Mucus Plug: Worst Word Combo In The English LanguageMonica Bielanko
Listen, whatever you do, do not do a Google image search for mucus plug. I did that earlier, while at the news station where I work, and shared my findings with a couple co-workers. That’s just how I am.
A reporter, who has listened to me bitch throughout the duration of this pregnancy, didn’t even turn around from her computer while responding thusly: Please don’t say that term again. I am going to my doctor tomorrow and asking to get my tubes tied.
I laughed for ten minutes. Until a photographer came up and asked what I was laughing about and I said, “Just a gross pregnancy term.”
“Mucus plug?” He immediately asked.
Obviously a father.
Before I became pregnant I thought moist panties was the worst word combo in the English language. But mucus plug emerged from the murky world of pregnancy terminology and rocketed to the top spot and will likely never, ever be *dethroned.
Although torn vagina is a close second.
In spite of the unsavory images that leap to mind when one hears the term mucus plug, I’ve been thinking about them a lot as of late.
For those out of the mucus plug loop here’s a quick explainer: Throughout pregnancy, a mucus plug blocks the opening of the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus. Before labor, the mucus plug is expelled so that the cervix can open to allow the baby to pass through during labor and birth. Passing a mucus plug is a sign that your cervix is dilating and your body is starting to prepare for birth. Labor could be hours, days, or even weeks away as the cervix gradually opens over time. To spare further description, a mucus plug looks exactly like what you’d think it looks like.
Pro tip: Call your health care provider if your discharge is bright red and the amount is more than an ounce (about two tablespoons). You could be experiencing a complication such as placenta previa or placental abruption.
But back to me and my mucus plug daydreams.
At 37 weeks, technically full-term, I can’t help but wonder if each bathroom visit is going to be the one in which I spot the telltale sign of impending labor. It’s the same array of feelings I went through when I was trying to get pregnant. Each trip to the bathroom was a roller coaster of emotions. Will I get my period? Am I pregnant? Except now it’s will I see the notorious mucus plug? Am I going into labor soon?
I was induced the first time around because I went past my due date so I was denied the whole mucus plug and/or water breaking scenario. As I believe I’ve mentioned a time or two, I’m really hoping for an action-packed labor and mad dash to the hospital. None of this boring, roll up to the hospital and get hooked up to a Pitocin drip, for me. I want mucus! And water breakage! And law breakage via a speeding vehicle!
Is that so wrong?
*Wondering: Can you top the nauseating word combos that are mucus plug, moist panties or torn vagina?