Q&A: How do you know when you’re about to have a baby?

I thought this one was too silly, but then realized it might be kind of interesting. I was asked by a random pregnant stranger on public transportation how you know when you're going to have the baby soon.

The obvious answer is "when contractions start," but she was looking for the signs before that. She was within a week of her due date, so it could happen anytime.

I was thinking about it, and came up with the following:

* bloody show or releasing the mucus plug

* manic energy

* nesting/cleaning

But I couldn't really come up with anything else myself. Are there other things that you have experienced (or that you've heard) are signs that you're going to go into labor within the next few days?

With me personally, I lost all fear of labor because I was just so done with the whole process. I don't know if that's common, though.

I'd be interested to see if this is something that's common across cultures, or if it's got some cultural specificity.

So. What would you say if someone asked you if there's any way to know? Conversely, are there signs that you're *not* going to go into labor any time soon?

106 thoughts on “Q&A: How do you know when you’re about to have a baby?”

  1. How do you know labor is imminent?You’ve scheduled your induction for tomorrow, so you, of course, go into labor today.
    People telling you you’ve dropped (although honestly, that started at 6 months since I carry babies between my knees… actually “drop” even lower…though how that is possible I don’t know shortly before).
    Strong desire to finish the Christmas shopping in October.

  2. This is HARD!My first … I just felt BAD. On that Friday, I had to leave work at 10 am … I just could NOT be there. I ended up in labor on Sunday night (though I didn’t think I was until the nurse confirmed I was – I didn’t have a lot of pain until later.).
    My second … I went in to work on a Saturday to clean my desk and cube … finish things up. Got home and ‘felt out of sorts’ … then the pains hit. Ended up having him at 11:45 that night.
    My third … I was MISERABLE with no sign of going into labor. Scheduled a C-section to get it over with! Doctors told me it was a good thing … he would have been over 10 lbs if I had waited … not good for me!
    So as odd as it sounds, you will just KNOW. You feel out of sorts, jumpy, edgy … and perhaps ‘sick-ish’ feeling.

  3. For me, well, suddenly that 3rd trimester constipation was gone. The day before I had my scheduled-C for my breech baby, things really cleared out. And then I found out that I was having contractions every 7 minutes when they were doing the fetal monitoring that next morning.I’ve heard some women say that they feel a little flu-ey or like they might be coming down with a stomach bug the 24-48 hours ahead of time.

  4. When I’m about to go into labor (maybe 24 hours out) I get very inwardly-focused. I stop talking much, I ‘zone out’ a lot and I get a very focused, serious affect going. My husband noticed right away and then several other people commented throughout the day. I went into labor at 10:30pm that night.After that happened with my first, I read about the same sort of phenomenon in Ina May’s “Spiritual Midwifery.” Then it happened again with my second.
    Also, I had GREAT success regulating & strengthening those initial are-they-or-aren’t-they contractions using my breast pump (on my breasts). It only works if you’re already effaced & dilated a little, but it’s the ONLY research-proven method to jump-start things. When I told the nurses what I did when I got to the hospital, they were aghast. “We do NOT recommend that!” they said. “Why not?” I asked. “Because it works!” they whispered!

  5. My pregnancy was totally out of the norm, in that my body simply DID NOT CARE that it was pregnant! I kid you not. My other mommy friends hate me. 🙂 Anyway, for me, I had crazy manic nesting energy (must. finish. organizing. baby’s room. NOW!), and then for the three days prior, I had Braxton-Hicks contractions a lot: everything down there would tighten up (no pain) and I would totally space out.

  6. I didn’t know either time (water broke with first and traditional labor with second). No nesting or lost mucus plug or anything like that. Just one of nature’s great surprises!

  7. Ha! I never went into labor. Induced at 42 weeks. I’d love to know what normal, gradual labor feels like. Here’s hoping for this time!

  8. I agree. I remember reading with great interest a story about a woman in rural Mexico who gave herself a C-section with a kitchen knife after laboring alone for 2 or 3 days, then managed to hitch a ride to the hospital and was OK. My thought was “good, good to know that’s possible–I need this baby out, no matter what”. I became obsessive, which I’m normally not, and energetic, which I hadn’t been for the last couple weeks. I ran all over town, walking and riding 4 or 5 buses, in a red maternity tank top, looking for the exact right sunhat for the baby. During my travels, I called several friends and my mom and told them I couldn’t stand it any longer. I was through with this pregnancy nonsense. That night I woke up at 2:30 with contractions and Mouse was born at 8 the next morning.

  9. Very interesting set of comments.With both of my kids, I stayed up all night before going into labor, for unrelated reasons.
    1. One week before my due date, I was feeling great on Saturday, so we had a big party at our house. We had a ton of people over, I made lots of food and drinks. I thought I’d “leave” the party early and go to bed, but I felt GREAT, so I was up and making homemade pizzas for the few remaining friends at 3am. I was in labor at 8am and the baby was born just before midnight.
    2. Four days AFTER my due date, I was feeling pretty darn miserable, and instead of making my husband the homemade pizza I’d promised (maybe homemade pizza is the key?), I ended up ALL NIGHT throwing up. I know it was stomach flu and not pregnancy-related because my husband and son got sick too. I realized I was in labor at 8am (again!), but this time the baby was born at NOON. Good thing we had planned a homebirth for that one, because by the time I accepted I was truly in labor and not just sick, we never would have made it to the hospital in time.
    So I guess if there is a #3, I’ll stay up all night and make homemade pizzas when I want to go into labor and see what happens come 8am!

  10. I lost my appetite for chocolate during my first pregnancy. A week past my due date, I suddenly craved brownies, made a pan, and ate nearly all of them. That night during my yoga class, the baby dropped so that I felt like I could barely walk, and I lost my mucus plug the next morning. The next night I went into labor, and my daughter was born two days later.

  11. I had the general out of sorts feeling in the 48 hours before hand. Kind of fluey, but with a bit a manic energy at the same time. I didn’t know at the time, but in retrospect it was clear that things were moving along at that point.I had not painful, very irregular contractions (anywhere from 7 – 20 mins apart) and at the time I wasnt sure if they were Braxton Hicks or not. That lasted for about 12 hours – then my water broke and the real pain/labor began.
    No bloody show, mucus plug, or constipation clean out.

  12. The bump stopped growing for me (well, went 2 weeks at the same size), coupled with a faster heartbeat. I was scheduled for an ultrasound the next afternoon, but went into labour instead 🙂

  13. I got really spacey before I went into labor. I started to have bloody show and my first real contractions around 9pm the day before I gave birth, but starting at around 11:30am the day before, I started to feel very spacey and a little discombobulated, like I couldn’t handle basic tasks or answer simple questions very well. I went grocery shopping that afternoon and it all felt incredibly mentally challenging. Am curious if others had a similar experience.

  14. I sort of zoned out too for my 24 hours of early labor… lost the mucous plug and my appetite nearly simultaneously. Looking back, the loss of appetite should have really been the tip-off for me, because I ate like a trucker the rest of the pregnancy.And certainly noone should wait until their water breaks to decide they are in labor. Mine didn’t break until I was 9.5 cm and pushing. I’m a procrastinator, what can I say.

  15. For me, it was my water breaking. That was a sure sign that the baby would come out within the next 24 hours (with GBS, they won’t let you labor longer than that after your water breaks), even though both times the doctors had to go in and get them out (c-sections) after I labored for almost 20 hours.And to get my water to break? Apparently I just had to have plans for the day or week ahead which would make it inconvient to have my water break/go into labor. Having my water break in the movie theater makes a good story, though!
    I honestly just don’t think there are sure-fire signs. What is true for one woman could be the opposite for another. The only sure thing is water breaking or true contractions that are close together, right?
    For both, I was so done with the pregnancy that I was not worried about the laboring. I just wanted the baby out!

  16. @CaliBoo – That’s crazy to me that your water didn’t break until you were 9.5 cm! My water broke before I even had real contractions both times! It’s amazing how different everyone’s L&D are.

  17. @CaliBoo – I had a similar experience — my water didn’t break until I was pushing (10 cm+) and BOY that’s a squirty mess! I sprayed people halfway across the room!

  18. I picked fights with my husband during early labor (before I knew it was THE day) both times. Actually, I felt that HE picked the fights, but in retrospect I’ll take the blame:) So, um, irritable?And, FWIW, each labor was a completely different beast – THIS IS IT vs is this it?, 25 hrs vs 3, hell on earth pain vs uh, I think I’ll push now, terrified DH vs best bonding/intimate moment in our marriage. Go figure.

  19. For # 1, I got the urge to weed the entire backyard in February in Seattle. When I was done, I cleaned the bathroom fans out with a toothbrush. That night, my water broke (10 days early). Labor never really started though, and they ended up inducing and giving epidural. 26 hours after water breaking, she was born.For #2, I had incredible braxton hicks contractions for 6 weeks. Due date came and went. Finally I was having weak, but timeable contractions. I went on a hike (very nearby) and started nipple stimulation to get things moving. Woke at 1am to blood, took a shower, hubby drove to hospital, and son was born by 2am. No meds, no time to fuss. And my water never broke. (He was born with waters intact.)

  20. Ha, I’m another one whose water broke at 10cm, like a gunshot. My friend A’s never broke–her daughter was born in the caul and therefore, I believe, ought to have the second sight–I’ll have to ask her about that.

  21. I got CRANKY that day. Like, whoa. With my second, I thought, “ha! I’m cranky today! Maybe I’ll have the baby!” and brushed it off as a silly thought. But yeah, my water broke an hour or so after I had that thought.

  22. @caramama – ha. I was getting ready to walk out the door to go to the beach when my water broke. Almost an inconvenient place. 🙂 But I don’t recall any external signs other than I told everyone that Friday at work I wouldn’t be back b/c his due date was Monday. Sunday morning my water broke and Monday a.m. he arrived.

  23. At five days after my due date I lost my mucus plug, had bloody show, and started having intense timeable contractions (between 6 and 20 minutes apart). All I could think about was sleep because I knew that I was going to need my energy. I was almost obsessing about how much I just. needed. to. sleep. This went on for three days.I even went to the hospital on the first day because I totally thought that I was in labor. They sent me home, the contractions continued, and I still did not sleep…One the third day I went back to the hospital because the contractions were even more intense and closer together. They admitted me since I was ten days late…Labored all afternoon and all night with only 6cm of dilation (all that pain and such little progress…)
    The next morning my doctor told me that I needed to either use pitocin or have a c-section…I choose the surgery.

  24. Yeah, I think I nested in the 24 hours before labor. My water also didn’t break until my MW helped it along when I was nearly ready to push. She wanted the baby’s head pressing to help my last bit of dilation along.I had about a week before she came where she was thumping ‘down there’ with every step I took, and man, that was uncomfortable. I was literally mincing around when I had to walk. I guess at some point she moved past that spot and dropped lower.
    I woke up at 5am (NOT normal for me) with menstrual-type cramps, which progressed to much more fierce contractions. V was born at 1am the next morning.

  25. I must say, I asked this question and the related, “When will I know to go to the hospital?” to many people before Baby #1. The best answer I was given was by a nurse at an OB appt. She put it bluntly, “If you have to ask if you’re in labor, you’re not.”After two children, I agree with her. There are so many differences that telling a woman to trust herself is my best answer. She’ll know.

  26. Oh terrible (and yet awesome) topic. I’m 37 weeks along with my second tomorrow, and keep Googling “signs labor is starting.” Obviously — it’s not. But now I have so much more to imagine. Cranky? YOU BETCHA! Picking fights with husband? YEP! Lots of … emptying out in the bathroom? SURE THING! And I don’t feel particularly flighty, but now I’m pretending I do so labor will start … My first was born on 39 weeks on the dot, so I’m kind of hoping this one will be a bit earlier than that …

  27. I had absolutely no signs that couldn’t be chalked up to late pregnancy until timeable birthing waves started. Nuthin’. Just a baby several hours later. 🙂

  28. I SOO agree with losing the fear of labor by that point. Okay, I was 36.5 weeks with very large twins (almost 7 pounds each) so I think that helped. But I will never forget crying to my husband as we drove to the hospital, “PLEASE don’t let them send me home!!” (This was exactly one week before my scheduled C-section.)I also felt just generally awful that morning. I could barely move.

  29. Mucus plug is one thing, but you really want to see it tinged with pink or brown. The blood in your underwear/mucus is a sign that the cervix is changing.Loose stools.
    Sudden sleepiness the 24-48 hours before.
    achy back, those flu-like symptoms someone described earlier.
    Contractions that cause the uterus to draw up into a square shape, like the baby is “all balled up”. This will get more pronounced as labor progresses.
    And you can track dilation by a red line that travels up your butt-crack. I use this all the time at labors to see where a woman is. When the red line hits the top, like a turkey timer, “ding” – she’s done. (http://books.google.com/books?id=79ZiRZZwzF4C&lpg=PP1&dq=heart%20and%20hands&pg=PA114#v=onepage&q=sacrococcygeal&f=false picture on this page but the explanation is on 115)

  30. Another one whose water broke in the pushing stage with both births.I went into labour at 7.30 am with both kids too. On my due date. (Husband is a Project Manager. Really)
    With my first child I actually had been bleeding 2 weeks before he was born. Enough for me to have to wear pads. His head was in my bum (sorry) for the same 2 week period. I had also been 3cm dilated for 2 weeks ( from when I was taken to hospital in an ambulance during my last OB visit, as birth was ‘imminent’)
    With my daughter I had been 3 cm dilated since my 32w4d examination and so birth was ‘imminent’ again. And in those 8 weeks after I was achey and fluey and couldn’t even walk down our stairs. 2 days before i actully gave birth I had the ‘show’, but hey, that was no warning, going by my first birth.
    Oh, re. nesting, during labour whenever I had a break from contractions, all I wanted to do was clean up the mess I was making. I mean the blood, amniotic fluid, the paper towels. I just wanted to tidy the room up. I am obsessive compulsive, but not in a clean and tidy up way.

  31. What a timely topic. At almost 38 weeks with #2, I never went into labor with #1 (scheduled medically-necessary C-section at 39 wks – didn’t have a single contraction) and so now that I’m trying for a VBAC, I’m in that stoned daze where I know I’m about to have a baby one way or the other, but I don’t know when or how or what to expect. Except now, I have a litany of possible signs and that makes me feel a lot better.I talked to my mom last night and she said all three of us came fast. No or few signs of early labor which is also a huge relief. One second she was at the ob’s office 0.00% effaced/dialated and the next she was in the hospital convincing the nurse that the baby was coming out and holy crap it was.
    Hopefully, it’s all genetic because other than the guy at Safeway excitedly observing that the baby is getting low!, I’m showing no other signs of labor and as much as I am trying to enjoy this pregnancy and live in the moment as it will likely be my last, my knees are about to give out on me. My chiropractor is amazed that they’re still holding me up.
    That, and this limbo feeling is very disconcerting to a person like me, and I’d like to know if I’m going to have a VBAC or not. It’s only going to be one of the most momentous events of my life and for Pete’s sake, I’d like to just *know* already.

  32. the baby dropped and I could BREATH! Couldn’t walk though, felt like he was halfway out my pelvis. but then again I was one of those who was 3/4 cm dilated at 35 weeks and 50% effaced and stayed that way for 2 weeks before getting induced for pre-eclampsia.

  33. With my second, I was EXHAUSTED the day before labor. I could not stay awake for more than an hour or two for 36 hours before I accepted being in labor (and so 39 hours before he was born). For my first, I was in labor for 48 hours, so who the hell knows.

  34. I should have a good answer to this question since I have given birth to five children. But when my daughter was born in December, I spent the first four hours of labor saying, “These contractions are so annoying and I know they’re just going to fizzle.” Calling the midwife– “Well, yeah, I’ve been having contractions every 5 minutes for the past two hours, but I don’t think I’m having the baby tonight.” Calling my neighbor about care for the other kids — “Listen, I hate to bug you when it’s probably nothing [pause to breathe through another annoying contraction] but if I have the baby — which I’m not actually going to do — could you help us out tonight?” Talking to my husband– “I cannot possibly have a baby tonight when there are so many needles from the Christmas tree all over the floor. It’s a good thing these contractions aren’t going anywhere.”…And not long after that I was holding the baby.

  35. Good topic! I’ve had four labors – all so different. In thinking what was similar, here’s what I came up with:1) Insomnia in the weeks leading up to the birth, accompanied by crazy nesting. My insomnia usually takes the form of being wide awake for the day at 4 or 5 in the morning. Then very sleepy the day or 2 before labor begins (but still strong nesting).
    2) In the week or 2 before, daily bouts of regular contractions that make me think “ooh, this could be it”.
    3) In 3 out of 4 of my labors, I had strong cramps/pain in the morning of the day I went into labor (and I always went into labor in the evening). Not like my later regular contractions exactly but just some uncomfortable pain/twinges that came and went sporadically throughout the day.
    As far as water breaking, that was how my labor started (well, noticeably started) for 2 of my kids. For one, they broke my water to speed things along, for another, it broke on its own at about 9 cm.

  36. I started cleaning baseboards with baby wipes to get them clean enough to suit me. I also got really cranky and weepy. Finally, I started feeling all losey goosey in my joints from the increased relaxin.

  37. …I remember with Younger feeling like the room we were for her birth was tiny, I swear, it seemed like a janitor’s closet, and it seemed like the midwife and my husband were pushed up against the sides of the bed, really crammed in there. Then, when my water broke, it felt like SO MUCH water. This was all in the middle of the night… then, at dawn, holding the baby and blinking and looking around the room I was shocked to see that it was actually a pretty large sized room! I also asked my husband, confusedly, “When my water broke… was it a lot of water?” He thought a moment and said, no, not an especially noticable amount. But it had seemed to me that he and the midwife must have been sloshing around up to their ankles in that tiny little room. The mind is so funny–all the time, but particularly during labor!To address the question, with Eldest I felt spacey amd dreamy in the hours before labor… I remember wandering around the grocery store. And then, later, I would feel an intermittent “odd” feeling… not pain… but… a feeling. Every ten minutes or so. When I told DH he got all excited and I said, “Don’t get too carried away. It may not be labor.” I was puzzled. He said, “Oh, I think it is!” With Younger, it all happened much faster.

  38. @mom2boys – I’m glad it happened BEFORE you went to the beach. It would have been awkward to be gushing water as you trudged across the sand!@Rudyinparis – I had the same feeling of the room being so small when I was in labor with my first kid! When we went to the same hospital for the second, I was looking around thinking that there was no way the room was that big. It totally was the same size (and just a couple doors down). Hubby confirmed it. So weird how the mind plays tricks on you!

  39. Wow. Never heard that about the line to the joint before–very cool!@Jill in Atlanta (or her nurse, more accurately): We had no clue I was in labor with #1 until we got to the hospital because all the pain was in my back, and it stayed steady enough that we couldn’t accurately track contractions. With the first: I was flying around the county looking for *exactly* the right kinds of shelves to put in the baby’s room for three days. Then on Friday, I was out at a friend’s house and couldn’t keep my eyes open and took a two hour nap on her sofa while we were supposed to be visiting.
    With the second, I went in for my 41st week appointment (non-stress test) and learned I was contracting every 5 minutes. Then they induced b/c they couldn’t find enough fluid. Turns out the behemoth baby was hiding it all. But since he was already 10lb 10.5oz when he was delivered, I’m thrilled we didn’t wait another second!
    So yes: pure exhaustion (my friend, who had two kids, called it “banking sleep” and correctly predicted birth was imminent) and obsessy nesting. And I do remember feeling spacey though I chalked it up to tiredness.

  40. Baby no. 1 – pre-eclampsia-induced C-section on his due date; I was so upset that I couldn’t experience the whole natural, no-drug thing. But – I’m small, and he was 9lb4oz, so it was a good thing.Baby no. 2 – Hoping for a vbac, my doc let me go four days past my due date. Contractions every 10 minutes for 10 days. No dilation, no effacing, no drop. I walked for hours the day before the scheduled surgery; nipple stim, etc, nothing. But I did have a few contractions that gave me a semi-clear sense that it might be more hell than I ever thought.
    Baby no. 3 is under way now and I think I have no choice at this point but to do another c.
    Prior to surgery on both babies, I was spacey and horrified to realize basics – I have no diapers in the house! I need to cook! Feeling basically seriously unready despite obsessing about pregnancy/babies for months.

  41. How I knew:1) Went to my weekly dr’s appt @ 41 weeks – my fluid was low, & I had high BP. Dr. asked me: “Would you like to have a baby today? Come to the hospital at 5pm and we’ll induce you.” (That’s when I knew!!) 15.5 hours later, DS was born!
    But what the hell do I really know:
    2) I’m currently 40 wks 2d pregnant with baby #2, and could’ve just as easily asked the same question as the gal on Moxie’s subway. Two nights ago I experienced 3 crappy hours of false labor – very painful BH contractions that caused me to want to wake up DH time them and call my mom about getting on a plane so she can watch DS, but got hungry and found that eating made me feel better; timed them and they were totally irregular, and I could talk through them… so yeah, not the real deal.
    Part of me would like to have that “good story” experience of my water breaking, having labor happen like in the movies, yadda yadda, but realistically it would be nice to have a scheduled induction again so I can rest assured that DS will be cared for and that it will be my actual dr. delivering me. I feel a little too comfortable most days, and have no desire to remedy my messy house, so I don’t think nature is going to take its course anytime soon…

  42. A few days of frequent BMs….and then 24+ inches of snow TOPPED by ice….hubby’s car parked wonky on top of the snowbank so that he had to shovel (read: jackhammer the ice-topped wet leaded snow) to even get a path in or out…meanwhile I’m inside on a messageboard saying ‘gee, I hope he gets a path cleared just in case anything happens today….’ Fast-forward 10 minutes and I’ve showered, he comes inside, and my water breaks while I’m drying off.PS I slapped my flip flops on my Shrek feet to get to the car….which hubby said he’d get a running start and jump the car out over the snowplow pile at the end of the driveway so that he wouldn’t jostle me too much…forgetting that I was in labor and in flip flops to which I said I’d take my chances in the passenger seat, thankyouverymuch. ; )

  43. I just gave birth for the second time on 9/21, and I have to say, I disagree with the nurse in Jill from Atlanta’s story. BOTH times I questioned whether it was really labor (kind of like Jamie, I swore both times to my husband that they would send us home), but both times within 7 hours of leaving for the hospital was holding a baby…For both pregnancies, I didn’t have noticeable Braxton-Hicks contractions until the week before going into labor. Both times I had contractions for at least 10 hours that were between 4-6 minutes apart but not really painful. Finally, both times, my doctor told me to come in “just to check it out” and by the time I was on the way to the hospital the pain started. No bloody show, mucus plug, or water breaking in either case.
    For #1, I definitely felt flu-y and kind of just out of sorts that whole day. I also didn’t really want to eat anything. Went in at 38 weeks, 6 days; I was only dilated 2.5 cm when I went in, and likely might have been sent home except for the fact that I turned up on the severe end of pre-eclamptic, so was immediately admitted, epiduraled, and given pitocin/magnesium (I was fine with both, it turns out); my first son was born 7 hours later.
    For #2, I actually started feeling crampy the previous week,in addition to the Braxton-Hicks, and then on the weekend felt it again and also kind of flu-y. That Thursday my doctor said I was dilated to a 3, and that we were a go for inducing at 39 weeks. My husband was actually out of town that weekend with our first son, so he was checking on me constantly, afraid I’d go into labor. Starting on Friday, I was suddenly REALLY hungry, and took advantage of the free weekend to go out and eat with girlfriends. I told them all how I was scheduled to be induced on 10/1 at 39 weeks; I think that jinxed it. My husband arrived home at 5 pm Sunday; I had had a prenatal massage (my husband blames it for me going into labor) and got home a little before 6 pm…when the contractions started. Ended up with diarrhea as well, which, coupled with the fact that the contractions felt just like those I had with #1, made me think it might be real labor. Sent first son to friends’ house at 9 pm, just in case, slept a bit, waited til the contractions seemed really regular and finally went to the hospital at 5 am. The By 1:30 pm I had our second son in hand, born at 37 weeks.
    So it’s possible to be unsure!

  44. With both, my water didn’t break until transition, either! I also never had a mucous plug, and no bloody show until I was well into labor. No nesting peak either.With #1, very little in the way of signs. I felt a little looser in the joints. That was it.
    With #2, I thought it would be very fast because #1 only took 6 hours from start to finish. But instead it was stop-and-start over a couple days, and I went to the hospital in early labor in the morning and got sent home. Then I went into active labor the moment I left the hospital–literally–, went home for three or four hours, rushed back to the hospital and had a baby 45 minutes later. (Lesson: it’s not always bad to be sent home! A change of environment can kick-start things. They call it “watched pot syndrome.”) I didn’t have any physical warnings that I recognized at the time. In retrospect–I too got really spaced out–gradually, though, over the preceding week or so. I was trying to work and had to stop because I kept making mistakes. And illness–the day before I was throwing up and totally thought I had a stomach bug, and got awfully depressed because I thought my labor would be delayed. A friend told me she thought her second’s oncoming birth was food poisoning!
    Love seeing others’ experiences.

  45. With the first one, my water broke and labor never really started (although I was about 3 cm dilated at my last appointment). I was induced.With #2… I wish I could tell you. I’ve been having contractions off and on for TWO WEEKS. I was 3 cm dilated and ~80% effaced at my last appointment last Friday. The doctor was sure labor would start soon. I’ve had several bouts of upset tummy that have fooled me. I have started timing contractions four times now. Two nights ago, I was sure it was it. I got hubby up to help with the timing and keep me company (it was, of course, the middle of the night). Contractions hung out at 10 minutes apart, 30-60 sec long, medium intensity for several hours. Then just stopped. I am still pregnant. And very cranky about it. MrsHaley, your at home induction method is very tempting.
    I didn’t go to the hospital Monday night because I was waiting for the contractions to do one of the following: get stronger, get closer together, or get longer.
    All I can say is that I had better get a short, easy labor after all of this!

  46. Throughout my pregnancy I couldn’t eat red meat (made me nauseous). The night before I went into labour, I went out for dinner and ordered a steak and thoroughly enjoyed it. Should have realized it was a shift in hormones, but didn’t clue in.Hours before I went into labour, at around midnight, I started manically cleaning out the entrance way closet and organizing shoes (?!) for the first time EVER. Should have realized the shift in hormones and energy, but didn’t clue in.
    The day I went into labour, I was very weepy and emotional speaking to my mom on the phone. She said: “I was very emotional too the day I went into labour.” I still didn’t clue in.
    I finally clued in when: After weeks of mild contractions, I had a contraction so painful that it sent me to the bathroom, I emptied my bowels (sorry if TMI), and felt afraid of the pain to come for the first time ever. I then thought, huh, I think I might be in labour… About 12 hours later DS was in my arms…

  47. I was hoping to lose the fear of labor, but never got there. No energy rush, no nesting. . . I never felt any BH either. Basically I lost my mucus plug (full on pink), then started contracting 5-6 apart. Onset of contractions immediately brought vomiting, which led to labor complications and severe dehydration down the road.

  48. i love hearing everyone’s experiences. in my case it was feeling flu-ish and water broke before contractions started. i was 37.5w and my first reaction was dread that i had done something wrong, it was too early, i desperately needed my midwife’s permission that it was ok for baby to come then if he was ready (which in fact he *wasn’t* until after five more days of back labor), and also thinking “i can’t have a baby today because i’m supposed to go swimming this afternoon.” yeah, so some spaciness too.i really think it IS such a funny question–the basis of which is usually what if i don’t know?!? one way or another, eventually, YOU’LL KNOW! babies don’t (ok, rarely) plop out onto the floor without some sort of prior indication…

  49. In my case – baby #1, I thought I was getting a bladder infection. I said “OW I have a bladder infection.” 7 minutes later I said “this bladder infection is a b&&&h!” And then my husband said “you’ve commented at 7 minute intervals.”Baby #2 – full day of braxton-hicks at 3 minute intervals, followed by a leisurely trip to the hospital, followed by delivery an hour after arrival.
    What can I say. I’m just worried the next one will fall out, should I ever have a next.

  50. w/ our 1st baby—jonesin for miso soup (when I could have lived on chocolate milk any other day of the 2nd and 3rd trimester). That and diarrhea were the indicators. Labor within a day.2nd baby—I went in for 2 “false” alarms. Wasn;t going beyond 3 cm for 2 weeks or more. One night, the contractions just started to kick my ass harder, and I can’t say there was any really indicator that it was imminent. The docs and nurses were sure I was pg w/ our first b/c I was back 2 xs within a week w/ no real progress.

  51. I have an OT question- Has anyone else noticed that giving birth reset their pain threshold?Seems like mine is set way higher than it was before. Helpful for getting through mommyhood when there is no one to pitch hit for me, but unnerving when I let infections go too far because they don’t really bother me all that much. I just recently took care of a nasty sinus infection that began around Thanksgiving of last year.

  52. My first was a scheduled induction due to hypertension, so no relevant experience there. But with my second, who was past her due date, my midwife asked at my last 3 or 4 prenatals if I felt miserable yet. I’d dither and say, “well, not so great” or something like that, and she’d say I wasn’t ready yet. At the last prenatal I walked in and said I was miserable. I think the baby was born the next day.

  53. I did hypnobabies daily for 5 months before delivery. Once you hit 38 weeks you can start using a script called “Easy First Stage”. Well, I guess it worked because I never felt the first stage at all.I don’t remember nesting, although from reading my e-mails, I did mop floors the night before I delivered. I don’t remember any real symptoms other than I knew I was having the baby the next day. I called Verizon because my minutes were getting low and said, “I’m having a baby tomorrow and everyone will be calling me, I need more minutes.” DH thought I was nuts, um, hormonal. Later that night I baked brownies for the midwife and staff.
    By 1 pm the next day I was doubting it. I was achy, but felt no contractions. A friend came over and we talked about how there were only 11 hours left in the day; if contractions hadn’t even started, I was probably guilty of wishful thinking.
    She left and I laid down to do my hypnobabies and WHAM – and 2:45pm hard labor came like a freight train. And like @anon – diarrhea and vomiting with every contraction – because they were immediately 4 – 5 minutes apart.
    The ferocity of the way things started derailed me a bit from my self-hypnosis plan for a while, but once I got it together it was fine. Baby came around 10pm.

  54. I did feel a sense of calm before going into labor about 2 days before. I have to say my brain wasn’t fully functioning either, almost like I was in la la land. I also got a bit emotional–crying at little things. I rarely cry.My water also broke very late…last minute late! I only pushed once, and that was immediatly after my water painfully broke as I was trying to climb onto the hospital bed. It was almost as painful as the birth for me. The water breaking was a mess. All over some dresser thing. No one believed me that I knew she was coming. She landed on the bed as the doctor (intern) was putting on gloves and chatting. I had just gotten to the hospital a few minutes earlier and hadn’t gotten fully out of my clothes as requested. Crazy. I was in labor for 11 hours–I didn’t realize how far along I was. The labor didn’t seem as painful as I had expected. I was lucky, I know.

  55. I’ve been having contractions for 2.5 months and been walking around dilated at 4 cm for 2 weeks. Currently 35.5 weeks with twins (second pregnancy). So apparently I have no idea how to know when I’m about to have a baby.

  56. At one day shy of 37 weeks, right before the long weekend when we were supposed to do all our nesting, I was exhausted. I had a couple doctor’s appointments and work, so I was running around a bit, and I called my husband at 3 or 4 to say I was exhausted, that I could barely keep it together. He encouraged me to go home, but I stuck it out until 6 or so, and then went home and collapsed on the couch for a couple hours. I felt hot, so I took my jeans off; my husband walked in from the gym and said to the cat (Roo), “I don’t know where her pants are, Roo.” I said I felt crampy. A few minutes later I got up to go to the bathroom, a little after 9 p.m., and splash, my water broke. Mucus plug and bloody show followed an hour or so after that, and crampiness turned into contractions, but not especially painful contractions until sometime early the next morning. The baby was born at 7 p.m. the next day, after 5 hours(!) of pushing. I hadn’t had any noticeable Braxton Hicks contractions in the days before, nor did I notice the baby dropping. I am also still waiting for my burst of nesting energy, 2 years later.

  57. No signs or symptoms… Until the evening before when I “felt” that the baby had dropped. I took a photo to compare to the photo I took the day before – there was no discernible difference. But. That morning I woke at 4 with contractions.I had been talking to a friend the day before saying that I really really didn’t feel anything different… I was convinced I would go way over the due date, but she came 2 days before.

  58. I forgot to mention that I was very relaxed and happy leading up to (and through!) the labour. Don’t know when that started, but I was feeling very much at one with the world and walking around with a spring in my step and smile on my face for maybe a week or so before I had my baby.

  59. I really like these stores… I Look forward to the possibility of finding out what it’s like to go into labor. I lost large pieces of my mucus plug in the weeks before my son was born so that was not a sign of labor for me. I was induced due to pre-eclampsia and iugr at 39 weeks, and one of the biggest things I missed about getting the labor I wanted was GOING into labor and the not knowing if and when it’s going to happen, and the second guessing and the excitement that causes (unlike the bad excitement of heading to the hospital repeatedly for loosing my vision due to my bp).

  60. @amanda, who said, “babies don’t (ok, rarely) plop out onto the floor without some sort of prior indication…” Just a quick funny story from a friend: pregnant with #2, she got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, thought, “huh, I think I’m having contractions,” hollered for hubby to call the ambulance, and then PLOP! there’s baby, on the bathroom floor!! No kidding!

  61. Every doctor I ever asked said, “If I could predict that I’d be rich.” The truth is that you can dilate without contractions or you can have some pretty bad contractions and not dilate at all.

  62. For both of mine, my blood pressure, normally around 110/60, went up just slightly a day or two before labor started. Around 125-130/80ish. Not enough to cause a panic but everyone sort of noticed. We thought it was a fluke the first time but the exact same thing happened the second time, too.

  63. Nothing unusual stood out for me. We did IVF, so we knew exactly when she was conceived, the day she was transferred, the day the hcg was high enough to show a faint line on the pregnancy test, and her due date (from several sources). She was two days “late,” and I was so spun-up with first baby excitement that everything seemed like a sign!I was unable to concentrate, but it was all, “I want to have this baby nooooow. I want to meet this child! Why am I two days late?!” I had very mild, erratic contractions the night before, but my husband had heated our pool that night and we swam in 100F water, and the contractions nearly went completely away.
    The only thing that made me aware that they baby was really coming was the fact that my doctor was going to get that baby out one way or the other within the next 12 days!
    My water broke at 6am and woke me up with a “pop” – it was one of the weirdest sensations, ever!
    (I downed about 5 cups of raspberry leaf tea the day before labor, too – no idea if it worked but it made me feel like I was doing “something” to help. Seemed like it was time to get things moving, no matter what I needed to do.)

  64. My second son was a week late – we thought he was never going to come. I hadn’t really had any regular or strong contractions at all. Then, one night I suddenly had HORRIBLE pubic bone pain (like the kind you’re supposed to get during pregnancy, except I hadn’t). I could barely walk. The next morning at 4am I woke up with regular contractions. The sudden onset of that pain and just general change of my overall mood/feeling made me pretty sure something was going to happen soon. Well, that and the fact that I was already a week overdue!

  65. Baby #1 – Vaginal delivery : bathroom run at 3:30am in Aug of 2005 contractions like crazy (very painful) but able to get to car and to docs (hubs driving), baby born at 4:53pm same day.Baby #2 – 5:00am bathroom run, contractions like crazy, by 10am contractions 2 min apart.
    Ended up having a c-section because baby completely wrapped up in cords (heart rate dipped too many times too low)
    Both times I had braxton hicks for like 2 weeks before, and both times I lost mucus plugs about 2 days before. Also had the urge to clean the universe the week of..
    Good luck, you’ll know, you really will!

  66. Aren’t our bodies so marvelously different? Me: weeks of is it or isn’t it labor during the day, only to peter out every night, lost the mucous plug 2 weeks before delivering. And water broke a full 3 days before the babe came out (very closely monitored for infection and distress).At 41.5 weeks the house went to $#(*&%, rather than totally tidied-up by a manic nester. Sigh.

  67. I got period pains on the day I went into labour. well clearly not period pains but just cramps though out the day – different from the contractions that came later.I went to bed at 10ish, got up for a wee and out came my show then my contractions started. I wasn’t sure if they were contractions since I’d had no Braxton Hicks. But I gave birth 13 hours later so in hindsight I’d say they were!

  68. With my first, my water broke about 6 hours before I noticed the contractions. It took me several trips to the washroom to realize that my water had broken though, and not just that there was a LOT of pee!With my second, I had on/off lower back pain a few hours before contractions. Again, it took me a while to realize that the pain was the beginning of labour, and not that the baby was popping in & out of my pelvis as he had been doing for the previous week or two.

  69. Elaine, I think maybe my pain threshold is roughly the same, but I have found that my ability to withstand discomfort is much greater. I ran cross country in high school, and started again after Younger was born. I am a MUCH better runner as a result of having labored. I can settle into discomfort now in a way I never could before. It’s all about pacing!

  70. For both my boys I lost my appetite completely 2 or 3 days before – which was amazing considering how much I ate during the rest of the pregnancy. Oh and both times hubby and I had a big fight the day before labour started … I blame it on the pre-labour hormone surges!

  71. My water broke (with a discernable ‘pop’ that startled the dog) at 35w2d right after we got home from our last birthing class (about 10pm). After calling the doctor, we got to the hospital around 11pm. I was having regular, but weak contractions (didn’t even feel them) and was about 2cm. Started on pitocin, had an epidural, and our little guy was born a 6:27am the next morning weighing in at 6lbs 7oz. He’ll be 2 in two weeks! I remember having back pain the whole day before my water broke, but wrote it off as just normal pregnancy pains.I’m currently 24wks with #2 (another boy) and we’re hoping to make it to term this time around (I’ll be 37wks on New Years Eve)

  72. I definitly tried all the “natural” ways to induce labour. My membranes were stripped twice, and I have never walked/drank raspberry tea/ate pineapple/had sex etc etc so much in my life. I finally reached my due date, set the induction date and relaxed. I think I may be the only woman on the planet who did not get a crazy bout of energy.. my house could have used it;) I spent so much of the last two weeks of pregnancy wanting nothing but to meet my little bundle, that when it came down to the last two days before induction, I suddenly felt like “IM NOT READY!!” Well in the early morning hours the day before induction, I could not sleep b/c of back pain, which I had had the whole 3rd trimester, so I thought nothing of it. I sent my hubby off to work ( who had just finished his 6 days off!) and proceded to watch episode after episode of “Bringing Home Baby”. The back pains became worse and worse…and unbearably worse Finally after some convincing from my mother, I went to the hospital and lo and behold, I was in labour. 5 am the next morning, C was born. And all without a single tummy pain. So I do not tell my moms ( Im a nurse for an OB) to wait for contractions. Sometimes they dont come!

  73. My body had some kind of early warning system thing going on. The five days before each had some new development i.e. the baby dropped in the middle of the night and then my ligaments ached so much I couldn’t sleep and then for two days, I had really light contractions about 30 minutes apart. I knew it was really happening when I woke up and my water was going to break imminently. I just had that feeling… the baby was born at 12:25 am the next morning. I was 7 cm before I even went to the hospital.

  74. My sympathies to all who are still pregnant and waiting!My signs for both were: go in for ultrasound to check fluid levels. Wait nervously in doctor’s office for results. Be told to go to hospital right away because waters were low. Be induced, wait for HOURS. Deliver baby.
    Actually, my husband jokes that he knew labor was imminent with the first because I had finally started to read the NJ driver’s manual (I had an expired driver’s license from Canada, and because of complicated reasons, failed to get an NJ one in time to avoid having to do the testing). With the first pregnancy, I woke up to mild cramping, like having a period the day I was induced (which was the day before the due date). With #2, I had been experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions for at least a month without knowing what they were, but #2 was induced a week before her due date. The bad sleeps the nights before giving birth may be a coincidence, though.

  75. 1: at the 38 week appt, the OB checked me and said “You won’t last another week” and I didn’t. Nothing really happened though until I woke up having contractions.2: The midwife said at 36 week appt, “This baby isn’t happy” and I had a c section by dinner time.

  76. I am coming in a bit late here but had another type of experience. Looking back I am convinced that my dog “knew” something was happening. The one and only time he has ever broken though our electric fence was the day that, ultimately, my water was to break. There I was, 39.5 days pregnant and huge, waddling though my neighborhood in late, hot June screaming “Get back here, I cant run”! That night, propped up on the couch with 987 pillows ( I felt like Jabba the Hut) I gave my belly the pep talk. I explained to my son that he couldnt have anything more to do in there and its more fun out here and why dont you just come out.DH and I went to bed but were up late wired and talking till nearly 2am. Water broke at 4am. Delivered son (after lots of pitocin) the following early morning. I wish he obeyed that well know 🙂

  77. Epeepunk says that spotting pre-labor signs is a lot like reading goat entrails – you can tell later what that meant, but at the time, it’s just a random mess! Heh.For me, the main sign was 3 days of loose stools. That was the same each time. Otherwise, all different.
    Mr G, no major signs other than the stools (and I was pushing it because he was SO LATE). Contractions starting was the real sign.
    Mr B, same base sign, but 3 days of off-and-on contractions during the same period of time (call the midwife, call her off, call the midwife, call her off, ARGH!). High leak in the middle of the early stage, gushy but not ‘water breaking’ until they broke it (polyhdramnios, they needed the water level to drop a lot!).
    Miss M and Miss R, 3 days of base sign again, but started with a high leak before I felt any contractions, and dribbled regularly during contractions until I crowned her bag of waters (she’d probably have been born in the caul if she hadn’t been breech – they needed to grab her and rearrange her legs, and that was a no-go with the bag there!).
    So, one main sign, and the rest random.

  78. For me, water breaking (after watching 40-year-old Virgin & Arrested Development episodes) was it. Though at the time I thought ‘Maybe I just peed myself?’ It was hard to tell! I guess I wasn’t doing enough kegels. But then it broke again (why doesn’t anyone tell you it can break more than once?!!) while waiting for our doula, and then again in the car on the way to the hospital. Uh yeah, pregnant lady with a big huge wet spot, go this way. I was very fearful that I would throw-up. Which my mother did with both pregnancies. And of course I ended up doing shortly after arriving at the hospital.But really, when we look back, we think the ultimate sign labour would start was the fact that the crib got set up, the rocking chair arrived, we finished doing a big grocery run (to prepare freezer meals – it was a week before my due date) and DH & I both had a big afternoon nap (which we never do on the same day) on the Saturday I went into labour at 10pm. The little guy was born 13 hours later.

  79. I had a craving for whole grains, especially oatmeal, for a week or two before my water broke. I foolishly ignored it, but now I realize it was about my body’s wanting to make breastmilk. Probably another sign was just finally getting tired of seeing signs (mucus plug, dropping, etc.) as meaning anything at all, so that when my water broke — an internal sensation for me until I got out of the car — I thought, oh, it’s probably just gas again.

  80. I’m 37.5 weeks pregnant with my 2nd. I was induced with my first. I’ve read every single comment. Basically just confirmed tht you don’t really know until you KNOW but they were fun to read anyway:)2 nights ago had BH’s that seemed to coincide with a crampy feeling that ran into the lower back and one time spread up and made me puke-y feeling. They happened every 15-20 minutes for about 1.5 hrs. I thought things were starting. Then they just stopped. Nothing since. Just gas? Don’t know. So disheartening.
    I pee my pants so often I wouldn’t know if my water was leaking or not:)

  81. Update to my comment of 9/30… It’s a girl! DD is here! She was born at 40w5d, on Saturday just before 1am. I was scheduled to be induced on Sunday at 8am, but she wanted to arrive sooner!DD is my second baby, and with DS I was induced & had a glorious epidural so I didn’t know what real labor pain sensations were all about. Well, now I know with a little more certainty ‘when I’m about to have a baby,’ and as it turns out I got to have a labor that happened “just like in the movies” (but in the future I’ll be a little more careful what I wish for…)
    The morning of the day before labor finally started, I was 2.5cm 80% effaced, -2 station, & dr stripped my membranes & we set a final induction date. The next day, I woke up and had a loose stool. Around 3pm, I felt a sharp, quick, BH-like contraction, then soon after that I noticed the baby had dropped lower (lightening). An hour or so later, I found a pink-tinged mucous secretion in my underwear – but I didn’t think at the time it was big enough to be the proverbial “mucous plug.” DH and I went to a movie at 5pm, and by around 6pm I asked him to time my slightly-painful BH contractions. They were 11 minutes apart, but felt just like the false labor I had a few nights prior. They started in the front of my abdomen and never went into my back. I mistakenly believed that “real” contractions are usually also felt in the back – as it turns out, not for me!
    We came home, got DS to bed, showered, then as I was getting dressed for bed I felt an odd thing happen: it was as though the baby started pressing on my pubic bone. Then I thought I heard a grinding noise, and felt the inside of my right upper inner thigh expand a bit. Weird, but not really painful. DH went to bed and I decided to eat some soup. Had more BH contractions that eased up whenever I massaged by abdomen. Little did I know this was real labor. At 10pm I went to the toilet and had an a-ha moment: nothing came out but I felt urgently like I had to go – and it suddenly got VERY painful – that’s when I knew I was about to give birth!!
    We arrived after a mad dash to the hospital at 10:45pm – I was 4cm & got to 8cm in the next 30 minutes. DD was born just under 2 hours after we got to the hospital. Even though I had a great anesthesiologist, despite his multiple attempts to get the epidural to work, things were too far along for me to feel no pain as I had hoped, but he gave me something to take the edge off and eventually it was manageable but not totally painless like my first time. Let’s just say I screamed a lot and was sure I was going to die… but I did it!

  82. I had no idea there was a “tell” for labor, other than something physical like a mucus plug or water breaking. For me, I had no idea I was in labor the entire night before. I think I was just in denial since it was my first and it was a week before my due date. I woke up the next morning and called my family and told them not to worry. Of course they all worried and rushed to the hospital. It wasn’t until I was in the car on my way that I realized this may be it. And two hours later, my son arrived. I’m hoping this one will go the same because knowing I’m going to go into labor soon would probably cause me to go into a panic.

  83. wow hush, that’s pretty much how my cousin had her second child and she did not recommend anyone do it that way. But it sounds like you did great! congrats again!

  84. I didn’t have any discernible signs, even in retrospect. At least, none that I actually attribute to my body getting ready for labor. I had had an internal exam the previous day and had some spotting and cramping as a result of that, but I had experienced those things as a result of internal exams in previous weeks, with no subsequent labor. I was 40 wks, 4 days, and woke up to a contraction at 7 am. It was textbook: they got more painful and closer together, so we went to the hospital. After laboring for awhile, they broke my water. Who knows when it would have on its own…

  85. hush, congratulations! Trial by fire, there… my little sister doesn’t feel contractions until right about transition, and then she says the only thing she can do is scream – that’s all that feels right. She has done the mad dash to the hospital twice (once the dad missed the birth because he was still signing her in – she had the baby within 15 minutes of arrival in the ER). I think the third time she was induced, just to skip that whole scene (they have no idea how long her labors are, because she can’t feel them at all – possibly because of having had back surgery as a teen). She doesn’t necessarily recommend it, but doesn’t mind skipping the first part.Sounds like the early part of labor was pretty decent, all in all. Just the head-on-nerves and stretching to accommodate that was challenging… (I also did the fast dilation thing – 4-10 in 40 minutes, round about… WOO, baby’s first roller coaster ride! LOL!).

  86. very late to the party here…i knew that DS would be born on 10th May, even though it was a week before his due date (i remember cancelling an appointment on the 12th because i knew he’d be here).
    i had been having BH for about 3 weeks before, but they were totally painless. On the day that DS arrived, I awoke at 3am ABSOLUTELY SURE that I was in labour, but i sat with it on my own until about 9am when i called the midwife. she said, nope – 1.5cm dilated, he might not even come till next week! SOOOO discouraged. but i trusted my body and he arrived at 11.15pm (at home) after many hours of totally in the zone labouring, a scary transition (I think i panicked a little), and 2.5 hours of pushing, during which time waters broke. All in all, it was a dream birth – painful but never anything i thought i couldn’t handle. And at all times it was accompanied by a strong ‘knowingness’ that just would not be denied. basically, my body took over and did it for me and i just went with it (first time ever!!)

  87. Wow, hush! What a great story! Way to go, making through the labor with the pain! And glad you got to the hospital in time, because it sounds like things progressed quickly at that point!

  88. With both of my children (to date) I started spotting blood 24 hrs before I went into labor. With the #2 child, I also had loose stools starting the day before I went into labor.

  89. That was also the million dollar question for me about this time a year ago!Honestly, at first I missed the signs my body was easing into labor. Monday of that week I had a doctor’s appointment and they said it looked like my body was happily pregnant and I think that is part of what got me in the mindset that I was still going to be pregnant for awhile. We had bad storm damage and a hole in our roof that leaked into the nursery (thankfully I was behind on setting it up), and they completed all work that same Monday night. DH and I both went on a crazy nesting spree for two days after that, but chalked that up to all the delays we experienced.
    Tuesday night I had the first Braxton Hicks like contractions of the whole pregnancy.
    Wednesday I felt like my period was going to start…kind of bloated “heavy” feeling. I didn’t think anything of this.
    Thursday morning I woke up with regular contractions that fizzled out (I had a dream where I was treading water in the ocean and all the contractions were big waves I had to swim over!), but mild contractions continued to come randomly here and there about once every 30-60 minutes. I decided it was a good time to review the Lamaze video my doula had lent me, so I mostly laid on the couch watching it and practicing the breathing while sometimes going through real contractions! Then I remember noticing when I got up to go to the bathroom, my hips were KILLING me to the point I could barely walk (and our only bathroom is on the second floor…not fun!). Though I ate lunch like normal, I noticed I wasn’t interested in the left-overs like normal. Toward dinner time the contractions got more steady, and I was convinced I was really in labor when I threw up. I then had the diarrhea, threw up once more, and saw the plug afterward. We got to the hospital around 10:30pm and Boober came three hours later!
    I also didn’t have my water break until they were trying to get me to resist the urge to push so a nurse could check me, only to find I was the full 10cm. It felt so much better, the severe pressure was gone!
    All these stories though are showing me that I cannot take my first labor experience as a total guide of what to expect next time. That is good to know!

  90. I am 41.5 weeks pregnant. no signs of impending labour, dialated 2 cms for days weeks and no progression and I have totally lost all fear of labour. I now fear trying to sleep at night because I simply cannot. Every night is a long, long sleepless torture. I want this baby out NOW and I would do anything to achieve that.

  91. *that was the reason I had been sick to the point of nearly quitting eating prior to going vegan. Being able to eat again was/is fabulous.I try to avoid anything with added sugar, gluten and dairy. I can’t eat nuts or seeds, which makes snacks for lunch difficult.

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