As the title says, I live very rurally (in good conditions I'm 40 mins from MLU/ hospital, in muddy/ icy conditions could be 50mins+)
I'm currently 35+2 with DC1, my DH learning to drive but first available test is 9 days after e.d.d (though I'm aware dc could be late).
My DSil has offered and is v willing to drive, although lives an hour away and is currently Plan A.
Sadly all 4 of our parents have died and I am an only child so no siblings.
We have close friends in our town, but they have 4 kids so we'd need them both to be hone for one to drive me.
There is one part time taxi firm (weekdays only, no evenings/ weekends) in our town and the nearest full time taxi firm, as well as our other friends are in the city where the MLU is (so 40+ mins here and 40+ mins back).
Sat navs with our postcode for taxis and even ambulances don't get to the house as they end up going along another track and getting stuck.
I suppose I'm looking for reassurance that we will have a few hours warning before the baby arrives to get things in place, and that my biggest fear of getting into mlu/ hospital and subsequently being sent home won't happen?
I wondered if they did send us home if it might be worth booking a nearby hotel so we were at least nearby.
I'm getting myself into such a tizz about it all! Other people living in similar places manage so it must be fine, right?!
I'd go to hospital as soon as labour starts. They won't let you in until 10cm.but but at least you're there. When they sent my friend home she just stayed in reception. Not very nice but what's the alternative?
Have you spoken to your midwife about your concerns? Ask them what women usually do in your area. In my area they are keen on home births, if they have visited your house before they can get there as soon as labour starts and you won't be left on your own. If you need to go to hospital you will have a medical professional there already and they can direct the ambulance.
I had a very long early labour so plenty of time so don't worry. Most first labours take time to get established so you should have time for plan a or for friends to take you or a taxi. Try not to worry.
Most first labours are quite long. Mine was 13 hours and that seemed slightly shorter than most of my NCT group. Have you discussed it with your midwife? If you get going to hospital, or at least try to organise your transport as soon as you are in labour and go with supplies to lurk somewhere you should be OK. If you have a quick labour the midwives could come to you and it might be worth preparing for that option.
You won't be the only women to have had these issues. Speak to the midwife and there unit and see if you can come in as soon as you are in labour and if you could just stay. Even if it's not on labour ward they may have a bed on post natal or on another ward.
Please don't have a home birth. If something went wrong the ambulance etc would take too long to get to you. Could be fatal.
You should have plenty of time for a first birth. I live rurally (although not in anyway like you) and my first DC I went to hospital at 3cm dilated. They wanted me to go home to get through a bit more of the labour but when I explained it was an hour's round trip that I didn't want to do they were very understanding and let me stay.
Like others have said - maybe a homebirth will be an option?
I am an hour from the nearest hospitals and home birth is about of 1/3 or births here. If there is an emergency ambulances and air ambulance are amazing. Definitely discuss with your midwife as they will be used to the situation.
Your first labour will almost certainly be long - with mine I didn't go to hospital until 8cm and still had a spare 6 hours!
With my 3rd we were 30-60 minute drive from hospital - I went in when contractions were 3 mins apart and decided if they tried to send us home we would just stay in the canteen or reception rather than risk leaving. Take a TENS machine for pain relief if you have to wait.
Every one of us is different of course, but I've undergone 4 labours and each time I had hours of warning. My quickest labour was the last, and even with that one, there was about 8 hours between first symptom and birth, about 4/5 hours between thinking I should go to hospital and birth.
Of course, some people labour much more quickly than that, but it is less likely with your first, and the odds really are on that you will have hours and hours so try not to stress about it too much.
Oh bless you all for replying so calmly and kindly! I really appreciate it, and your advice!
Sadly home birth was not an option as I have a previous spine injury that excludes me. Also the risk of complications when weighed against an ambulance getting to me in time did put me off a little.
I think it's just first - birth -angst kicking in. Ironically I feel better just for posting about it. It's reminded me I'm not the only person to have had a baby in a rural location. I must be the only person wishing for a really long labour!