8 Parents Finish the Sentence: “The Moment I Realized I Was In Labor Was …”

Image adapted via Flickr/ nateOne

When I was rounding out the last trimester of my first pregnancy, I had no idea what was just around the corner. Yes, I had read all the books about what to expect during labor, I had talked with family and friends about their experiences, and I had attended prenatal classes.

Still, when labor started for me at four in the morning, I doubted it was actually labor. I thought for sure my stomach was raising an uproar over the ice cream I ate earlier that day. I sat at the computer trying to wait out the cramps I was feeling.

{ MORE: Delivery Room Extras Make a Memorable Time Even Better }

It wasn't until those cramps started to get worse instead of better when I thought, “Hey, maybe since yesterday was your due date and all, this could be labor?” I know — I was a little slow to the idea — but it just didn't seem like what I thought it was going to be like. Not too long after that, the pain was impossible to ignore because those cramps turned into full-blown can't-stand-up contractions that hit me every two minutes.

There isn't really an easy or right way to explain what labor feels like since it's different for each woman. While there are some medical signs, I asked parents to finish this sentence: “The moment I realized I was in labor …

Their answers are just as unique as they are.

Image via Flickr/ futurestreet

Ache in my back

“… when I woke up with an ache in my lower back that was hot — like a fire was smoldering in my back.”- Hilary

Image via Flickr/ miguelb

I kicked the cat

“… when I kicked the cat. He walked right in front of me, and I couldn't see him. My whole demeanor changed. I loved that cat!!” – Tori

{ MORE: Is it the Real Deal? How to Tell When You’re Really in Labor }

Image via Flickr/ tornatore

Sooo uncomfortable

“… when I couldn't even get comfortable in my jammies!” – Tonya


Image via Flickr/ futurestreet

My water broke

“… when my water broke, and I was so excited. I was almost jumping up and down until the first contraction — then I just thought this was a really bad idea!!!!!!!” – Jacqueline

Image via Flickr/ koadmunkee

Contractions started hard

” … when my contractions were three minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds each. Baby was born 1 hour 15 minutes after the first contraction.” – Jenna

{ MORE: Labor and Delivery: Did You Have a Belly Birth? }

Image via Flickr/ Jason Lander

It all just hit me!

“The moment I realized my wife was in labor, reality and the enormity of what was happening hit me like a Mack truck. It wasn't until it was all over and I was on my way home when it hit. I had to pull the car over.” – Jamie

Image via Flickr/ Jason Lander


“… when it was almost too late. Good thing my midwife lived five minutes away!” – Kelly

Image via Flickr/ bradleygee

It was wishful thinking

“First time, I wasn't really sure what was happening. I thought it was wishful thinking because it was my actual due date. I was wrong! Second time (again on my due date), I thought to myself, ‘I remember now what this felt like.'” – Tracey

{ MORE: Labor Prep: Exercises That Can Help You Get Ready for Labor }


Now your turn to finish the sentence in the comments! The moment I realized I was in labor …

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8 Parents Finish the Sentence: “The Moment I Realized I Was In Labor Was …”

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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  1. Jordan says:

    The moment I realized I was in labor was when I woke up at 8am on a Monday morning to go potty and my water broke gushing all over the hallway in front of my 3 year old niece… I yelled “GO GET YOUR MOMMA I AM HAVING A BABY!!!” He was born 8 hours later!!!

  2. Caroline says:

    The moment I realized I was in labor was when my cramps got so bad they woke me up and I had trouble breathing and walking.


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