Labor Getting near...Questions!

Updated on December 07, 2009
K.M. asks from Carol Stream, IL
6 answers

Morning, mamas. I think my body is getting ready for this baby to come out because I have noticed some definite changes last night and this morning. It just would make me feel better to know that these were normal changes - so any personal experience or insight you could offer would be really helpful

1st question - is it normal to have real contractions (not Braxton Hicks) that don't progress into a pattern and labor? I have been having the BH, so i know what that feels like. These contractions were definitely different. They were stronger; they were all across my abdomen, and no matter what position I was in - or how much water I drank they kept on coming. They were roughly every 15 minutes apart, lasting for under a minute. I noticed them about 11pm and they were pretty consistent until I finally went back to sleep around 1:30. I sort of expected to wake up during the night to find that they were gaining strength and frequency - but nope. So - is it normal to have "real" contractions without progressing to labor?

2nd question - is a mucous plug always bloody? Everything I've read has sort of used the term mucous plug and bloody show interchangeably. I am quite certain that I lost my mucous plug this morning - yet there was no blood in it. Warning - TMI: It was mostly clear and the consistency of hard snot, wound up probably the size of a half dollar. So, I guess I am wondering - was this my mucous plug? And does it mean something different if it is not bloody?

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answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
Congratualations...such an exciting time! All sounds absoluty normal...I had my 4th baby this past May and the mama that said every pregnancy is diffrent was TRUE for me!
You will know when it is the real deal...Can't explaine it but you will know! My Doctor told me braxtin hicks are contractions! The diffrence is in the regularity and intensity! Wishing you the best.



answers from Chicago on

Yep...all are getting closer, BUT you might not have the baby for days. Congrats!!! :) I have 3 and all 3 deliveries, "signs", and prgnancies in general were different. Good Luck.



answers from Chicago on

With both of my deliveries, I lost my mucus plug right before active labor, and then my water started to leak. They had bloody show. My sister lost her mucus plug a week before she delivered. Everyone is different. I can't help you on the labor contractions, cause I didn't have normal ones.



answers from Chicago on

Congrats on your coming baby! To answer your questions, (1) YES. This is just prelabor. You'll know when you get the real thing because they will wake you up from a sleep and will require some amount of concentration to get through. The prelabor ones you might say "oh there's one..." and continue on with your day. When it's real labor you'll have to stop your conversation and take a few deep breaths to deal with it.

2. No not always bloody. That sounds like a mucus plug to me. Mine didn't make an appearance until I was about 2 hours from meeting my baby, so it's pretty variable when it comes.

Good luck - you'll do great!!! My main piece of advice is to stay at home as long as possible into labor; get out and go for a walk until you decide that isn't working anymore. Then try sitting on a swiss ball - it feels great. Waiting to head to the hospital will help you avoid any unnecessary interventions and staying upright and moving in early labor will shorten the whole process and help your baby come easier. And then, once you decide that it's time to go in, go take a long warm shower before you head out the door.



answers from Chicago on

It all sounds normal to me :)

I had what is called "prodromal labor" with my second, which means you feel like you are having real contractions, but they don't progress. It can be exhausting, but trust yourself that you will know when real labor is coming- it's more than just your belly feeling hard... you will want to breathe differently, or vocalize through the pain, or start to notice that you are focusing on one object in the room while you have them, etc. I found that I wanted a totally different position when I was in real labor too. With Braxton-Hicks, I was comfy in the tub, or laying down. When it changed to real labor, I wanted to sit on the birth ball and bounce and be moving more. Everyone is different!

Your mucus plug doesn't have to have any blood and it does sound like you lost yours. You can still have 2+ weeks to go after losing it though. With my first, I lost it 2 weeks before she was born and with my second, I didn't lose it at all. It's not a true sign of anything.

Also, if you are wondering about water breaking- with my first it didn't break on its own and I had it broken for me- BAD idea!!! It is soooo much more painful to go through labor without your bag of waters intact. Leave it alone as long as possible. It acts as a cushion for you! With my second, it broke and there is A LOT! There was no mistaking that it had broken. You get one HUGE HUGE gush and then a CONSTANT trickle that feels like a big, constant, pee.

I was lucky to have 2 unmedicated births and LOVE to talk about them and all I have learned in my studies to become (someday after my kids are old enough to be without me more!) a doula. If you have any questions or curiosities, feel free to message me :)




answers from Chicago on

Hi K.. Your body is definitely doing something! I know you're probably very excited especially this beingyour first baby but above all my advice will be to not think about it too're probably continually accessing yourself to figure out what all these signs mean. The baby will come when it's time. In the meantime, take a long hot bath and enjoy it as that will becme a luxury later on!!

Good luck!!

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