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How long between starting labour and going to hospital?

(9 Posts)
LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Wed 09-Jan-13 10:14:15

Well dd, I woke at 3;30am having contractions and we went to hospital at 8:30 (I let dh alarm wake him at 6), dd bork at 11:20am

Ds show at 7am, hospital at 1pm and dd born at 1:30pm grin

Twattybollocks Wed 09-Jan-13 10:07:21

I had a very slow first labour, started off as period pains around lunch time, didn't go to the hospital until 10pm. By about 4pm the Period pains had progressed to regular contractions about every 10 mins and I knew it was labour. By 8pm I was swearing through contractions, and by 10pm I was unable to speak through them, just grunting and moaning a la obem.
When I got to the hospital I was 2cm but refused to go home because i was in too much pain.
Second time around I woke up with pains at 4am, didn't wake dh, ran a bath, wallowed in there for a while, he got up as usual at 6 for work and I told him then to ring his boss and let him know he wouldn't be in work.
Got out of bath, applied makeup, dried and straightened hair, painted toe nails, got dressed and went to hospital at 9 ish, was 4cm by the time I arrived. Dd was born at 5.45pm.
So basically I had at least 5-6 hours from first starting pains to feeling the need to get to the hospital, and both times I had plenty of time in hospital before the baby arrived. Many people say I went in too early, but I needed the pain relief as both times the contractions were excruciating (don't ask me why I straightened my hair and painted my toe nails whilst in agony, to this day I have no idea what possessed me, possibly trying to distract myself!)

LetThereBeCupcakes Wed 09-Jan-13 07:54:24

Thanks everybody, that's really useful. emsyj that's exactly what the midwife has been saying - come in when you have x contractions that last x long. Good to know it might not be that straight forward!

Jenny bags are packed and ready, dad has key to door, neighbour has key, and dog daycare provider has key, so I think we should be covered! Incidentally, you can't be THAT much of a wimp if you're going for a number 3!

Jenny123G Tue 08-Jan-13 21:05:42

Ds1 was induced
Ds2 woke at 2am needing to do nothing but sit on the loo and feel like I needed to poo! Sorry tmI! Woke Hubby up at 5.30am getting a bit nervous we got to hospital by 6.30am (less than a miles drive) and ds1 was with us at 12.30pm.
6 Weeks to go for ds3 hoping for a mega quick labour as I'm a wimp with pain but who knows!
Chances are you will have plenty of time to sort what you need to but maybe just to give you a bit of peace from dp have your bag ready to go at all times by the door and give your dad a key to get the dogs.
Good luck hope its a smooth one for you x

emsyj Tue 08-Jan-13 20:28:51

I had a very quick first labour, but it was still plenty of time. My waters went first, which is apparently only the case in 1 out of 10 labours, then it was about 3 hours before contractions started. They were very mild and irregular at first, can't remember how long that lasted, but we left for hospital just after 1am (contractions started 9.30pm) and I was 9cm dilated on admission. By the time we left for hospital, my contractions were pretty much constant. I had been led to believe you should stay at home for as long as possible and I never got to the stage where I had regular contractions lasting X amount of time X minutes apart - it just wasn't like that.

I went from no contractions to fully dilated in 4.5 hours, which for a first labour is quite quick - even if you halve that time, it's enough to get to hospital when it's so close by.

CookieMonster88 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:42:58

My contractions suddenly started at 9.30pm, about 8mins apart. By 2am I knew I needed to get to hospital, they were about 3/4mins apart at this point. Finally got there at 3am having dropped the dog at DSILs and was 6cm. DD1 arrived at 8.30am.

Waters aren't always the first sign, mine didn't go until 30mins before she arrived. If you'd have asked me at 9pm the night my labour started that I would have DD the next morning I would have laughed in your face lol!

Probably not much help but just my experience.

ouryve Tue 08-Jan-13 11:28:21


With DS1 I had to be induced, so didn't start labour until I was in hospital.

With DS2, I didn't make it into hospital before he was born.

EarnestDullard Tue 08-Jan-13 11:26:09

Well, as a very rough guide it takes on average one hour per cm for your cervix to dilate. So that's 10 hours from first contractions till 'ready to push'. You'll probably want to go into hospital a good while before 'ready to push' of course; with both my births I was about 3cm when I was first examined after getting to hospital.

Of course everyone is different but if you're only 3 miles from the hospital it's very unlikely that you'll need to panic.

Good luck with it all smile

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 08-Jan-13 11:18:39

I'm expecting DC1 in a couple of weeks. I was kind of under the impression that usually, you go into labour, it builds up gradually, then you go to hospital when contractions are every few minutes. However, DH is in a bit of a faff. He thinks I'll be shaking him awak at 2am and telling him we need to go RIGHT NOW. He's panicking about the hospital bag (thinks it should be in the car, ready), getting to the hospital in time (it's about 3 miles away) and letting my Dad know so he can come and get the dogs.

So can somebody give me a vague idea of how much of a build up to expect? I know it varies for everybody, but surely the TV programmes where the woman is fine, stands up, waters break, heads to hospital and gives birth 30 minutes later are a little... optimistic?


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