28 In life

How did your labor start?


Now that I’m so close to meeting my baby boy, I can’t stop thinking about how labor will start.

A month ago Brian and I were out to dinner with two couple friends of ours. Caroline’s baby was due in a week and leading up to the dinner we kept joking over text messages about her baby staying put until our dinner date so we wouldn’t have to reschedule. Sure enough, baby stayed put…but only until dessert. As we devoured our sweet treats and decaf espresso beverages, Caroline quickly excused herself to the restroom. I ran after her to make sure she was alright, and sure enough, her water broke! We all paid our bills quickly and wished them good luck, delighted to get a text the next day that mama was doing well and baby Benjamin was healthy. Talk about a perfect going-into-labor story, right?

So for those of you who have kids, I’m wondering—how (or where?) did labor start for you? I’d love to hear you share your stories! (Those of you who don’t have kids, feel free to share about other people’s stories like I just did!)

Photo via Storq


  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Mine was a really slow start, but I was in Target when I thought, ok, I better go home soon, these contractions are coming pretty close together now. Nothing too exciting :) I was long into pushing and my water still had not broken so my midwife finally broke it.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 6:02 am

    It was a week before my due date and my husband had flown to California (from Michigan, where we live) for an important business meeting. I had no signs of going into labor and he was to return before my due date so I was not too worried. It was my first. I was for sure to go late right?!
    Here in Michigan a wicked storm was hitting (sleeting rain, wind, and hail). My husband called to tell me that he just landed in California, and he would call me after he found his luggage and was in route to the hotel. My phone was about to die, so I went to recharge it just as the power went out. SHOOT! I then began to head upstairs to find candles and a flashlight and on my way up my water broke.

    Yep. Pretty dramatic! After going out to my car to charge my phone, I called my sister-in-law who picked me up to head to the hospital. My husband never left the airport! He hopped on the next flight back to Michigan. Luckily (OR NOT!) I was in labor for 33 hours! SO he made it to the hospital with plenty of time to spare:-)

  • Reply
    Ashton Swan
    September 11, 2014 at 6:14 am

    You probably already know this story, but two days before my due date, I woke up with mild contractions that were about 15-20 minutes apart. I let the hubby know, so that he would be on guard. I proceeded to call my mom to make sure what I was feeling were actually contractions. With pure excitement, she confirmed, hopped in her car & drove in to take me shopping. According to my mom, getting me out & moving would help speed things up. So, naturally, I agreed! By lunch time, the contractions were 10 minutes apart and moderate. Then, evening came, hubby was home & they were 5-8 minutes apart by 9 pm & becoming more painful. We headed to the hospital shortly after & 32 hours later little bit was here. :) Hoping things go a little quicker for you!!

  • Reply
    Kristin Frankhauser
    September 11, 2014 at 6:31 am

    5 days over due, I decided enough was enough! I had a friend who practices prenatal massage come over to work my labor inducing pressure points. After that I walked hills in my neighborhood… Sure enough a couple hours later I knew I was in labor. 16 hours later Layla was here!

  • Reply
    Jeanette @ This Dusty House
    September 11, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Mine stopped and started for about a week before Isabel was actually born. It was so frustrating! But, when it actually started for real, I woke up to contractions at about 2 in the morning. They were pretty far apart until around 4am, and by 7am, I was insistent that we go to the hospital. I was so worried about not knowing it when I went into labour, since the end of my pregnancy included a lot of aches and pains and starts and stops, but once it was the real thing, there was no denying it.

    My water didn’t break until we got to the hospital. Really, my start of labour story was not as dramatic as some, but I’m completely ok with that!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 7:25 am

    I was settling in to bed for the night. I had been having contractions on and off for a month. I was 37 weeks and I felt a huge kick and a rush of fluid. I wasn’t sure if it was my water breaking or not. There was not that much fluid and I didn’t have continuous leaking. We went to the hospital expecting them to tell me it was nothing and send us home. It turns out I was completely effaced, dilated to 3cm and in active labor. I had the baby 7 hours later.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Loving this post and the comments!

    When I had my son, I was, I guess, in labor with him all day. I thought what I was feeling were just Braxton Hicks. Went to work, went to prenatal yoga class that my doula was teaching and stayed to talk to her about these strong BH contractions. We joked that I should go home and go to bed if that baby was going to come soon. On my drive home I called my sister and during our conversation I kept having to pause to talk because of the contractions. I still didn’t believe they were real contractions, just BHs taking my breath away. I got home and they kept coming but they were all over the place. Sometimes just minutes apart, which freaked my husband out to no end. We decided that since it had been a long day for me (it was around 10 p.m.), that I should take a bath and drink lots of water to see if they’d stop. Well, I guess the bath tub is probably the best place for your water to break. I heard audible pop and I hurried to stand up. My water certainly did break and it wasn’t a light trickle either. My doula wanted us to labor at home for a while, but my husband was too nervous, so we headed to the hospital around 11 p.m. And by 4:10 p.m. the next day Vincent arrived into the world. We were so sleep deprived and I hadn’t showered in two days, but our sweet boy with a head full of hair was here. My recommendation around your due date: take daily showers so you can be groomed. I was so embarrassed that I hardly took any pictures of me and Vincent.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 8:25 am

    The day after my due date (a Saturday) I started getting painful contractions that were close enough together we were timing them. They got down to 7-10 minutes apart for nearly 50 minutes and then would space out again. I was able to sleep that night and the next day, Sunday, we tried every old wives tale we could find to get things going (red raspberry leaf tea, baths, spicy food, pineapple, a 5 mile walk…)! By 8pm that night they were 2 minutes apart and I couldn’t really talk through them anymore. Went to the hospital but even after an hour of walking the halls at the hospital I wasn’t progressing past a 4… so they sent me home at 11pm with contractions every 2 minutes. (cue the waterworks!!) I was back in triage by 2am and I had progressed to a 4.5 so they just kept me (I was 3 days overdue at this point!). Admitted at 3am, they had to break my water at 7am and put me on Pitocin to progress labor, pushing started at noon and at 12:27pm on Monday I got to hold my sweet son for the first time! It was the most amazing moment of my life- looking into his eyes for the first time with my husband by my side. Two years later and we are getting ready to do it all over again with a little girl in a few months :)

  • Reply
    Meagan Day
    September 11, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! So excited for you. It’s pure magic. My water actually broke as the very first sign! We were in bed the night of her due date. I wrote about it at http://www.moderndaymoxie.com/hello/

    Xo all the very best to you three on your very special day, whenever it may be. Honestly, savor it.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I was 3 days overdue and finally decided I wasn’t going in to work. I was home relaxing when I thought I felt something wet. I had started to bleed a little which scared me a bit. I called my doctor and they said to come in to see if my water broke. Not what I expected to see for that. Went in and they checked me and my water had broken. I was sent to the hospital and I was having regular contractions about 2 minutes apart but I didn’t feel anything….yet.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Two weeks before my due date, I was in a weird mood all day – couldn’t settle to do anything. At 11.30 pm my waters broke and although I didn’t really have any contractions the hospital advised to go in. Little Pieter was breech and the junior consultant thought we’d have a c-section the next morning. At 4am, I was fully dilated and Pieter was trying to come into the world feet first. Was rolled into the operating theatre pretty quickly at that point! Pieter has just celebrated 6 months and is snoring in my arms at the moment!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 10:54 am

    My story is very different than the others above. I was 39 weeks pregnant when I went in for fetal monitoring (I had mild GD). I was 4cm dilated and the baby had dropped. I was talking to the nurse about how my mom had rapid labors. She never had time for an epidural. Since we lived 30 min from the hospital. The dr was afraid I’d deliver on the freeway (we live in ca). They decide to induce me. As soon as the broke my water I went straight into active labor the contractions were intense and less than 30 seconds apart. The dr said I will probably always be induced since I wouldn’t have made it to the hospital! I would love to just go into it naturally with my next one though. The nurse said she would have born within an hourly breaking my water if they hadn’t slowed it down. Crazy! Can’t wait to hear your birth stories. I love to hear and read them.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Contractions started and stopped for me for a few weeks before I really went into labor. I was checked at an appointment 6 days before my daughter was born and I was 80% effaced and 6cm. dilated. Contractions kept coming every night really hard and about 4 minutes apart, but they would stop before the morning. When I finally went into real labor it was a gradual process. Contractions didn’t go away that morning and just slowly got harder and closer together throughout the morning and early afternoon. We decided it was real labor mid afternoon and went in to the birth center (out of hospital with a three midwife team) that evening. Contractions slowed some that night, but we stayed overnight anyway. We worked hard the next day to keep things going, using herbs and the breast pump. I went into hard/active labor around 2pm and my water broke around 9:30pm after I started pushing. My daughter was born at 1:21am the following morning.

  • Reply
    Meredith Iverson
    September 11, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    My second baby was due Sept. 9th. But he didn’t wait. My water broke about 7:00am, September 2nd (Labor Day) with contractions beginning right after. Called my Mom and she thought it was very funny to be in labor on Labor Day. Glad to provide comic element!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    SO excited for you Natalie! Hang in there. I was 7 days past my due date. Went all day without a single sign of labor (even though I had been 3cm dilated and 60% effaced for weeks) and then woke up in the middle of the night with cramping (like period cramps). Went to the bathroom and part of my water had broke. Baby girl arrived 7 hours later!

    I wrote about it here:

    Birth is the BEST experience. Don’t be afraid. Know that it will hurt and that’s okay, it’s supposed to. That is all part of the process so embrace it and don’t fight it. I know you didn’t ask but also, from a Pilates instructor/anatomy perspective. Think WIDE sit bones and relaxed pelvic floor as you’re pushing. Just my two cents. :)

    • Reply
      Carissa @ Pretty/Hungry
      September 11, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      I can’t echo this encouragement enough, Robin! Natalie, think of your contractions as “expansions” rather than “contractions” to get your mind in the “Dont fight the process” zone. :) This is productive pain and each contraction is one you never have to have again… one closer to Baby Jack’s arrival!

    • Reply
      Natalie Lynn Borton
      September 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      Thanks for the tips!!!

  • Reply
    Carissa @ Pretty/Hungry
    September 11, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I’m incredibly thankful that my labor started on its own! I think that made the labor/delivery process go so much more smoothly as my body was ready to go! (I just had to do my part to relax and let things progress.) My water didn’t break ahead of time though… I just began having contractions in the middle of the night that never went away. Thinking of you and hoping for a terrific experience!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Two weeks late and with a lot of Pitocin! ;) So we were laughing at ourselves -looking all relaxed just strolling into labor and delivery with no rush at all! Haha!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2014 at 3:15 am

    I had spent all day running errands with my husband to get out of my house. I was fixing dinner and had two contractions. I paused, thinking “oh my gosh, is that what I think it is!?” We sat down for dinner and it had to keep getting up and walking – the only thing that helped! I hadn’t had any Braxton hicks, so as I was pacing, I kept wondering, “is this it?! It can’t hurt any more than this, right?” We watched Seinfeld to “keep my mind off things” (thanks, husband, haha, but it didn’t work!) and finally I decided to take a shower and get ready. I tracked my contractions and decided to go in when they were 3 mins apart. I will never forget that drive! The contractions hurt so bad, but we were so, so excited. George arrived 12 hours later, 4 days before my due date!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    It was Labor Day (how ironic right?) and I was 4 days over due and I had just caught a cold the night before. For the last few weeks of my pregnancy I was trying to be as active as possible to get things moving along. I was trying everything from cleaning the whole house, walking 3+ miles each night, and even playing basketball. Well, that Labor Day I was just feel too run down from my cold to even try anything so I decided to just lay in bed all day and rest incase anything were to happen. That evening I was starting to feel a little bit better and my parents had invited my husband and I over for dinner. My mom had made eggplant Parmesan (one of the recipes that was supposed to induce labor). After eating my husband, brother, and dad were installing a window in the bathroom so I decided to just take it easy and sit on the couch. Not too long after sitting down I felt a trickle of water and casually went to the bathroom before making a scene. Sure enough I sat down and the water continued to trickle. I made my way to the other bathroom where they were installing the window and kind of jokingly said to my husband, “are you busy right now?” I could tell he immediately knew what I meant and responded saying “is it happening?!” We called the hospital to let them know we were coming in. We headed back to our house to grab our hospital bag and made it to the hospital by 9 PM. They confirmed that my water had broke which meant I was staying until the baby was born. Contractions finally started around midnight and I was finally dialted 12 hours later at noon and had my baby boy at 12:21 pm.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    I was 19 days past my due date and going in for fetal monitoring every couple of days. Finally, an ultrasound showed that the baby had no fluid left to swim in and I was induced with my water being broken by a midwife. Things moved quickly after that and now I have a precious two year old boy!

  • Leave a Reply