Your pregnancy is finally coming to an end. Your hospital bag is packed, your phone list is ready, and your nursery is decked out and ready for your family's newest member. But even though you may be buzzing with excitement to meet your new baby, you may be wondering if your labor will be anything like what you've been reading in the mountain of parenting books you have stacked at your bedside. You may even have a little anxiety about some of things that happen before you get admitted to the hospital for labor.
By this point, you're probably ready to get the whole labor and delivery process over with so you can finally enjoy your baby and see your toes again. If you're experiencing strong contractions every four to five minutes for at least an hour, you should call your doctor or midwife, as Parents notedt. But if this is your first pregnancy, it could all take a lot longer than what you see in the movies.
What you may think is the moment of truth, may just be the early stages of labor. When you arrive at the hospital, nurses will check your cervix, monitor your contractions to see determine whether or not you are in active labor. If you have not progressed enough, you may even be sent back home to wait it out for a while. Once it has been determined that your labor is underway, you'll be admitted into the hospital, where you'll stay until your little one arrives. But before that can happen, here are five things you must do before entering the birthing suite.