I’m about to have a baby any day now, and my favorite pastime has become obsessing over labor signs and symptoms (or in my case, the lack thereof). The internet is full of helpful tips in this regard: “babies are born when they’re born” seems to be the most common nugget of unspecific wisdom. Umm, thanks? In order to remedy this devastating lack of helpful information, I’ve compiled my own list of indicators in the hopes that it might help my fellow super pregnant mamas determine if they too are about to have a baby:
- You vacillate between wanting to have this baby right now and wishing she would stay in there for just one more week so you can finish X, Y, and Z.
- You question every twinge and cramp, wondering “was that a contraction?” Spoiler: it was just gas.
- Naps are life.
- You miss the sight of your own feet.
- “Emotional” doesn’t even begin to describe the roller coaster of daily ups and downs you’re experiencing. Buckle up, kids, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
- You feel a primal urge to clean/organize/purge ALL THE THINGS, but then run out of energy halfway through taking the winter coats out of the hall closet. They can live on the floor now. It’s fine.
- You daydream about eating certain foods but then can’t finish that wonderful plate of culinary goodness thanks to the parasite who is compressing your stomach like a stress ball. Those three bites of Pad Thai sure tasted good though.
- Your current birth plan could be summed up in a single sentence: “Get this baby out of me!”
- Finding that your husband has finished your favorite cereal without telling you induces more rage than you ever thought you were capable of— and you let him experience the full force of your pregnant wrath.
- You want to put the hurt on anyone who asks “You’re still pregnant?” No Karen, I’m just wearing a pillow for kicks.
- The Amazon delivery guy knows you by your first name thanks to all the baby stuff you’ve been ordering during your hours of late-night insomnia. Yes, my baby definitely needs at least 12 more swaddles and this three-in-one burper/soother/magic device that I will be selling on Facebook Marketplace in a month.
- The internet has become your worst best friend: “Hey Google, what does a mucous plug look like?”
- You’re down to three maternity shirts that don’t look like they were painted on to your bulging belly and you shamelessly wear them on rotation because “any day now…”
- You stare longingly at your non-maternity clothes in the closet, questioning if that cute J. Crew sweater will ever fit again. Spoiler: it will, but since it’s dry clean only, you won’t wear it ever again.
- You and the cat fight for the spot on the couch under the ceiling fan. He wins.
- There are more pillows in the bed than people.
- You look at your two children who are tearing the house apart like monkeys on crack and wonder how in the world you’re going to manage another. Spoiler: no one knows.
- You’re afraid to laugh too hard or sneeze because you will most definitely pee yourself.
- And, most importantly, you know that it will all be worth it— every sleepless night, every crying jag, every pound— when you finally get to see your baby’s face.
If you’re experiencing any combination of these signs and symptoms, you’re really close to having that baby.
Hang in there, mama.
It’ll be soon.