What are contractions? I do not want the definition ..I want to know how they feel it...please

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Heather - posted on 04/07/2009

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i just had my first 3 weeks ago at home with no drugs. my contractions started out like very mild period cramps and continually got stronger. i had no tightening sensation in my abdomen though. everyone and every labor is different. you can also have back labor, which i had some of that too. then when the baby was descending down the birth canal, whoa were those some strong sensations! i wouldn't describe it as pain though, only a lot of pressure and hard work. you can do it, don't be scared. labor is NOT as bad as people make it out to be...honestly

Lynn - posted on 04/07/2009

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A stomach ache that makes you stop and double over. sometimes enought to wake you up. the last 3 days before i had my daughter i was up at 5am each morning. once you are in labor the pain could be in your back. most of my actual labor pains were in my lower back and i couldn't even lay in the bed. good luck!!

Bridgette - posted on 04/07/2009

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Contractions are different for every person and most are different with each pregnancy. With my son, I barely even remember feeling them. However, my daughter just turned one yesterday and they were intense with her. You've actually been given some very insightful answers. You may have severe pain, you may not feel them at all. LIke most have said tho, it does feel like very intense menstrual cramps, and yes they do intensify the further your labor gets. Chances are you'll be worn out, but once your baby is laid in your arms you'll know it was all worth it.

Helen - posted on 04/07/2009

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its a very tight sensation of yr belly. it can be pain full but they dont last too long but once they come often have your self ready to go to hospital

Sarah - posted on 04/07/2009

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They are very painful, but you can bear the pain as they come and go and when you see the little one for the first time you forget all about it. That's why many of us have more ;o) good luck

Roxanne - posted on 04/07/2009

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you've got regular contractions and back labour contractions. i had back labour and maaaan, pray you don't have that!



it felt like my back muscles were squeezed in vice grips. it also felt like my intestines wanted to come out of my butt if you know what i mean...



then the pushing contractions came and those were unbearable.



but to be honest, there is really nothing anyone can say to prepare you for contractions. we're all different.



but trust me, it'll be over soon and then you have the baby to make up for it.



Frances - posted on 04/07/2009

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First of all Congratulations on your pregnancy.

Early contractions do just feel like period cramps, then the contractions progress in length and intensity as they go on. it feels like being kicked at times or having your abs squeezed hard. You can feel them anywhere around your bump and lower back. They feel different for every woman.

Please don't listen to horror stories, yes it's pain but it's pain you can manage. I had both my son's with just gas and air, and considering my second was nearly 10lbs it goes to show you can do it without the use of strong drugs. try moving around lots and leaning on things when the start to get bad. Epidurals do take away alot of the pain but they also have a lot of risks including paralizing you for life. so please think of alternitive pain relief. Tens machines are growing in popularity, they send vibrations to your lower back and encourage your bodies natural form of pain relief. I'm expecting my 3rd child in a few months and intend to stick to gas and air being my highest form of pain relief.

Good luck, hope all goes well. I know how scary a first pregnancy can be, and also how exciting it is.

Jennifer - posted on 04/07/2009

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your muscles all tighten at once in the beging it's just uncomfortable near the end it feels like knives, I know alot of women suggest pain releif but I spend my labor in a hot tub and skipped on the drugs, I was done in two hours and did not have the negative side effects of meds. I really belive in working with your body and visualization, I also recommend a mid wife or a birth doula, they are wonderfull recorces and usually more help than hubbie or family, just remember that as soon as you hold little one the pain is all forgotten!

Sue - posted on 04/07/2009

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It feels like your stomach is getting tighter and tighter and the pain increases with each tightening but they dont last too long. Learn the breathing techniques as they help loads.



I've had four children so what ever happens you do forget as soon as you hold your little bundle.



Good luck, Hope all goes well.

Andrea - posted on 04/07/2009

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after three boys contractions are kind of like a squeezing feeling it does hurt i only had gas it helps you breath through the pain i didnt have the epidural because i had a friend who got spinal damage from it so that is some thing to think about for me natural all the way but each to there own it is scarey each time but i honestly cant remember the pain your baby is the prize for the pain  get lots of sleep relax while you can best of luck darl

Cindy - posted on 04/07/2009

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If you are wondering if you are contracting, call your OB.



If you are wondering for a heads up for when you go into labor - Sit down and place your hands on your belly and wait for it to tighten.  Press your fingers into it.  If you press into your stomach like you would press your nose, these are mild contractions.  If it feels like when you press into your forehead, these are harder contractions and you maybe in labor.



That is the mechancial aspects of contractions.  How you will 'feel' and 'how much it hurts' all depends on how you deal with pain. 



Epidural or natural?  It's 100% up to how much you do or do not want one.  Listen to your body and to your spouse.



Even if you have an epidural, you may or may not feel anything.  They can dose it to be light or dose it to be heavy OR your body may need more than they think or not as much as they think. 



EVERYBODY is different and EVERY labor is different.



Congrats and hope this helps. :)

Ada - posted on 04/07/2009

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don't stress. you will know when it's happening. if you've had any brackston hicks it's like that but way more intense. I don't know what your pain threshold is like but I had 13 hrs of labour with my first baby and she was posterior so the back of their head was grinding on lower spine and I didn't have any pain relief until the end when I had to have an emergency c - section. That's not to say you should feel bad if you do though.



With my second baby they talked me into having pethadine so I could get some rest while my labour progressed. I woke up and was really sick and drowsy. I was still really drowsy after I gave birth some hours later so not sure how good this is for the baby if it was still affecting me. My duaghter is fine now though.

[deleted account]

they feel like period cramps at first then get worse and worse .. that's how i felt during the first one then my second child i had back labor which was like period cramps in my back ... good luck



 

Melissa - posted on 04/07/2009

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well i think contractions are like some one puting thier hands on youre stomack and
streching youre insides...its a roller coaster it hurts so much at the begining but then when they go down the hurt less ...but its a hurt that hurts alot then you for get about it ...
its wierd to explain ....
but don t worry it will be fine ...youll get over it fast!!i promise i have 3 kids
and just gave birth the 30 jan 2009 and i had a 9,8 pounds baby and i had him natural
just with epidural ....and it was 17 hours long ....it was so hard ... but i would do it again ...
hope this helps you ....

Teresa - posted on 04/07/2009

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For me, if you can imagine that you have strained your muscle in either your stomach or lower back area. Instead of being still your body wants to keep pulling those muscles apart. Very painful. I recommend the epideral as soon as they start. The epideral hurst to but only for a minute then, no more contractions. Good luck, it is all worth it.

[deleted account]

I think everybody is different.........trust me, you'll know!!! There is no mistakening that feeling!! But the funny thing is that once you go through all of the pain etc... when you are holding you baby in your arms for the first time.......you won't remember any of it! :)



Until later in life when your telling them that you were in labor for 2 days etc.. :)   lol

Kizzy - posted on 04/07/2009

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I had a different experience to some i got back labour aswell as a little belly too. At first i was just getting twinges in my back the nite before i had my son but then it got worse and worse to the point where i thought my back was crumbling. But once i got past that point and wanted to push the pain seemed to go away and sad as it sounds i enjoyed pushing him out. good luck and dont be scared i know easier said than done

Lauren - posted on 04/07/2009

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Like most others said - REALLY bad period cramps.  Everyone said you will know when you feel them and I did not believe them.  But, it is true.  They did not hurt at first but I knew that was it (also because my water was breaking).  They started hurting pretty quick though. 



PS - Your water breaking is not always what it looks like on TV.  Mine was not a big gush.  It was almost like I was using the bathroom every 15 or so minutes. 

Tiffany - posted on 04/07/2009

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For me contractions felt like a mix of a HORRIBLE period and some one squeezing my belly as hard as they could without actually trying to hurt me... It hurt a little, but not too bad.  I didn't actually even know I was in labor until a friend MADE me go to the hospital and when I got there I was 7cm dialated... once they broke my water is when they got painful... but everyone is different, so you could have very light, easy to manage contractions, or you could get the hard extremely painful ones, or somewhere in between.  The best advice I am can give it to have a PLAN.  Decide if you want to try without the drugs, or if you know you want them no matter what.  And, you can always change your mind... so if you say now that you want to try without them then get into it and realize its more than you thought, you can always decide to get the drugs.  A lot of women get the epidural, so don't let yourself feel like a failure if you give in, thats what it is for.  No need to try to be superwoman... you have plenty of time for that after the baby is born.  Also, if you decide to try to go without it, make sure you have plenty of ideas for pain management... I got the epidural with both my boys and if we have more, I will be trying to go without... but good luck, and no matter what you decide, enjoy the first few days with your new baby...

[deleted account]

Quoting Jessica:



All of this epidural pushing is BS.  If you want it, then go for it, but you don't have to have one.  I did an all natural birth and it was amazing.  Contractions feel different for every woman & every labor, so don't let all of this "most painful experience of my life" comments scare you.  My labor wasn't, and yours might not be either.






Anyway, if you want pain relief then get it.  But if you don't want it then don't be scared by all of this fear-mongering.





I *heart* you. You are spot on Jessica.



I've had 4 natural births. If you go in believing you can do it without drugs, chances are you will. I was also with one of my BFs when she had her daughter and she was in a lot of pain (yes labor/birth will hurt you, but it also comes with a ton of adrenaline and endorphins) but she got through without drugs, she had no idea what she would do going in.



All the descriptions are pretty right, it feels like you are being squeezed real bad and if you back labor, thats rough. I had it. I lived.



Get yourself a great support person, a registered doula even. GL! You will know it when its time.

Kady - posted on 04/06/2009

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Okay so it certainley feels like the worst period of yourfreakin life...but wait it gets better or worse depending on how you like to look at things. Have you ever had some one punch u in the gut,then imediatlly feel the most intense pressure of your life.Yea its crazy but dont be afraid of saying YES i'll take that epidural. That does not make you weak..i mean with my first son he had to be litterally sucked out and his head looked like a cone head..lol yea a conehead like in that movie Coneheads...oh but wit did i mentioned that i ripped from front to rear and the doc asked me at the time "did you feel that?" ..and i was like nope and thank god i had my epi cuz the healing process on that was hard to sit on..lol!! But lets just be reminded that once you hold your child or see,or smell,or hear that baby....you would do it all over again. In a freakin heatbeat. There is no greater miracle than that girl...oh foot note.Don't let your husband watch the anthestic person put the needle in, unless he wants to be freaked out. Ask my hubby!! god bless

Jackie - posted on 04/06/2009

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I won't paint a pretty picture.  I will tell you what I've told all of my friends when they asked me the same question.    First off for everyone it's different.  Just like another mom here said, cramps, just quadtriple the pain by 10 or better yet 20.  The pain will come and go in the beginning then they increase and will get worse and worse as you dialate.  The pain can either be felt in your uterus or your lower back. 



After 17yrs later and two children, I had my third June of 08 and I will tell you that I dreaded that pain.  It's the worst you will ever feel in your life.  You know how it feels when you hit your toe on something, and when you are feeling that pain you don't want anyone to touch you or you don't even want to speak because it hurts so much and you wait for it to pass.  Well that is how some women feel when you are in labor.  I've asked all my friends after they have given birth and they all agree with me.  Just remember to stay calm and concentrate, because you will need to.  If you lose it while giving birth, it will be hard to get yourself calm again.  Good Luck

Andrea - posted on 04/06/2009

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Oh my. Well, take it from me that if you have an option for the epidural don't turn it down! When I was in labor it wasn't that bad....that is, after the epidural it wasn't so bad. I was just so happy to have most if not all the pain go away. Basically imagine the worst menstrual cramp you have ever had, now imagine that pain rippling slowly to engulf your lower back and hips....tightening then to the lower stomach until everything is in searing pain. Then's it's gone. And then you'll feel a few minutes later the same buildup. It sounds horrible but it's here and then next thing you know you'll be holding your baby.

Tip though. Try to stay away from some of the suggested methods of pain killing. The medications can make the baby sleepy in your womb and can make labor much much more difficult. Stick to the Nitrous, and to the epidural if you can. That way your little one will have all that pomp and energy to make you totally amazed when he comes out. Hopefully he or she will take right to the breastfeeding too, which is something a sleepy baby would have a hard time doing. :)

Good luck and.....take the epidural. LOL.

Cheers ^__^

Tara - posted on 04/06/2009

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some people dont get bad period cramps......so it feels like the worst gut rot!/ diarhea cramps ....lol...(no nice way to put that).. that u have ever had ...without the nausea....everyone is different ...as long as the contractions are not scattered and are at equal intervals u are in labour.....can be decieving ..dont feel bad if you land up in the hospital on a false alarm ...its normal.......braxton hicks can get very similar the closer you get to the day......but they will time differently...time from the beginning of one tightening...until the next starts and then time again.......if the timing is something like  7 min, 6 min, 6.5 min, 5 min, 7min....it is false labour......labour will time within seconds of the last contraction so it will look more like 7 min 7 min ....6,8min......6.6min......just an example ...there will be a less eratic pattern........and it wont just feel like a tightening .......it will feel at least a little uncomfortable maybe not at the begining but by the time it is starting to count.............



I have done it both ways and anyone who doesnt get an epidural by choice is in MY mind INSANE!!!!!! its so hard not to be nervous but it is what it is and everyone is different ......I walked out of both births feeling after i held my sons ...within minutes like i would do it again........ one day  or a few hours whatever it may be for a lifetime of memories, love, you will not know if you are anything like me ..how you survived without ur child...and u wont be able to picture ur life without him or her in it .....it is overwhelming the love you can feel instantaniously for  something so small and that u only met just moments ago......U dont know what love is until u meet ur baby!!!!   I wish all people could be so lucky and congratulations to u because you will be!!! 



 



Women do it everyday and survive...lol.....these girls are right though people will try to scare you....trust ur body it does what it should and u are pushing a baby out of a small hole.....ud be surprised how liberating it can be to get through it and realize u were stronger than u thought......women are amazing,,,,they have a baby and walk away from it almost imediately if it is not c-section ....and men have a kidney stone and are in bed for the rest of their lives.......good luck I know all will work out!!!

Nicola - posted on 04/06/2009

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for me it was like really bad gastro, and it wasnt as bad as i thought. But i did have an epidural xxx

Pam - posted on 04/06/2009

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Tightening, lots of tightening. And cramps. So tightening cramps. That's the best way I could describe it.

Jennifer - posted on 04/06/2009

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Are you asking cause you are not sure if you are having them?If so you should go and be seen at  the E.R.

Victoria - posted on 04/06/2009

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I think they feel like severe menstrual cramps combined with the feeling of having to go to the bathroom but can't, or having to pass gas but can't. They are very very painful, tightening of the abdomen, not really a shooting pain, but they'll bring you to your knees if they're severe enough. The epidural was great, but I recommend waiting as long as you can before getting it, especially if you like the idea of walking around through your labour to help move things along!

[deleted account]

All of this epidural pushing is BS.  If you want it, then go for it, but you don't have to have one.  I did an all natural birth and it was amazing.  Contractions feel different for every woman & every labor, so don't let all of this "most painful experience of my life" comments scare you.  My labor wasn't, and yours might not be either.



Anyway, if you want pain relief then get it.  But if you don't want it then don't be scared by all of this fear-mongering.

[deleted account]

every woman's experience with contractions is different, and it will be different for you too. Depending on your tolerance for pain, how the baby is positioned, how early/late the baby is all play a factor in that. For me, it felt like period cramps. It started out very mild, then it inensified over 42 hours. The strongest contractios i had felt like an extremely sore back..like i just lifted 400 punds and put my back out, mixed witha severe gut ache...like when you have a bad case of food poisoning. It is a sharp aching feeling, when a contraction comes, it starts out slow, gets really intense and then slowly goes away again...the crappy thing is when they are on top of each other with no breaks in between...if you're owrried, get the epidural, it will lessen the intesity, but not take is compleately away (at least for me it didn't)

Heidi - posted on 04/06/2009

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the most excrutiating pain ever... take the epidural :) even if it doesn't work, it's worth the chance

Jennifer - posted on 04/06/2009

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I went into preterm labor with both of my children so I had to go on bedrest both times. Contractions in your 2nd and 3rd trimester don't hurt. They actually feel like little surges. Your belly and lower abdomen feel like they are tightening up for just a few moments. If you are feeling these, its good to tell your Dr just so they can monitor your cervix to make sure that you are not going into early labor.

Christina - posted on 04/06/2009

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Like the worst period cramps ever! You'll know you're having them when you keep bending over to relieve the pain.And(tmi) you'll feel like you really gotta go to the bathroom but can't.

Selvi - posted on 04/06/2009

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I just had my first baby a month ago. I didn't know what to expect either. It feels like really bad period cramps, intensified. Your stomach will get really hard ( cramp up ) and your low back may ache. It is really uncomfortable. I found towards the end it starts to feel like really bad pressure. It is a really weird feeling to describe. It is so uncomfortable that it is painful. ( I don't think the initial feeling is pain.. ) I got the epidural and it made it so pleasant ;-) Goodluck! Either way once the baby is born your forget all about the labor and the pains!

Lisa - posted on 04/06/2009

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My labour was really easy. My first my cramps started about 4am and my son was born by 8:30am. My cramps started at about 5:30pm and he was born 7:30pm.



Just to let you know don't go by horror stories :)

Kierstyn - posted on 04/06/2009

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like a really bad period cramp that tightens your entire abdomen, lasts for a little bit, then subsides. if you're in labor, they will keep recurring, first irregularly but then in regular intervals. hope this helps!

Amanda - posted on 04/06/2009

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Quoting Aurita:

What are contractions? I do not want the definition ..I want to know how they feel it...please




I'd say they feel like very very bad cramps, i dont think breathing worked for me at all if anything it irritated me but then everything irritated me...the only other thing i can think of to explain it and this is tmi but if you have a bad stomache, like you have to go to the bathroom but times 5. 



 

Mel - posted on 04/06/2009

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they start out really easy to manage so dont stress they only get bad at the end. i was in labour 22 hrs and the whole day i couldnt stand sitting down while i was getting contractions so i just went visiting friends. it only lasts about 30 secs and no longer then a minute and a half at the end. they feel sort of like gas pain and then it just stops and mine were every 5 mins the whole time but easy to manage righr until the end so dont stress abot that. the end of it i was screaming and crying for someone to help me so they do get quite bad as i did mine all natural. good luck

Brooke - posted on 04/06/2009

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My labor was easy, 2 hours and 8 pushes later, I had a wonderful new babe in my arms.



before I even gave birth to the placenta I said " well that was easier than I expected"



I think i was ready for this intense drawn out really painful delivery, and it was so easy!



I don't want to make it sound too easy, I'm sure it's much harder for many people. I feel lucky! But most of the people I know who went to prenatal classes and used the techniques for pain management did just fine.



Mostly it's a lot of really hard work and concentration is key!



Just remember that you are bringing forth new life!



It's a miracle!

Stephanie - posted on 04/06/2009

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At first they feel like cramps! Then when your in real labor its the worst pain you can think of. But when you get an epidural you cant feel it!!

Brooke - posted on 04/06/2009

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when i had my first contractions, I thought i just had a gas bubble that needed to come out!



once it got stronger, it felt like really bad menstrual cramps. But the best part was, they went away after a minute or so instead for lasting for hours. mind you they come back, but you get a break and time to prepare for the next one, and breathing really helped me! breath slowly out through your mouth and slowly in through your nose, try to breath out for a longer time than you breath in!

Cheyna - posted on 04/06/2009

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I think it depends on the person. Mine weren't too bad. For sure tightening on the stomach along with a pushing down feeling. I don't know if you have Braxton Hicks....I've been having those with this pregnancy since I was 16 weeks!!! They can be similar. Not comfortable. You'll know when you have them.....

[deleted account]

Okay so for me at first they felt like little flutters, but later the best way to describe it is like a balloon. It feels like your tummy is a ballon and it is being blown up and then someone lets all the air out and blown up and the air gets let out again. after your water breaks they get much worse and well IT JUST HURTS!!! Good luck once you hold your little one you will forget all the pain.

Breann - posted on 04/06/2009

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I think Rebecca is right on - if you keep in mind that they are "pain" with a purpose, it's not so bad. I didn't have any pain relief and I was just fine. It's really not so bad if you just keep in mind that it will be over soon and you will have a beautiful baby in your arms. But I'd have to say that contractions, at least mine, felt like intense diarrhea cramps. I have Irittable Bowel Syndrome so I was pretty used to the feeling. Good Luck! You can do it!

Jaime-Lynne - posted on 04/06/2009

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If you can, try standing up while you're having them, I found that it hurt less than laying down in the bed. I guess because of gravity or something?! who knows.

if you're wanting drugs, get the Epidural if you can, it works wonders!! once i had mine i couldn't even feel the pain when i was having them..

but wait it out as long as you can before getting it, because once you get it you wont be able to stand up..

but dont worry, it's not horrible, and you forget about the pain soon after its over... ( i mean really, if you didn't, no one would have siblings! )

GOOD LUCK!!!

Dixie - posted on 04/06/2009

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um yeah dont try to be brave and have all natural birth! Get an epidural I have three boys the first one they didnt give me the epidural soon enough! It was the worst pain of my life! The other two I made sure I had one right away!  on the other hand the lord made us special so we could have children so no matter how bad you think it is you will get through it and have a beautiful baby to show for it! =-] God bless you!

[deleted account]

No doubt contractions are an insane amount of pain. They can be in your back, your belly or both. The key is to remember what that pain is doing-bringing your baby into the world!!

Casey - posted on 04/06/2009

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Don't be scared because labour is really not as bad as some people make out, yes it is painful but it all passes and you will be still alive at the end of it. Also don't listen to other people's horror stories because everyone has one and will want to tell you about it when they do start telling you about how bad their labour was just cut them off and smile and tell them that you would rather just experience it for yourself. I went through 26 hours of labour and to start off with the contractions felt like a period pain just a bit of cramping and tightening of your tummy muscles but as the labouring progresses the pain gets more intense and they get closer together and by the end of it they are really close together (there is hardly even a space between them) and they will be really painful. You should really try the gas alot of people told me how it made them sick but I thought it was fantastic and really helped me through a long labour, I also had the pethadine which I was really against because of all the rubbish I had been told and ready about it but it was really fantastic and is great if you have a long labour as it allows you to rest without stopping or slowing down labour. If the pain is really bad ask for an epidural millions of women have them and the majority of them have no after effects. don't be scared to ask for pain releif as it is all safe because if it wasn't safe then they wouldn't offer it to anyone and no-one expects you to be a hero and go all natural. But honestly don't be scared it's not that bad and it's all worth it in the end. 

Angela - posted on 04/06/2009

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Yep, I agree. They feel like menstrual cramps. The day before I went into labor I was having crampy sensations like I was going to start my period. Most people say you will be doubled over in pain, but I wasn't. They did seem to come at regular intervals, but not very close together at the time. It wasn't until the next day that my water broke and I went to the hospital. When they hooked me up to the contraction monitor and the nurse told me I was having a contraction, it felt like a cramp.



I think all women are different. Some have back pain, some have intense pressure etc. and you definitely feel a tightness in your tummy that can be considered a contraction. ( I think these are referred to as Braxton Hicks contractions) I thought it was really hard to know when I was actually having contractions. I am glad my water broke because I would have just dismissed it otherwise.

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