If you didn’t catch my post about things I Googled while I was pregnant, read it here.
During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, my Google searches changed to that of a different nature when I started wondering about what labor would be like. Here are some of the things I Googled about going into labor and what I learned.
“WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE WHEN YOUR WATER BREAKS?”
When I was researching this topic, I found out that water breaking can actually feel different for different women. Some women reported feeling a giant gush of fluid, while others experienced a slow trickling of fluid. Some also claim to have heard an audible “POP” sound as their water broke. If you are worried (like I was) that your water may break while you’re in the shower or some other time when you won’t realize that it happened, believe me… you will know! One thing I found out from personal experience is that when your water breaks, it isn’t just one-and-done… even if you miss the initial “gush,” you will eventually realize something is not right because the fluid will keep coming! Read more about this topic and my personal experience in my other blog post here!
“WHAT DO CONTRACTIONS FEEL LIKE?”
Never having been pregnant before, I really didn’t know what to expect from contractions. Every time I felt even the slightest stomach cramp or pain, I would think “Was that a contraction??” From what I read on Google, many women claimed that contractions felt like severe menstrual cramps or like your entire uterus was just being squeezed (literally, contracted!) tightly and then released. They all said the same thing, though: you will just know when you go into labor. From my own experience, my water broke before I actually started contractions, but when I did start to feel them, it was very light at first and almost went unnoticed. It did, though, feel like my uterus was being squeezed, held for a few seconds, and then slowly released. Indeed, once I felt that first contraction, I for sure knew what I was feeling!
“HOW TO INDUCE LABOR NATURALLY”
There are lists upon lists upon lists of suggestions for ways to try to stimulate labor. From walking, walking, walking to eating spicy foods and pineapple to sitting on an exercise ball to being intimate with your significant other and even nipple stimulation. If you are big pregnant and close to or past your due date and ready for the baby to arrive, knock yourself out and give some of these a go. But when it all comes down to it, none of these suggestions have actually been proven to work. Some women have done every single thing on every single list and still gone 2 weeks past her due date and had to be induced. Or other women didn’t do any of them and delivered 3 weeks early. The baby will arrive when he or she is ready. Unfortunately, babies like to work on their own schedules and not always around what is convenient or comfortable for the mommas involved.
“WHAT ARE THE SIGNS BEFORE YOU GO INTO LABOR?”
When I got close to my due date, I thought maybe I would be able to tell a day or so earlier when I was about to go into labor. I read through numerous accounts from women on Google about what they had experienced the days leading up to their deliveries, but unfortunately it seems like there is no common ground and it’s different for everyone. Some women reported extreme feelings of nesting the day before and others reported feeling just the same as always. I guess the best way to put it is to say there aren’t really any “early symptoms” for labor. I can tell you about my own experience, though. The day before I went into labor, I had my 40 week OB appointment (I was actually 39 weeks 6 days), and my blood pressure was really elevated. I had to go over to the hospital for monitoring for about an hour, but it ended up coming back down and remained normal after that. My grandma later said something about how that could have been a sign that the baby had dropped further into the birthing canal, but I’m not sure I’ve heard that anywhere else. For the remainder of the day, I just felt kind of more tired than usual and didn’t have much energy (not that most 9-month-pregnant women do). My water broke at 5 am the next morning! So, whether or not those were actually signs that I was about to go into labor… who knows?! What about any of you ladies reading this? Did you notice anything different or off the day(s) before you went into labor? I’m curious to know!