So, these are “practice” contractions?

I have never been “in tune” with my body. Unless there is intense pain or nausea, I just tool along unaware of what is going on under my skin.

Since becoming pregnant, my body has gone from infrequently visited neighborhood to alien territory.

Last night, I had strange sensations in my gravid abdomen. It felt a little like a kick, but rapidly repeated many times. These thumps continued off and on all night and into the next day.

Puzzled and concerned, I called my OB’s office.

“Those are Braxton Hicks contractions. Your uterus is practicing for birth. If they become painful or you notice blood, let us know right away,” the nurse told me.

I was a little embarrassed, but relieved. Tonight, Mouse_Spouse and I start birth preparation class. Not sure what to expect, but I hope we learn a lot. First question: why do we have to bring two pillows and a blanket? :dubious:

Your OB would know best of course - my wife had something quite similar (series of little thumps, repeated over a while) - turned out to be the little guy hiccuping.

As for birth class - pay close attention to swaddling technique, you will be glad you did!

I agree - sounds more like hiccups to me. Braxton Hicks feel like a tightening, as if a band is squeezing around you. Feel your belly - does it feel hard?

Rhythmic thumps are hiccups. IMO.

I bet the pillow and blanket are just to help you try out comfy (ha!) positions for labor, and as mentioned can also be used to learn things like swaddling.

I never have heard of Braxton Hicks feeling like you describe…I agree that it sounds more like hiccups!

For me, Braxton Hicks felt very much like a muscle tightening, and my lower abdomen would get very hard.

Rhythmic thumps do sound like hiccups.
Do you want to be sure you know what a practice contraction feels like?
Have an orgasm. Immediately after (or even during), feel your belly. It will be hard as a rock. That is your entire uterus contracting. I found it a convenient (and fun!) way to play “how big is my uterus today?”

I’m gussing you have to bring a blanket and pillows to class because you’ll be on the floor.
We only had to bring a pillow. My husband sat on the floor, and I sat in front of him using the pillow for support. We had to hold ice in our hands to practice relaxing through the pain in various positions. It wasn’t the most pointless and stupid thing we had to do in class, but very close to it. I’m still rather annoyed just thinking about it.

Mine felt more like the baby was trying to slowly push his way out sideways–this weird sustained stretching sensation. IIRC, the blanket and pillows were for making you comfortable while you practice breathing and stuff.

You are all wrong. The blanket is for your spouse to cover his eyes when they start showing the birth film. The pillow is so he won’t hurt his head when he keels over. :smiley:

P.S. My BH were as described above…tightened, hard abdominal muscles.

Oh, if you think that’s odd, wait till the Mousling starts swimming around and bouncing off the walls. Serious alien territory - kind of like Alien but not as gross and less deadly.

No personal experience, but reports from a close friend who just had a baby. She’s one who never planned to have kids, and has been reporting steadily on all of the strange things that she never would have thought would happen.

:smiley: Mouse_Spouse hates needles and anything “icky” - blood, vomit, hair balls, etc. I can see him hinding from the birth video. He has already stated that he does not want to cut the cord.

What I’m feeling does sound more like the hiccups. (You can get the hiccups with out breathing air?) Either the nurse was wrong or she had me mixed up with another patient.

Sure! Hiccups are spasms of the diaphram. The diaphram can spasm all day long with nary a breath of air in sight.
Even freakier (to me, at least) is that towards the end of pregnancy when they do ultrasound they watch for “practice breaths” as the baby practices breathing amniotic fluid. Yum.

I agree it sounds like hicups. My B-H felt like the baby was leaning hard on the front wall of my uterus. It took me quite a while to figure out they even were B-H. And they didn’t hurt at all, not like the real thing does.

That whole “wanna cut the cord?” thing has got to be the least attractive ‘bonding experience’ thingie ever. I certainly wanted nothing to do with it. :wink:

Apparently, babies can hiccup without breathing. I didn’t know that either, until my wife mildly freaked about it and we called the hospital.

Another thing they can do is yawn and stretch. My wife yawned and stretched while they were ultrasounding, and guess what? The little guy did it too, at the exact same time! :smiley:

How far along is The_Mouseling, anyway?

30 weeks. She’s due at the end of September. However, when we first found out about the pregnancy, Mouse_Spouse had a dream: the baby would be a girl, born September 18th, and weigh 8 pounds. He’s got one right so far. I’m fine with the earlier birth date, but I could do without the 8 pounds o’ baby!

Dialogue my mother had with her OB at the hospital when delivering me (Preface: at one point, I was so big, the Dr.s thought I was twins, but then found only one heartbeat and figured I was a larger baby)

Dr.: We might be looking at a ten-pounder!
Mom: I’m leaving!

(We still don’t know what she thought she would do leaving while in labor with an almost-ten-pound baby in her uterus, but the short answer was “keep the baby inside”) 8 pounds would be smaller than my sister and I at birth by over a pound. We came out looking like 3 month old babies - my mom kinda lusts after tiny ones, wishing hers had been small babies.

Mouse_mamma, remember, the only part of the mousling that’s difficult to deliver is the head. Most baby heads are similar in size, whether the whole kid weighs 6 lbs or 8 lbs.
You’re doing fine, so far, keep it up. :slight_smile:

Amazingly specific dream. :cool:

I had dreams when my wife was pregnant, too - more like anxiety nightmares. I did not describe them to my wife, and won’t to you (unless you really wanna hear), for fear of upsetting her.

Happily, none came true in the least. :slight_smile:

TWO pillows and ONE blanket??? I don’t want to scare you, but this group sounds like its been influenced by some sort of strange religious cult…

I always thought the Braxton-Hicks contractions were the hands-down coolest part of being pregnant, especially as my uterus got bigger in the last trimester and the effect became more pronounced. It was just really…nifty…to feel it practicing, all by itself, for the Big Moment.

And you can utilize it, too, once you learn your breathing patterns. Practice them with it.

What you experienced in the OP, though, sounds more like “Baby Hiccups”, than B-H contractions. Baby moves around and does stuff a LOT, you just can’t really feel it while she’s the size of a grape. But once she gets to the 4 to 5 pound weight limit, then you can start to feel it when she hiccups, and also you can feel specific limbs poking you–“Oh, that was definitely a foot”, etc. Which is also very cool.

You can induce a B-H contraction, as mentioned, by having an orgasm. Your uterus will become hard as a rock for a few seconds afterwards. And, again, the bigger your uterus is, the more pronounced the effect.

Home stretch, babe. Nearly there. :wink: This is actually the Good Part, ya know–the last trimester, when you can sit there in church and amuse yourself during the sermon by playing with your baby’s feet. Push on them, and she’ll push back. Loads of fun. Seriously.

And…tell Mr. Mouse that the birth process isn’t nearly as oogie as the birth videos make it seem. It’s so emotionally intense for the dads that, truly, he won’t even notice blood or snot or even a bit of poo (because sometimes the “pushing” part does that to ya, don’t worry about it, the nurses are used to it)–just the Mouseling, emerging at last. See, it’s because it’s the culmination of hours of labor–if he had just walked into it cold, say off the street, or just off work, and suddenly there was blood and snot and shit, that would be “yuck”. But it isn’t like that–he’s in there laboring with you, and by the time any potentially icky stuff appears, he’ll be so involved in the process that he won’t care.

And I speak from experience: the Better Half, going in, the first time, was very hesitant about the whole “blood snot shit” thing, but it turned out totally not to matter.

The pillows and blanket are because you need to practice how to make yourself relax, because there will come a time when a labor room nurse will order you crossly to “relax!”, and if you’ve practiced ahead of time, you’ll know how.

Tyeh - don’t worry about your husband! Mine was too busy holding my hand and stressing about me looking like my head was about to explode to even notice the blood and goo! But you probably won’t even notice your husband half the time, except to tell him to bring you ice or massage your lower back! Once the pushing starts, it will be all you can handle to focus on pushing like you want your arse to fall out, then relaxing for the precious few seconds you get to regain your breath!

Not only that, but often heavy babies are heavy because they’re chubby. Fat squishes! Fear the 6.5lb baby with the *huge * head.