How bad is the first stage of labour?


I’m only 38 weeks, but I’ve woken up this morning my belly has totally changed shape so I think my baby has dropped. He’s moving like crazy all day.

I have a pain down my right thigh all day, which is a new pain. And occasional “period cramps” nothing regular though.

So I’m thinking I could be in the early stages, but I’m probably just wishful thinking and my baby is going to be late 😞

Basically, how did you know you were in labour in any previous pregnancies? Or what were your very first signs? Then how quick after that did you deliver?

I’ve gotten over the fear of labour now, I know it’s gonna hurt so I just wanna do it now and at least get my baby, cause these pregnancy aches and pains aren’t fun either 🙃