Congrats on approaching "labor day"! Your mind may be playing out every possible scenario. Relax! To help make sure you (and your wife) have an optimal hospital visit, here are five things NOT to do while your wife is in labor:
1. Tell her to go back to bed
I started going into labor with our first child around 2 a.m. I tossed and turned. I walked/waddled to the bathroom. I tossed and turned some more. Through it all, my sweet husband was fast asleep. After enduring a few hours of insomnia and not-so-regular contractions, I gently shook my husband awake. "I think I'm in labor," I whispered. He grunted a bit and squinted at me with tired eyes. Then, before falling back to sleep said, "Go back to sleep." No such luck. Finally, around five a.m. I decided to get up and take a quick shower. Little did I know, this was my ticket to the hospital! I'm not a morning person, so when my husband heard the water running at 5 a.m., he knew something was up.
2. Ask her to hand you the remote (from her hospital bed) so you can catch up on sports
I know, I know, it can be so tempting to just "check the score" when you are in a sterile hospital room with a few hours to go before the baby comes. Unless your wife is sleeping, or she specifically requests you turn it on, keep the TV off. Give your wife undivided attention. This is new territory you are entering. Chances are she needs you more than ever.
3. Run a "quick" errand
The last thing you want to do is miss your baby's grand entrance! Those babies have minds of their own, and some come quicker than others. It's best to have those last-minute errands done before your hospital stay.
4. Talk about how hungry you are and/or eat in front of her (while she's munching on crushed ice and dreaming about her favorite meal).
Both of our children were born in the morning. Each time, I had a lousy breakfast before rushing off to the hospital. You'd think I would have learned the second time around, but as soon as you are admitted into the hospital, the ability to find some good food significantly decreases. Most women are not allowed to eat once active labor has begun, so do your wife a favor and keep thoughts about a grumbling stomach to yourself.
Don't doubt! Your wife will be looking to you for courage and strength. Bringing a child into the world is a miraculous event. Be solid. Give her encouragement and let her know she is amazing. When the laboring is done, and the baby has been born, savor every moment, and take comfort in knowing you did your best to make your wife's experience the very best!