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Consistent contractions, not in labor?
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Consistent contractions, not in labor?

I am 37 1/2 weeks pregnant with my first child. Two weeks ago I began losing pieces of my mucous plug. My OBGYN said this is normal and could mean labor is still a little ways further.

I had my last cervical exam on Wednesday. To my surprise, I was 1 1/2 cm dilated! Since Wednesday, my contractions have been constant. They were too inconsistent to time the first day or so. I finally began timing them yesterday. Now, every 9 minutes, I get a contraction painful or not. This has lasted for almost 24 hours.

My mother said this is normal. She said they are "working" contractions which just means my body is close to the real deal. Honestly, it doesn't make any sense to me. How can I be having consistent, sometimes painful, contractions for days, while my cervix is dilated, and not be in labor???? HELP.

PS. Is it normal to be 1 1/2 cm dilated with your first pregnancy and not be in labor??
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