My Birth Story, Part 4: Daddy Says Hello, Spicy Thai Food, and What Contractions Feel Like

Author’s note: This is the fourth of a ten-part series recapping and examining the birth story of my Itty Bitty. Birth is a beautiful experience, but some can find the contents of the topic a bit squeemish. In light of this, please note that these posts are neither too graphic, nor are they full of unicorns and rainbows. They’re just the unfettered, unadulterated truth. And the truth is that birth is the most amazing experience of which I have been a part. By far. So, read on – learn, cry, laugh, but most of all, enjoy.

Did you catch that grimace at the end of the video? Well, I guess our tiny baby heard our pleas, because after we recorded it, I realized that I was in the early stage of labor thanks those contractions.

What exactly do contractions feel like?

I’ll give it to you straight – my contractions felt like menstrual/diarrhea cramps around my whole lower abdomen.

a watercolor depiction of what a contraction feels like. Monet, I am not.

You feel it start right away, almost from your core. Tightening and aching immediately peeks, and then you get to breathe through the ache, for however long it lasts. For me, the hardest part was right at the beginning. This was how each contraction felt. In the beginning they were quite mild and short. As time went on, however, they became more intense and longer.

Now the main thing you need to know about contractions is 4-1-1. You are not supposed to go to the hospital until they are 4 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute or more, and having this happen for at least 1 hour.

For some, that can be a loooooooong ways away. And even if you do get to 4-1-1, it still doesn’t mean that the baby is ready, and the hospital may not be able to admit you.

This is the fourth of a ten-part series recapping and examining the birth story of my Itty Bitty.


  1. My first, my husband and I were playing Mario Party and I said, "You know what we're doing when this game is over? Going to the hospital!" They wrapped around from my back. My second were 2 minutes apart as soon as they started.

  2. I love this!!! I remember Jonathan moving so much during my pregnancy and towards the end, I was in so much pain and I just assumed he was still just moving around and it turned out they were contractions!!!!

  3. You did it! And you got through the pain, which you captured so well here. I love that you've shared this, but it's so painful! OWwWW! Oh, the memories. It's like nothing else! The pain of childbirth, or at least with my first born, was unbelievable. I was in false labor for weeks and then was in full-blown labor for 31 hours and had to push for two hours. His head was so big, I think he should have been in the Guinness Book of World Records.

  4. Oh yes…I know these too well. I've been having the Braxton Hicks for a few weeks now and so have been so freaking intense that I was sure it was actual labor. Nope, drank a bunch of H2O and laid on my left side and that was the end of that. Now that I am pregnant w/my second there is no doubt I don't know what those suckers feel like.

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