What do the cramps feel like that happen before contractions?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy - Third Trimester' started by whittnie117, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. whittnie117

    whittnie117 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so I am on watch for preterm labor and I've been getting weird pains tonight.. They aren't frequent, could be normal at this stage of pregnancy. I don't know.

    People always say that the pains before contractions start are like period cramp pains, but worse. However, I've never ever had menstrual cramps. So I have no idea what they feel like nor how bad they can be.

    Could anyone lend they're experience with these pains that I should be on watch for? Where are they located? Do they have to be constant? Can they be intermittent and not timeable? How bad are they? Can they start out low frequency?

    Thank you for any responses. I am so confused.
     
  2. Yipee

    Yipee Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, well I'm still at the cramping stage (no "real" contractions yet) so not sure if this answer helps, but mine feel like menstrual cramps, which feel similar to the cramps you would get if you had diarrhea, or even possibly bad gas.

    Mine are a dull, achy feeling under my belly, spreading from hip bone to hip bone in the shape of a "C", but they can also spread to the back and/ or thighs. For me, they are not timetable at all; just kind of there for hours sometimes, then disappear for hours sometimes. Like a headache can be.

    I guess in your case, maybe call your doctor or midwife with any abdominal pain or discomfort, and describe it to them, just to be safe.
     
  3. Bluewings

    Bluewings Blessed Twice

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    I would also say in your case call your doctor. My last pregnancy I was also on watch for preterm labor and I called probably every other day with new symptoms! They shouldn't (and usually don't) mind you phoning in frequently. Maybe try to gather your questions on a piece of paper and make one phone call a day or every other day (depending on urgency, frequency, pain and amount of questions).

    That said, menstrual cramps usually (for me at least) are in my lower abdominal region where the waistline of my underwear sits. You know what a muscle cramp is I am sure, it is merely a muscle cramp there. Nothing magical or mysterious ;-) The amount of pain depends on how close you are to labor. Right now I am getting menstrual cramp feelings but nothing too much worse than what I experienced during a bad period. Also this cramping can cause some pain/discomfort to radiate down into your thighs/buttocks/hips.

    However! Some women say it (labor) feels like a stomach bug/a GI upset. You know that horrible panicky feeling of, "I'm going to be sick, but I'm about to have massive diarrhea"? That feeling. You may or may not actually have diarrhea as well (that would be you clearing out). If you have even a few of these episodes (I have already) I would call in since you're on the watch for preterm labor and that's definitely a sign things are progressing (not necessarily imminent though so don't panic).

    So it can feel like menstrual cramps (think of a muscle cramp in your back, arms, shoulders, etc), a stomach bug or a "You'll Know" sensation that covers your entire lower half (back, stomach, pelvis, butt, thighs). I can't describe that to you... because I never had that haha.

    Best of luck! Try to remain calm :) I remember always being so anxious when they had me on watch!
     
  4. whittnie117

    whittnie117 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you ladies for the responses.
    I started feeling them last night around 6 pm or so. Just slowly radiating. Then at around 1 am I was able to get to sleep and just woke up to a hurtful pain. They are definitely not constant or timeable and I've not had another since waking up. The 'C' shape feeling from hip to hip is exactly what I am feeling. I couldn't tell if I had gas/diarrhea was coming on, but nothing so far in that department, just the pains.

    So I guess I am progressing perhaps, but not imminent as you said Blue. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on it though. I am going to see if they keep up today. I have a doctor's appointment made for later, so I shall bring it up to her. If it gets worse after I talk with my doctor I'll know what I am looking for now.

    Thank you again ladies. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. It helps put my mind at ease because I really feel so on edge with all of this and not knowing certain things just wears on me. :hugs:
     
  5. Bluewings

    Bluewings Blessed Twice

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    Best of luck! Even though this is my second time, I can very much relate to how nerve wrecking this can be :)
     
  6. angel2010

    angel2010 Cart & Emma's mom, 1mc

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    To me this is a perfect explanation of what period cramps feel like.
     
  7. Yipee

    Yipee Well-Known Member

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    I had one night of cramps just before 37 weeks, and then nothing until 38 weeks. They started again at 38 weeks continued on and off until now (39 weeks) and no baby yet! Mine were even getting steadily worse for about 5 days, and I thought for sure baby must be coming soon, and then they practically disappeared for the last few days. Ergh. Some people get them for a month before baby comes, some for just a day or less, I guess you never know.
     
  8. Bluewings

    Bluewings Blessed Twice

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    That's horribly disappointing! LOL. I had been having a lot of "baby may be coming..." symptoms and this morning I woke up feeling totally normal :-/
     
  9. whittnie117

    whittnie117 Well-Known Member

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    I woke up today and all the symptoms I was having went away thank god. You're at term, so hopefully things get started for you on their own for you soon. It's the body's way of getting ready and fully frustrating, I know. It's all the what if this is it? Questions and monitoring every pain and tightening and everything.

    I still want to keep him in for a few more weeks. At least now I know what I am looking for. I saw my doctor today and she said expect to go before 36 weeks. So, I'll expect it, but I am holding onto every ounce of hope that he decides to stay in there until at least 37 and preferably 39 or 40. We shall see.
     

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