When Would You Call DH When In Labor? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 04-07-2011, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Assuming this little one comes on a weekday, there's some issues here we are trying to handle. First is that both DH and DS will be gone til 3-4pm on those days. Assuming I have contractions during that part of the day, there's some real issues to figure out. That's bad enough, but DH has the only car in the house and he has to drive 40-45 minutes to get home, then we'd have to pick up DS at school then come get me at home to drive an additional 40 minutes to the hospital. Total time from when I call DH to arrival at hospital: 2 HOURS.

 

I was told to leave for the hospital when contractions are 5-7 minutes apart due to the distance we have to drive. With that in mind, how close together would you have the contractions be before you called DH to leave work, get DS and head to the hospital? We don't want to pull them out of school and work too soon, but I don't want to risk labor in the car by cutting it too close, either. *sigh*

 

Originally, DH said 10 minutes apart to call him. But, I think that's cutting it too close when we planned to leave for the hospital at 7 mins apart and he's got 45 mins to travel to get to me. This is our second child, so I know that things tend to move faster with progressive births, just no clue how fast it'll all happen.

 

When would you think it would be safe to call him? Contractions regularly for how long? TIA!

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#2 of 18 Old 04-07-2011, 09:11 PM
 
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My second labor was actually no different from my first, (other than not as painful, thank you anterior-facing child), so I wouldn't count on it being too much different, especially since it's been 8-9 years...

 

It's been that long for me too, and I'm wondering if this will be very different from a first time because of that? Idk.

 

I think if you've been having the contractions steadily for some time throughout the day, you'll probably get a sense of how they're progressing (how quickly they're moving from 15 to 13 to 11 min apart?) which will help you decide when to call him. But. Seriously, I mean, so far, I don't really notice that I'm "in labor" when things are still 10 minutes apart, so by the time I figured out that things were progressing and in a rhythm, I'd likely need to call dh almost immediately, and hope things stayed calm until then. And if things are *really* moving, you may not have any of that time at all. I would work out a back-up plan too. Is there anyone who can pick up your ds for you guys, and bring him to the hospital? Or give you a ride there while dh heads straight there?

 

I don't have a local ride to the birth center either, but thankfully, it's only about a 5 minute walk right now, and that's one of the reasons we're living where we're living, so I would be able to get there without having to depend on anyone else or dh being home to get that done.

 

I've already told this baby that he's scheduled for a wknd (dh is typically out of town during the week) arrival and that's non-negotiable. Haha. (PLEASE, BABY!!) And with both other births, nothing started until dh was home. I'm doing everything I can to program my brain/body/spirit to wait for him and the wknd this time around as well - which pretty much just means telling myself that's how it will happen, and asking God for any support he can give in that direction... And knowing full well that it may not matter.


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#3 of 18 Old 04-07-2011, 09:47 PM
 
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My first was about 8 hours.  My second was only 3!  My DH too has to be called and has the only call and works an hour away!!  Good thing this is a homebirth.  Id say call as soon as you can see they are consistant and not going away with warm bath, hydrating, laying on your side.  There is a saying in midwifery.  First labors are long, second are fast, and thirds are unpredictable.  Of course, anything goes though and you never know till it happens. 

 

My problem is that I have never experienced labor where they start off 15 mins apart or so and gradually get closer.  I never feel the first thing until they are 5 mins apart at least.  My last labor, the very first contraction hit, then 2 mins later another, then another, they were 2 mins apart from start to birth, two hours later. 

 

Most mamas have a bit more notice though :)

 

 


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#4 of 18 Old 04-07-2011, 10:01 PM
 
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With my first I had contractions that did start out at 12 minutes apart got down to 10 minutes apart and then stopped after a couple of hours.  So from MY experiencee, I'd say anything under 10 then I'll believe it's the real thing.

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#5 of 18 Old 04-08-2011, 05:59 AM
 
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Slightly different situation for us since we are travelling almost an hour to a cottage for the birth and want to labour more there than here, so I am calling DH as soon as it seems like things are settling in (like contractions have been coming for an hour or so without petering out).  Last time I laboured on my own with DS here for a couple of hours and then called DH home, I just felt I needed the support.

 

It's so hard to really know because second labours can be really similar to first ones (this was the case for me) or, as we've seen in this thread, completely different!

 

My main input would be: if you pull them from work/school for what turns out to be a false alarm, are there serious consequences?  People tend to be pretty understanding that false alarms happen with babies coming.  Or if they end up hanging with you while you labour for a couple of hours because maybe the timing didn't work perfectly, you get that extra support for those couple of hours.  I am an err on the side of caution type, though, everyone has a different comfort zone.

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#6 of 18 Old 04-08-2011, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, my midwife has already told me that it'll move faster this time around. She made a flat statement that second births progress faster, so I'm totally clueless when I should plan to call him. I'd say at the first contraction and risk false alarms at this point rather than risk waiting too long and having my son flip out should it be REALLY too close. He also will have to have time to track down his boss and tell them he's gotta go, though he did warn them that he might just have to walk out and told them when I'm due, so hopefully they will understand. Plus we also have to call my MIL to come along as she's set to watch DS while I labor, so that adds in some other complications like DH having time to contact her and having her make the same trip DH makes from work to get there on time (They work at the same place, same shift.) Not to mention how fast the school can discharge my son and have him ready, then have us pack up the car and get outta here.

 

The whole 2-lane country roads the whole way to the hospital doesn't help matters, either. :(

 

The only person that can get DS is my husband. The only person that can get me to hospital also is him, so there are NO backup plans possible. That's the most terrifying thing of all of this.

 

I plan to ask my midwife's opinion in my next apt (week and a half away) but figured it can't hurt to get other input as well and kinda get a median idea what I should do.
 

I still keep hoping she will come when he's not working, only he does have a part time second job which runs til 8pm and it's the same distance from home as the first job.. so that's of no help. Weekends aren't a promise that he'll be home anymore due to this second job, so I can't even sit here and tell her "Okay, you can come on an evening or weekend but that's it." Because there's no promise that'll work any better.

 

The funny thing? I live 2 blocks from a hospital, only they don't do prenatal care there. Go figure.

 

Hopefully both of our babies will come at a good time for us to make the trip. Gosh, it's so hard when they work on their own time frame, isn't it?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzie View Post

My second labor was actually no different from my first, (other than not as painful, thank you anterior-facing child), so I wouldn't count on it being too much different, especially since it's been 8-9 years...

 

It's been that long for me too, and I'm wondering if this will be very different from a first time because of that? Idk.

 

I think if you've been having the contractions steadily for some time throughout the day, you'll probably get a sense of how they're progressing (how quickly they're moving from 15 to 13 to 11 min apart?) which will help you decide when to call him. But. Seriously, I mean, so far, I don't really notice that I'm "in labor" when things are still 10 minutes apart, so by the time I figured out that things were progressing and in a rhythm, I'd likely need to call dh almost immediately, and hope things stayed calm until then. And if things are *really* moving, you may not have any of that time at all. I would work out a back-up plan too. Is there anyone who can pick up your ds for you guys, and bring him to the hospital? Or give you a ride there while dh heads straight there?

 

I don't have a local ride to the birth center either, but thankfully, it's only about a 5 minute walk right now, and that's one of the reasons we're living where we're living, so I would be able to get there without having to depend on anyone else or dh being home to get that done.

 

I've already told this baby that he's scheduled for a wknd (dh is typically out of town during the week) arrival and that's non-negotiable. Haha. (PLEASE, BABY!!) And with both other births, nothing started until dh was home. I'm doing everything I can to program my brain/body/spirit to wait for him and the wknd this time around as well - which pretty much just means telling myself that's how it will happen, and asking God for any support he can give in that direction... And knowing full well that it may not matter.



 

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#7 of 18 Old 04-08-2011, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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True. I wonder how fast I'd go from 10 to 7, though. Everyone's telling me that if I call him at 10 and we need to head to hospital by 7 then that's not enough time. So I'm really clueless what to do. DH does agree that at this point he'd rather have to leave work early, pull DS out of school for a false alarm (or too early) than to risk being too late. Still, that doesn't give me too much of a window to work with, though.

 

We all know each birth and each baby varies, so it might be anyone's best guess and a lot of erring on the side of caution that determines the magic number.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camprunner View Post

With my first I had contractions that did start out at 12 minutes apart got down to 10 minutes apart and then stopped after a couple of hours.  So from MY experiencee, I'd say anything under 10 then I'll believe it's the real thing.



 

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#8 of 18 Old 04-08-2011, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We discussed the false alarm possibility. The school is aware when I'm due, so I'd hope they'd understand as it's pretty well known that the only hospital in town does NOT handle prenatal care. (I think there was some error/lawsuit in the past... no one's actually said why, but it's what they didn't say that said that) Due to that, the next hospital is 20 miles away, and the one my midwife delivers at is a 30 miles drive (or 40-45 mins drive due to the country roads/traffic) So, I'd hope they'd understand. I also hope they understand that he's out of school for 2-3 days to room-in with us as no one is commuting the distance from the hospital to get him to school daily. They'll just have to deal with it, lol.

 

DH has said that if all else fails and we can't pin down a safe contraction timing to call him for, then to just call when they start up. If they end up here waiting it out with me for hours, then it's ok. Much better than risking a car delivery (which I don't REALLY think would happen, but also something I don't want to risk either.)

 

I've been told this labor should be similar, but faster. (And assuming this one isn't flipped the wrong way, it could be REALLY faster) I had to deliver DS sunny side up, so that slowed things down a bit.

 

That was another thing that crossed my mind: Wanting the support. I don't know if I could call him early over that, though, but if I didn't then I'm laboring here alone. There's no friends or family nearby that could come in and help out. I'm not too thrilled with that idea, but I guess I could deal if I had no other choice.

 

We are an err on the side of caution family, too. I have a feeling we'll wind up setting it up to where I call him as soon as I have any contractions that aren't letting up with side-lying, water, change of position etc.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepetals View Post

Slightly different situation for us since we are travelling almost an hour to a cottage for the birth and want to labour more there than here, so I am calling DH as soon as it seems like things are settling in (like contractions have been coming for an hour or so without petering out).  Last time I laboured on my own with DS here for a couple of hours and then called DH home, I just felt I needed the support.

 

It's so hard to really know because second labours can be really similar to first ones (this was the case for me) or, as we've seen in this thread, completely different!

 

My main input would be: if you pull them from work/school for what turns out to be a false alarm, are there serious consequences?  People tend to be pretty understanding that false alarms happen with babies coming.  Or if they end up hanging with you while you labour for a couple of hours because maybe the timing didn't work perfectly, you get that extra support for those couple of hours.  I am an err on the side of caution type, though, everyone has a different comfort zone.



 

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#9 of 18 Old 04-08-2011, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, that's a big difference between first and second. I know I wasn't laboring too long with DS (or so I'm told I tend not to remember the time spent laboring, lol) considering he was sunny-side up. All I know is that the midwife seemed kinda surprised and said that it wasn't bad when DH told her how long it all took.

 

We'll probably go with what you said. As soon as I have regular contractions that aren't going away via traditional means, call him. It's better to be safe than sorry.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharita View Post

My first was about 8 hours.  My second was only 3!  My DH too has to be called and has the only call and works an hour away!!  Good thing this is a homebirth.  Id say call as soon as you can see they are consistant and not going away with warm bath, hydrating, laying on your side.  There is a saying in midwifery.  First labors are long, second are fast, and thirds are unpredictable.  Of course, anything goes though and you never know till it happens. 

 

My problem is that I have never experienced labor where they start off 15 mins apart or so and gradually get closer.  I never feel the first thing until they are 5 mins apart at least.  My last labor, the very first contraction hit, then 2 mins later another, then another, they were 2 mins apart from start to birth, two hours later. 

 

Most mamas have a bit more notice though :)

 

 



 

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#10 of 18 Old 04-08-2011, 11:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gummibears View Post

 

Hopefully both of our babies will come at a good time for us to make the trip. Gosh, it's so hard when they work on their own time frame, isn't it?

 



 



I know!! hug.gif It's a shame we don't live near each other so we could be each other's back up plan! :)  It will be interesting to see how things come together for us!


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#11 of 18 Old 04-08-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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I honestly think you will be fine with calling him when you notice regular contractions at something like 10 minutes apart.

 

I know you hear stories, but it really isn't many women who go from that kind of spacing to crowning in less than 2 hours.

 

I will have to call my DH as well if labor starts while he is working. We have two cars, but I'm not going to drive myself in labor! And everyone close to me works a typical Mon-Fri workweek... there is a sitter I can drop DD off at if I can manage to drive 5 minutes to their house, but I think I'll just keep her with me till DH gets home (1 hour from the time I call him, and then the hospital is 40 minutes away.) And I'm not calling till I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN I'm not going to be sent home!


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#12 of 18 Old 04-08-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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Well, to be honest, I will be calling my dh with the first real contraction.  It will take him at least an hour to get home from work with driving time and whatever he may have to finish up due to the nature of his job.  I'm fortunately having a homebirth and know that I have family around to come take my kids as well. 

 

Here's why for me...with my 2nd contractions never got regular until an hour before my ds was born.  (My first labor was 12 hours total...2nd about 2 1/2 hours)  I had ctx between 8 and 20 minutes apart for an hour or so and then all of a sudden they were ranging from 1-3 minutes long never lasting for more than 45 seconds...from that point till delivery was I think an hour-an hour and a half.  We were at the hospital all of 35 minutes before he was born.  (Fortunately dh was home as I went into labor in the middle of the night.) With my 3rd it was 2 hours 15 minutes from first contraction to baby...fortunately it was a homebirth so everyone came to me and dh was all ready on his way home from work.  I called everyone about 10:15am, everyone(MW, assistant MW, dh, my BIL/SIL(watching kids)) arrived at my house around 11-11:15 and ds2 arrived at 12:12pm. 

 

So from my experience if I go into labor without dh here I will be calling with the first ctx.  I hope that it all works out for you guys...honestly, mine 3 births have always worked out well timing wise for my dh and everyone else.


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#13 of 18 Old 04-08-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat - I'll be calling my husband right away, so he has time (should he need it) to wrap everything up at work before coming home.  It will take him a couple hours between phone call and arrival, so I want to give him as much of a head start as I can. 


 

 

 


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#14 of 18 Old 04-08-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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Think OP has it figured out. Sounds like a good plan.

 

I'm having my baby at home, so not too worried, but I want hubby home to take care of my 2 other kiddos and to help prepare and be my support. I'll call him as soon as I'm sure I'm in labor. I was very sure the last time even though I had lots of prelabor contractions for a few weeks before hand. The contractions were just different and I knew. Thankfully, hubby's work place is pretty laid-back.


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#15 of 18 Old 04-09-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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I'm about to have baby # 3 and a 2 hour wait time doesn't sound bad to me at all.  I think 10 minutes sounds like the right time for pulling things together, however, you shouldn't try to find a "right time" beforehand.  You should trust your instincts and call your DH when you feel like he should come.  You can't really predict that, just like you can't predict when your contractions will start, if your water will break before contractions start, how long your labor will be from start to finish, etc.  

 

Remember too that's its your (hopefully) trusted health providers who said to leave your home at 5-7 minutes apart, so you can leave at 5 minutes apart.  You don't have to stick to a 7-minute plan.  Remember too that contractions don't follow a nice curve on a chart.  They just get closer and closer together, last longer and longer, get stronger and stronger.  From what your providers have stated, if you've been having regular contractions that are about five minutes apart (with a max of seven minutes), lasting about one minute, and the pattern has lasted for at least an hour (the 5-1-1 rule is pretty standard), it's time to go.  If you leave earlier (when your ctx first get to 7 minutes apart, for example), you're running all sorts of risks of being admitted to the hospital too early and getting unwanted interventions.

 

So some other options... why can't you set it up with the school so that your MIL can pick up your son?  Schools will allow you to put other pickup people into the system so she can pick him up.  This seems a logical solution to me, especially if her job is to stay with him anyway.

 

When I was having DS2, my husband worked an hour away and my midwife lived an hour and a half away (planned home birth).  No big deal for us.  I had my first "real" contraction in the morning before DH left for work, losing my mucus plug too.  I told him about it and sent him off to work.  I had contractions throughout the day and started calling people in around 5pm, when they were about 8-10 minutes apart.  When people were showing up 1-2 hours later, I was just getting into what I would call "active" labor - I needed to really concentrate to get through the contractions.  I had the baby just before midnight.  So if I had kept DH with me from the first contraction, instead of waiting until things got moving, it would have been WAY too long with him following me around with nothing to do.

 

You can be in early labor, having regular contractions but not being anywhere near ready for the hospital/midwife for days... prodromal labor for longer... that's why I told my husband to go to work that day.  Average active labor for multiparas (moms who have had kids before) is 5.7 hours, with more than 13 hours being perfectly fine (see link below).  Keep in mind that this is labor from when your contractions are about 3-5 minutes apart.  You could go into the hospital at 7 minutes apart and have hours before you're in active labor...

 

So if I were you, I'd let him know when you're having strengthening labor contractions, but I wouldn't necessarily call him in until they were about 10 minutes apart OR I wanted him to be there.  Needing support is a perfectly reasonable reason to call him in, even if your contractions are 30 minutes apart.  Your labor might not get started until he gets there if you're really stressed about it, so calling him might even help things along.  As to leaving for the hospital, I'd rather be at the hospital minutes before my birth than 5 hours before, though I'd prefer not to have a car birth either.  If you leave your house at 5-7 minutes apart and your labor is of "average" length, you'd be there with about 6 hours to go.  Unless your first birth was really quick, chances are good that you won't have a precipitous labor this time around.  

 

You actually do have backup plans available to you.  If you are suddenly having a very fast labor, you can always go to the hospital down the street (they have to see you no matter what and they have an "emergency" birth kit, they're trained to attend you, etc).  Your MIL can pick up your son if you list her as a designated pickup with the school, unless there is some other reason why she cannot legally or safely pick him up.  If your MIL lives in the same area you do, she and your husband could begin carpooling to work when it's closer to your EDD, seeing as they have the same schedule and workplace.  You can call an ambulance if you're having a really fast labor and no way of getting out of your house.

 

I had DS2 in a town of 900 people, where it was not uncommon for people in neighboring towns to drive 1 1/2 to 4 hours to get to a hospital to have their babies.  For the ones who had to drive only 1.5 hours (yes, ONLY 1.5 hours), they would leave when contractions were about 5-7 minutes apart... If I were you, I'd plan to stay in touch with my birth team as changes occurred (call midwife and husband when you lose your mucus plug, for instance, when you start noticing regular contractions), and try not to worry so much about when to leave.  It's birth.  None of us can plan how it's all going to work.  You'll know when to call your husband because you'll know that you want him to be with you.  If you're really worried about a car birth, plan for it. Make yourself ready for it so you wouldn't be traumatized if it happened.  Put an emergency birth kit in the car.  Don't bet on it and overly worry yourself, but be ready for it.

 

Also, have you read "Birthing From Within" by Pam England.  It's an AWESOME book and really helps mentally prepare mom for an upcoming birth.  It might help to pick up a copy and do some of the exercises.  If you can't get the book soon, you could probably look up some of the exercises online.  

 

Good luck!  

 

ps.  I'm due May 13th with # 3.  I was also a labor doula and childbirth educator until I took a break to have this babe.

 

(two links are for same study... first one is actual study info, second is article about the study)  http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/1996/03000/The_Length_of_Active_Labor_in_Normal_Pregnancies.7.aspx or http://midwifeinfo.com/articles/how-long-is-normal-labor

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#16 of 18 Old 04-09-2011, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, we discussed it last night and decided that we feel best calling at the first sign of contractions that won't go away. That way there's no worries of anything happening that's not supposed to and spooking DS who is NOT ready to be in the car when I'm laboring (not that I think it'll REALLY come to that, but we aren't risking it either.)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dayiscoming2006 View Post

Think OP has it figured out. Sounds like a good plan.

 

I'm having my baby at home, so not too worried, but I want hubby home to take care of my 2 other kiddos and to help prepare and be my support. I'll call him as soon as I'm sure I'm in labor. I was very sure the last time even though I had lots of prelabor contractions for a few weeks before hand. The contractions were just different and I knew. Thankfully, hubby's work place is pretty laid-back.



 

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#17 of 18 Old 04-09-2011, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the hospital flat out told me we can leave at 7 mins apart because they are aware of the distance at which we need to travel to get there. My midwife never told me when to go, only the OB dept at the hospital did.

 

As for things like losing my plug and water breaking... neither of those happened with DS. I'm not sure when the plug was lost with him, but I don't recall it being before I was admitted into the hospital. I was already in the labor room when they broke my water for me, so I'd not sit around waiting for that to happen, as in the past I've learned that it very well could NOT happen, lol.

 

My husband and his mother can't really car pool together. She lives 20-25 miles away, and that would be a bit difficult for them to pull off. As for her getting DS I SUPPOSE she could, but I know DS and he'd want to see me before he went off with gramma because he will worry about me and if I'm okay. If he rides in the car up with us he can SEE I'm okay and remain calm, which will in turn keep me calm so I don't worry about him being freaked out. I know myself. If I think he's worried about me I won't be able to focus on laboring instead I'll be worried about him. Not to mention that she doesn't have his car seat - it's in our car instead.
 

I'm not even going to get near enough to risk a car birth. My son would FLIP if he was in the car and we were all frantic with me in labor there. Can't remotely risk it even if it's a 1 in a thousand chance of happening (which it likely is) DH told me to call him the minute I have contractions that won't go away with water, change of position etc because we are a family that likes to be safe rather than sorry... and frankly, I'd rather not labor here alone without a car or anyone near me if possible.

 

I think when I went in that hospital with infections they had signs up that they would treat you "to the best of their abilities" when in labor. Given that the hospital doesn't handle pregnant women (from what I gather it's a lawsuit thing) I'd not feel safe in their care. The best of their abilities leaves a lot of room for oopses and I'm not willing to take that risk just to not bother DH when he asked me to call him anyway. Besides, I want a water birth and they won't have that here, nor will they know my wishes for a natural birth. I see all that being a big catastrophe I'd prefer to avoid at all costs.

 

Do I think my labor will be especially speedy? Not really. Can it? Yep. I'm preparing for the rare case that it can be speedy and hanging in for the long haul if it's not.

 

I haven't read that book, but I'm gonna see if I can't grab it in the meantime. We have a really tiny library here, but maybe I can inter-loan it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tavamom View Post

 

I'm about to have baby # 3 and a 2 hour wait time doesn't sound bad to me at all.  I think 10 minutes sounds like the right time for pulling things together, however, you shouldn't try to find a "right time" beforehand.  You should trust your instincts and call your DH when you feel like he should come.  You can't really predict that, just like you can't predict when your contractions will start, if your water will break before contractions start, how long your labor will be from start to finish, etc.  

 

Remember too that's its your (hopefully) trusted health providers who said to leave your home at 5-7 minutes apart, so you can leave at 5 minutes apart.  You don't have to stick to a 7-minute plan.  Remember too that contractions don't follow a nice curve on a chart.  They just get closer and closer together, last longer and longer, get stronger and stronger.  From what your providers have stated, if you've been having regular contractions that are about five minutes apart (with a max of seven minutes), lasting about one minute, and the pattern has lasted for at least an hour (the 5-1-1 rule is pretty standard), it's time to go.  If you leave earlier (when your ctx first get to 7 minutes apart, for example), you're running all sorts of risks of being admitted to the hospital too early and getting unwanted interventions.

 

So some other options... why can't you set it up with the school so that your MIL can pick up your son?  Schools will allow you to put other pickup people into the system so she can pick him up.  This seems a logical solution to me, especially if her job is to stay with him anyway.

 

When I was having DS2, my husband worked an hour away and my midwife lived an hour and a half away (planned home birth).  No big deal for us.  I had my first "real" contraction in the morning before DH left for work, losing my mucus plug too.  I told him about it and sent him off to work.  I had contractions throughout the day and started calling people in around 5pm, when they were about 8-10 minutes apart.  When people were showing up 1-2 hours later, I was just getting into what I would call "active" labor - I needed to really concentrate to get through the contractions.  I had the baby just before midnight.  So if I had kept DH with me from the first contraction, instead of waiting until things got moving, it would have been WAY too long with him following me around with nothing to do.

 

You can be in early labor, having regular contractions but not being anywhere near ready for the hospital/midwife for days... prodromal labor for longer... that's why I told my husband to go to work that day.  Average active labor for multiparas (moms who have had kids before) is 5.7 hours, with more than 13 hours being perfectly fine (see link below).  Keep in mind that this is labor from when your contractions are about 3-5 minutes apart.  You could go into the hospital at 7 minutes apart and have hours before you're in active labor...

 

So if I were you, I'd let him know when you're having strengthening labor contractions, but I wouldn't necessarily call him in until they were about 10 minutes apart OR I wanted him to be there.  Needing support is a perfectly reasonable reason to call him in, even if your contractions are 30 minutes apart.  Your labor might not get started until he gets there if you're really stressed about it, so calling him might even help things along.  As to leaving for the hospital, I'd rather be at the hospital minutes before my birth than 5 hours before, though I'd prefer not to have a car birth either.  If you leave your house at 5-7 minutes apart and your labor is of "average" length, you'd be there with about 6 hours to go.  Unless your first birth was really quick, chances are good that you won't have a precipitous labor this time around.  

 

You actually do have backup plans available to you.  If you are suddenly having a very fast labor, you can always go to the hospital down the street (they have to see you no matter what and they have an "emergency" birth kit, they're trained to attend you, etc).  Your MIL can pick up your son if you list her as a designated pickup with the school, unless there is some other reason why she cannot legally or safely pick him up.  If your MIL lives in the same area you do, she and your husband could begin carpooling to work when it's closer to your EDD, seeing as they have the same schedule and workplace.  You can call an ambulance if you're having a really fast labor and no way of getting out of your house.

 

I had DS2 in a town of 900 people, where it was not uncommon for people in neighboring towns to drive 1 1/2 to 4 hours to get to a hospital to have their babies.  For the ones who had to drive only 1.5 hours (yes, ONLY 1.5 hours), they would leave when contractions were about 5-7 minutes apart... If I were you, I'd plan to stay in touch with my birth team as changes occurred (call midwife and husband when you lose your mucus plug, for instance, when you start noticing regular contractions), and try not to worry so much about when to leave.  It's birth.  None of us can plan how it's all going to work.  You'll know when to call your husband because you'll know that you want him to be with you.  If you're really worried about a car birth, plan for it. Make yourself ready for it so you wouldn't be traumatized if it happened.  Put an emergency birth kit in the car.  Don't bet on it and overly worry yourself, but be ready for it.

 

Also, have you read "Birthing From Within" by Pam England.  It's an AWESOME book and really helps mentally prepare mom for an upcoming birth.  It might help to pick up a copy and do some of the exercises.  If you can't get the book soon, you could probably look up some of the exercises online.  

 

Good luck!  

 

ps.  I'm due May 13th with # 3.  I was also a labor doula and childbirth educator until I took a break to have this babe.

 

(two links are for same study... first one is actual study info, second is article about the study)  http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/1996/03000/The_Length_of_Active_Labor_in_Normal_Pregnancies.7.aspx or http://midwifeinfo.com/articles/how-long-is-normal-labor



 

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Sounds like you've worked out what you feel comfortable with.  ^_^

 

I thought you said the hospital told you 5-7 minutes, which is why I was saying 5.  Sorry for misunderstanding.

 

Not having your water break is something that happens in fewer than 1 in 80,000 births.  You're more likely to have all sorts of strange and fairly rare complications, like the cord prolapsing and causing a major emergency, from getting your water broken by the nurse/doctor/midwife than you are to have it not break until after birth.  A baby born in the caul (an intact water bag still over the head/face) is considered very auspicious, a sign of something special.  There is also lots of research saying that having them break the bag of waters is not only unhelpful but causes more complications.  If you want to know more about birth interventions, complications, possible benefits and risks, I suggest reading Henci Goer's "Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" and "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin.  Both are fabulous.  I personally think every pregnant woman should read Ina May's book, even if you can't get any other book at all.

 

A lot of women don't notice when they lose their mucus plug because it comes out while they're on the toilet.  It comes out, you wipe, don't really notice anything special.  

 

Yeah, 20+ miles away is a bit far for a carpool.  Hah!  I was thinking your son might be older than carseat age, so I see where you're coming from with carseats and such.  

 

If you're worried about him being worried about you, maybe you should explain labor to him a little more.  After all, your plan is to be laboring with him in the car.  Of course, don't share anything you're not comfortable sharing, like the details of things, but explaining how normal it is, explaining what it was like when he was born (in a positive and age-appropriate light), what you're likely to be doing and acting like when you are driving to the hospital, etc.  You don't want him to be surprised and scared just because you're acting "different" when he sees you, even if you're not "frantic."  I had my younger sister at my first birth, she was in her 20s and had never attended a birth before.  She was a little traumatized by how I was acting because it seemed like I was in a lot of pain.  It wasn't until I talked to her about it a few months later that I realized at all that she had been scared by the experience, and it wasn't until we talked that she realized I really wasn't in any pain at all until the baby was crowning.  We may not realize that others who have no experience with birth can very easily perceive coping techniques in labor as things only done for pain and suffering.  If you explain to your son what you might be doing in the car on the drive and that you are doing "hard work," explaining what it feels like without making it sound like you're in tons of pain and having this great hardship, it may help him to not worry about you.

 

 

Planning for a car birth is just as important as planning for a long birth or planning for a fast birth in a hospital or any other kind of birth that you're worried about, especially if you feel like you'll be "frantic" if you're in strong labor while on the drive to the hospital or if you have to pull over because you're pushing.  Remember that you WILL be laboring in the car.  That's not something you'll get out of unless you're planning a c-section or induction.  If you want to be less worried about it, think about what would really happen in that situation and how you would cope with it in a non-frantic way.  You'd be having a fast labor and birthing in the car because you're healthy and the baby is ready and everything is working the way it's supposed to.  What would you want with you?  Some clean towels and possibly a suction bulb is all you'd probably really "need" to have with you, as you wouldn't even want to cut the cord yourselves.  Talk to your midwife about an emergency birth plan, what to do, who to call, when to pull the car over, etc.  Even though it's not likely to happen, you're worried about it and you may very well have two hours or more before you get to the hospital from the time when your husband leaves work, which could be far into early labor or active labor.  If you've worked through the scenario in your head and with your husband, you'll feel at least a little better about the possibility because you will have prepared for it.  You already know you want to avoid it.  But what will you do if it actually happens?  You'll have a baby, your husband will catch him/her, your son will witness the birth of his sibling, you'll get to the hospital soon thereafter and they'll all talk about how great it is that everyone is okay.  Why?  Because birth is normal and normal birth is usually healthy.  Only 17% of planned home births end up in the hospital and only 3-4% of planned home births end up as surgeries.  So you have a huge chance that everything would be absolutely perfect as far as health is concerned.  Remember in your scenario that you would be pulling over to birth the baby.  If you're feeling the uncontrollable urge to push, your husband needs to pull over.  He needs to NOT speed up or keep driving.  Even ambulances will pull over if the mother is uncontrollably pushing on the way to the hospital (I took EMT training, decided it wasn't for me).  An ambulance will pull over to deliver a baby, so your husband would need to also do so.  You can buy emergency birth kits for $10 at http://www.1cascade.com, if you're really worried about it to the point of wanting full preparation.

 

It just seems like something you're really worried about.  I personally feel like anything a mom (or dad) is really worried about should be addressed, stared in the face and figured out.  If you really DO end up with a car birth, it would have helped you tremendously to have worked through the fears, and if you don't end up with a car birth, you still would benefit from the mental preparation because you should end up feeling less stressed and more prepared for a variety of situations.  

 

I don't mean to pester you about it or push you to do anything you don't feel comfortable doing.  Your plan sounds just right.  I'm just thinking about what I would need to do for my own mental preparation if I were in your situation and feeling the way you seem to feel.  When I was pregnant with DS2, I lived 45 minutes from the hospital, my husband worked in the town of the hospital, we had one car, my home birth midwife lived 1.5 hours away, and right when I seemed ready to have the baby, my husband was sent out to a fire (he was a wildland fire fighter).  This meant he wasn't likely to get to me for hours and hours, if he got to me at all, if I called him at any point in labor.  Talk about stress...  I really had to cope with the idea that he might not be there at all, though in a home birth I didn't feel like I would be birthing alone (unless I birthed in less than the 3 hours it might take my midwife to get to me).  Still...  I know everyone has a scenario that just might happen in their labor and birth that scares them.  I was actually more worried with my second birth than with my first (lived further from hospital, husband had job where he was in the mountains away from phone contact all day, midwife lived far away, lived away from family and normal support network, etc).  It really helped me to work through what I would actually do and be prepared for it so I wouldn't fall into a panic if it really did happen.  That's honestly why I stress mental preparation and working through it to alleviate some of the fear.  

 

Well, good luck!  Everything will probably work out great.  You'll have plenty of support at home until you're ready to leave, you'll leave at the perfect time and have an awesome birth where you have planned it all along.  

 

Oh, and I had the baby the day after DH came back from the fireline...  Guess I was holding back.  Heheh.

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