Things roughly as painful as these contractions:
A light slap on the hand.
A child poking you to get your attention (sometimes slightly too hard, so you say “Ow” even though it doesn’t actually hurt).
Things that are more painful than these contractions:
Sitting down/standing up (shifting three kilos of weight that’s already squashing my innards).
Turning over in bed (ditto, plus relaxin and stomach muscle issues – play along at home: try to turn over in bed without using your stomach or leg muscles because they’re not working right. You may not straighten your legs).
After very few contractions overnight and on Wednesday (yesterday) morning, I had plenty during the day, but all minor. One of the best things about knowing they’re not fake contractions is that I don’t need to bother doing any timing or to worry about the fact that they tend to ease off when I go to bed. I know they’re real; that’s enough. Until they actually hurt, the best thing for me to do is to ignore them. (It is pretty annoying getting slapped – metaphorically – every five to ten minutes for days at a time, but it’s worth it.)
Last night I had some stronger contractions between 3 and 5am – just enough to wake me up – but right now I’m getting the mild ones again (but a lot of them).
Conclusion: the fact that they’ve never really stopped bodes well for the next 3-7 days. In my opinion.