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Laboring at home "as long as possible" - how long is that?? (Hypnobabies consideration)

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
I'm considering laboring at home as long as possible (or something close to that) before going to the hospital. But I'm not sure what that means exactly. For those of you who have done that, how long did you wait? What signs told you it was time to go. My hospital is literally 2 minutes down the road and so it won't take me long to get there. Also, this is my first baby.


P.S. I just edited the title of this post to note that I plan to do Hypnobabies. I wonder if that makes a difference. Would it be better to get there a bit earlier (well before pushing) in order to settle in and relax before the hardest part starts?
post #2 of 63
It depends on what point you want to be at the hospital. So if you just want to show up ready to push than "as long as possible" might mean you stay home until you start feeling pushy. Or if you just want to arrive in transition or so to avoid interventions, you might stay home until the contractions are getting hard to breathe through. For me this time I plan to stay at home until it feels like transition or pushing, whatever I am able to handle pain-wise. My hospital is about 10 mins away so I am comfortable staying home as long as I want.
post #3 of 63
Basically, you want to wait until you're well into active labor. For me, that meant contractions were 3 minutes apart and painful. When we arrived at the center, I was 7/8 cm dilated. My birth center was 30 minutes away so I couldn't afford to wait until I was ready to push LOL. If there's any uncertainty about whether or not you're in labor, it's much too early.
post #4 of 63
You'll need to time your contractions, the dr. will tell you how long and far apart they should be before you come in. However, some women's contractions will slow down or even stop when they get in the car or to the hospital. Personally, I wanted to avoid an IV antibiotic for GBS+ so I waited until I was practically in transition before we left, which happened about 15 minutes into the ride. Then, I got 2 pushes in before we got to the hospital. I had to try not to push anymore and that was the worst and hardest part of my labor. I don't recommend waiting until the last possible minute if you want to have your baby in a place other than your car. My husband is a former EMT and he was blowing all the lights, honking horns and flashing lights just to get us there before I pushed again. God forbid we caused an accident or got stuck in traffic. That would have done us in for sure.
post #5 of 63
If you're really that close to the hospital, I'd say wait until you start feeling just a tad bit pushy. If you notice your breath starting to catch a little bit at the peak of a contraction, that would be a good time to head in! Most first-time moms tend to go in too soon (although there are of course the exceptions!) rather than too late.
post #6 of 63
You might also consider hiring a doula, an experienced one should be able to help you asses when it is time to head to the hospital and also help with pain management while at home so that you don't head in too early. Like the previous poster said, most first time mom's go in too early, since you don't have any experience with birth it is hard to know what is early labor and what is the real deal/baby is comin now!! I know with out our doula I would have gone to the hospital way too early, of course I was HBing so it didn't matter.
post #7 of 63
Definately don't go in until you cannot walk and talk through a contraction.
post #8 of 63
I labored at home for 11 hours. Then my midwife (bless her -- she lives nearby) came and checked me and said I could head on to the birth center, which was about 45 minutes away. It took me TWO hours to get myself in the car. I was vomiting and contracting so badly. Each time I'd start towards the door a contraction would hit and I couldn't walk.

So I ended up laboring at home for 13 hours. But it was okay because the baby wasn't born until over 8 hours later.

Bottom line:

Have everything ready ahead of time -- I mean everything -- put any last minute things in the car as soon as early labor begins. Include a plastic bag in the car in case you are throwing up.

And the advice of not leaving until you can't talk/walk through a contraction is a good one. I totally tried to do that but just couldn't make it easily from our bedroom all the way to the garage.

But since you live so close to your hospital, your trip should be much easier than mine was.

Good luck, Mama!
post #9 of 63
I don't know... our plan was to wait "as long as possible" with our first. But then when labor started, it did not take on a regular pattern. I couldn't time my contractions... it just felt like all around cramping. I was shivering and shaking with fever, which didn't sound like any normal pg symptoms I'd read about. (I'd read about fevers after water had broken, or when you have epis.. but in "prelabor?") I'd planned on having my doula help me read emotional sign posts to help me decide when to go to the hospital... but then I got freaked out by the fever, and we decided to just go there, and have her meet us there. So, we kinda panicked.

But, right after we got there, I threw up, my water broke, and shortly after that cx were 2 minutes apart and I was 6 cm dilated. So... going earlier rather than later worked for us. I'm still not sure if I followed an "instinct" or just got lucky that my fear ended up helping us get where we needed to be.

So, I realize that this probably did not help you one little bit... except that it's good to have a plan of action, but also respect your own intuition and listen to your body.

Also, with a 2-minute ride to the hospital, I think it would be pretty easy to just go home again if you go in to triage and find out your not as far progressed as you thought. And, if things move faster than you expect, you'll still be able to make it to the hospital.
post #10 of 63
Just had my first. I was told by my Bradley teacher 3.2.1: contractions 3 minutes apart, for 2 hours, lasting 1 minute. That worked for me. The Sears 4.1.1 would've had me at the hospital way too early. I think I ended up going right when transition was hitting. I got to the hospital 8 cm dilated. Worked for me. I was pretty much ready to push when I got there.
post #11 of 63
I was in labor for about 12 hours before we left for the hospital (1 hour away). I did not know I was "in labor" until 5-6 hours into it, because I had so much activity with BH. My doula came to the house after I'd been laboring 8 hours, but after an hour with me, she wanted to get on the road to the hospital. I had been having painful contractions (back labor) for 2 hours at that point. I can't remember the timing of the contractions. I think I had stopped keeping track at that point.

We arrived at the hospital at 12 noon, and I delivered at 6:25 pm.
post #12 of 63
I was in labor for 5 hours with regular contractions, 8 if you count the pre-labor stuff. The only reason I left at that point was the get into the birth tub and I was 5cm and 100% effaced when I got there. I had done everything I could at home but didn't have a tub so I was ready for that option at that point, I also lived about 2 minutes from the hospital. It took another 5 hours until he was born. My contractions were less than a minute apart and lasting 1 minute + at that point. The walking and talking didn't really apply for me because I was laughing and smiling all the way up until he was born, and brisk walking was the only thing that helped me get through contractions until I was in the birth tub.
post #13 of 63
It was also my plan to labor at home "as long as possible". Our hospital was about 35-40 minutes away. Well, there really wasn't any doubt how long was "long enough". We had a doula and MWs and we were in phone contact. Then the doula came over. I remember being in the shower and the MW saying "Just do a few more contractions" and I grouched back "You do them" but I kept going.

Later, I said someone call the MW we're going now. When the MW asked if I was sure I said "YES. WE ARE COMING NOW!" I did transition in the car, which turned out to be fine. Arrived at 9cm and had the baby about 1.5 hours later.

Really, I just totally knew when it was time.
post #14 of 63
3:2:1 rule is a good one. My stupid class told us 5:1:1 and I had that for a day(!!) before I got bored and decided to go to the hospital and see what was happening. I was at 3, but didn't change after 2 hours of walking, so they sent me home. Thank goodness. They told me to come back when they were 3 min apart and lasting for a FULL minute (and tougher to deal with.)

28 hours laters (I did sleep some) I was back, this time I was at a 6.

Next time I think I'm going to just stay at home so I don't have to stress about it!!

Another thing to consider is what your mom and/or sister's labors were like. It's not a definite thing, but a lot of women have similar (fast, short, etc.) labors as their moms or sisters did. But, make sure theirs was the same drugs/drug-free as you are planning. Also, if your mom drank and/or smoked (more moms did back then!) when she was pregnant it's harder to compare (assuming you didn't!) because the babies had lower birth weights.

HTH! Good luck!
post #15 of 63
Maybe I'm unusual, but if you're going to stay home, why not just stay home? It's not like pushing the baby out without a trained professional is any more dangerous than laboring your entire labor without a trained professional. What do you perceive as the benefits of showing up at the hospital just to give birth?
post #16 of 63
I say stay until you start to feel pushy, or until your intuition tells you to go.
I would not suggest following the hospitals guidelines of 5 mins, cant talk easily through them.... that got me to the hospital 14 hours before the birth of my first. I thought I was in good hard labor when I went in. Yeah, i sure didnt know any better--I was in early labor, hadnt been through anything yet!!

Using hypnobirthing, I really dont know that it will make a difference as far as that part goes. You will be thrown off by the transfer reguardless and once there it may be more difficult to get back into it, so really you are probably best to stay home til pushy, if you really dont want to birth at home
post #17 of 63
I'm not sure what the point is of going to the hospital just for pushing.
post #18 of 63
With ods my mw came because I could no longer talk through the contractions. She said "You're at 5. We can go now or we can wait until you're at 7." I decided that since I could still walk unaided that we should go.
I had a quick, unmedicated birth and said afterwards I should have just stayed home. With yds I did stay home.
post #19 of 63
I'm not the OP, but I, personally, have had chronic hypertension since I was 20. I need to give birth at the hospital because I want someone there in case I start having major BP problems. And no midwife will touch me because of that. Also, I'm not sanguine or centered enough for UC. I know my limitations. I managed to have a natural birth for ds, so they are possible in hospitals.

Thanks for the 3:2:1 post - I'll file that away for January.
post #20 of 63
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
Maybe I'm unusual, but if you're going to stay home, why not just stay home? It's not like pushing the baby out without a trained professional is any more dangerous than laboring your entire labor without a trained professional. What do you perceive as the benefits of showing up at the hospital just to give birth?

This is my first baby and I wouldn't really be comfortable with UC at this point. My partner would not be either. On the other hand, I'd like to stay at home as long as is possible, in order to maintain my freedom to labor as I wish - in different positions, walking around, in water, etc... and also to be able to focus on my hypnobabies meditation.
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