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Labor - questions
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Labor - questions

Okay this may seem like silly question but since I haven't been through it before, it is all a total mystery to me.  

I'm 36wk4d, 90% effaced, 1cm dilated and baby is at +1 station.  

Hear are my questions: What does labor feel like?  How did you know when you went into labor?  Did you know right away or did it take hours to finally be like "okay this is it"?  How long were you in early labor before you went to the hospital?  If any of you went to the hospital and it ended up being false labor, when you did finally go into real labor, was it much different from false labor??  

Please share your stories with me.. I really wanna know!!

Since 29wks there has been much concern about me going into preterm labor.. now I'm over 36wks and still nothing.. I was all prepared to wait it out till 40wks or later if I had to, but all this anticipation is getting me so anxious..

Thanks, hannah
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Avatar_f_tn
with my son i sat up in bed early am with sharp pain.  it was like a cramp that came every so many min, then my water broke.  the back pain then came and i knew it was it.
with addison i woke up and for some reason jumped out of bed just as my water broke and i mean it was gush that wouldnt stop.  then the contractions came right away.  you can feel nauseated, you can have diarrhea.  it can start very irregular and take time to become every 3-5 min apart.  you are so close i cant believe i remember your posting bfp! maybe you will get a valentines baby!
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220217_tn?1209683277
I took woke up in the middle of the night with a couple sharp pains - went to the bathroom - came back to bed and my water broke.  Once my water broke, it was all over - contractions came strong and hard.  I could easily tell the difference between BH contractions/early labor and the real deal.  Trust me - you'll know!!  :)
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218870_tn?1240259255
i woke up at 4am with period like cramps.  I realized about an hour later that they were pretty regular.  about 30 seconds every 8 minutes.  I thought that was it so I started cleaning my house.  I thought the cramps had stopped while I was cleaning but i was just working through them.  (I also had 3 daycare kids here all day)  At 6pm they were 30 seconds every 5 minutes.  At midnight they were 1 minute every 5 minutes.  I went to the hospital at 1am, I was in pain pain at 4am, and AJ was born at 7:19am.  My water broke somewhere between 4am and 6:30am we just have no idea when it happened.  (I was sent home for a while which was a stupid idea--dont leave the parking lot!) It really isnt like what you see in movies where you all the sudden jump  up and say its time to go.  You have a good idea for a long time before you go and you will not question it.  At the beginning it may be questionable, but by the time you are ready to go to the hospital you will know what is going on.  It feels like small period cramps at first and they are regular.  The cramps get stronger and more regular as the time goes by.  Good Luck and enjoy your experience.  It is pretty cool sitting in bed timing the contractions, just waiting for them to get to 4-1-1 or whatever, and knowing the baby is coming soon.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Hannah,
I was restless the night I went into labor with my son. I was laying on the sofa all night trying to fall asleep looking up at the trees outside the window. At 4:30 am I just knew. I stood up and decided to double check my hospital bag and maybe get a snack and my water broke-gushed and gushed. I started getting light cramps and tons of pressure--nothing to double me over. I called the doc and they said come in to be checked, but warned they might just send you home. Well, yes I had started, but not progressed much and they were all buzzing around wondering whether to send me home. Well I'm a pain wimp, so I played it up my best and they kept me thank God! About three hours later I was in labor it was the start of a long labor that lasted 22 hours--it took forever to fully dialate. I thought I was going to die from how much it hurt. All I can say is when the actual labor pains come there is no mistaking them! Good luck and enjoy your baby's miraculous birth--there is just nothing else in the world that will compare to the sheer joy when they place that little guy on your chest. You're due any week now aren't you?
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376739_tn?1317669990
Be prepared for a long message! I have two little girls with two diff. stories!

My first daughter I went to the hospital with false labor and was sent home (that was DEVASTATING!). The reason I went was because I had painless contractions close together for an hour. The thing is, they did not intensify and eventually went away.

When I went into real labor, it was WAY WAY WAY different from anything I'd ever felt. My pregnancy had been perfect: no pain. Well when I started feeling a tightness and cramping that was really intense (still wasn't really painful at that point, but VERY uncomfortable), I was doubled over, and just felt different. I ended up going to the hospital.

Things still didn't progess after a few hours of monitoring, so they gave me a shot of morphine (to stop false labor or kickstart true labor) and I slipped into peaceful slumber for the night. When I woke up, I was 5 CM, broke my water, and baby came in 3.5 hours!

Second daughter: I didn't go to the hospital until I was in labor. I had painful and uncomfortable contractions starting the night before. I went to bed thinking that if baby was coming, I'd wake up in time. In the morning I started off feeling the same, contractions-wise. They got MORE intense as I moved around. I was again, doubled over, but the pain was more unbearable this time around.

Went to hospital and had her that evening.

Your doctor may strip your membranes at some point (ask them about it). This will cause hormones to kick in, telling your body you're in labor. Basically what it is: they scrape the bag of waters off the cervix, which causes a chemical reaction in your body. My doc did this with both my girls and I had them the NEXT day.

Def. wait until you are at least 38 weeks to do it! Don't want a preemie!!!
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376739_tn?1317669990
Oh and I guess to answer your questions more directly:

What does labor feel like?  -it feels like intense cramping that wraps around to your lower back. You'll feel it all over, not just on your lower abs. It can also be painful, intense, uncomfortable.

How did you know when you went into labor?  Did you know right away or did it take hours to finally be like "okay this is it"?    -Some women have babies fast! But for me, I kept a notepad with me, and a watch with a second hand, and I wrote down every time I felt a contraction, how long it lasted, and how long between them. When they were about 5 minutes apart is when I called the doc.

Early labor can last for days! So when they come close together and don't relent is when you know you are in labor. Some women do not notice/feel early labor contractions (I didn't with my first).

How long were you in early labor before you went to the hospital?   -First daughter I only waited a few hours, but note I had her the following morning! Second daughter I waited until the following morning.

If any of you went to the hospital and it ended up being false labor, when you did finally go into real labor, was it much different from false labor??    -yes, it is more consistent, more painful/intense, definitely recognizable!

Both of my girls came on Saturdays, two days before their due dates! LOL!
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223520_tn?1221443883
I CANNOT Believe you are 36 weeks already!!!!!!

What does labor feel like?  HELL!! LOL Its like realy really bad cramps that you cant even talk through!

How did you know when you went into labor?  When the pain wouldnt stop.

Did you know right away or did it take hours to finally be like "okay this is it"?
I knew right away.

How long were you in early labor before you went to the hospital? 1 1/2 hours and my labor only lasted 8 hours, and pushed for 12 mins. =)

If any of you went to the hospital and it ended up being false labor, when you did finally go into real labor, was it much different from false labor??   COMPLETLY!!! I went in twice with false labor. When it happened,  I knew it was real.

I was 4 days early and he was born 9lbs 4 ozs. 20.5 in. long.
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242084_tn?1244551910
I was laying in bed with my dh watching "The Office" on tv when I felt a little "pop", and all of a sudden my water broke.  Made it to the bathroom with a full on gush.  My dh called the dr who said to come right in.  We live out in the country, so it was a 50min drive to the hospital, but during the whole trip I never had a single contraction or pain-- just wet pants.  (I stuffed a towel between my legs, pulled some sweat pants up over me, and sat on a trash bag in the car, as I didn't want amniotic fluid to seep out on our fabric seats.)  When I got to the hospital they checked to make sure it wasn't pee... I guess some women pee themselves and think it's their water breaking.  When they determined it was my fluid (duh!), they were surprised I wasn't having any contractions or making any progress.  I was given pitocin to start the process, and like everyone above mentioned, it starts off feeling like strong menstrual cramps.  It got stronger, and you can watch them on the fetal monitor; my dh had fun watching and going, "ooooh, here one comes!!!".  They gave me some pain shot (don't remember name of drug) to tied me over until I was far enough along for the epidural, but it really didn't do anything.  I was + for Group B Strep, so I had to stay in bed and had an IV drip with antibiotics.  I was thrilled when I finally got the epidural (it didn't really hurt that much when they inserted the needle, just a LOT of pressure as they were pushing it in).  Once I got the epidural, my contractions were very strong but I didn't feel any pain any more-- it was BLISS, and I actually fell asleep for an hour and a half during which time my dh said the contractions on the monitor just kept going higher and higer.  I HIGHLY recommend an epidural!!!  When I was told it was time to push, I labored for almost 3 hours pushing away... but that's because I had a pretty big boy in there and I have narrow hips- he was 8lbs5oz and I was 36w6d.
I am currently 35w3d pregnant with my 2nd ds, and I am really hoping to have a repeat with having my water break before any contractions!  I guess once your fluid breaks, due to risk of infection, they can only let you go for so long before inducing so with our hospital, once it pops you are admitted right away.  Course, I'm also now paranoid that I'll be out shopping in the middle of a crouded Wal-Mart or something and have my water break... trust me, there's a LOT more fluid in there than you think!  
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376739_tn?1317669990
SeeingSpots, you're def. right! Once your water breaks, it is important for baby to be born within 24 hours. What a story! Your DH watching the monitors and getting a kick out of 'em... man, I'd probably punch mine out if he did that! LOL!

I also recommend epidurals. Made my experiences so much more enjoyable!
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189192_tn?1261345228
Thanks everyone for sharing your strories and please anybody else, keep'em coming!!  They are very helpful!!!

Not today but ealier this week I had some odd feelings.... it was kind of like a cross between a sharp pain and a AF cramp but they only happened randomly.. twice in one day and once in another... I don't remember feeling any tightening (BH) at the same time.. just the strong AF cramp sensation.  I wondered if it was a contraction or just some other ache/pain.  

A couple hours after I posted this thread, I lost my mucus plug.. I'm just so anxious.. I've never been good at waiting..  :)  

Hannah
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189192_tn?1261345228
Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention.. my dr said when/if my water breaks, it will probably be a trickle instead of a gush because lil'jacobs head is already low into the birthing canal.  

People have commented that he will probably be born with a really pointed head... thank goodness for those cute little caps they wear :)  
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242084_tn?1244551910
Tanker Chic-  Just hope your hospital isn't cheap like mine... they only had blue AND pink striped caps for the newborns, which my dh was NOT happy about.  He made some comment about how his son was only minutes old and already being forced to wear PINK!! :o) LOL  Not only that, but when we checked out after 3 days, we weren't even allowed to keep the little blue/pink cap!  You had to turn that and the little white t-shirt in with the basinette!  For our next son, my dh already checked to make sure that I had an ALL BLUE newborn cap packed in my bags to take with us to the hospital.  He didn't like the constant questions of, "Is it a little boy or girl?" we'd get from the nurses as they'd walk in to the room.

JoyRenee-- yeah, when you're cramping away it is less than amusing to see the smile of glee on your dh as he sees the little line start to peak for a contraction... that, and then later he was chowing down on fudge brownies and a big soda he got from the caffeteria, while I was sucking on ice chips and starving.  I held my tongue, but geesh, when you're in pain, you know they're right about "misery loves company"!! :0)
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202436_tn?1326477933
Ok I have 4 different labors to tell you about:

#1:  went for a check up at 40 wks 3 days...they did an ultrasound and discovered I had no amniotic fluid left, I was scheduled for an emergency c-section that was performed 2 hours later.  I was sedated and given a spinal. My DD was born a little discolored and a little bent in the wrong places but within a few days she straightened out and returned to normal color.  

#2:  I lost my mucus plug when I was 2 hours away from home...contractions were coming but not too close or intense so I waited til we drove back home...then I waited even longer until they got closer together, then we went to the hospital, when they hooked me to the monitors it was discovered there was no heartbeat.  Rather than do an emergency c-section I delivered becuase they said it was too late to do anything anyway.  I was doped on morphine and given an epidural...I was too doped to even push...had a nurse on one side and my husband on the other crunching me into ball for each push.  (it turned out my son had the cord wrapped tightly around his neck) I was 37 wks 5 days

#3: my water broke at midnight, and contractions started coming almost immediately.  Went to hospital and was admitted around 1 am..labor progressed quickly at 6:27 am my DD was born..no drugs..completely natural...it hurt...sometimes to the point I was screaming "GET IT OUT" but it was SOOO worth it.  I only pushed about 10 minutes before she was out.   I was 39 wks 4 days.

#4: I woke up that morning and kept noticing what I thought was fluid leaking...went to hospital, they checked me and sent me home.  That afternoon contractions were a little worse and I was still leaking fluid...went back in and they confirmed I had a leak so they admitted me around 4 pm and broke my water.  I dilated quickly.  I opted for an epidural that time which I got around 6:30, but as it was being administered I felt the baby drop and started having the "gotta push" contractions.  As they swung my legs back on the table the nurse commented that she could see the head.  Everyone rushed around and the doc got there barely in time for me to push about 3 sets of 3 pushes each and my DS was born at 6:54 pm.  I was 39 wks.

I am now pregnant again and don't foresee myself making it to my due date and I anticipate a very quick labor.  (i hope) It's hard to explain but you will KNOW when it's time. It's like there's something inside you that says "this is it".  Hope this helped.
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189192_tn?1261345228
losingmymind - Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me.. and I am so sorry about ds, that is my worst nightmare.
When your water broke and you said it was like you were leaking fluid.  Is the fluid thin like water or is it thicker then water, like it has cervical mucus mixed into it?  

Seeingspots - I hadn't even thought about that.  I'm going to make sure I have a "blue" one packed right now :)

Thanks, Hannah
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218870_tn?1240259255
I dont know if anyone mentioned this, but if you feel like you need to have a bowel movement, the baby is coming soon!  That was part of the reason I decided to go home and not sit in the parking lot.  Turns out I didnt have to go at all and it was a big warning sign that I should have stayed there.
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242084_tn?1244551910
Hannah-
To answer your previous question, when my water broke it was just like "water"... wasn't thicker than pee.  TMI, but after having had my ds, with this pregnancy I do leak urine occassionally-- especially if I sneeze or cough (which has been horrible lately, since my dh gave me his cold!); but I can always tell it's urine... it just feels like it's your bladder releasing a little bit.  When my water broke there wasn't any feeling of me losing control (like with the urine), it was just fluid coming from "somewhere" it felt like.  Like I previously mentioned, I just had a huge gush, so I imagine it was easier for me to know it wasn't urine.  However, I always wear a pantyliner and when I leak urine it smells like pee, and also is the yellowish color of pee.  With the amniotic fluid, it was more of a pale almost clear color and had a different smell... kinda like a sweet bleachy smell... not the harsh ammonia smell of pee.  Also, when you leak urine it stops, but with the amniotic fluid everytime I moved more would come out.
I think you'll just know when it happens- even if it's just a leak- because it feels like nothing else.
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Avatar_f_tn
I got to keep the baby cap for my son--the only problem was it was pink and white stripes. They said sorry we're all out of blue. So when everyone came to visit and I told them my son's name they all just stared and had to ask. "oh did you have a boy?"  GRRRR.... definitely bring a baby cap and I'd also say bring a couple newborn outfits--I was surprised how big a 8lb7oz baby is! Also be sure that you bring outfits that will work with you car seat, so you can strap your baby in properly (gowns don't work well). One more thought, since you are so close to delivering, you might want to secure your baby's car seat ahead of time, so when it's time to go, you'll have one less thing to remember.



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189192_tn?1261345228
kjbutcher - thanks for mentioning that... my baby is really low (station +1) and everyone keep saying I should be experiencing pelvic pressure because of this, but I haven't.  But I have noticed, I feel some pressure further back like I need to take a BM. It isn't intense, but I do notice it.  

Seeingspots - thanks for all the info. That does help clear things up a bunch for me. Since the dr said mine would probably be a trickle, I get paranoid I might miss it.  

sleepless_mom, thanks for the great advice. I do have some of those gowns and I  consider packing some, so I'm glad you told me.  Thanks!!
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202436_tn?1326477933
The fluid is more like the consistency of pee.  With #3 when my water broke at midnight i actually had to smell it to make sure i hadn't just peed myself....sounds gross but i was asleep and it woke me up so i wasn't sure if the baby had pushed my bladder and made me pee or what :)  When it was leaking it was kinda like when you sneeze and leak a little pee...only with out a sneeze or cough.  I didn't notice any CM.
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Avatar_f_tn
i will have addison is a pink outfit, pink hat, pink blanket, pink binky, and i still get asked if she is a boy.  
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376739_tn?1317669990
pertykitty, that happened with my oldest daughter!!! And she didn't even have a face that looked boyish!!! SO ANNOYING!!! Don't ask about someone's child using a specific gender, people! LOL!
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