Am I in early labor or? — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Am I in early labor or?

micmashmicmash member
Fourth Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments Photogenic
edited April 2016 in 3rd Trimester
Hi everyone. Im 38 and a half weeks. I'm having a really hard time with contractions and knownin when and what to time. This is my 2nd baby but my first experience was very different. With my 1st my water broke at 38 weeks. being GBS positive I was induced that evening and never had a contraction on my own. 

This time around I was 3 cm and 70 percent effaced at my 39 week appt. A jump from 1 and 40 two weeks prior. Since Tuesday I've been feeling sporadic menstrual like cramps and this weekend I lost my mucus plug. Yesterday my cramps were more consistent thoughout the day but not intense and would go away for hours at a time. Last night I felt them pick up a little and was convinced we would be headed to the hospital overnight. But alas here I am at home. Lol

I guess my question is how do I really know it's a contraction. I'm struggling to know where it begins and ends. Whether it's baby kicking me, a stomach ache or cramping. It's making me very anxious that I won't know and will wait to long to get to hospital. We have a friend coming to stay with our daughter but waiting for her will be 30-45 mins and then we have a 10-15 min drive to hospital. 

This is a lot if rambling but I'm hoping some of you have thoughts or advice. Thanks in advance

Re: Am I in early labor or?

  • I'm kind of in the same situation since my first pregnancy was VERY different and I was induced with a lot of complications. 
    And I've had contractions almost everyday starting from 15-20 minutes apart all the way down to 2-3 minutes apart.. So I am also freaking out as to when I should go to the hopsital! My doctor gave me the 5-1-1 rule (5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute for at least 1 hour) even though most days I get them for 5-6 hours I never bother going in. 
    My plan now at 38 weeks is to go in when they're actually really painful. Mind you the contractions I'm having now are uncomfortable and DO hurt, I'm waiting until these 'cramps' are putting me in actual pain pain before going in! 
  • i can't tell you if you're in labor or not, but here was my experience with it..

    I'm a FTM so i also had no idea what to expect. at my 39 week appointment i had my membranes swept (on Monday). i started losing my mucus plug on Tuesday, but i had a mucus-like discharge from that day all the way until my water broke.

    on Wednesday & Thursday i started getting what felt like period cramps, but the rhythm was very irregular. i started timing both days, however around 9pm they fizzled out.

    Friday rolls around & i get no crampung like feelings, however i was using the bathroom a lot & every time i would go everything felt very.. loose. like my joints & bones were moving around or something. it was a weird feeling.

    so it's Saturday now & around noon i start getting the cramping again. it started off really light & irregular.. i thought for sure they were going to fizzle out again. they didn't, & they started getting a little bit stronger every hour or so. around evening time they were becoming consistent enough that i started timing. i started the timer when i could feel one coming, & ended it when the pain stopped. by this point the cramping was painful enough that i would have to stop walking or talking & kind of breathe through it. around midnight my contractions were lasting about 1min & there was a 5-6min break inbetween. i kept timing until about 1:30am when my water actually broke. 

    i dont know if that helps you at all, but that's how i went into labor. you can always call your OB office or a nurse line if you are unsure if you're in labor or not. to me it sounds like the beginning of labor, but again, i can't say for sure. good luck!!
    blissylissy86mclorn
  • The easy answer is if your contractions stop and start you are in false labor and not early labor. False labor can have real contractions but will not happen on a predictable frequencies. You can also have it off and on for weeks prior to delivery. There are lot of free smartphone apps that can help you time them to see if you can find a pattern. 
    whataboutsciencemclorn
  • My midwife told me that it is real labor and time to come in when you start shutting everyone and everything out and you really start focusing on the sensation.  She said in early labor you should be able to hold a conversation but when it's time to come in you won't be able to chat during a contraction.  We'll see how that goes. Lol
    whataboutsciencemclorn
  • I've only been induced too. From what I've been told, go to the hospital when contractions last a minute and are every 4 or 5 minutes apart, for at least an hour. Otherwise, you're either having false labor or are in too early of labor to be concerned.
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    mclorn
  • My contractions were erratic in timing even until i actually pushed the baby out, although as each hour passed they would be closer together in general. But  did get steadily more painful, moreso after my waters broke, and i timed my progress more on that rather then the exact amount of minutes
    mclorn
  • Thanks everyone. Would be nice if there was just one easy sign for all of us lol. Ive gone most of the day today with nothing. Boooo. I'm just getting anxious. Ready to be done being pregnant. 
    Nerdchild
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