One of the most common question I got asked after giving birth was “what does going into labor feel like?”. I remember wondering about this one, too, and being concerned that I wouldn't realize that I was in labor until it was too late (and… I kinda did exactly that. Oops.). I, too, was curious about what signs and symptoms to look for but got really frustrated when I couldn't find a straight answer. So here's what I remember from my experience – hope it helps!
The biggest sign I was in labor was that I hit a serious wall and was just DONE. I mean, the third trimester is super exhausting and you're totally tired all the time but this was different. I was DONE. All I wanted to do was lay in bed or the tub and reread my favorite books. Even being on Facebook was too much. I just couldn't be bothered with anything. I was DONE.
This is a weird one but suddenly, I couldn't get enough water in me. I already drink over a gallon a day so this was very unusual. I think at one point, I even just ditched the cup and stuck my head under the running faucet.
I also remember that in the lead-up to my contractions starting, I began having a harder time breathing. It was like I couldn't get a deep breath inside me.
The actual starting contractions were a suprise for me since they were centered entirely along my front (no back pain) and felt like someone was squeezing and twisting my lower ab area/vagina hard. It hurt but was more irritating than anything else – like really persistent menstrual cramps.
But really, it was The Wall that was the biggest one. I'm serious. I WAS DONE.
So, it's not much but I'm hoping it answers that question for you. Remember, all laboring and pregnancies are different so you may not experience ANY of these symptoms. Go with your gut and you'll be fine.
What did it feel like when you went into labor?