OT: Hey moms...talk to me about contractions!

So I’m already a mom but my first pregnancy/labor/birth was apparently quite odd–especially for a first timer. I had had one contraction all day and suddenly while driving my water broke!! I remember having contractions afterwards but nothing as painful as I had prepared for–it was more of a pressure feeling (accompanied by grumpiness since my labor lasted 23 hours after my water broke and I didn’t sleep save for about 40 minutes at one point)

So I’m due in 12 days and today I’ve been having pretty frequent contractions. These feel like my tummy turns into a rock and sometimes they are accompanied by lower pelvic tenderness/pain/pressure. My back is a little sore but I have to think about it to notice it–it’s not killing me or anything. The childbirth refresher I took said contractions tend to start in the back and move to the front–I had nothing like that with the first one. I remember no back pain at all. I feel like this is my first child all over again b/c I really don’t feel like I know what it is to have contractions–time the–and decide when to go to the hospital. They are uncomfortable but I don’t know that I’d call them painful. Anyone remember what their contractions were like enough to describe them. The only other thing is when this “tightening” occurs–I become out of breath. I’ve walked, sat and taken a bath and it doesn’t seem to go away although it slowed down or was less noticable in the bath…

Any thoughts? How do I know if it’s real? If my water were to break like the first time–obviously I’d know but I don’t really know what the contractions are supposed to feel like…


It sounds like your body is getting ready.

I’ve had two children, and both labors were very different.

Contractions are where your tummy tightens, stays that way for a few seconds (longer as the labor progresses) and then eases off. I don’t remember mine including back pain. Just intenst abdominal tightening. I went through pre-term labor with both of mine, and this was a BIG signal that I had to slow down. I missed it the first go-round because I had no clue what the tightening meant. I didn’t miss it with the second and got off of my feet a month earlier.

Are the contractions coming with any regularity? How’s the duration?

Hang in there girl. Maybe baby #2 will come a bit earlier than expected.

Baby number one was 16 days early so this one is already later than the first!!! I’m scheduled to be induced b/c of the size of the baby on Friday if I’m still pregnant.

I’m trying to pay attention to the regularity…earlier I wasn’t timing or writing things down but I had 4 in about 40 minutes. They seemed pretty regular. Then all of a sudden it seemed like they were either coming closer together or either my tummy was staying tighter than usual between contractions b/c it was hard to tell until the got REALLY tight. I had one 7 minutes ago and I’m watching the clock to see when the next one occurs. I don’t know whether to remain active and walk around the house and do little chores or to sit and relax!! I really need to go and pick up dd from school but I’m sort of putting it off–trying to see if these contractions keep going…

I’ve had 2 as well, and like both of you they were completely different!!

Baby #1 ~~ mild contractions starting in the afternoon and continuing into evening. They were not painful, just very noticeable. They continued on and got to be about 5 minutes apart (still not painful, I could talk and walk normally) so we went to the hospital. The admitting clerk was like “you seem awfully calm for being in labour” but she sent me up anyways. They weren’t busy so they let me stay, otherwise I would have been sent home. Not long after being there my water broke (I was only 2-3cm dialated at this point) and about 2 hours later, ds was born. My doctor didn’t make it there in time – apparently he was another skeptic :roll:

Baby #2 ~~ I had contractions for what seemed like weeks. My midwife visited a few times to check me, only to be a false alarm. It got to the point that I didn’t believe I’d really know when it was time. But when it really came, I KNEW. The pains were obviously different than what I had been having leading up to it.

So it’s hard to know what to say - trust your body and don’t be afraid to go get checked because you don’t want to all of a sudden have the baby at home because you didn’t think it was ‘real’. Every labour is so different

Good luck!!! :muah:

From my own experience with two pregnancies and what I’ve read I’d say that it is possible you are in labor. They could also be Braxton Hicks contractions which are preparing your body for labor. I had them a lot with my second pregnancy.

Have you timed them? Having regular contractions is usually a hallmark of labor although they can be irregular in the beginning. If your water hasn’t broken and you are only uncomfortable just try to relax on the couch so you aren’t moving around and see if they change or anything. And time them…

Oh and mine at first felt like cramps, but progressed to the point where it was more painful. Both pregnancies I had the hard belly and back pain.

right after my last post I started having another one and that would have made it exactly 8 minutes after the previous one. I’m now waiting to see if another one comes–it seems like some are mild and some are strong…it’s been 6 minutes since the last one…

I totally thought you meant contractions like can’t won’t, shouldn’t. :roflhard:

I’m such an English major nerd.

that’s so funny…my bf is working on her PhD in English…I should tell her that–she’s totally relate!


Maybe you could find someone to pick up your daughter. I think you are probably safe doing stuff around the house, but don’t stray from the house. You don’t know when the next contraction is going to be a strong one, and you certainly don’t need to be driving a vehicle if it is.

I say do your housework if you feel like it. The exercise will help the labor progress faster if you are in “real” labor. Rest when another one hits.

Will be thinking about you…saying a prayer for you… :hug: :muah:

thanks. I’m having dh pick her up–he’s headed home just in case.

Sounds like labor too me.

Stomach will feel like a rock. Not all women have enormous amounts of pain. If walking and bathing doesn’t slow it down better call hubby, send off the little one and go…

Good luck.

Who would want to slow it down?? Speed that baby up!!! :teehee:

nope…no slowing down for me! Dh is on his way w/ dd…I’m just browsing the forum to try to keep my mind off of it and see if sitting makes a difference.

I believe we might be seeing a baby here in the next day or so–good luck! I believe when my contractions were 5 min apart I had to call the dr, and if they continued regular like they I had to go to the hospital.

Second baby’s are tricky. They usually come faster than the first once labor really gets started. Early contractions are felt as tightening in the front. Contractions that are starting to change and open your cervix are felt lower and like menstrual cramps, sometimes with back pain. Have you had any “show” yet? That may also be a sign your cervix is thinning or starting to open a little. If you can not talk or walk through a contraction, definitely get on the phone to your Doctor. Second babies like to come fast, especially once your water breaks. If things really seem to be regular, a quick call with the doctor may be wise. At least he/she will know you are out there possibly starting something. Good luck to you!! :heart:

Well, no show–but there wasn’t any with the first one either. I only live 5 minutes from the hospital so the good thing is that I’m not far…

bad news is that they seem to be slowing down a little…

My vote is for Braxton-Hicks, too. They are much more active and noticeable in the second pregnancy.

I’m a natural birther (1st was a hospital birth with a 9 hr labor, second was at home with a 3 1/2 hr labor).
Here’s my thinking - if you’re able to sit at the computer through contractions, you’re not in labor.

I had BH contractions constantly starting at 30 weeks with both my pregnancies. Turns out, I had an irritable uterus. My suggestion to you would be to down about 32 oz. of water, eat some protein and go put your feet up. If the contractions continue and intensify over time, it’s probably go-time. No doubt that you’re probably gearing up.

Sorry to hear you’re being induced 9 days before your due date. Inductions are tough. What makes them believe your baby is “too big” for you to push out naturally?

Hey! Let’s call the Yarn Harlot on this one; I’m sure she would know what to do (wasn’t she a mid-wife?) and what to knit in this situation.

Second babies are tricky. My contractions with my second felt more like bad menstral cramps–they got worse as things progressed, but my second child came in a matter of a few hours-just an afternoon of labor.

If you think they are contractions, you need to call the doctor. Luckily you don’t live too far away from the hospital.

Wish you the best!

I now vote for braxton hicks too b/c they’ve slowed down but I don’t know if I buy the can’t type or sit or talk through contractions thing b/c with my first I talked through, walked through, and even did crossword puzzles at one point when my feet got tired. I’m out of breath which makes it harder to talk–but I don’t ever remember not being able to talk through contractions. But I guess thats why they say everyone is different.

They are supposedly inducing b/c of size (estimates by manually feeling my tummy and by ultrasound) say that he’s between 9-11 pounds right now. But thats a sore subject–I don’t understand inducing so close to my due date either–seems pointless. I had a hard time delivering my 8’12 last time so they are concerned about my ability to deliver this one. Either way–I hope he comes out 6lbs so I can tell them that their predictions are faulty (I’m a grumpy old pregnant woman right now…don’t mind me…) :slight_smile: