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What does labor feel like?
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What does labor feel like?

So I'm feeling a little sheepish asking this question, but this is my first pregnancy and the only time I've ever seen labor or a woman having contractions is on TV, which I would guess is not like the real thing. So how do you know when you're in labor? What does a contraction feel like, and how do you recognize it? Just curious, and wondering how I'll know when the time comes.
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581359_tn?1358282565
You'll know :-)  Contractions can be very different for each women so all I can tell you is what mine felt like.  For me it's just a really bad stomach pain or menstrual cramp you tummy gets hard as a rock.  When I had my first baby I though contractions would be down low in the groin area but that's not where the pain was for me.  I know some women get really bad lower backaches, the best way to know for sure if it's a contraction is feel your tummy if it's getting hard while you have these pains and the pain is coming and going then it's probably labor.  

You'll have probably have LOT's of practice contractions and braxton hicks before the real one start so you just need to watch an see if they are getting stronger, closer together and in a pattern.  Good luck girl, you'll now when it happens :-)  
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1194973_tn?1385507504
In my experience, I agree you'll just know. Depending on the labour you have influences what you feel. I had back labour with my daughter as she was face up and turned sideways.

For mine, it started as a bad backache that came intermittently. It was uncomfortable enough that it made it hard to do basic things. It came every 15 minutes or so, and steadily got more and more painful. I didn't really have front contractions, everything was focused in my lower back and it just felt like my spine and back were being ripped apart.
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Avatar_f_tn
Imagine being hit by a mac truck....followed by a train...& having your intestines ripped out....while having your spine pulled in about 100 directions <- my experience.... But everyone is different my Sister said it was virtually painless, she must have had good drugs!
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1901977_tn?1333995326
Ah okay, back labor doesn't sound like fun, but then menstrual-cramp labor doesn't sound like fun either lol. But good to know...the baby's father is worried he won't be able to get off work in time, he works a type of job where they have to call in another guy to replace him before he can leave, and I wasn't sure if I'd figure it out in time to get the ball rolling...I guess that won't be a problem. :)

So how do you tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and real contractions?
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971074_tn?1362763366
Mine started out as what I describes as little fires. I would get this flare of pain in my uterus...it literally felt like fire. As my labor progressed it became more of a full body storm. They last a minute and I would just remind myself that it would be over in a  minute. I too had back labor but not till really far into my labor. The back labor is really uncomfortable but I kept moving and the baby finally turned ...so that stopped for me.

I know that labor is unique for every woman but I'm confident that you will know what a contraction is as soon as you feel one! Good luck to you and I hope you have a great birth experience.
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581359_tn?1358282565
Braxton Hicks aren't painful.  They can be uncomfortable but not painful and the won't get any worse. My braxton hicks lately get very uncomfortable if I have a full bladder lol. I have to sit and wait it out then go to the bathroom lol. They won't become regular or last very long either.  
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Avatar_f_tn
To me it felt like really bad gas pains, but at a bigger scale. I had horrible back labor, and the pain meds didn't work. I am not going to get pain meds for this one. I did it before, I can do it again.
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1194973_tn?1385507504
My BH were sometimes painful (I didn't know I was having them till my midwife told me that's what they were), but they should go away when you change positions or shower/bathe. Real labour won't, it will just steadily get worse.
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1794093_tn?1357934359
How much time notice do you think your hubby will need to leave work? i never actually went into labour i was induced but once that started up it was like menstral or really bad gas pains on crack and everywhere! it hurt quite a bit and they were very intense.... my daughter was face up, and her head was arched back so she was stuck and never dropped... so when i got induced it was major back pain, shooting down both legs and the whole trunk of my body... and because i got induced (cervadil) the contractions didnt have any breaks inbetween... this went steady for just over 12 hours before i reached 4m dialated and was able to go to labour and delivery... where i got my epideral... pure heaven!!! it stopped all the pain! PS i stopped dialating at 7cm and they broke my water, and tried pitocin and nothin (because she couldnt drop) so it was a c section....

but back to how much time notice, in most cases im sure he has time to get there, do you know how your mom laboured... its not always the same but it could give an idea as for what labour may be like for you...
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1901977_tn?1333995326
My mom was in labor 36 hours with my older brother before they did an emergency c-section because my brother's neck was wrapped in the umbilical cord. This was in the 70s and they didn't allow you to do vaginal births after a c-section, so my younger brother and I were scheduled c-sections.

I would guess maybe my ex-boyfriend (not my hubby, but he's really involved) would need a couple of hours notice, and that's if I can reach him immediately. He's a firefighter, and they literally have to call in a guy to replace him before he can leave. I told him there's got to be another solution to that, but he says he's not sure, it's just really tough to break away immediately. At least he works 24 hours on, 48 hours off shifts, so we have a 2/3 chance he won't be working...I just have to be sure I'm in labor so I'm ending up crying wolf :) but on the other hand I don't want to wait too long and have him miss it.
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1794093_tn?1357934359
hmm, i see... well 2/3 the odds are in yur favor...  but im sure a couple hours should be enough time for him to get there...fingers crossed
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1901977_tn?1333995326
Thanks yeah, we're hoping the baby cooperates and it's not an issue. But wish us luck. :)
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Avatar_f_tn
My braxton hicks were more painful than real labor, I think mainly cuz it was just the first time I had them and I was worried.  I called my ob and gave her my symptoms.  She told me to time contractions so I sat indian style in my hubby's recliner with a stop watch.  Two weeks later I was induced and they had to tell me when I was having contractions.  They just felt like a lot of pressure down there.  Good luck!
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