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What did your contractions/surges feel like?


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  #1  
November 9th, 2010, 03:04 PM
MamaMandy's Avatar is it Spring yet??
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I feel foolish, but I really don't get what to expect contractions to feel like! Do you just know when they're the real deal? Tightening of the whole belly, ok, well that happens here & there - is that what to be on the lookout for happening regularly, even if it doesn't hurt? I've had some pretty strong tightening tonight, w/cramping on the sides and getting air is taking some effort, but... It's over an hour to the hospital, and as I get closer to my guess date, I am more nervous I'll blow off or not recognize the surges as real labor & not make it to the hospital! What did your labor surges feel like when you started really paying attention to them? Did you go by timing, pain/intensity, or ???? Thanks ladies...I feel clueless!!
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  #2  
November 9th, 2010, 04:31 PM
Lucky Mama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hmmm... for me, that's kind of a hard question to answer. With my last pregnancy, my water broke before I started noticing any contractions and when they did hit me, it was in my thighs. I do not recall ever feeling a contraction in my belly through my whole labor, even though I'm sure my muscles were contracting.

I would say, just stay alert and tune in to what your body is saying. There's no harm in timing the tightenings your having now, just to see if there is a pattern.

I'm sure some of the other girls on here can give you a better idea of what contractions felt like for them. Did your provider give you an idea of when to leave for the hosptial (like when contractions are 5 or 6 minutes apart)?
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  #3  
November 9th, 2010, 04:49 PM
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They've been different with each pregnancy/labor

my first was low back ache with what felt like someone squeezing a wide belt tightly across my belly

my second started off feeling like extreme constipation and increased to someone holding a blowtorch on my lower back lol

my third was a sharp stinging sensation starting at the pubic bone and flaring up across my stomach, ending with back pain. Later it became a sharp stinging/burning at the top of my uterus coupled with intense lower back pain.

I questioned my second for a few hours thinking it really was constipation, but the regularity of contractions made me realize it was labor. My third I questioned because I had been having off/on prodromal labor for several days already. Most of the time you will know its the real thing. Generally speaking (of course this doesn't go for everyone) if you have to question whether or not you are in labor, you're not.
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  #4  
November 9th, 2010, 05:42 PM
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I had some prelabor stuff that was questionable, but as soon as I had my first contraction the day Sam was born, there was no question. It was like the tightening/cramping I had been feeling before, but this went deep inside, almost to my spine. Like the power of a muscle cramp, very deep and intense. Sort of like a huge hand grabbing and compressing my whole abdomen and sides all the way to my bones.
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  #5  
November 9th, 2010, 07:50 PM
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I didn't really have any prelabor contractions or anything. My first contractions just felt like pretty strong menstrual cramps, no pressure or anything, and I didn't really know they were actual contractions right away but they started getting closer together and stronger within a few hours and I started timing them. I don't really remember ever feeling it in my back or anything.
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  #6  
November 10th, 2010, 05:38 AM
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I had all back labor with Avery, so it started out feeling like I had sore muscles in my lower back... like they needed streteched, but I couldn't. I could feel the contractions in my belly, but all the discomfort/pain was in my back the whole labor. I had contractions off & on for about 4 weeks before she was born, but I knew it was the real deal when I started feeling it in my back.
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  #7  
November 10th, 2010, 06:20 AM
Crafty Mama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I had all back labor, so I never felt it in my belly at all. It was just a dull back ache to begin with, and then it started coming it waves, and turned into really intense lower back pain.
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  #8  
November 10th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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I think what you are describing more fits the desciptions of Braxton Hicks. I was able to feel my stomach get hard but they weren't painful and the same as you, it was hard to take a deep breath.

As the others have said you will just know when you are in labor. Something about it will be different and you will feel some sort of discomfort or extra pressure.
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  #9  
November 10th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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They felt like nothing i'd ever felt before, but i knew i was in real labor immediately, and they these were not braxton hicks. These HURT. I felt them lower down too, and in my back. I noticed pain before the tightness.
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  #10  
November 10th, 2010, 10:08 AM
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With my first my contractions were back labor. So, my lower back would have pain, but not my abdomen, but my abdomen would tighten. With #2 my water broke first, and then the contractions were like menstrual cramps, and they didn't get any worse until transition and then they were just intense menstrual cramps.
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  #11  
November 10th, 2010, 12:03 PM
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My water broke around 12:30 pm and it took until at least 6-7 pm before I had contractions where I would say I knew it was definitely the real thing, if my water had not already broken. It's funny, I can't even remember exactly what they felt like, but I knew they were for real because I could not focus on the movie I was supposed to be watching to distract me and I had to go get into the bath tub. I had used hypnobabies to help me believe that the contractions would not be painful, and I think it worked. They did get intense later that night, but never painful except for the one I had when my DH hit the speed bump on the way to the hospital.
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  #12  
November 10th, 2010, 01:19 PM
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The intensity and just how you will feel will be different. I was in pre labout from sunday night to friday evening (Baby was born sunday at 5 am)- and it just slowly changed. I remember I wrote a post 'toto I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!'
To me they felt like really intense orgasms that were exponentially more powerful. It hurt too - but not in a bad way. As far as telling early labour from Baby Time! It was the rhythm for me.
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  #13  
November 10th, 2010, 05:16 PM
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Mine were horrible... I was maxed out on Pitocin for the most of my labor... When they did turn the pitocin off to see if my body would take over the contrx were barely noticeable.

Its so hard to describe how they were but it was concentracted in my lower abdoment and front to side of my thighs...
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  #14  
November 11th, 2010, 07:08 AM
MamaMandy's Avatar is it Spring yet??
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Oh, wow. Lots of replies and great info! THANK YOU!! It's pretty amazing to me how broad the range of experience is with going into labor; what each of you felt and where you felt it. So, basically, I could feel the real deal anywhere from my chest to my back to my thighs, it could either be mildly crampy or holy pete shoot me now, but I'll just know. I'm starting to wonder if maybe it's prodromal labor, or could be my stressed muscles protesting lugging this big ole belly around for much longer! My DO/OB wants me to head to the hospital no later than 5-6 mins apart since it's over an hour away, or as soon as my water breaks. We'll see. If my water breaks and I'm not having regular contractions, I'm waiting until they kick in and may have some amnesia or other timing issues on when it happened! Very conveniently, there is a park right across from the hospital so I can see it now, heading out then hanging out in the park half the night waiting til my body's ready to go. I don't want to get there too soon, or too late! I think I need to just "chillax" as my 6 year old says!! Thank you again for sharing, it is very helpful to know all of your experiences!
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There's a reason they are called dependents...

AP is not alternative to those who see no other choice

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  #15  
November 11th, 2010, 10:10 AM
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Kailey's contrax were easy peasy. It just felt like strong braxton hicks and my stomach would get tight and I'd have to try hard to breathe. With Nola it automatically made me imagine I was rolling on waves over green hills/valleys - it was awesome. Those contrax did hurt, but the imagery helped a ton and I was home so I could do whatever I needed!
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