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I am pregnant with my 4th child. I am due in 11 days. Last week at dr. appt I was 5 cm dilated and 90% effaced and the baby was well down into birth canal. All my other labors were very quick. (4hrs for the first one) I am not feeling any contractions (just like before) just pressure that I have been having for about 2 wks. Should I go to the hospital or just wait it out?”
Five centimeters is pretty far dilated– 7 to 10 cm is full dilation, so you don’t need us to tell you that once contracting starts birth could happen very quickly– potentially within minutes. You’re even more likely to have an “unplanned home delivery” given your history of quick labors. If you’re sensing any downward pressure, you start to feel contractions that are powerful and/or regular or your water breaks, call your doctor right away and be prepared to depart for the hospital.
On the other hand, if the pressure doesn’t feel any differently than it has for the past two weeks, the baby’s head hasn’t seemed to have moved any lower and you don’t detect any contractions you could still have a day — more or less– until your baby makes an appearance. Stay close to home and make sure you can get into contact with the person who’s to drive you to the hospital– keep your phone charged and have a backup plan like a neighbor or taxi service in case contractions start coming and you need to leave for the hospital right away. In the meantime, drink lots of water, juice or herbal tea, eat some hearty, bland food like oatmeal, pasta, nuts or toast and rest up to try to shore up energy to prepare for labor and birth, and call your doctor or midwife when something changes.