I don't care what you call it, it still hurts
I will be 37 weeks on Friday. My previous three were born at 39wks 4 days, 39wks 4 days and 38wks 4 days. So, I don't expect that I am going to be too many more weeks at all.
Last Wednesday I posted about getting nervous about the contractions I was having at that time. I have a lot anyway, but there were some differences and I did eventually call my OB and got some reassurance. The contractions on Wednesday were pretty regular but only every 20 minutes, so not quite "real" labor really, just something that warranted keeping an eye on them.
Since then, they have slowed down, but they are still "different." I am still at only 2 to 3 per hour, but rather than every 20 minutes, it will be like 10 minutes, 10 minutes, then half an hour, then 45 minutes, etc etc. I can feel them in my back too. Plus, often I will get this little adrenaline surge, or a hot flash along with them. And I can sometimes feel it coming, like up to a minute before the actual contraction hits, almost like a warning.
They are not however productive. They didn't check my cervix yesterday at my appointment, which is fine by me. I checked it myself, and it's like impossible to find. There's no way these contractions are actually DOING anything. So, it isn't "real" labor. But dang it, I don't care if you call it real labor, early labor, prodromal labor, false labor, whatever. These things are hurting. I am already miserable and these contractions, whatever kind you call them, are going to obviously go on for a couple of weeks at least. Going to be a suck-tastic couple of weeks. And I don't know that I can do these things for two or three more weeks and then do "real" labor completely epi free.