If you are getting closer to your labor stages and looking for signs and symptoms then you’ve come to the right place.

I was so scared about going into labor. That is the least fun part of being pregnant.

But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do right?! The baby needs to come out at some point and having a healthy baby is all that matters anyway.

Labor seems more terrifying for first-time moms I think because it is a first time experience mingled with the fear of the unknown, not knowing what to expect. Well, I kind of had a previous knowledge of the level of pain involved with labor when I miscarried at 3 months due to incompetent cervix.

But now that I was able to have proper labor I definitely can say that the pain that I experienced when I miscarried was way worse than when I gave birth. It was more aggressive I should say. I was begging for pain killers back then.

It was a horrible episode. But that was when I met my wonderful OBGYN and also when I found out I had an incompetent cervix. Thank God I got the best care and I was able to get pregnant fast and solve the weak cervix issue.

The last pregnancy phase is labor and the moment when the baby kind of says ‘Ok, I am ready to come out’. There is no rule as to when it happens. It should happen on your due date but it varies with every woman. I went into labor 2 weeks before my due date.

What is interesting is that after they removed my cerclage I lost my mucus plug the second day and on the third, I went into labor. That cerclage made all the difference.

So my labor symptoms started immediately after they removed my cerclage. And while I was there, my doctor even mentioned seeing a lot of mucus (part of mucus plug that accumulates during pregnancy) and that labor was close. And that’s exactly what happened.

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That day I went home and I started being super alert… and a little bit afraid. I knew my baby was safe the whole time because I had done the progesterone injections and because the stitches were preventing any sudden miscarriage. But now my stitches were gone and my baby could come out anytime. The difference was that my baby was developed enough to survive on her own and that was my comforting thought.

To go back on track, here are the symptoms that I experienced between having my cerclage removed and going into labor.

I am describing my symptoms on the last 3 days of my pregnancy and what the ONE sign was that made me rush to the hospital.

labor pregnancy
Five weeks before labor

1. MUCUS PLUG

During pregnancy, mucus accumulates at the cervix in order to protect the fetus and ensure that nothing harmful can go in. It has antibacterial properties as well. Once labor approaches the cervix widens and the plug is disrupted.

This is an early sign of labor and the aspect may vary from light to bloody. Mine was kind of mixed, but it was HUGE. I had no doubt that was the mucus plug. If you are pregnant for the first time, I suggest you read as much as you can about pregnancy and labor.

So when anything happens you kind of know what to expect and not panic or be clueless. Like I already mentioned, I lost my mucus plug 1 day after my cerclage removal.

2. LIQUID DISCHARGES

During the next days, I kept having these liquid discharges: it was almost like peeing, but not quite like it. It was a colorless, odorless liquid. And there was nothing, in particular, that would trigger them, they were random but becoming more and more frequent.

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I was afraid that it was the amniotic fluid that was leaking so I called my doctor. He mentioned that as long as I was not bleeding, I was not in pain or I was not losing a LOT of liquid I should not worry.

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3. CRAMPS

The cramps that I had were not painful but they felt almost like menstrual cramps. And you know when you get those how grumpy and uncomfortable you feel?! That’s exactly how I felt. These cramps actually come from false labor contractions called Braxton Hicks. I would say to watch out and make sure you are having these cramps and not the real labor contractions, but trust me when the REAL pain comes you will know it.

4. TIREDNESS

On top of the symptoms mentioned above, I was feeling very tired. I was moving slowly and was feeling very heavy (I kind of was heavy, I gained 50 lbs) and always wanting to lay down.

5. ANXIETY

I was very anxious and moody in those final days. I knew labor was coming: too many signs in such a short period of time. And they were ‘accelerating’ so I could not even get out of the house: imagine going grocery shopping with the risk of having a liquid discharge?! Embarrassing.

Going to the bathroom was becoming an interesting fact: I was dealing with unusual fluids. Definitely a learning experience. Anyhow, most of my anxiety was because I had a high-risk pregnancy and in the back of my mind I still had traces from my traumatic miscarriage.

6. SWELLING

I felt like a balloon. I couldn’t even wear my wedding ring. My face, hands and feet were exploding. I was wearing only 1 pair of flip flops because they were the only ones that fit me.

7. INCREASED PRESSURE ON URINARY BLADDER

I am not going to expand on this, I am just going to say I was going to the restroom every 5 minutes. If you are pregnant you will definitely resonate with this.

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8. BLEEDING AND PAIN / CONTRACTIONS

I saved the best for last. That night I went to bed early because yes I felt tired. After several visits to the restroom, I finally fell asleep. Not for too long though. Around 2 in the morning the labor contractions woke me up.

They were stronger than what I felt before and I just felt … weird. And as if I still had a doubt I went to the restroom and as I was heading there I realized I was actually bleeding. Called my husband instantly, grabbed my hospital bag and off I went to the ER.

I was 4 cm dilated by the time I got there. The contractions were becoming unbearable. They gave me the epidural which by the way it only works until a certain point. After that, you feel everything and there is nothing else they can give you to ease the pain.

Pushing does lower the pain tremendously. The more you push and the stronger the less pain you feel when you get the contractions. Unfortunately, I paid for that pushing well enough. I ended up with hemorrhoids but you can find the remedy in this article. I gave birth at 2 in the afternoon: best moment of my life!

Every woman may experience labor differently and that’s normal. But be aware that bleeding and pain or contractions are good enough reasons to rush to the hospital and you better have the hospital bag ready. Even if they send you back home ( they do this if you are not dilated enough) it is still worth it. At least you find out the status of your pregnancy. Better safe than sorry.

Have an easy delivery.

Until next time,

labor and delivery
labor and delivery
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