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How far is too far from hospital?

(15 Posts)
footyfan Fri 19-Aug-11 21:30:47

I'm currently 33 weeks pregnant with my first DC. 

I live 1-1.5 hours away from the hospital I will be giving birth at. My husband works 1 hour in the opposite direction, so it could take me 2.5 hours to get there if I want to wait for my husband. 

I have the option of an ELCS and am thinking about it purely so I can plan for my DH to be home that day (unless I go into labour early of course)! 

I don't really want that - but am not sure if a 2.5 hour wait is do-able. 

I'm a bit clueless about the birth, so would like some advice as it's stressing me out a bit.  

Clandy Fri 19-Aug-11 21:50:34

It took me 33 hours to go from waters breaking to giving birth grin so you may well have enough time if your anything like me! 1st time babies usually take a while but if it's a worry and you are happy with the idea of an elcs then that seems like the most sensible option for yourself! You don't need the added stress and worry and should be nice to have a set date. Giving birth naturally is such a wonderful experience tho so you may want to give it a shot ( plus many babies do the whole coming at night/ early hours thing so dh may well be home) just realized I have prob been of no help smile but tried my best!! blush

LunaticFringe Fri 19-Aug-11 22:42:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

apple99 Fri 19-Aug-11 23:07:00

Most first labours are long, mine took a good 13 hours from waters breaking at home to delivery. I understand why you are worrying and really no amount of anyone telling you not to will stop you thinking about it.

Do you have a friend or family member who could take you to hospital if need be and your dh can hotfoot it over to meet you there? At least that way you don't have to wait the extra hour at home.

Obviously the choice is yours but I don't think I would want an elcs purely based on distance to hospital.

nannyl Sat 20-Aug-11 07:39:12

and i thought the 45 mins away that i am was quite far!!!!! (make it over an hour in bad traffic)

i am planning a home-birth (partly) because of the distance.... i dont fancy labouring in a car for 45+ mins, and no way for 90!!!!!!
any probs and ill be ambulenced to hospital.... a fair treck still but at least the speed limits / traffic lights / traffic lights and speed cameras that we have dotted along the whole route wont apply and ill have a midwife with me too.

Could you plan the same and be helicoptered to the hospital if necessary?

coccyx Sat 20-Aug-11 07:52:40

taxi and hubby meet you there?

jasmine51 Sat 20-Aug-11 09:05:54

Echoing the previous answers - if this is your first it is unlikely you will be that fast. Established labour could be 12 hours or so. Mine was 24 hours from waters breaking to established labour and 36 hours in total. So, in theory you have plenty of time. However it is a good idea to have a contingency plan, or a few - I am over an hour away from hospital and my contingency plans were;
Neighbour to take me to local MLU
Ambulance to main hosp
Local private midwife to attend (previously contacted and arranged this option)

Good luck!

footyfan Sat 20-Aug-11 10:37:06

Thanks everyone for the responses. I'm still really in two minds, as I assume that will be enough time, but I've got no way of knowing until the day!

I'm actually living abroad, and have only just moved here - so I need to find out about contingency plans. (Helicopter sounds the best grin)

redexpat Sat 20-Aug-11 21:59:52

Most first labours are long, however a minority are not. I wouldn't risk it. I'd discuss the ELCS option with your midwife. It's a tough one to call because you never know how it's going to turn out for you. Good luck.

saoirse86 Sat 20-Aug-11 22:49:11

My labour was 72 hours so longer than average but I know most first timers are relatively long.

I think as nannyl said labouring in a car isn't nice! If you do decide to go ahead naturally then I'd suggest trying to get there early-ish in the labour to avoid being in the car for the worst part. I went into hospital at 4cm, was sent home at 5cm (contractions 4 mins apart) and went back in at 7cm (contractions 2 mins apart). It was no more than 15 minutes each way in the car but wasn't pleasant having intense contractions like that. There's no way I would want to do that for 1-1.5 hours! confused [ouch emoticon!]

If the hospital has an early labour ward then even better, you can turn up when contractions start and not have to worry too much about your DH getting there etc.

I also agree with others about discussing a contingency plan with your MW.

Good luck! smile

9reenflower Sat 20-Aug-11 22:56:58

I think that is too far away. even if you don't have a short labour, spending 1-1.5 hours in the car whilst being in labour could be really tough. I had a 15 min ride to the hospital with DC2 (DC1 was induced so a different story) and contractions felt soo much worse in the car. every bent, every roundabout, every speed bump on the road was just hell...

I would definitely look into hospitals nearer home. if your DH is working, do you know some other people who could give you a lift? my local hospital here told me that taxis are unlikely to take women in labour and I was advised to call an ambulance if DH can't drive me (he is also working far from home).

good luck!

Graciescotland Sat 20-Aug-11 23:10:21

I know I'm in the minority but my labour was quite fast (five hours) it was very intense/ debilitating. Uncontrollable vomiting etc. No way I'd of been able to hack a ninety minute drive. That said if it's your only option I'd scoot off to hospital as soon as things start rather than hanging around till it's established.

eaglewings Sat 20-Aug-11 23:42:52

I don't know where you are and what the roads are like for you, but from my mum's house to hospital is 90 minutes along narrow twisting Scottish roads. Having traveled over an hour in labour on good straight A roads in England I don't think I would want to repeat that on my mum's local roads.
I would be tempted to stay near to the hospital from 39 weeks if the midwife has no better ideas.
The helicopter does not always fly to where she lives after dark ( as my aunt discovered when she dislocated her shoulder) and had to be driven over the bumps!

footyfan Sun 21-Aug-11 00:14:33

The roads here are pretty terrible - loads of pot holes!

It might sound weird- but for security reasons we aren't allowed to stay any closer to the hospital.

There are only two hospitals I can go to, and they are very close to each other - so no time saving by changing hospitals.

ELCS sounding more appealing by the minute!!

Thanks again.

WhiteRoses Sun 21-Aug-11 15:34:52

I wouldn't bank on your labour taking a long time... I lived 3mins away from hospital and arrived there 10cm dilated, already pushing... All labours, first-time or otherwise, are different. Good luck!

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