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False Labor?

Last night at around 6:30pm I started getting painful contractions which continued to get longer, more frequent, and increased in intensity. At about 8:30 I called my doctor who told me that there’s no way to really tell if I’m in labor or not unless I go into the hospital, but also warned me that since I am a first time mom and I was only 1cm dilated the day before, there’s a chance that I am just having false labor.

I had a hunch that I was really in labor, since I had had my membranes stripped the day before and had been passing my bloody show for about 24 hours. Plus, while I had been having painful braxton-hicks contractions for months now, these contraction pains were different and much stronger.

We decided to wait an hour more, and when the contractions had been lasting 1 minute each and 2-3 minutes apart for that period, we decided to head into labor & delivery.

They hooked me up to the machines to do a non-stress test and checked my cervix…I was dismayed to find that I was STILL only 1cm dilated!

They confirmed that I was having contractions, but since the baby didn’t seem to be in any kind of distress, and because I was only 1cm dilated with no signs of progress, they sent me home. The nurse actually advised me to labor at home for as long as possible, even if my water breaks (since I tested negative for all infections, etc), so that my labor time at the hospital will be minimal.

The funny thing is, while hooked up to the machines at the hospital, my contractions started to decrease in frequency but increased on the pain scale. By the time we returned home I was barely able to walk/talk through them. I was exhausted after a couple of hours of continuing to time them, so I decided to head to bed thinking “How will I ever be able to sleep through this?”…

…then woke up 2 hours later with almost no contractions.

So was this false labor? Should I keep my hopes up that the contractions will return soon, or am I back at square one?

I wish my water would just break so I would KNOW if I’m in labor or not.

P.S. — While checking my cervix the nurse told me that she could feel the baby’s head. Freaky!