Well, I made it all the way to 37 weeks with this little girl crowding my insides, I am SO ready for her to make her grand debut already! The other night, I was cramping on and off, sort of a menstrual cramp type feeling. I didn’t sleep the whole night and even started feeling intensified pelvic pressure and low, dull back aches. Come morning, I was feeling better but still had small remnants of these symptoms throughout the day. If you’re feeling this way, you can contact your doctor to make sure everything is ok, and check out this list of self care ideas to help you relax.
Could it be signs of labor? I didn’t know, thought it might be, but it turned out not to be. Not right away, at least! I don’t remember having these symptoms with MJ until I was in the hospital in active labor. The same thing happened last night, so I decided to do a little digging to see what it could mean… Pre-Labor! Apparently, the body is practicing and preparing for birth. Hopefully this means that my darling daughter will be here in a few days! Here’s what I found out:
Possible early signs of labor: cramps, pelvic pressure and an aching back
Menstrual-Like Cramping / Contractions– Happened all night, two nights in a row. On and off, no real pattern. Not extremely painful, but they were uncomfortable enough to keep me awake. But do cramps mean labor is coming? If it were the real thing, there would have been a constant pattern and contractions would have gotten stronger no matter how hard I tried to get comfortable. Must have been those darn Braxton-Hicks.
Lightning or Dropping of the Baby – Baby “drops” or sits lower in the pelvis in preparation for birth. I feel it and my doc confirmed it. These are usually pretty good signs of labor, but ask your doctor to be sure!
Frequent Urination or Bowel Movements (or the urge) – I felt like I had to do it all every 2-3 hours! As the baby descends further into your pelvic region, the bladder and bowels are compressed even more, enough said. Oh, and gas too. TMI?
Diarrhea, Indigestion, Nausea and Vomiting – I had the first 3, but did not vomit. More on and off symptoms that are usually accompanied by cramping. Joy.
Low, Dull Backaches – They have been coming on and off. Normally my back hurts a little by the end of the day. Feels like tired muscles, but once I lay down, I am just fine. These new back pains feel different, sit lower and come at anytime.
Effacement and Dilation – At my last visit, my doctor checked my cervix and said that I was 1 cm. dilated! I started cramping and having the above symptoms after that appointment, so maybe I have progressed since then. We shall see! One centimeter is just the beginning, but a sign that labor is on the way soon. Effacement is the thinning of the cervix, while dilation is the opening of the cervix.
Nesting – The sudden urge to want to clean, organize and prepare for baby’s arrival. I think I have been nesting for the past couple of months!
Other Signs of Labor to Watch For (hoping these will come soon)
Loss of the Mucus Plug – Also known as the bloody show. This is a string of mucus or discharge that once blocked your cervix, preventing bacteria from entering. Can be clear, pink or bloody and appears before labor (ranging from a few minutes to days). Not all women see this, I did when I had MJ.
Water Breaks – We all know this sign! Too bad it only happens to 10% of women before true labor begins. It can be a gush of fluids or a small trickle. Many women have their water broken for them. If you are in that lucky 10%, this is a sure sign that labor is on the way for you. Time to head on over to the hospital!
Okay, so I am no doctor, I had a little help… Based upon what I was feeling, I looked around and found these early labor symptoms online that were published by trusted websites with real docs as writers.
I hope that my predictions and research stand true and that labor is around the corner! I really hope to meet our princess in the coming days. MOMS- were there any other symptoms that you remember experiencing just before you went into labor? Please share, I will be on the lookout!
UPDATE: Apparently I was in pre-labor, my body was telling me that baby is on the way! My daughter was born a week later, hope your signs of labor mean the same thing!
How did you know you were going into labor?
* Note: I am not a medical professional and this should not be taken as medical advice. I am simply sharing my personal experience, consult your doctor for the best pregnancy and labor advice.*