My first child is due in less than a week, and I'm not dilated at all yet. I've had some tightness across my belly and have heard that could be painless contractions or "silent labor." Since I've never done this before, I'm not really sure what to expect or how to know when I'm going into labor, especially if I don't end up having any pain. So, my question is: What other symptoms might indicate that the time is coming? Any advice would be more than welcome!
asked 12 Dec '09, 03:01
I also had tightness across my belly - like my skin was going to bust open! The night before I went to hospital, I had a small case of diarrhea with some abdominal cramping which my OB told me was my body preparing for the birth by emptying my bowels.
Other signs could include:
Of course, every pregnancy is different and you may have all these symptoms or none at all! Good luck - enjoy the ride, it's a magical and truly rewarding one!
The best tip I can give is to pack your bags in your car and install your baby car seat/capsule early - my waters broke the day after!
answered 12 Dec '09, 08:23
The Mayo Clinic has a good article on signs you're going into labor. My contractions didn't hurt until the very end. However, even if they don't hurt, you'll probably have some sort of rhythmic tightening. I could feel what was happening best when I was relaxed and semi-reclined (though this isn't the best position to stay in for long periods). The Mayo Clinic offers this way to know if they are real contractions:
As your due date approaches, Braxton Hicks contractions may become stronger or even painful. Eventually, Braxton Hicks contractions will be replaced by the real thing. To tell the difference, ask yourself these questions:
answered 12 Dec '09, 14:35
Contractions are when your uterus hardens, which may be what you're feeling. In my experience, non-labor contractions usually are not painful just uncomfortable or itchy.
At this point you're probably seeing your OB every two weeks or so? They'll will likely give you updates on your dilation, but really that doesn't give you any direction on when the baby will be born. From my experience, some women will dilate a bit a month before, some never until labor begins. Personally, I dilated 1cm about a week or two before.
Labor contractions are going to feel like period cramps along with the tightening across your belly. Depending on how your labor goes, they may be light at first and something that makes you perk up and go "oh, my." And then they will increase with intensity over time. There are two "rules" for when you head into the hospital.
If your water does break, then note TACO (time, amount, color, oder) and tell that to L&D when you call them.
My labor experience was this - I was 1cm dilated for a week or two (I forget) before I went into labor. The day of I had a sudden urge to repack our hospital bags and make sure my Mom knew what to do when I did go into labor. That evening between 7pm and 8pm I had three contractions. I didn't have Braxton-Hicks contractions during my pregnancy so there wasn't any question what these were. Very mild, just a tightening in my uterus and something that felt like a mild period cramp.
Between 8pm and 9pm I have some more contractions and they started to pick up in pace. I called a friend of mine to confirm what I was feeling was labor contractions and then called L&D. The nurse was very nice and said "sounds like we'll be seeing you soon!" That make my heart jump for sure! At 9:30pm I had a contraction that I couldn't talk through and told my husband "we're going in!". From there my labor progressed quickly and my daughter was born at 3:45am.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call L&D. You should have a phone number for them by now. They will answer any questions you have and let you know if you need to come in or not.
Good Luck, Mama! Don't worry - you'll know :)