thread: A possibly stupid question about labour

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004

    A possibly stupid question about labour

    Ive read a whole lot of your stories in the forums, but i just was wondering what it felt like when your labour started and how you knew it was labour? What does it feel like when your waters break? I know its different for everyone, but im just curious ...?

  2. #2
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!


    My waters didn't break (or at least not until they got broken later on in labour, and I think I was in the shower, so I didn't really feel that).

    But I kind of new that my labour was starting as I had "squeezy period pains" around my back. I had always expected contractions to be highter up, around my tummy, but these were around the back of my hips, and very sqeezy, and once they became regular, I knew it was labour.

    (Plus I was 4 days overdue)

  3. #3
    Melinda Guest

    My BH weren't painful.......just uncomfortable and tight, so when I actually started getting painful contractions, I suspected that it was the real deal. I have to admit I wasn't certain, so I was on the phone to the hospital discussing it etc. I had a bath at home and took some panadol (on the advice of the hospital) because they said that if it wasn't labour, the bath and panadol would make the pain stop........it didn't do a thing, so that was another indication that it was the real thing.

    I guess the pain was like really bad period pain to start with and it was around my back too.......I was overdue too.

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    Hiya Karina, I think its definately worthwhile hearing others stories so you can prepare your mind for things to come!

    I was having strong BH's from around 36 weeks. At 38 weeks I would have series of contractions that would last a few hours and then go away for a few days. They usually started in my lower back and spread like a band across the top of my bump.

    At 40 weeks I lost a show which was pretty yuck and I had contractions for hours after that.

    My waters were broken as part of my induction which happend 16 days overdue. My contractions never progressed and I was induced with gel 3 times, then my waters were broken and I had a drip, but after 24 hours Matilda got a bit stuck so they took her out c/s.

    I was told before that your waters are quite smelly & room temp, smelled sort of like semen

  5. #5
    mooshie Guest


    with my 1st - was 1 day over - nothing happening no braxtons zilch nothing got up to go for nightly wee around 3am went back to bed and pop - i just gushed (and continually gushed at the hospital 2hrs later) had a lot of fluid - wasn't having contractions but they induced me anyway as waters had broken.

    with 2nd - woke up 13 days late at 4am (had a slight show the day before) had to go to loo for diareah (sp? tmi) back to bed contractions started ever so slightly - dull period type pain gradually got worse until was coming every 2mins. waters broke 15mins before ds was born

    3rd birth - gel induction 10 days over - dull pain under bump moving across to my back - midwives told me gel prostin pain ](*,) 15mins later a little pop - waters broken but just a trickle and yellow (mecconium - stressed me out alot lol) 1hr later lani born - thankfully i was already at the hospital lol.

    so i have had 3 completely different and equally amazing wonderful experiences.


  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2005
    out and about

    with mine both times, it was a sit up in bed and a gush, fluid flowing, and didn't stop til bubs born. Both I didn't have contractions for a few hours after the fluid came, but then they just came steadily til birth,

  7. #7
    Resident Samsquanch

    Jan 2005
    Down by the ocean

    For 1st birth waters were broken by OB in hossie, for 2nd waters broke in the bath in labour and it was like a pop and release of pressure with me giving birth around 15-20mins later.

    The pains started like period cramps but felt deeper and lasted longer. If I moved they got more intense. When it got more intense it felt like I had to do a big poo. The real contractions start to last longer than false ones. It's true when they say you know when you're in labour for real.

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2004
    Sunshine coast, QLD

    Tootie: That was a good comment about trying and panadol and a bath to see if the contractions are true ones.

    I had no BH's or any lead up to mine and as i was due in the next day or so i was pretty sure it was all the real thing.

    I had my waters broken at hospital and have no idea what it felt like cant remember at all, i do remember the midwife thinking she didnt do it properly and doctor checked, so guess it just trickled rather than gushed out.

  9. #9
    Scarlett Guest

    I had some bleeding which was bright red and not mucusy. Then I started getting regular 'period' type pains in my back and at the same time if I felt my stomach it was getting really hard for a minute or so and would then relax.

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    With my 1st, I didn't have any BH at all. The morning I was to go in to check if my cervix was ripe for induction (as Ob said baby to small to let go overdue, which turned out to be crap as he was a good 7pound 8 baby). I had a really bad back ache so I stayed in bed, but I was busting to go for a wee so I got up and when I did I quickly crossed my leg and thought OH MY! I really need to pee, it felt as though my bladder just couldn't hold on any longer. When I was sitting on the toilet I did my pee and had a bit of a show on toilet paper (kind of a clear mucas with red streaks of blood in it) and (TMI) my knicker which were black had like a white film on them. After I finished on the toilet I was getting a bit nervous as I was thinking my waters just broke. I got undressed and while standing at the shower, I could feel what I thought was wee trickling down my leg, from memory this was sort of brownish (like blood stained water). At this point I know my waters had broke. I went to hospital and while back pains where increasing and contractions where being picked up on the monitor, my labour wasn't progressing so the next morning I was put on the drip (which is oxytocin) to give my labour a jiggle on. For me it was all in my back. its a weird pain to describe, but really really bad period pain seems to be the beast thing to compare it too. Actually just thinking, this is going to be another TMI but you know when your doing a poo and if your a little consipated and (well I get) you get cramps in your tummy, like really bad wind? This is probably a better comparison if your times that pain by about 20! I never experienced period pain, so I think this combined with back pain is a good description. When it came to time to push, it is like needing to do a poo, and thats how you need to push as well. The actual head come out was terrible for me, like having a burning hot iron put to your vagina and I didn't even tear, just some grazing. But once the head is out, my god does it feel good. Still hurts but the pressure is gone.

    With DS#2 My waters didn't break untill just before he was born with some help from the midwife. I had cramps in my back again, its like a pressure building up. I went all night at home with these pains getting worse and closer together. I called the hospital at 3 am but still didn't go in until about 8 am. I didn't want to have to wake everyone up, lol Im always thinking of everyone else first. My labour was the same as DS#1 but I wanted to avoid the drip this time round so I just pushed on with the pain and eventually (like 30 odd hours after it first started at home) I gave birth, again that pain when pushing them out is amazing, Glenn actually got a little stuck and I was telling them to push him back in as I needed a break from the pain. I also kept getting a shooting pain/cramp in my right hip while pushing to get him out, apparently he was hitting a nerve (cyatic sp??), and this is what was causing the cramping, but each time I would get a contraction and start to push this cramp would hit and make the contraction stop. But we got him out in the end and again without any tears!

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Life Member

    Jul 2004
    House of the crazy cat ladies...

    I woke up at 5am and went to the toilet... I noticed quite a bit extra of clear discharge than normal, but didn't think anything of it. I was also having tiny niggly pains/contractions, but they were so small that I ignored them. When I stood up to get out of bed again at about 7am... I thought I was wetting myself... there was just water gushing/streaming from me and onto our floor... and it didn't stop, cause I couldnt control the flow! It was quite a weird feeling actually. I got DP to smell it and he said it smelt a bit like ammonia... which is what the midwife said it could smell like.
    So that was how my labour started.
    My contractions did not get much worse than that until they induced me with the syntocin drip later that night... and then it went from not feeling too much pain, to HUGE contractions...


  12. #12
    *Yvette* Guest

    I was used to the Braxton Hicks contractions as I'd been getting them fairly regularly, and they'd get stronger & more frequent the closer I got to the due date.

    When 'proper' contractions started, I could tell they were different. They were spaced fairly evenly apart and clearly continuing, and very very gradually getting stronger & closer together (the hospital will say they're not regular, but trust your own judgement & ignore them telling you they're not very strong or regular, you're the one who can feel them).

    When my waters break, it's really really hot, and a big sudden gush, when I'm already well in labour.

  13. #13
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    Yes, its the worst thing in the world to be told by a midwife that your not "actually" in labour. I had this happen with both of my boys. I mean, I have been here all day in howling pain and your trying to tell me that I'm NOT in labour!!!

    With both of mine the midwife didn't class me as being in labour because I wasn't dilateing, due to my contractions being unproductive! I think they should have 4 stages of Labour, your normal 3 plus one more at the begining for those of us who still have the pain of being in labour but are not dilating. According to my midwife I wasn't in labour untill an hour before I gave birth becasue thats when my cervix finally started to dilate. With both boys I went from 4 cm to fully dilated and the head coming out with in an hour. Yet with both I had a good 10 or so hours before hand of pure pain!

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004

    Cool. thanks heaps for all your replies!!

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004

    by the way, what are braxton hicks?

  16. #16
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    BH's are the practice runs your body takes before you go into labour.
    Some can actually feel their tummy tightening, or may experience dull back pain. Bassically they are contractions but don't last.

    When I think about it, I didn't have them with my first preg. But I may have just mistaken them for back ache??? But with my second I did get them, not as bad as some but I did have tightening for sure.

  17. #17
    *Yvette* Guest

    I've found the braxton hicks contractions start earlier with each pg. I seemed to have them for ages with Angus.

    Nice to see others agree with not wanting to have the quality of their contractions ‘judged’ by hospital staff. I hear of people stopping & starting, dilating very slowly, then very quickly. Mine often slow down a few times along the way. If they lay off pressuring the mum & just let her get on with it with support & encouragement I’m sure that’s more conducive to progressing than lots of measuring & monitoring. I just like a bit of Doppler every so often & hardly any vaginal exams.

    Lol Shannon. I'm gonna have support people ready to be violent on my behalf if necessary, but there's all these signs up in the hospital saying it's a non-violent environment.

  18. #18
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2005
    Bunbury, WA

    Braxton hicks contractions actually occur all the time, even when you're not pregnant.. by contracting the uterus, the body keeps it alive.. know what i mean? so it doesnt go stagnant... Theyre also the reason you experience period pain! That is your uterus contracting, and coz it is swollen and full etc, it hurts.. And ofc you feel them so much when pregnant, coz ur uterus is so full! (of baby!) lol