Re: Tell me about the start of your previous labors!
I was induced with DS1, so when I was pregnant with DS2, I felt like you did, "How will I know? What if I don't notice it?"
For me, all weekend I had contractions that weren't super painful, but a little crampy, different from BH's. They would start to get kind of regular and closer together, and about the time I was ready to call my midwife (about an hour of having them) they would die off. Or i would drink some water and lay on my left side and they'd stop less than an hour into them.
Then on Monday (my due date), I had decided to use my single electric breast pump to do nipple stimulation, 5 minutes on each side, and then the plan was to repeat every hour. But within minutes I felt a "pop" and when I stood up my water gushed out. This was about 12:30pm. I had some contractions after that, but they didn't really get regular until around 4pm or so.
With DS3, it was similar.. some contractions a few days before. The day before my due date I made "jump start your labor" cookies and munched them throughout the day (they taste like a slightly spicy ginger snap cookie). Then right before bed, again I used a single electric breast pump to do nipple stimulation a couple times.
I woke up around 3:30 or so to contractions. They were just strong enough and uncomfortable enough that I couldn't go back to sleep. Eventually I decided to time them. At 4:45am my water broke. I got to my midwife's birth center around 8am, contractions weren't too bad.... I don't remember when they got "bad," but baby was born at 11:02am.
I'm really hoping for a similar pattern with this baby. I'd LOVE for my water to break before real contractions started, so that I KNOW it's real labor and not just intense false contractions.