Giving birth will be different for every woman, but the main signs that you are starting labour will most likely be strong, regular contractions, and a ‘show’.
You’re unlikely to mistake the signs of labour when the time comes, but if you’re in any doubt don’t hesitate to contact your midwife or doctor managing your pregnancy.
Children are the flowers of life, but most of us would probably have a small bouquet of 2 or 3. However, history tells of a woman who gave birth to a whopping 69 children back in the 18th century. According to some sources, her name was Valentina Vassilyeva, and she holds the Guinness World Record for the most children ever.
The greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (b. 1707–c.1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia. In 27 confinements she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets.
Numerous contemporaneous sources exist, which suggest that this seemingly improbable and statistically unlikely story is true and she is the woman with most children.
The case was reported to Moscow by the Monastery of Nikolsk on 27 Feb 1782, which had recorded every birth. It is noted that, by this time, only two of the children who were born in the period c. 1725–65 failed to survive their infancy.
The Gentleman’s Magazine (1783, 53, 753) recounts: “In an original letter now before me, dated St Petersburg, Aug 13, 1782, O. S. Feodor Wassilief [sic], aged 75, a peasant, said to be now alive and in perfect health, in the Government of Moscow, has had–
By his first wife:
4 x 4 = 16
7 x 3 = 21
16 x 2 = 32
27 births 69 children
You might know that an average pregnancy takes 40 weeks. However, the more children you have in the womb, the more likely it is that your labor will come earlier. According to the BBC calculations, Mrs. Vassilyeva could’ve had 37-week pregnancies with twins, 32-week pregnancies with triplets, and 30-week pregnancies with quadruplets.
If we add all this up, we get 936 weeks. A year consists of 52 weeks, so if we divide the resulting numbers, we get 18 years. So, Mrs. Vassilyeva had to spend 18 entire years of her life with a belly bump. Sounds pretty challenging in itself, doesn’t it?