I'm 29 weeks and working really hard right now to get over all the fears I have about the birth ahead of me so that I can be as calm as possible when the time comes.

One thing I'm dreadfully worried about: the car ride. We have a 45-50 minute drive in FEBRUARY upstate NY weather to contend with while in labor. I don't want to go to the hospital too early because I want to avoid having too many interventions pushed on me.

Any ideas or stories for coping with a long car ride while in labor? I want to try to stay relaxed so I'm not freaking out when I get to the hospital, but I know it will be really hard to get comfortable!

Any insights will be greatly appreciated!


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No stories about a long car ride to the hospital. Mine was 15-20minutes.....at 4am in the morning.

Thought: Nature sound CDs? I did prenatal yoga during my last trimester of my second pregnancy. I would practice my yoga at home listening to my CDs. I had Ocean waves and Summer thunderstorms. I would play them at bedtime too. The yoga instructor told me to do that so my mind/body were familiar with it before labor. It also helped having it in the L&D room so I could drown out the hustle and bustle of the hospital. I was in my own seaside world. :)

I used vocalization and visualization too.
I have a similar situation. I'm 39 weeks, and will drive over an hour in Houston. So, no snow storms, but the traffic here is HORRENDOUS. I'm just praying it won't be rush hour. My plan is to head to the hospital early labor, but not actually to to the hospital. Just hang out somehwere close by. With my hypnobabies tracks, doula, and husband to keep me company. Then go to the actual hospital when things start to get closer together. I've also told my husband we'll leave either before 6 AM, after 9 AM, before 3 PM or after 7 PM. So if I think I'm in labor around those times, I'd rather head down there earlier rather than later. The thought of being in intense labor in Houston rush hour traffic is overwhelming.
can you get a police escort?
you could try using hypnosis for childbirth. personally, i've used it twice and will be a third time. (i'm due in feb too!)
I'm using Hypnobabies in particular and have found it very easy to relax using the medical hypnosis techniques that i've learned with their program.
check out www.hypnobabies.com
and www.pregnancybirthandbabies.com has a lot of birth stories by moms who have used it.
I'm in a similar situation as well, we won't have to be too worried about snow or traffic, but the drive is 1 hour 20 mins. Are you planning to buckle up on your commute? I had envisioned myself in the backseat using all sorts of different positions to cope, but my husband (who's a cop) doesn't think that's very wise. I also don't want to get there too early, but having fears that if we wait too long the baby just might decide to come in the car!

Sorry I don't have any insights or helpful strategies for you! Best of luck!!
Is there a place closer to the hospital you could go to in early labor when the ride won't be so bad? That way you could labor there until you get closer to delivery and then head to the hospital. Friends or family member's house maybe? Or possibly rent a hotel room close to the hospital for a few hours until you are ready to go to the hospital?
Can you rent a motor home(little one) to labor in the hospital parking lot?
I'd have a driver on hand, so you and your husband can do what you need to do in the back seat. No police officer is going to arrest you for not being buckled while you're trying to labor. It would be good to have somebody with you so that you can be supported whether you have a doula in the back with you, or your husband, or whatever. Also, in regards to the 45-50 minute drives, think of it like this. If you decide to go to the hospital when your contractions are beginning to pick up, lets say 3-4 minutes apart. That's approximately 12-13 contractions, each lasting about a minute. That's like only 12 minutes of true discomfort during that car ride. You can do it!!!
I'm in a similar situation. I'm 39 weeks today, and will be traveling 45 minutes to the birthing center. I also plan on using a Hypnobabies CD (the affirmations one, as I'm not doing the whole program). It has relaxing music and positive affirmations about natural childbirth. You can order the cd on their website without ordering the entire program. The nature sounds cd seems like a good idea, too.

My midwife told me at my last visit that it would be okay for me to come during early labor. I could walk around outside, go to a local cafe, sit in the waiting room, etc. I wouldn't have to go into the birthing room right away (as it might but unnecessary pressure one me.

I would plan on going during early labor, but find a few places near the hospital where you could be comfortable once you get there, as you labor progresses.

Good luck with your birth!
I was close to transition when we drove to the hospital and we had to drop the other kids off first, so I probably had a 30-40 minute drive to the hospital. What worked for me was putting my head out the window during contractions (and this was in early March.) The cold air blasting in my face was a great distraction. I told my husband if we could just stay in the car and give birth with my head out the window, I would be happy! I don't know how safe it is, but it sure worked for me!
I had a 20 minute ride through a pothole-infested and stoplight-heavy part of Manhattan while I was about 5-6cm dilated and very much in active labor. I found that for me, it helped to grab and shake a major muscle (butt or upper thigh) whenever I went over a bump, and to make a loud low sound (moan/moo/groan/forceful exhale) while keeping my facial muscles relaxed. It also helps to have someone tell you approximately when you've passed the "we're halfway there" mark. It helps you say "I only have to do this for x more minutes."
You can also go to the hospital earlier in labor, but not "check in" until you reach 'that point'. (Where you're not able to talk through contractions and where they're really intense and you have to seriously move with them) and then go to L&D. Just walk around outside in the parking lot if it's not too cold out, or inside. Ask your hospital if you can walk around the hallways of L&D. Walking is great for moving the baby down, too. :)



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