With all the technology available today, it seems almost bizarre that they cannot predict the exact moment you go into labor. It’s crazy and fascinating all in one.
I’ve written about labor signs before, but I’d love to just touch on some of the feelings you may experience that are a little, well, weird.
- Neurotically cleaning
They call this nesting, but I like to call it that moment when you feel like nothing in your home is possibly clean enough or organized before the baby arrives. You’ll suddenly have a seemingly unending pool of energy to draw from that propels you to do these tasks.
Even if you are not a big cleaner.
While this will happen in the weeks leading up to it, as you approach the last bit of pregnancy, you may feel energetic and like the couch needs to be scrubbed. That should clue you in. It only makes sense, for you will push to get it done when you feel like you have unfinished business.
- Thinking you heard a pop
More than a few friends have said this to me. They each heard a slight pop sound within 24 to 48 hours before they went into labor.
Like popping the top off, something was what was described to me.
Could it have been the start of the water breaking? Perhaps. But since I’ve heard this one from quite a several people, if you think you hear a popping sound and you’re close to the end of your pregnancy, it could mean you’re about to go into labor.
- Contractions and pains
Ah, Braxton Hicks. Scaring women into thinking they’re in labor since the beginning of time itself!
It is so hard to distinguish the difference between Braxton Hicks and labor. I’ve detailed that before, so you can go here to read about it. But you will have these weird feelings that almost feel like your period cramps, as if they were intent on murdering you.
Braxton Hicks goes away, though, while labor will continue to get worse. With labor, you may feel a tightening in your belly while your lower pelvis cramps up. It’s like this intense pressure along with back pain.
- Tummy trouble
Some women are plagued with constipation at the beginning of pregnancy. I was plagued with regularity, though I think that’s a blessing rather than a curse.
Still, at the end of pregnancy, your stomach may be doing loop-de-loops. Even if you’re eating right and eating things you would normally eat that give you no grief, you may find diarrhea coming out of nowhere.
This is due to higher prostaglandins levels, which can make your digestive system tizzy. But there’s a greater purpose here than ruining your day by making you run to the bathroom with runny, watery poop. It’s getting everything out of the way to make it easier for you to deliver that baby.
By clearing out those other organs, they stay out of the way, making for a smooth transition.
I noticed right before going into labor both times that my lower back was more achy than usual. When your uterus is more active, and your pelvic bones start priming themselves to let the baby out of there, it can make your back hurt worse.
Constant lower back pain generally means your baby is getting even lower into the birth canal.
How I felt…
I did the nesting thing, and I can tell you, I was none too pleased that my mother-in-law showed up right after. I was livid when she tracked mud into the house onto my clean floors. I remember shooing her away and being determined that I MUST clean those floors as my life depended on it. They couldn’t have a speck of dirt on it.
Relevant: How fearful do you feel before the labor?
I’m not a super-neat person. I’m no slob either, but I’ve never been the sort to have spotless floors every day. Looking back, I realize this was not my normal behavior and definitely a weird feeling for me.
You can read the story of how I gave birth to my eldest in China. How my water broke and how angry I was with my mother-in-law right before that until it all spilled out. I recall feeling more energetic with my youngest, but I think I gave up cleaning because my eldest kept flinging her toys everywhere.
In any event, if you do notice you’re suddenly keen on scrubbing the floors and you can’t rest until it’s done, it’s definitely one of the weirdest feelings you’ll get 24 to 48 hours before you go into labor.
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.