Childbirth is an amazing feat, but regardless of all our advances in modern medicine, it's often unpredictable and labor can begin in the most inopportune times. Mine began very early in the morning of new year's eve. I naively thought I might be welcoming a baby before the start of a brand new year, but my stubborn little one took a while to arrive. In fact, I didn't meet my baby until two days later.
When I asked moms to share exactly what they were thinking when they went into labor, I found we shared many of the same emotions and initial thoughts, like apprehension and nerves tempered with the excitement of meeting our new babies. Labor can happen just about anywhere, and the moms I spoke to started their journey into motherhood in a variety of places. Some were woken from their sleep to find their waters had broken, others were away from home, at work or on public transit, when the first symptoms of labor began.
These symptoms can include:
- back pain
- vaginal discharge
- Loss of mucous plug/waters break
If you experience these signs, it's a good idea to contact your health care provider and they can tell you the next steps. You may feel a variety of emotions at this time, which could include any of the following:
"I kept thinking it was false labor, right up until my baby was almost here. I thought they were going to send me home. Talk about denial!"
"I was so excited, I was yelling, 'Let's do this!' and singing. I think I was a bit delirious."
"I felt like I wasn't ready. My hospital bag wasn't packed and I hadn't organized anything, so I started freaking out."
"I previously lost a baby, so I had a lot of emotions. I was nervous, I was sad, and I was anxious to meet my new baby. It was hard not to cry, a lot."
"I felt kinda gross, actually, like all this stuff coming out of me and it really hurt a lot more than I thought it was going to."
"I was petrified. I was alone at home and my husband was a two hour drive away. No one was answering my texts. I just laid down and pretended it wasn't happening. When my sister arrived, I could have kissed her."
"I started regretted every choice I made. I was thinking maybe I should have had a home birth or maybe I should have requested a midwife. I was so confused."
"I was regretting getting pregnant, honestly. It was all too much."
"I was very laid back. I put music on and did some stretching and swaying. I was talking to my baby. Later on it got a bit more intense, but at the beginning it was so chill."
"I was trying to stay calm, breathing deep and trying to rest. I was really hungry so I ate a sandwich, too! Mostly, I was trying to relax."
"I was in the mall and I just thought, Please, no, not here.' Thankfully the baby held on until I got to the hospital."