How Did You Know Labor Was Real?

Moms love to talk contractions. How did you know you were labor? When did the contractions get bad? Were you sent home? All that good stuff. I dedicate this post to my friends Cara and Jenn who, I hope, are have their babies today.

After Cara's doctor determined she was 3-4 cm dilated with her third baby, and then proceeded to strip her membranes and send her home after she told the doctor she was having contractions, it'd be hard to believe her baby boy isn't coming today. And what idiot doctor sends a woman home who is that dilated, has fast labor AND is on her third baby?

I haven't ever really experienced real labor since I was induced both times, but I had my fair share of contracting--thanks to pitocin--without an epidural. Oh so fun.

So, I'd love to hear your labor story. How did you know it was time to make the call?


Rachel Stinson said...

"How did I know labor was real?" Um, yeah. I didn't.

Those of you who knew me in college will not be surprised to hear that I was a little LATE on the whole "going to the hospital thing." I hate waiting and I hate waiting rooms. In my defense, I remember the birth class saying that you typically had like 8 hours until the baby came from when your water broke. So, my water broke at 4 am on Saturday (at which point I realized the "really sore back" I'd had the day before might have been something more...). After my water broke, I got up, showered, dried my hair, put on make up, checked my work email, sent some work emails, did some research for a paper I was helping with, folded some laundry and cleaned up the kitchen. All the while trying to ignore the cramps--ok, fine, the contractions. I mean, I REALLY hate waiting rooms and hospitals. Finally, Les convinced me that an unplanned home birth was not the way to go so we got in the truck (which he had completely lined in beach towels--guess he was preparing for the exorcist) and went to the hospital. I could barely walk into the hospital at this point, and I wished someone had explained a little more about amniotic fluid, but we made it and I signed a million forms and was then given that sweet nectar I know as an epidural. Trey took his time and showed up at 1pm. Apparently, he has no concept of time either.

Kate said...

You are so right! I LOVE talking about my births. Ask me about my wedding and I may remember a few things. But my birth stories? Sit down, we may be here a while.

Seriously though - I'm with you. The first baby had to be induced and those contractions hit you like a brick wall. There is no easing into them. I was begging for the epidural after an hour (I was like, "you mean I could be doing this for 12 more hours? I don't think so!").

The twins had breach issues - so I had a c-section scheduled. But my water broke a week early so during the time I was waiting for my doctor to arrive I got to experience those early contractions. Luckily - I had the surgery before they became more than uncomfortable.

SO there was never counting minutes between or judging the strength of the contractions for me.

I have been meaning to write about my twin birth story though since it was kind of dramatic. My water broke while I was having my hair cut.

Jenn said...

Thanks for dedicating your post to me! I figured it out this time - the contractions became more "organized". However, like your friend Cara, I got to 3-4 centimeters and then, hhmmm....I finally agreed to the tiniest bit of Pitocin and WAM I dilated to 10 in an hour AND pushed. All worked out well and our sweet baby is here. :)

Cara Fox said...

Thanks for the post! Here's my update....

I was 3-4 cm at 11 am, 4-5 cm at 5 pm when I stopped back by the OB's office after my son's 3 year checkup at the pediatrician's office across the hall. Checked into the hospital by around 7 pm, at which point I was 6. Was fully dilated and started pushing at about 10:30 pm. Only snafu was when epidural didn't take at first, so I had to get it again. I spent the next six hours with absolutely NO FEELING in my legs, wondering if they were ever going to come back and how I was going to manage with three children and no legs.

I would not have known I was in labor had I not had a regular OB appointment and then spent the rest of the day stalking her office begging them to check me for progress. My son was two weeks early.

Ditto with my second child, who was 11 days early. I went in for a regular OB appointment and learned (to my shock and alarm) that I was 2 cm dilated and having contractions 5 minutes apart. I left the OB office at 5:30 pm and had my baby at 1 am the next morning. Thanks to My Favorite Friend The Epidural, I never felt an ounce of pain.

Ironically enough, I only realized I was in labor with my FIRST child. That labor was 8 hours, start to finish.