiki/Ferrari_F92A)

01-21-2007, 08:45 AM

Thinking of you and yours and hoping all is well and you are holding your new little bundle of joy by now!

Looking forward to great birth stories!

Let us know how you are :muah: