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Everyone's pregnant uterus contracts here and there from the beginning of pregnancy, and for some lucky folks when your uterus grows a little you can start to feel those contractions. With my first pregnancy I thought at first my baby was doing some sort of crazy acrobatics or prolonged stretching but came to realize what I was feeling was tightening of some or all of my uterus. Such a strange feeling. In pregnancy they are my constant companion, usually several an hour.
When I first read that they say "Go to the hour when your have 4 to 5 contractions an hour" I was like.... um? Yeah, that would be every hour of the last 3 months.
So right now, I occasionally am feeling a weird rock-in-the-bottom-of-my-pelvis feeling that I'm pretty sure are little tightenings of my uterus already. It doesn't harm the baby in any way, thank goodness, but it sure does get old come months 7 and 8 when they get much stronger.
Then, if you're still bored enough to read on, my body does this great little trick of thinking it's all done with contractions when I've reached 6 or 7 cm. And I just hang out there. I ended up having my water broken with my last enven though I didn't want him to engage funny, but it was time to have that baby and my labor just died. I was ready to push like 15 or 20 minutes later. Every woman's body is SO different. Sometimes the textbooks just don't help you very much!
I really thought I had been feeling some last week but wasn't sure if it was that or just crampy feeling from intestines. I also start getting very regular braxton hicks contractions from about 25 weeks on especially if I do much walking but it has never turned into pre term labor.
I went to the hospital when I was 38 weeks with DD because I was having at least 6 contractions an hour for several hours, taking a bath, laying down, etc didn't help lessen them so we went in. They hooked me up to the monitor where I kept having regular contractions 4-5 an hour and then sent me home because I was not progressing in dilating (I was at a 3 and staying there). One of the things they told me when they discharged me was to come in if I was having 4-5 contractions an hour and I was like "umm you've just had me hooked up to a monitor for a couple of hours and that's what I've been having"
I've so been there! My doctor was sure I was in preterm labor at 34 weeks with my first because I was paper thin and 3 cm and having lots of contractions. Makes sense, right? But apparently my body just has lots and LOTS and lots of contractions no matter what. So I was put on bedrest, got up at 36 weeks and nothing happened (other than lots of contractions) at 36w6 days they induced me when I went in to be checked and was at 6 cm but I swear I wouldn't have let them do it to me now, knowing how much harder a baby is just a few days early.
With my other babies I now know that I dilate early but don't actually kick into full labor until much later.
I get tons of them. Started a bit last week not too bad ..yet. With DD1 I had an "irritable uterus" so I figured with DD2 it was the same deal but turns out I was in PTL and had to get meds to stop it from 28-33 weeks. 33 weeks they gave me steriods for the lungs and she was induced at 35 for blood sugar issues. With all my pregnancies I get to around 5-6cm and just stall. and stall. and stall. They break my waters and I'll get to 7-8 and then just stop progressing. So at that point I'm usually saturated with pitocin so they can't "up" it anymore and I get an epi and then magically POOF ready to push in 10 minutes max! This time if I get stuck I'll get the epi right away, no screwing around this time My goal is a natural birth but I'm doubting my body will cooperate for that, and with my history I'll be THRILLED to make it to 37 weeks!!!!