Latent Labour: About as fun as it sounds…

I woke up at 4am this morning with two very worrying thoughts on my mind.

The first was, “I think I’m going to be sick”.

The second was, “I think I’m going to be sick because I’m having a contraction and ouch ouch OUCH it hurts”.


About an hour and a half of panicked Googling, squeezing D’s hand and going from vowing no-one should ever, EVER touch my back to begging D to massage the small of my back to try and get rid of the ow-ow-fecking-ow pain there, we ascertained that I wasn’t in full on actual physical “I’m-gonna-have-a-baby-any-second” labour.

However, it does seem to be long-lasting, uncomfortable and painful, ‘my-uterus-is-physically-contracting-but-I’m-nowhere-near-having-a-baby’ latent labour.


Yeah. It is about as fun as it sounds. From What To Expect

The first of the three stages of labor is usually the longest, but (thankfully) it’s also the least intense, by far. Over a span of time from several hours to several weeks, your cervix will dilate (open) to three centimeters and will begin to thin out (a process known as effacement). You’ll experience mild to moderate contractions that last 30 to 45 seconds and are spaced five to 20 minutes apart β€” although you may not even notice them until the final two to six hours (if you’re dilating gradually over a period of days or weeks, you probably won’t feel them at all until labor starts in earnest), and they might not come in perfectly spaced intervals. It’s possible that your amniotic membranes will rupture now, but it’s more likely to happen later in labor and not without a little help from your practitioner. What you probably will feel now is a backache or cramps, and you’ll also probably notice a blood-tinged mucous discharge (also known as the bloody show).

Several things about that stand out to me.

Over a span of time from several hours to several weeks

although you may not even notice them until the final two to six hours

I assure you, I noticed them last night. I am noticing them now. Do I look like I’m two to six hours away from giving birth? No, no I don’t.

What you probably will feel now is a backache or cramps


(I promise that’s the last of the moving pictures for this post).


The ‘Speed Bump’ description of latent labour, kindly provided by yours truly, is as follows.

The latent stage of labour means absolutely nothing. Prepare to wake up thinking you’re about to pop that baby right out, with contractions coming every three minutes. And then seven. And then two. And then they’re lasting thirty seconds… then a minute and a half… then ten seconds. And it means bugger all. You’re no closer to having your baby. By the time you wake up tomorrow, your contractions will be gone. Your back will still hurt, and you’ll maybe have one or two tightenings, but don’t get too excited. You could still be waiting weeks. Fun, eh?

I suppose, on the bright side, it means that my body is trying to gear up. It knows what it’s meant to do, at least. I could do without the occasional contractions (which, I’m assured, are nothing like real contractions), and the backache, and the fluey run down feeling, and the fact that my boobs hurt so much I’m ready to rip them off. Oh, and the hormones. They aren’t much fun either. Crying because someone stared at me in the supermarket with a look of disgust on their face – at least, it looked like disgust. It may have been amazement at the sight of a manatee pushing a shopping trolley.

23 days until I’m induced, if SB hangs on that long!



One thought on “Latent Labour: About as fun as it sounds…

  1. The Wanderer Returns (@caffeine_lights) says:

    Good luck – you know it’s serious when it’s latent! My only tip – every time you’re not having contractions, sleep and eat. You will need that energy later πŸ™‚ It sounds like you’re going to meet your little one very soon, which is pretty magical!

    Are you on twitter?


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