8 Signs Labor Is Approaching (VIDEO)

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pregnantToday, I am exactly two weeks away from my due date. Two weeks! Where did the time go? This pregnancy flew by, and now, here I am, anxiously awaiting "the moment." (You know, the moment I go into labor.) 

I'm thrilled. I'm excited. I'm ... nervous as hell my baby's going to come early because I still have a few things I need to get done! I need to clean. I need to cook and freeze meals. I need to sterilize bottles. Hell, I still have a table I want to paint! The suspense is killing me. When are you going to get here, baby girl? It'd be great if you could wait until after next weekend, thanks.

I know, I know. It doesn't work that way. Babies come when they're ready. I just wish I had a general idea, though. A few telltale signs labor is imminent. Anything! I have no plans to be induced, and I hate surprises.

Well, would you look-y here. There actually are telltale signs labor is imminent. Not as good as a handwritten note from my baby, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

Your baby drops. Also known as "lightening." When your baby moves a little lower down (think towards your pelvis), it's a sign he or she is almost ready to see the world. Personally, I've had a hard time being able to tell whether or not I've experienced lightening, but many say that there's a feeling of slight relief -- you can breathe easily again! Unfortunately, a baby dropping means you're going to have to pee even more (as if that was possible).

You lose your mucus plug. Passing your mucus plug is a sign that your cervix is dilating and -- hey, guess what! -- your body is preparing for birth. When it will happen still remains sort of a mystery. It could be hours, days, or even weeks away, but you are definitely close. (Also, losing your mucus plug may not happen in one fell swoop. It can, and commonly does, shed gradually.)

Bloody show. Ah, another delightful term. Bloody show, which, let's be honest, sounds like a horror movie, is just another sign that your cervix is opening. When you see a thick, stringy, reddish-brown discharge from your vagina, that's probably bloody show.

Cramping. Good old-fashioned, period-style. 'Member that? Cramps that are reminiscent of menstruation -- including back cramps -- are another sign you're nearing your due date.

Your nesting instinct kicks into high gear. I mean, I've gotta be honest, I feel like I've been nesting throughout my entire pregnancy -- perhaps my entire life -- but if you're not like me, and all of a sudden have a strong desire to clean and organize, well, you might be getting close, little lady.

Diarrhea. Can pregnancy get any sexier? If you feel like things are "different" in the bathroom as of late, could be a sign your baby's coming.

Weight loss. Nothing drastic, but losing a pound or three due to hormone levels could be a sign that labor is getting close.

Consistent contractions. The most telltale sign labor is near -- like, really near -- is consistent contractions. We're not talking Braxton Hicks here, we're talking intense contractions that have a pattern. You'll know when this happens. When your contractions are consistently around five minutes apart, time to phone up your doctor, my friend. Looks like you're in labor.

Check out a video on inducing labor naturally:

What signs did you have that labor was approaching?


Image via dizznbonn/Flickr

labor & delivery