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Car Trip at 38 weeks?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
One of my younger brothers is getting married about 2 weeks before my due date. They have chosen to marry in a small town about 7 hours drive from where we/they (and most of the rest of my family) live.

How would you all feel about the idea of driving 7 hours each way for a weekend at 38 weeks? It is pretty important to me that I go, and I know I will assess the situation again at that time and make my final decision then. This is my first baby, so it seems unlikely that I wouldn't be able to make it back in time. Then again, being in the car for 7 hours in labor doesn't sound like the best idea. Statistically, it is more likely that I will have the baby in early January than in mid/early December, but you never know ....
post #2 of 30
How were your mother's deliveries? Do you have a history of early babies in your family?

I'd do it. But plan for lots of breaks. I went on a VERY long car trip at 35 weeks with my son, from Reno to Phoenix to the Grand Canyon and back. It really wore me out, I was surprised at how tired I was after that trip. But I was also alone with my 2 year old dd from Reno to LV.

Anyway, I think you'd be fine if you have no worries of early labor. Stay hydrated and plan lots of breaks for walking and moving around. And don't overdo it at the wedding, try to get naps in and get enough sleep. My advice!
post #3 of 30
If you do, I'd be prepared for a side-of-the-road birth, just in case. Seriously. Not everyone has 7+ hour labors, even the first time. And since you don't know what YOUR body does, who knows what will happen! My mother and sister both had 4-5 hour first labors, and mine was 2.5 hours (albeit preterm and water had broken already). I know that if I were to go on a 7 hour road trip, I wouldn't make it home if I went into labor. The "average" labor of a first time mom is longer than 7 hours, but not everyone is "average".

Also, keep in mind that it's probably not a 7 hour trip if you're 38 weeks pregnant. You will need to stop and pee, walk around, etc. pretty often. So 7 hours could end up being more like 10-12. If you could get the ok from a doctor/midwife, flying might be a better choice, as it'd probably be only an hour in the air, wouldn't it? Airlines don't like to fly women that pregnant, but if you've been checked the day before for dilation, they might allow it if you're still all closed up (even though that doesn't really mean you won't go into labor in the next 5 minutes ).
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I really want opinions on this.
My mom delivered her 2 singletons close to her due date, though 2-4 days early. Her twins were several weeks early, but .. twins.
I was her first baby and she was in labor for around 24 hours.

boscopup- I can't really fly. It's a remote area (West Texas) and the nearest commerical airport is 3+ hours away. Plus, if I started having early labor while I was out there, it's not like you can just hop on a plane and hurry home- few flights, etc.
post #5 of 30
I would check w/ your care provider and see their level of comfort. With my first I totally would have done a trip like that but now that I know kind of what my body does there is no way I would be that far away from home bcs I would definately have a roadside delivery. My midwife is very strait w/ me and tells me what she thinks would work.
Assess the situation as it gets closer and see your comfort level.
My labors have been different then my moms. Hers were much longer then mine.
post #6 of 30
I wouldn't. And in hindsight, I'm very glad I didn't with my first - he came at 38w1d and was a mere 3 1/2 hours of labour total.

My labour with him was nothing like my mother's, or anyone else's in my family - so I don't buy that as being a particularly accurate predictor.

Do you know the hospital there, in case you do end up in labour with a need to have a care provider ? Are you comfortable with the idea of delivering in your car on the side of the road in December ?
post #7 of 30
Oh that is a tough one. I don't think I would do it unless you were prepared for the possibility of laboring and delivering in an unfamiliar community with unfamiliar care providers.

When I was pg with #1 my FIL was very ill and we had been traveling to their home 2.5h away pretty regularly. I stopped at 36 weeks because of the concern about labor.

In the end both my kids came right before the EDD but i still would be reluctant to travel too far. My labors are fast and I don't want to have the baby elsewhere.

Also car travel at 38 weeks is tough. You will have to add on quite a bit of travel time because of potty breaks and time to get out and walk to relieve swelling. But it is doable.

It sounds like it means a lot to you to be at this wedding. I strongly believe in the mind-body connection. When you are stressed about something and don't want it to happen, your body can inhibit the process. I bet if you went to the wedding you wouldn't go into labor.

I will be interested in hearing what you do. It is a conundrum. I have an aquaintance who went to the Indy500 when she was 36 or 37 weeks along. Her water broke at the race and she had to have her cesarian (planned) at a strange hospital with a doc she had never met. The birth was fine and she didn't seem to feel distressed about it. it was one heck of a birth story LOL

post #8 of 30
Well, I wouldn't risk it, but of course by 38 weeks I already HAD a baby! My dd came 3 weeks early.

I agree with everyone else though, plan for LOTS of breaks and potty stops. By then I was very uncomfortable and unable to go more than an hour without peeing.
post #9 of 30
I wouldn't do it. By that time in your pregnancy you may well be very sore and stiff and not interested in being in the car that much -- not to mention getting in and out of the car often.

I've already said that I'm not even leaving town (IL's live about an hour away) once I get to 30 weeks. I'm pretty terrified of not just being in labor away from home, but of getting stuck somewhere and not being able to get back quickly.
post #10 of 30
Gosh, that's a tough one!

I would do it - but that is just me and I have never been full-term, so it is based purely on the fact that I would have a really hard time missing a sibling's wedding. Ditto on maybe finding a provider there, for back up. Get a copy of your records, too. Also, how accurate do you feel your DD is?

Even now car trips take longer for me due to bathroom breaks!

Good luck with your decision!
post #11 of 30
I was going to answer that I wouldn't do it... and I wasn't even thinking about the possibility of going into labor on the road or in the unfamiliar place! Yikes. I was thinking solely about your comfort. I have been quite uncomfortable in the car at the end of my pregnancies, not to mention that I swelled and bruised "down there" on a 3-hrs-each-way road trip that I took at about 34 weeks. AND got a varicose vein. It was ugly and painful.

But YMMV... hahaha, no pun originally intended.
post #12 of 30
I was misrable traveling 3 1/2 hours at 34 weeks with #2. That said, I do plan to travel 3 1/2 hours this time at 37 weeks. I don't want to miss Thanksgiving with our families, especially since we won't be going back for Christmas. Also, I always get the boys and my hair cut there and want to get one last one in before the baby comes. If I were to go into labor while there, the dr that delivered #1 is there. I think he would take me on. I have had both of mine at 41 weeks and 40 weeks, so I am not really worried about gong in to labor. Plus my labors are not short, so I feel fine about heading home if I think that I am starting to.
I think it is really too hard to decide right now. I think you will just have to access how you feel at the time. Good luck!
post #13 of 30
Not even taking the labor factor into consideration, but I really don't think a seven hour car trip would be much fun. At 38 weeks I was SO miserable and I was peeing every fifteen minutes. I don't think it would be a very comfortable trip for you.
post #14 of 30
Check with your insurance company before you go, too. Mine has a rule that if I am that close to my due date, and I have to deliver at a hospital out of town, they will not cover my bills.

Also, I'm another one whose labor pattern didn't match her mom's at all - my mom went about 2 weeks late with all of her babies, and her labor with her first was over 24 hours long - I went right the day after my EDD, and only had 6 hours of labor total. It may be a good predictor, but that doesn't mean your labor will be just like your mom's.

I totally understand how you feel, though - my brother is getting married a month before my EDD in Jamaica. I feel bad that I won't be going, but there is no way I'm flying that far 8 months pregnant.
post #15 of 30
That is a tough one. Personally I am not comfortable on car trips while pg. Even at around 20 weeks along with DC#1 we went on 8 hours one way trip and I was miserable both ways. Back hurt, just couldn't get comfortable.

Absolutely be prepared for labor and birth where you are if you go, either in that community or alongside the road.

My ob when I was pg with DC#2 was reticent to 'let' me go camping at 35 weeks. DH and I mentioned the trip at a regular appt, and ob said, "If you were asking me this question next week, I'd say no." Another reason to check with your provider is that I am pretty sure that if I birthed somewhere else, my MW would still charge and expect the entire amount for prenatal appts and the birth. So that might be a consideration.

It would be hard to miss a brother's wedding. I think you are wise to realize you won't be able to make a final decision until the moment arrives.
post #16 of 30
I would have trouble going that far home at that stage and I am having a UC so I would even be prepared to birth alone...

Dialation means nothing... you can be completely closed and go into labour a few hours after.... you cound be open at 4 and not have the baby until 4 weeks later... (I have no clue why they docs and people think that it is important to know)

That being said... the only time you will know if you are up to it is whn the time comes... I would ask to leave the invite open but say that you may not be able to attend depending on how you feel at the time...
post #17 of 30
We have good friends who experienced this same scenario and ended up having thier first son 8 hours from home the day after they had traveled there for her brothers weddign! They have a great story to tell and don't seem to regret the decision to be at the wedding, but the son is now 22 years old so time may be changing thier perspective. She did say the worst part was traveling home a week later with a sore bottom and a one week old baby in a car for 8 + hours. Yeah, not fun.

I think it all depends on how badly you want to be at the wedding and how you might feel if you don't get to birth with your reg. care provider, etc. GOod luck deciding!
post #18 of 30
I went on a 2 day drive a week *after* my EDD, all of it on bumpy dirt roads, during which the car broke down and made the journey take 3 days I started losing my mucus plug on the way,
but it was fine in the end, and I felt the first contraction about an hour after we arrived

Its probably okay, if you take it easy and have a few things for a roadside birth, just in case!
post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all of your opinions. I'm definitely going to talk it over with my midwife, and ponder it for the next several months, possibly not making a decision until the last minute, depending on how comfortable I am and how likely I feel that I wll go into labor- which I know will be taking a big risk .

I really, really don't want a roadside birth. The town where the wedding is has a population of around 500, so there isn't even a hospital, though there is one for the region about 30-40 minutes away. The nearest town with 50,000 people is 2 and a half hours away.

oh- and my EDD is pretty "accurate", meaning that I have a 27 day cycle and know within a couple of days when I ovulated, so it shouldn't be wildly off, not that the actual birth date won't be wildly off.

Anyhow- weighing all of the different opinions that you have given is helpful and I really appreciate it ...
post #20 of 30
Originally Posted by majikfaerie
Its probably okay, if you take it easy and have a few things for a roadside birth, just in case!
Oh, and if you go, don't forget to take baby essentials just in case - mainly, a CARSEAT. And perhaps being prepared for birth would cause it to not happen? But I still think your comfort would be a huge issue, and the fact that you'd have to stop ALOT to empty that squashed bladder (I have to stop enough as it is, and I'm only 28 weeks!).
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