Mothering Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm a FTM, due in Dec and I'm looking for some advice on how far you think is reasonable to drive in labor for the birth experience you want?<br><br>
The situation is, DH is looking for a new job so to be honest, I'm not totally sure where we're going to be living when the baby is born but finding a good birth location is something we're definitely going to be taking into account when deciding where to live.<br><br>
I'm looking for natural birth with a midwife, possibly a waterbirth or at least laboring in the water. I want it to be as hands-off as possible.<br><br>
There's one place within MA that sounds decent but not perfect (it's a birthing center within a hospital that seems to be generally liked in the Finding Your Tribe section) There is also a freestanding birth center right over the border in NH, that sounds really good.<br><br>
In all likelyhood we'll be living near the CT/MA border (at least that's the goal, our families are in CT) so it would be an over 1 hr. drive to the NH birth center assuming there's no traffic and that's never a safe assumption around here.<br><br>
So the question is, how far would you be comfortable driving in winter for a birth experience you'd be comfortable with?<br><br>
And no, I haven't ruled out homebirth but that largely depends on the apartment we find, i.e. I don't think I'd be comfortable birthing in the apartment we're currently living in but we could find a place I'd be comfortable in, I'm just not banking on it.<br><br>
Thanks for your help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
First of all, congratulations!<br>
My first was born at a freestanding birth center - it was five minutes from our house, and the one contraction I had during the drive over there was the WORST by far of my whole (7 hr) labor!<br>
My second was born at home, and I had actually considered driving to the birth center (different one) for that birth - it was an hour away - just for the big tub. Of course, by the time labor came around I was happy going nowhere, and in hindsight, I can't believe I even considered the drive. Staying home and then not having to GO home was unbelievably perfect <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
So I know I'm not really answering your question very well...but I also wanted to point out that the reason we went to the first birth center was because we were renting this tiny little duplex, and I thought I'd need more room during labor to move around. Turns out, I was already at 8 cm by the time we even went to the b/c, so my reasoning was a little funny! I think being comfortable in our own living area (even though we had thin walls, the thought of noise never crossed my mind during labor) was so much more important than lots of space or privacy. Of course, it would really depend on the actual space, but I know more than a couple folks who have had apt homebirths.<br>
The trick with having to drive far in labor is that you'd want to leave sooner than you might otherwise...because you don't want to be driving at the end of labor! So you run the "risk" of getting to a birth center quite early...which maybe is not a problem for you...but maybe you'd be more comfortable in your own space, too.<br>
Sorry I'm really just rambling on, I don't have a good answer for you - but I think it's great that you're already considering your options. If I had to summarize and give an opinion to really answer, I'd say that any distance is too far: stay home <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Best wishes!<br><br>
p.s. I just reread your post, and realized you're talking about New England winter driving...definitely stay home <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Who wants to bundle up a new baby and drive on possibly icey roads? Let the midwife do that for you! Now, really I think an hour is reasonable IF that's the option you decide is best for you. I did know a woman who drove an hour and a half in Iowa winter to get to a birth center - she was crowning when they arrived, and was yelling at her husband to drive straight to the hospital (not the birth center) so she could have drugs <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Not my idea of a pleasant labor...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,428 Posts
I drove an hour (no traffic; in rush hour it'd have been much more) for a waterbirth w/ my first. Stayed home w/ my 2nd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,132 Posts
For my last 2 babies, I drove from a town 4 miles outside Providence, RI, over an hour to Cambridge, MA to have the midwives I wanted. Luckily, neither time was rush hour, or I would have had a baby right there on Rt. 128! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br><br>
ETA...one was December, the other October
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
my husbands health insurance had all hospital midwives except for one, 40miles/60 mins away.<br><br>
it was a pain to drive all that way for office visits but i was able to get the birth i wanted. (much soul searching said a homebirth would not work.)<br><br>
i would suggest, as have others, a homebirth midwife if possible. jean, my midwife, also said she had a client who lived very far away and she drove early in labour so they wouldnt get stuck in traffic and they stayed overnight at the centre until it kicked into gear. labouring in a hotel room is another option. it's better than giving birth on the side of the highway, especially if someone calls an ambulance b/c they will probably just take you to the closest hospital.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,772 Posts
We drove 5 hours to the Farm in January in labor, but the alternative was a c-section (breech). It's all about finding the best alternative for you, balancing the drive with what makes you most comfortable (that might be staying home!).<br><br>
hapersmion
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,307 Posts
I drove an hour without traffic (rush hour, like we hit coming home from the hospital, made that a 3 hour trip). It was worth it, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,900 Posts
Here in Houston one can drive 1.5-2 hours just to the other side of town! Seriously, I have friends who have driven from the far southwest side of town to the far north/northwest part of town just to have their VBAC. I made the same drive the other day during bad traffic (early rush hour on a Friday) and it took us a full 2 hours to get there. NOT what I want to do during labor, BUT if it's the only option for the birth you want, I wouldn't consider it a bad idea. It's one of those times when you prepare to head out much earlier than if you were heading to a hospital nearby - i.e, don't labor as long as you can at home! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
We did drive about 20-30 minutes (with no traffic in the middle of the night it was about 20!) for our first birth, and it was difficult. But I had done the thing of staying home as long as I felt I could, so I was in active labor at that point. Our 2nd (and 3rd in Oct!) was born at home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,252 Posts
Well, I haven't done this yet, but in order to avoid a hospital VBAC I am contemplating driving three hours to have an OOH VBAC in a birth center. Women in my family tend to have long, prodromal labors though, so I am thinking that I would get going in early labor when it wouldn't be too bad, and get a hotel room. I might even rent a house there for the month surrounding my due date. We shall see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts
For my VBAC I had two choices... drive 2 hours in labor (and for every prenatal) to have a lay midwife attended birth center birth (really, a homebirth in someone else's home IMO) or chance the hospital here where I had my first section and would most definitely ended up with another.<br><br>
I chose the drive and I don't regret one instant of it. I did get a hotel room the night he was born and drove home the next day but it was SO worth it.<br>
(turtlewomyn, I think you're probably contemplating the same place I went <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,578 Posts
I have a person in my CBE class who is driving about 2 hours to the birth center. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
We are planning to drive 45 minutes to the hospital we used for DS (IL doesn't have birth centers, or else I'd be there in a second!). But if there is bad traffic, that could stretch to an hour and a half (please baby come at night!)<br><br>
I had a pretty good natural birth experience there last time, and this time I have a CNM, so things are looking good, I just have to be careful not to stay home too long... or else just stay home altogehter! Didn't know enough about any doctors or hospitals by my new house to feel good going there, and I couldn't find any MWs out here anyway. Had to drive into the city, it was more or less the only good option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,824 Posts
I have a midwife who is about an hour away, and if I have my babe with her, it will be quite a drive.<br><br>
I just don't know how I'm going to do it though personally. My last babe was born at home unassisted, and at 4pm my husband and I were talking about how I won't be able to pay attention to Monday Night Football because I'll be in labor, and my daughter was born at 4:30pm. Where I am, its generally a hospital birth (for VBACs) with all the medical "fixins" or nothing. My ideal birthing environment would have a midwife at home, but thats just not possible.<br><br>
Would you still reccomend that someone stay home if its either home with no midwife or that hour+ drive? I don't know which road we're going to take, but I'm curious what path other "pro-home birthers" would take in that position.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
My first was homebirth, but we're in an entirely different living situation now, not as homey, kind of "exposed" feeling apartment. And I found great non-interventionist midwife who practices at hospital with lowest c/s rate in state of MA.<br><br>
I live on the far end of Martha's Vineyard, so it's 25 minutes to a ferry, an hour on the ferry, and another 30 minutes to hospital. Midwife says two hours should be enough time as long as I don't labor at home too long. So I plan to leave right away.<br><br>
I think it's worth ANY trouble it takes to get what you want. There's a "perfectly capable" hospital with an "excellent midwife" here on island but interventions, c/s, and even episiotomies are the norm!!!! So, if you're not a fighter, find someone who believes in the same things you do!<br><br>
Besides, babies born in cars on the way are usually never stuck or anything!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,428 Posts
There is NO WAY I'd get on a ferry in labor! Yikes, no thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
Well, I haven't done it yet but I'm driving 1 1/2 hours to a free-standing birth center in order to avoid the hospital and have my baby in the water. Other than a homebirth, this is the only choice I have if I want a chance at a non-medicated, intervention-free birth (this is my first, and my husband wasn't 100% comfortable with the idea of a homebirth. Now that he's educated himself about everything birth, he's much more ok with the idea...but we've already planned this and I'm very comfortable with our decision and don't want to change plans now. Besides, I don't think I could get a homebirth midwife at this stage in the game and I'm definitely not willing to go UC w/my first). It's a pain to drive all of that way for my prenatal appointments, but the drive is easy and I enjoy my appointments with the midwives. I'm due in June (so winter weather isn't an issue) and the drive is relatively easy (traffic is typically not an issue).<br><br>
After weighing all of the pros and cons, it seems like this is what is best for us. I would be worried about the weather, if I were you, but you may be more comfortable with that than I would be.<br><br>
Like a pp said, I think it's worth whatever it takes to get what <i>you</i> want. The stress of the driving distance is nothing compared to the stress I was going through over the idea of having my baby in a hospital. Actually, the stress was becoming downright unhealthy. You might have to make some trade-offs (e.g., the discomfort of driving so far in labor) but if those are worth it to you, well, then, it's worth it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,639 Posts
We drove for 30 minutes during rush hour. But I was probably 6-7 cm at that point with contrx coming one on top of another. It was a horrible drive. Something that surprised me was how long it took me to walk from our apartment to our car (had to keep stopping for contrx) and from the parking ramp to the hospital lobby. The gurney ride from the L & D triage room to our birthing room was particularly excruciating.<br><br>
Then, because we wanted to leave the hospital right at the 24 hour mark, we drove our little man home in MN's worst blizzard of the year.<br><br>
My advice is that if you decide not to have your baby at home, leave very early. I left late to avoid excess interventions, but that most likely won't be an issue in a birth center, so leave early and labor in the tub at the birth center (or whatever is comfortable for you). The hands-down worst part of my labor was the part where I was going from place to place. I had heard this from other ladies, but dismissed it - I figured labor is painful no matter where you are. It is definitely worse when you are in motion.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top