with ds i had sooooo many times where i thought i was in labour lol i would message everyone and tell them it had started, only to text them 5 hours later to say it stopped
it didnt help that he was also 8 days late(i even fell down the stairs at 40wk+1dy and they were sure that would set me off!), i was sooo big everyone was telling me i would go early. i remember one time i woke at 3 am with really painful contractions, so we waited until 8am when i was still getting them, arranged for the in laws to have our dd,, dh called his work to take the day off and as soon as he did that they stopped,,,, lol
on the day he was born, i had contractions all day but minor braxton hicks (or so i thought) so i waited again, and when i was in too much pain i went to the hospital only to be told i was 8cms dilated (no epi,,
) and had my baby two hours later lol.
i remember thinking the exact same question, i would say you'll know as soon as you feel the labour pain, but some ladies dont get really bad pain, lol
i had braxton hicks from 32 weeks and im sure i annoyed everyone with my false starts but i guess it just keeps everyone on theyre toes