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Is it safe to go away this Christmas at 38 weeks?

(22 Posts)
firsttimemother Wed 01-Aug-07 11:33:36

I'll be exactly 38 weeks pregnant this Christmas. All my side of the family will be away in Scotland, and my DH's family have invited us to stay the night with them in Berkshire.

I'm having my maternity care at St Mary's Paddington, London, and am desperately keen to have the baby there. Do you think it's too much of a risk to go to Berkshire? It's about an hour and a half's drive from St Mary's.

I'm afraid that I'll end up having the baby in an unknown hospital (I'm 38 and it's my first, so I'm a bit nervous), but I don't want to force DH to miss all the family fun if it's not necessary.

filchthemildmanneredjanitor Wed 01-Aug-07 11:35:35


you get plenty of warning usually when you go into labour and if necessary could drive home.

you'll probably be late anyway!

just take your notes with you

Haylstones Wed 01-Aug-07 11:36:31

IF it's only an hour and a half away I think you could go. I think it's unlikely that your baby will arrive in under 90 minutes esepcially as it's your first. However, it's got to be what you're comfortable with so make a decision and don't be swayed! FWIW, I went away for Xmas when pg with dd -it was a 7 hour drive and I was 36 weeks and looking back it was madness but I was happy to do it at the time (luckily dd didn't arrive for another 4 weeks but what if...)

mixedmama Wed 01-Aug-07 12:32:29

Is it your first? If so, then generally labour takes quite some time so i wouldnt worry about it too much and you more likely to be late than early (altho of course it could happen). Just go with what you feel comfy with.

IdrisTheDragon Wed 01-Aug-07 12:34:21

I'd say that should be fine, although prepare to be flexible nearer the time (with DS I was in and out of hospital from 35 weeks and he was born at 38+3, after I'd been in hopsital for about 5 days).

expatinscotland Wed 01-Aug-07 12:35:57

I gave birth at 38 weeks to both girls.

I wouldn't risk it.

mixedmama Wed 01-Aug-07 12:36:57

Idris - off topic - are you Welsh - that is my bro name

cylon Wed 01-Aug-07 12:38:32

perhaps not all the way to scotland, but berkshire should be absolutely fine.

i moved house at 38 weeks. had to regoster with new doctor etc. absolutlye fine.
lets just hope baby hasnt arrived by then though. although first babies are notoriously late.

IdrisTheDragon Wed 01-Aug-07 12:39:52

Not welsh (well I think I am a bit as my granny was a quarter welsh) but I love the programme Ivor the Engine and of course the lovely Idris the Dragon

LIZS Wed 01-Aug-07 12:40:56

Decide nearer the time. If all is well take your notes and emergency bag with you in the car. It really wouldn't be the end of the world to have to have the baby in Berkshire , perhaps research a possibility so you have a back up plan. Chances are you'll either have plenty of time or not go into labour that particular night.

bundle Wed 01-Aug-07 12:41:29

I was invited to a wedding in France when I was around 37 weeks and told the bride I would let her know nearer the time - in the end my baby was born at 42 weeks but boy was I glad I didn't undertake such a long journey! Having said that an hour and a half isn't bad! if you do go, take your notes with you, xx

mixedmama Wed 01-Aug-07 12:41:40

LOL... we arent Welsh either, but just remember someone saying it was a Welsh name.

tribpot Wed 01-Aug-07 12:41:41

I think I'd go. My next door neighbour was visiting her parents (about 3 hours from here) at something more modest like 32 weeks. Went into labour and ended up not coming home for weeks on end, but that's a very rare story.

There's a very minor risk you might end up having to have the baby in an unfamiliar hospital, so I guess you need to evaluate just how important it is to you to go to St Mary's. At the end of the day, it won't make any difference to the end result, but I know it's the sort of thing you do tend to obsess about in your first pregnancy.

Charlie999 Wed 01-Aug-07 12:45:59

I'm 38 and just had my first at 38+2

However, even if you're early you'll have plenty of time to drive back.

You will need to take your notes / hospital bag with you though!

fibernie Wed 01-Aug-07 12:55:04

What's the history in your family regarding labours? Are births quick? Both my mum and mil gave birth after under 6 hours labour and I had DD at 36 weeks in four hours!
I know it's not best science but I believe mother's labour is a good indication.
If you think you'll have plenty of time, being in Berkshire would be fine, I reckon.

PinkMartini Wed 01-Aug-07 13:03:47

<quick hijack>
Hello FirstTimemother
I'm pg (v early days, only 6 weeks ) with my first and considering Mary's. and would love to ask you about it.
Can you CAT? if so, do you mind if I CAT you?
<ends hijack>

firsttimemother Wed 01-Aug-07 13:05:15

Thanks so much for all your advice - I guess we'll end up going, if everything seems OK nearer the time.

Thinking about it, as well as hospital bag and notes we'll need to have the number of a sober taxi driver ready to spring into action on Christmas day - don't want to go into labour early and discover DH is over the limit with Christmas champagne!

This whole worry started because a friend had her first baby at the age of 39 and the whole thing was over from start to finish in 3 hours - I thought that never happened with a first one...

Sheherazadethegoat Wed 01-Aug-07 13:06:21

wait until closer to the time. i had dd at 37 weeks and couldn't sit comfortablely in a car from about 34 weeks.

firsttimemother Wed 01-Aug-07 13:09:27

Pink Martini - not sure what CAT is, so that probably means I can't do it. As for St Mary's, they're renowned for their maternity wing and I trust them completely - especially if you get the wonderful Mr Teo as your consultant, a lot of my friends have had him and everyone sings his praises. He's very popular though so you need to book in asap.

Olihan Wed 01-Aug-07 13:18:32

I was due on Boxing day last year with my 3rd and went to my pils from Christmas eve to the 27th. They live in Cheshire and we lived in Bristol at the time - a 2.5 hr drive if the M5/M6 was clear. I'd had a 41 and 42 week pgs with my first 2 so it didn't seem to be too much of a risk!! I had all my bags, notes, car seat, etc with me so if it did all happen we were prepared to dash to the nearest hospital. My biggest worry was labour starting in the car on the way home and having to sit, strapped in, while having contractions.

In the end I went into labour at 11pm on the 27th, 8 hours after we got home and delivered in 2.5 hours .

TBH, it's your first baby, labour is more likely to be long than very short, if you're having an easy pg, no problems with you or the baby, you may as well go.

(I was due on Xmas day with my 1st and didn't go anywhere for Christmas, didn't want anyone to come to us 'jut in case' and it was the worst Christmas of my life, sitting round with dh and a roast chicken doing nothing.)

LadyK Wed 01-Aug-07 13:32:59

Yes, go! But take your notes and be prepared to be flexible. Actually, you should probably have you notes with you wherever you go towards the end.

You would probably have plenty of time and warning with it being your first. Having said that though, an hour and half in the car when you're in labour would probably feel like an eternity!!!

SweetyDarling Wed 01-Aug-07 16:48:32

My OB told me today that the rule is not to go more than 1.5 hours away after 37 weeks. So you are still within the rules by his reckoning.

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