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

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#1 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Thanks!

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?
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#2 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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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.

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#3 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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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.

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#4 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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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.
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#5 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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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.
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#6 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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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.
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#7 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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Definately don't go in until you cannot walk and talk through a contraction.

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#8 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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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!

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#9 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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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.

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#10 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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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.

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#11 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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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.

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#12 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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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.

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#13 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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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.
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#14 of 63 Old 08-13-2008, 11:48 PM
 
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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!

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#15 of 63 Old 08-14-2008, 10:48 AM
 
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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?
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#16 of 63 Old 08-14-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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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

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#17 of 63 Old 08-14-2008, 08:04 PM
 
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I'm not sure what the point is of going to the hospital just for pushing.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#18 of 63 Old 08-14-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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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.

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#19 of 63 Old 08-14-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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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.
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#20 of 63 Old 08-14-2008, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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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#21 of 63 Old 08-14-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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We waited 17 hours before going into the birthing center. We left when contractions were 5 minutes apart because we lived a few towns over and would take awhile. I can't speak for everyone, but I had a great experience and am glad I went to a birthing center. DS was not breathing when he was born.
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#22 of 63 Old 08-14-2008, 10:56 PM
 
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Really, I just totally knew when it was time.


I have a l.5 hour drive to the hospital. . . well, a bit over an hour when in heavy-duty labour!

With my first, I arrived there far too early. Five hours before I was ready to push. I was worried about the long drive, and how long it would take for us to drop our two dogs off at our friends. :

But in my other three deliveries, I "just knew". There's nothing more charted or executed than that. Sorry. Each time, we would be puttering at home in labour, collecting the last few things to the car and getting my accompanying SIL into town. Then suddenly, there would be a subtle, but noticeable shift, in me saying, "We need to get in the car and leave NOW". I arrived at the hospital:
  • 50 minutes before the birth of #2
  • crowning with #3 (would have been born sooner, but I was still seated in the car as we swept in to city limits).
  • 45 minutes before birth of #4 (Twin A). We had planned to go to a more distant hospital, but didn't get that far.

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#23 of 63 Old 08-15-2008, 12:22 AM
 
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Well if hypnobabies works as well for you as it did for me there wasn't a time at all where I felt like I was even close to having a baby which is why I ended up with a (totally awesome) surprise UC. But I was planning a homebirth so it was just awesome and not scary or anything.

ETA: No one, not my dh, not my mom, and not my midwives if they had been there would have known how far along I was just by being around me. I was totally silent, unmoving, not making any sounds at all, laying over my birth ball. My mom said my face was totally relaxed so they didn't even know if I was contracting any more (I was).

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#24 of 63 Old 08-15-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JennTheMomma View Post
We waited 17 hours before going into the birthing center. We left when contractions were 5 minutes apart because we lived a few towns over and would take awhile. I can't speak for everyone, but I had a great experience and am glad I went to a birthing center. DS was not breathing when he was born.
Just FYI, but homebirth midwives typically carry and have all the same equipment that a birth center does.

Rachel, mom to Jake (5/04) and Alexia (7/07) a surprise UC thanks to hypnobabies!
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#25 of 63 Old 08-15-2008, 01:23 AM
 
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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.
So I'd think you needed to be there right away not just for the end.

What I'm saying is if you consider it unsafe to deliver at home then how is laboring at home any safer? Its not as if the only complications happen while pushing.

the only benefit I can see is that the shorter time you are there the less time they have to intervene and screw it up.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#26 of 63 Old 08-15-2008, 01:25 AM
 
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I kind of agree with what's the point of just going for pushing, but I totally understand not wanting to be at the hospital for the labor. I used Hypnobabies for my first birth in a hospital. My water broke and I ended up going in within a few hours. I was contracting but only 1 cm when I got there at 6 pm. It took almost 2 hours to get me settled in... I had monitoring and answered a million questions. After the nurse left, I noticed things picking up. It was 8 pm. I was pushing at 10 pm.

You will be handling labor differently and will probably not appear to be as far along as you are. I didn't even know I was going through transition until it was over and they declared I was 10 cm. EVERYONE was surprised. In fact, they didn't have my hep lock in and hadn't drawn my blood yet, so they were rushing around doing that during my precious 15 min break in contractions before I started pushing. Being so relaxed, your labor is also likely to go very quickly like mine. There are so many stories of that happening with Hypnobabies. Soooooo, I don't know... When you're doing Hypnobabies it's not so obvious when it's time to go. I will say that the time that my contractions were noticable enough to require my full concentration, it would have been too late.

I am having a home birth with a midwife this time. #1) I know I would want to stay home as long as possible and would probably end up having the baby in the car this time, or just show up for pushing, and what's the point of that? #2) I hated the hospital stay.

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#27 of 63 Old 08-15-2008, 02:00 AM
 
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I totally agree with Megan and have always sort of wondered what the perceived benefit of going to the hospital to push vs. having a homebirth midwife come to YOU for the whole shebang. Not UC, mind you, but just a homebirth. Especially for the mama with blood pressure issues. Your BP could be potentially dangerous at any point during labor, not just pushing...so is it truly safe to wait around at home that long?

In my mind it seems far safer to have some level of fetal heart rate/mama monitoring during labor than none. Just my opinion and I would love for someone to explain that to me. I know there are a few modalities of childbirth education that actively encourage this and it has never sat well with me. I think it's fantastic to show up on the later side, don't get me wrong...like a 6 vs. a 3, for example. But waiting until you're pushing seems very odd.

It feels funny to me that I would NOT be comfortable doing that, and yet people who choose to often say they would NOT feel comfortable with a homebirth which seems far safer to me. Thoughts?

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#28 of 63 Old 08-15-2008, 05:50 AM
 
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It feels funny to me that I would NOT be comfortable doing that, and yet people who choose to often say they would NOT feel comfortable with a homebirth which seems far safer to me. Thoughts?
I am one of those planning on staying home as long as poss before going to the hospitial. My 1st birth was in a freestanding birth center with 2 very experienced midwives - and it all went wrong and ended with a C. I felt like if I had "the next best thing" to a homebirth situation and it went wrong then there's no way I'm trusting a homebirth which in fact would be an HBAC for me. The hospital I'm delivering at also has a high level NICU "just in case". I like knowing it's there if I need it. I'm now living in a different state from the 1st birth and of the handful of local women I know who had Csections locally literally 4 out of 5 were homebirth transfers. I'm not knocking homebirth but there is another side to the coin and several pps in this thread were puzzled why we don't all just push at home.
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#29 of 63 Old 08-15-2008, 10:39 AM
 
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With #4 I labored at home as long as possible. I was actually packing and it took me soooo long to pack (even with dh helping) because I had to stop every 2 minutes and breathe through hard contractions. By the time I got to the hospital I was an 8, almost 9. Baby was born an hour or so later.

It was funny because my m/w was 2 hours away from being off her shift and the other midwife taking over (which happens at 7am). So I woke her up 2 hours before her shift was to end and she waited to hear from the nurse in the birthing center before she made the trip to see how far along I was. The nurse was like, um... you better get here because she's going to have this baby very soon! She was awesome though and it was my best birth experience!
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#30 of 63 Old 08-15-2008, 10:47 AM
 
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I'm not sure what the point is of going to the hospital just for pushing.
For me, a couple of reasons. I want to spend most of the labor at home to avoid most interventions (and the hospital I use is really good about being hands off, but whatever I can do to avoid the poking and prodding works for me).

Also, for me, I'm just more comfortable having the birth at a hospital if only so me/my family wouldn't have a mess to clean up. Plus, I have to say I really enjoy the "after care" from the nurses. I like having the female help of being cleaned up (something I'd be mortified to have my dh help me do) as well as having meals brought to me .

It was my intention to get there late for all 3. With the first one, not having been in labor before, I actually got there super early - labored for 28 hours at the hospital The second one I got there at 9AM and gave birth at 4PM, so I probably should have stayed home a bit more.

The third one happened really quickly and I got to the hospital about an hour before she came out (and she was almost born in the toilet - it's a really fun birth story ). The midwife had enough time to monitor me for a bit and check me. I didn't think I was so close to birth when we went in and if my dh hadn't insisted we go in, she probably would have been born at home - or in the car!
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