Depending on exactly where the pains were, they could be contractions, or they could be ligament spasms. I had several terrible ligament spasms late in my last pregnancy that usually happened when I exerted myself. I remember being in Sam's Club, doubled over the side of the shopping cart and people thought I was in labor! But I wasn't. Were the pains to one side, or centralized?
When I was around 36-38 weeks pregnant with my son I started having VERY sharp pains that came sporadically.
It felt like something was ripping or tearing at the base of my pelvis. I didn't find out what it was until after my son was born. He would stretch his arms straight up over his head and make fists with his fingers and then relax them repeatedly. He was born with very long fingernails. The pain I felt was my son scratching the inside of my uterus! At times it felt like he was trying to claw his way out! LOL
I had them all the time my doc. Said it was normal. Everything turned out fine. But at your stage i do not think you should be doing house work. Its hard on your body and back and it sure doesnt help the pain