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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning a hospital birth but would like to labor for the most part at home. I know most mainstream sites say to wait until contractions are 5 min apart, but that still leaves quite a bit of time (most of the time) right? So my question is this: When do I really need to go to the hospital (no smarky remarks please, I'm comming here for advice!). My first son was born in the hospital, induced, pit, epidural, etc. Labor for 8 hours, 3 hours pushing.

Thanks!
~Melissa
 

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With the doctor you mentioned in another thread, I'd like to say not at all, but you might find that snarky.
Go when you feel the need to. Seriously, though, with that doctor I'd wait as long as I could.
 

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As a doula My clients and I head to the hospital when contractions are about 3-4 minutes apart for an hour or 2. If their water breaks we also head to the hospital if they're contracting.
 

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i would wait AS LONG AS POSSIBLE! since your close to the hospital, we are straight across from the hospital, so i tryed to wait, but then i ended up with an induction


I say that because i went in 4 times when i was contracting every 3-4mins (after sitting in my house with my doula for hours watching it tick down from 7mins to 3-4) and the crap they put me through, stalled my labor, and they sent me home.
 

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I am having a friend who is a nurse teach my DH how to check my dilation, and we are going to leave for the hospital around 6-7 cm.
 

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If you are that close to the hospital, wait until you feel pushy. MOst of the time you start to feel that intense pressure about 8-9 cms anyway, well before the baby comes. and i fthe baby is coming faster, well, that's fantastic too


Namaste, Tara
 

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When you absolutely feel you MUST GO RIGHT NOW, wait two more hours, and then go.

I am not being snarky.

With my third baby, I was fairly certain I was going to give birth in the car on the way to the hospital (45 min drive) -- and she wasn't born until 5 hours after we got there! Remember, your labor might slow down when you walk into the hospital. A change of scenery, a lot of new people, a new place, all of those factors can slow down your labor. So I would not go until the very last minute -- and even then you might have a while.

Recently I had a client who went way too early. Ctx were 5 min apart, for about 2 hours, which is what the hospitals say for the right time to go in, but she was still talking and being really calm between ctx. That is a sign. Wait until you can't talk between ctx. Hope this helps.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by doula and mom
Wait until you can't talk between ctx. Hope this helps.
even then, wait........ i went in when it was hard to talk or concentrate on anything but the contraction, was still sent home because the labor stalled again.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by doula and mom
When you absolutely feel you MUST GO RIGHT NOW, wait two more hours, and then go.

I am not being snarky.
This is good advice. Just be prepared for the possibilty of an unplanned UC


If I had used this advice with birth #1, he would have been born at home unplanned UC. INever really felt the urgency to go until I was pushing
By then I'd already been at the hospital 9 hours!
I almost used similar advice for birth #2. I told my DH and mom that if we didn't leave RIGHT THIS MINUTE, I wasn't going to leave at all. My DH suggested waiting a little bit. He's glad we didn't because if we had, I never would have left

If I had used this advice with baby #3, well, it wouldn't have mattered. I didn't even acknowledge how much labor I was in until I'd already been in it for over an hour and by the time I really figured it out, he was born twenty minutes later (2 hrs total labor/birth)

Anyway, this is very good advice, especially for first-timers! As always,I recomend all women be prepared for the possibility of an unplanned UC at home


Namaste, Tara
 

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My favorite bit of advice - if you can stop and smile for the camera on your way out the door, turn around, y'ain't ready yet. When you either are completely oblivious or start cursing about getting the ***** camera outta yer face, then you're ready to go.

ETA The downside to that bit is it portrays birth in a negative light (puts a woman in a foul mood?), but it still makes me giggle, and it gets the point across of "if you can think about anything else, you likely are still pretty early in the process", so I still use it for people re: heading to the hospital.
 

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Only the first of my three kids was born in the hospital. We stayed home through 14 hours of labor, leaving when I couldn't tell dh when contractions were stopping and starting anymore. I just wasn't sure at one point 14 hours in. But the drive in (30 minutes) slowed me down. She was born six hours after we left the house. I think it would have been within an hour had I stayed home.

With the hospital being five minutes away, I would honestly wait til you REALLY felt you HAD to go. I don't think I'd wait for pushy 'cause I went much quicker (for pushing stage) with dd2 and dd3. With dd1, I pushed for 2 1/2 hours but dd2 was 14 minutes.

You know what was helpful for us? There is a page in the book "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg that has a chart of signs - physical signs, emotional signs, things you might say, etc. for each stage of labor. It is two facing pages and is very clear. However, dh did complain that I never did say "I give up". He is an engineer and was really going "by the book". I guess I didn't play along right...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Arwyn
My favorite bit of advice - if you can stop and smile for the camera on your way out the door, turn around, y'ain't ready yet. When you either are completely oblivious or start cursing about getting the ***** camera outta yer face, then you're ready to go.
I have pictures of me at the hospital, smiling at the camera during the pushing stage.


My doula had me go to the hospital as soon as I felt the urge to poop/push. If I didn't completely regret even going to the hospital, I'd say it was good timing. My daughter was born within 2.5 hours of arriving.
 

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Yea, that's the problem with all this advice - women react to labor differently (and each labor is different), so one may feel overwhelmed and still have a couple days to go, another could be hanging out chatting and joking between contractions five minutes before birth.


Waiting longer = better, in general. If the baby comes out so easy you don't make it in to the hospital in time, well, you obviously didn't need 'em!
 

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I think most women know instinctively when it's time to go, provided they are relaxed. If you feel panicky, you're instincts won't be very reliable, but if you feel in-tune with what's going on, you'll know. Wait for that gut feeling and you should be fine.
 

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If I had waited until I couldn't talk we'd have had our 2nd child in the driveway!

Seriously, I have a very high pain threshhold. I woke up at 2:30 am, b/c of a strong ctx, thought oh, thank God b/c I had been having consistent ctx since Weds (this was a Tues morning)-3-4 mins apart but not very strong. Anyhow, I timed them for 1/2 hour, took a shower, made sure I had everything in my bag, got the camera, woke DH, called my mom to come over and watch our older DD, etc. We pulled out of the driveway at 3:45 am, my water broke on the way to the hospital (which is 12 miles away) b/c her head broke it! Walked into the hospital, leaning on DH, we were buzzed through security doors at 4:06 am, the nurse had to come get me with a wheelchair and my DD was born at 4:08 am. Now I know I should call my mom to come over and watch the girls when I have a ctx strong enough to wake me up and then we should head out the door the minute she gets here!

Beth

SAHM to Sophie (3.5 years) and Bella (10 mos) and surprise due 3-4-07
 

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Go when you can no longer talk through contractions. If they are taking all of your attention and you cant say anything during them, then it should be time to go. Since you are so close to the hospital, you could head out when you are ready to push, lol
 

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My MW said 3-4 strong contrax every 10 min. That came quickly for us and we headed out, I don't remember much about the 15 min trip other than the need to have the baby NOW. I got to the hosp 75 min before I started pushing, so I had PLENTY of time!

I think too late is better than too early!
 

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Since you are only 5 min from the hospital, I'd agree that waiting longer is better. Usually I don't recommend to clients that they wait until they feel pushy to leave because that is usually a difficult time to sit in a car and ride in traffic/lights etc. But since you are so close it doesn't sound like it would be too bad of a drive.

Also- if you are already pushy when you get there, there is a bigger chance that you won't have to deal with very many interventions like IV, etc. because there might not be time. This is assuming that you want few interventions- I don't know what your birth plan is.

I agree that if the baby comes "too quickly" or you don't make it, then you didn't need the hospital.

Best of luck in having the birth experience you hope for!
 
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