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Arranging how to get to hospital in labour...

(25 Posts)
Pingu1985 Fri 18-Mar-16 00:49:12


I know this has probably been discussed loads, but just curious to see if anyone agrees with my thinking.

Im due 17th May and the hospital i've chosen is 20 miles (takes about 35 mins/1 hour in bad traffic) from where we live, but is supposed to be the best in the area for the maternity unit/care etc There are 3 others in our larger area, which are probably a bit closer, but 1 has a bad rep for poor care, 1 we have had a bad experience with before, and 1 is where i had DS.

Anyway, the issue i have is i dont know how else i am gonna get to hospital when the time comes.

I drive, but my OH doesnt, i dont have any family here, my family live over 60 miles away. My OH's family live about 20 mins away, but they work or will need to stay at home to look after our DS when i go to the hospital.

Neighbours work funny shifts so i can never rely on them being in if i needed them, plus i dont know them well enough to ask to take me.

The other option was of course a taxi. However, the taxi firms near us arent reliable at all tbh, they say the old "5 ninutes" and 20 mins later they still not there... :/ plus a couple of neighbours have said they have refused to take them in past when their daughters went into labour, so Im worried they'll say the same to me. sad

So what option does it really leave me but to call an ambulance when the time comes?

With DS, it was a long and traumatic labour requiring alot of medical attention tbh. I bled quite a bit, to the point where I was nearly rushed down corridoor to get a blood transfusion. That pregnancy/labour was supposed to be low risk, this one however, I have been told Im slightly higher risk due to medical issues that have cropped up with this pregnancy.

Also, with DS, i breathed through my contractions til i was 3 minutes apart before waking OH up to get his dad to take us to the hospital, so if i did end up having to call an ambulance it would only be genuine, not just because I felt a little twinge. :/

Im just not sure what else to do to cover all angles? Do I go stay at a friends or in laws for a couple of weeks so that I am already there in case, so that they can take me straight to hospital? Or ask family/friends to take a few days off work here n there to come stay at ours so they can take me when the time comes? I just dont know, and feel rubbish for having to be so reliant on people to change all their plans to try fit around me. sad

OP’s posts: |
LucyMouse Fri 18-Mar-16 00:55:19

To me it seems as though you need to think about going to a different hospital.
Alternatively call one of the local taxi firms and ask if they will agree to you travelling with them. Perhaps offer to pay extra for a speedy pick-up when the time comes.
I certainly wouldn't expect friends and family to take annual leave just on the off chance that you need a driver.

KateInKorea Fri 18-Mar-16 00:56:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pingu1985 Fri 18-Mar-16 01:19:59

True, I could call them at the twinge stage, but a home birth is a no no for me. After DS, I have too many worries about a home birth, Id much rather be at hospital where i know id get the medical attention if it all went pear-shaped.

I suppose there is still time too to consider a different hospital, so its something i need to discuss with OH. smile

And yes, OH is supposed to be learning to drive hmm but as of yet (31 weeks pregnant) he hasnt even got behind a wheel yet. :/ i was hoping to get him to a point where he would be capable of driving me to hospital on his learner licence, but not sure if that is entirely legal. confused lol!

Thanks for the replies, gives me some things to think about and fresh ideas /advice from others i hadnt thought about. smile

OP’s posts: |
Trollicking Fri 18-Mar-16 01:22:33

I watched a to program on paramedics where women 'accodentally on purpose' left it too late to take a cab and called an ambulance instead. The paramedics were on to them but there wasn't much they could do.

I think I'd call around your friends and family and draw up a list of everyone who might possible be able to help.

I think I would feel more relaxed if I had chosen a closer hospital. I know some people don't have a choice but to choose one an hour away seems a bit of an unnecessary added stress.

A relative could always take you, your DH and your DC to the hospital and then drive your DC home afterwards.

What about looking at private ambulances? I don't know if that's a possibility.

Sometimesithinkimbonkers Fri 18-Mar-16 02:43:13

An ambulance would just take you to the nearest maternity unit anyway!
Also .... It's not an emergency... You've had 40 weeks to plan it!

Finally... My DS has epilepsy and we waited 40 minutes for an ambulance last time he was in seizure !!!!

Featherbag Fri 18-Mar-16 03:03:00

You CANNOT plan to take an ambulance while in labour. Aside from the fact it's a gross misuse of ambulance services to plan this, I'm an A&E nurse and can tell you there's a good chance you won't get one in time - I've had severely ill people which time sensitive life threatening conditions arrive after waiting 12 HOURS for an ambulance. Ambulance isn't an option, even if you can't think of another way.

Want2bSupermum Fri 18-Mar-16 03:15:45

I'm in the US and have a similiar problem. Ambulances are for emergencies and not covered by our insurance for this purpose. I have a car service on stand by because if I'm ready to go we can't wait. DH has to wait with the kids until childcare arrives. In having my third and the risk is rupturing my CS scar if I labour early.

originalusernamefail Fri 18-Mar-16 04:45:53

As a previous poster says, if you call an ambulance they will take you to your nearest hospital not one of your choice up to an hour away. Do they still do those intensive driving course where you can get your licence in a week - maybe that would be an idea for your OH. Does he have a learners licence? Maybe start small trips with him daily to build his confidence leading to a 'practice run'? He has no excuse but to get his finger out it seems.

Sootica Fri 18-Mar-16 05:40:19

Could a family member ask to leave work as an emergency to take you? It's a one off !

YoungGirlGrowingOld Fri 18-Mar-16 05:58:01

Please, please do not take a ambulance. I am good friends with a paramedic and she RAGES about being a " maternataxi". Her hospital often just sends taxis anyway so you would be back to square one. Or they sometimes send a first responder to check whether you are genuinely in established labour (and if not, the first responder will tell you to call a taxi!)

Another friend with terminal cancer recently had to wait 7 hours for a non-emergency ambulance to take her to a hospice for pain control (and 24 hours later she was dead). You can imagine that I feel quite strongly about this!

I understand your predicament but please call Uber, call your local taxi company and explain the predicament, ask neighbours for recommendations of decent car companies, but please, please, for the love of God, do not misuse scarce emergency ambulance resources.

gunting Fri 18-Mar-16 06:25:11

Ambulance - big no no.

Unless your OH can do an intensive driving course, like, now, then I think you're going to have to plan to use a different hospital. I'm not sure how long you were in labour the first time around but second times are usually quicker.

I can see the hospital from my back window but my DS was still almost born in a wheelchair in the car park it was so quick.

twentiethcenturybitch Fri 18-Mar-16 06:34:05

You cannot plan to call an ambulance. I'm sorry you've had previous bad experiences, but if you have no plan to get there then you do not have the luxury of choosing a far away hospital. Change it if you can.

Depends what your labours are like, but my strategy would be different... don't leave it too late to call a taxi and DON'T TELL THEM you are in labour. We don't normally feel the need to explain the nature of our journey to them. Take husband and kids with you so he can do the talking/paying and just keep quiet if at all possible! He can get you admitted then take kids back or get someone to pick them up. Oh and quietly stick a towel under your coat or something... If they comment on bump/bag, maybe say it's a planned section?!

We had no car and family close by so planned this. But... then bought a car at 36 weeks. It is possible to hide labour for a 20min drive I found though if you don't want to scare a toddler. Even with my daft DH asking me directions during a contraction!

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 18-Mar-16 06:40:20

You take a taxi and sit on a towel incase your waters go. If you're prepared like that it will impress the driver who is worried about their seats.

Calling an ambulance puts people's lives at risk.

SavoyCabbage Fri 18-Mar-16 06:53:59

An ambulance won't take you to a hospital of your choosing. That's not what they are for.

To me, all of this sounds like you are over complicating the situation and making things more difficult than they need to be.

cantbelieveImquittingcoffee Fri 18-Mar-16 07:06:54

you mentioned the possibility of your OH driving you on a learners license, assuming you're in the UK and you are over 21 then you can be supervising him - though you can't use your phone while you do so!! I imagine it might be quite scary for him but if he feels confident to do it this really sounds like the best solution smile
Alternatively check with the maternity unit if they have taxi companies they regularly use - this was a suggestion at our NCT class, I'm in London and not far from our hospital, but it hadn't even crossed my mind and was just planning on grabbing an Uber when I'm ready to go in, but apparently that's not a great plan!!

PlaymobilPirate Fri 18-Mar-16 07:11:44

Selfish to even think of using an ambulance.

CousinChloe Fri 18-Mar-16 07:25:39

Last time when I was in a similar situation (though a 1 and a half hour drive...) I spoke to a local taxi firm who agreed they would take me but I'd have to pay a soiling charge if I made a mess in the car. Fair enough.

Surely taxis end up picking up drunk passengers all the time - it annoys me that a woman in labour would be refused but a vomiting risk party goer would be taken!

ArgyMargy Fri 18-Mar-16 07:55:40

Ambulance is clearly not an option. I would contact taxi firms and negotiate, explaining that it's not your first baby, you will call before you get too far gone, etc. etc.

ANewIdentitytoJazzItUpABit Fri 18-Mar-16 08:08:35

Echo no ambulance. Ring a taxi firm and make arrangements in advance for a car to take you - offer 'deposit' to guarantee a car for when the time comes, they accept that, they can't refuse you on the day and then you know the taxi firm option is secure and air tight. All the best.

Pingu1985 Fri 18-Mar-16 10:53:50

Yes, you are right, Im getting myself all worried and over complicating everything. :/ I don't want to ring for an ambulance, we didnt do it last time, my MIL drove us, but we were living at theirs at the time anyway. I think Im more worried about what to do if im in a situation like, everyone is at work, and arent answering their mobiles, DS at school, and taxi wont take me, and neigbours are all out at work and im at home on my own with no way of getting there. But in reality, i think one would have to be seriously unlucky for all of those situations to be the case at the same time i suppose. :/

OP’s posts: |
ANewIdentitytoJazzItUpABit Fri 18-Mar-16 14:32:29

Yes its understandable to think this.🌺 The best thing is to secure the taxi though, isn't it. You cant discount the taxi firm just because of second hand experience from your neighbours, find out for yourself. Use the time now to call around and make enquiries. Of course, you can't give the firm an exact day and date of labour but you can tell them of your due date and of the two weeks either side of it. A pp mentioned a 'soiling charge' - ask regarding this and if valid, offer to pay this up front by way as deposit or guarantee of a car so on the day when you call for service, they cant refuse you. It's really just a case of organising these arrangements way before you go into labour, you've still plenty of time.

SevenOhTwo Fri 18-Mar-16 16:47:48

I agree with ANewIdentity - find out more about the taxi as a first step, as I think taxi is most likely your best option.

If all your local taxi companies say they would refuse to take you to hospital, then you can start on plan B, but if you have a couple that are happy to take you then that's fine. You just call a taxi a little earlier than you would get someone to give you a lift, knowing you might wait half an hour for it to arrive.

Or, another possible option is to email/get in touch with everyone you know - mum friends etc. - and ask if there is anyone local who owns a car who would be willing to drive you at very short notice to the hospital for a fee? You may find a friend of a friend who would be glad of some extra cash and has work commitments that wouldn't limit them giving a lift? Or a few people may be able to offer different times e.g. one free most mornings, one in the evenings, one happy to be called up until midnight etc. and so you'd have a few more options.

Pingu1985 Fri 18-Mar-16 19:09:37

So, taking on board the suggestions here, and having a good word with myself and not panicking, I think I'm gonna do the rounds with a few close people, see what they say, when they are available. I've arranged now with my mum, shes coming up and staying in babys room on guest bed from friday nights until tuesday nights. Shes booking 2 days off work during the weeks either side of my due date, so hopefully we will be covered there. Plus my mum is one of my birthing partners. I think Ill leave my OH to phone his mum to pick him and DS up and drop him at hospital. Seems to be kinda coming together with a bit of help from you ladies. smile I just hope now that baby doesn't come on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday afternoon when my mum is back at work. hmm But I have phoned our local taxi firm today and they werent 100% sure, however they didnt see it being a problem... I just hope they are OK with it when time comes. grin Lol!

OP’s posts: |
kiki22 Sun 20-Mar-16 22:15:59

Get a waterproof mattress protector to sit on in the taxi if you pull it round you even if your waters go it wont get on the seats... My friend went in her dh's fancy sports car as there normal car was broken he was pretty much for duct taping her inside it worked a treat though grin

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