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Is it Time? How Do You Know When You're in Labor?

Yesterday I wrote about how I longed for a labor just like the movies.  Unfortunately, it often isn’t that easy to actually know that you’re in labor. But, but, I want my water to break and alarms to sound and red lights to flash! LABOR, LABOR, IT’S TIME, IT’S TIME.

Alas, it doesn’t work that way.

One thing I stress about is feeling crampy during the 40th week and rushing to the hospital only to see a bunch of nurses smirking at the fat chick with a brutal case of gas. “Go home, honey. This isn’t labor. You’ve got a ways to go.” They smile condescendingly, wink at each other and sigh at the ignorance of some people. Some people meaning me. The idiot that thought she was in labor but probably just needs to avail herself of the nearest restroom facilities.

As I’m heading into the home stretch over here at month eight, I’ve begun to wonder how it will all go down. Since I was induced the first time, I have absolutely no idea what the initial signs of labor feel like. I mean, I have a rotten gut more than half the time. I, uh, believe I’ve described that here in some detail. So when the time comes will I feel like I have a bad case of diarrhea? Because I already feel like that. A lot!

How will I know?

That’s kind of why I took notice when Ceridwen (cool name or what?) wrote this little ditty on Early Labor Signs and Stages. I figure Ceridwen knows what she’s talking about. She wrote a book and stuff.

Ceridwen says the first stage of labor is usually much longer than the second stage of labor. It can take anywhere from hours to days. Days? Daaamn. Except, apparently women in early labor can be walking, watching movies, cooking… We should try and ignore labor for as long as possible so as to save our energy for the tough stuff to come. I guess. But my mind can’t help but flash to those movie scenes where the baby’s head is crowning as the taxi roars through Times Square to get mom to the hospital.

The fact that I was induced the first time around makes things kind of exciting, you know? I don’t know what to expect. It’s almost like my first time.

The article I previously mentioned states most women are better off laboring at home during early labor and then going to the birthing facility once active labor is underway. This could be around the point where contractions are 3-5 minutes apart and have been consistent for about an hour… but what I want to know from y’all is how did you know? Was it obvious? Did you get turned away in the hospital? Did you hang out at home laboring?

Tell me your labor stories!

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