Now that I've reached the incredible milestone of full-term pregnancy, entered the world of weekly doctor appointments, and cervical change (2 cm dilated last week!) labor is constantly on my mind. It's like this big, HUGE surprise that is just around the corner and can occur at any time. We don't know when it will happen or how and, when you think about it, there aren't many surprises like that out there. Especially a surprise that will forever change your life.
Of course, in the back of my mind is the question of "Will I know it's really real, real labor?"
My first pregnancy lacked any real or false labor drama because I was induced. There was no "Is this it?" moment. No nervous timing of contractions with my husband. The doctor said it's time, hooked up some drugs and that was it.
There was no false alarm with my daughter, either. Two weeks before my due date, I was awake in the middle of the night to care for my son who was vomiting every half hour. I started having contractions - real, painful contractions - but I thought perhaps it was it was the stress of my son's illness. But, after an hour or two I just *knew* I was in labor. I knew I was having a baby that day. In addition to feeling the contractions, I could just feel that it was time. I called the base clinic where I was delivering and they suggested I stay home until my contractions were closer together. I was nervous and anxious, said I didn't feel comfortable waiting and that we were on our way. Three hours after checking in my daughter was born.
As we've discussed our plan for "go time" with this baby I've totally taken for granted that I will again just know I'm in labor. I'm hoping my intuition and experience will tell me when it's the real deal, but there is certainly the possibility of false labor or going to the hospital much too soon.
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