Your contractions will become more intense over time, as they get closer together. At first you may not feel any pain at all, just an uncomfortable feeling in your abdomen or lower back and a hardening of your bump when you touch it, it can sometimes start in the vulva itself. Little by little, the pain will become more pronounced and you will be able to feel the muscles in your womb tightening, then relaxing in a similar way to period pain as it comes in waves. Women in the later stages of pregnancy sometimes have Braxton Hicks, or ‘false’ contractions which can feel similar, but are less painful, don’t last for as long and get any closer. Take a bath to ease the pain and get ready to leave for the hospital.