Natural Birth

Giving birth in a car

So before you laugh, this is my third and my last labor was 2 hours from the first contraction to the final push. The closest hospital is 25 miles and at least 30 minutes away. My H works an hour away, and with 2 kids, well I worry about the logistics and foresee me possibly giving birth in my car. So, I'm not sure what I'm looking for here, as its pretty rare, but maybe some home birthing books or something since its similar?
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Re: Giving birth in a car

  • Are you planning a home birth or a hospital birth? There aren't really particular "home birth" books but look into different natural birth methods. They can help you prepare for physically exactly what to expect. If you're planning a hospital birth but worried about a side of the road birth then I would suggest your H get very educated on delivering babies!

    Married to the love of my life 8/14/09
    Our sweet little Easton was born at home 3/15/12
    Suprise BFP! 09/20/12 natural m/c 10/09/12
    Baby Heidi was born at home (picture perfect homebirth!) 7/28/13
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  • Definitely planning a hospital birth, but am worried about the timing. I had a med free labor with my second and loved every second, look forward to doing it with this one too but if its any faster than 2 hours I'll be in trouble! 
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  • If I were you and birth was imminent I'd honestly just stay at home and pack up and head to the hospital afterwards.  Do you really want to be squashed in a car while your in active labor and be bleeding everywhere?
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  • Women have accidental unassisted births all the time (didn't make it to the hospital, midwife didnt come in time etc), I think that would be preferable to a side of the road birth but thats just me. 

    If you are looking for book recommendations then I'd suggest this

     http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Hands-Fifth-Edition-Pregnancy/dp/1607742438/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1356379972&sr=8-6&

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  • Yeah I really would rather try to make it to the hospital. 30 minutes is a long time to wait if something did go wrong. 
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  • I'm not a home birth person. I don't want to deal with the mess and I don't want the "what if" possibility of something going wrong and my house being forever tainted with that memory. 
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  • If a HB is a worse choice for you than giving birth in a car on the side of the road, I am not really sure what you're looking for. I guess I would have an emergency sitter that's available 24/7 just in case and a second person willing to drive you if your H is at work. 
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  • I had an unplanned unassisted home birth. By the time I realised that the baby was coming, well the baby was coming and if I'd left the shower, I only would have had her int he driveway.

    If you're in serious labour, and have two small children I actually question if you could drive yourself and them safely to the hospital. Do you have a neighbour who could mind the kids and/or drive you to the hospital seeing as your DH is so far away?

    If you do end up delivering on your own, I recommend putting a tarp and a towel under yourself. You have no idea how the blood pools under you. The towel will absorb lots to make clean up easier, and the tarp will protect your floor/car. Although honestly if I was in a car I'd be birthing that baby on the roadside because I can't imagining trying to clean a car after childbirth.

     You'll need something warm for baby: hat/blanket etc. You don't need to worry about cutting the cord.

    Also juice, muesli bars or other easily eaten snacks are good for the untrained person who ends up helping you. DH was amazing during the birth and then 30 minutes later he went very pale. He needed a sugar boost after that adrenalin rush. 

    I'm not keen on a homebirth either and are also 30minutes from a hospital. But depending on how labour plays out, leaving your home may simply not be an option.

     Good luck.

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    Elizabeth 3yrs old Jane 1yr old

    Soleil3
  • I definitely wouldn't be able to drive myself, it might come down to my FIL driving with the kids in the back seat. Worst case scenario. My H has a few cousins and aunt and uncle who live locally that we can probably get on call to come watch the kids or drop the kids off if they aren't working, same with my MIL. I've got some time, I'm only 6 weeks. I'm very laid back about the rest of the pregnancy, but the logistics of the labor is an issue, so I'm trying to work out some possibilities and things to bring up with my OB  :)

    Tarp and towels are a good idea :D 

    You had yours in the shower? I'd love to read your birth story! 

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  • Birth is safe as life gets - Harriette Hartigan
    Soleil3
  • This is the birth story I wrote for my daughter, so it's a bit sentimental. I've added some medical details at the end that may be of interest to you. 
     
    My sunshine Jane, your birth was my favourite.

    From 37 weeks onward I had contractions off and on. Sometimes they would last for 2 or 3 hours. Everyone was convinced you would come early.
    At 40weeks, 4 days at 10pm I started having contractions. It felt like it could be the real thing so I went to bed to get some rest.
    At 1am I woke up. They were getting more intense, and I got up to time them for a while. 
    At 2am I rang the MW. The contractions weren?t as intense as I knew they would get, but they were consistently 2 -3 minutes apart. The MW wanted us to meet at the hospital at 3am.  I ?knew? it was too soon to go the hospital, but it would give us time to drop Elizabeth at your grandparent?s house.  
    We arrived at the hospital and things slowed down. The MW checked me and I was only 3cm. She did a stretch and sweep and had me walk the halls to see if we could move things along. She suggested I could stay at the hospital but that they would want to start talking induction in a few hours or go home and have a bath.
    At 6.30am, we went home. We should have gone to your Grandparents, rather than going home, but we didn?t. We should have turned around half way home, when things got intense, but we didn?t. When we got home, we should have turned straight around, but we didn?t.
    I got in the bath, it didn?t help at all. I had a kind of sleep.
    At 8.15am I woke up, and we timed contractions for 15minutes. They were a minute long.
    At 8.30am I got in the shower.
    At 8.45am my waters broke, and for a moment it gave great relief. I called to your dad to ring the MW to say we were coming back, and then I felt the urge to push. I told him to tell the MW that you were coming now.  In that moment, I realised you were coming, at home, in the shower, with just me and your Dad.
    Your father and I had a conversation with the MW over the phone that revolved around me trying to make it clear to everyone that you were coming NOW. Not in an hour, not in 30minutes, but right now. 
    At 8.50am Your Dad hung up and rang an ambulance.
    The ambulance dispatcher talked your father through how to catch you, and what to look out for. He had me get out of the shower and onto the floor. There was panic, there was disbelief, and then there was reminding myself I had done this before.
    At 8.55am ambulance officers arrived, I have never felt such relief as I did at hearing those sirens in the distance. I was between contractions, and we laughed and introduced ourselves. You were head out and they encouraged your Dad to stay where he was and continue the delivery.
    At 8.58am you were born. Six contractions, and less than 15minutes after I felt the urge to push.
    Your father was the first one to hold you and to touch your skin. He passed you to me, and we snuggled on the bathroom floor. You were perfect and it was beautiful.
    We shared your birth with an ambulance officer who had never attended a birth before, and another who had only been at two. They were so good-humoured and professional and lovely, it was a pleasure to have them there.
    Your birth was frantic and frightening and over-whelming, but you knew you were ready to come. Your father kept us both safe, and you and I both knew what to do. We did it together, and then you were in my arms, tiny and unconcerned and lovely, my little sunshiney girl.
     
    Other stuff:
    Baby was born around 2 hours after active labour was established. I completely missed all the markers of how far along I really was. In hindsight by the time I got into the shower it was all to late to get to the hospital anyway.
    Weight: 10lbs 2 oz. No stitches were needed.
    Took 6 pushes to get her out, although the early ones were really me holding back from pushing.
    APGAR score was 7 at birth then 10 at the second one (although the ambulance officer said she didn't make any noise and I'm sure I heard her cry as soon as she was born. DH can't remember either way) 
    Ambulance officers cut the cord maybe 20minutes or so after she was born, after they'd observed baby and given us a few minutes to snuggle and nurse. Then they got me up off the floor and into the shower.
    MW arrived  around this time and helped me deliver the placenta in the shower. They checked me out, and the baby.
    Ambulance took me to a local birth centre where we stayed for a couple of days. Before we left I gushed some blood so they MWs gave me a shot of synotocin?
    DH and MWs cleaned up the bathroom. DH followed us to the birth centre later after he'd put on a load of laundry, finished up cleaning, and had a minute to facebook his adventures :-) 
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    Elizabeth 3yrs old Jane 1yr old

  • One last thought, I'm pretty sure the ambulance dispatcher had DH get me on my back on the floor to slow baby down and to make it easier for DH to be able to manage things. If you end up on the floor, put something soft under you. It was agony getting up off a hard floor having been there for around 30minutes.

    Oh and if you have a speaker option on your phone, use it. DH tried to hand me the phone so that I could relay instructions to him, as I pushed the baby out, and he could have two hands to catch the baby. Neither of us thought of the speaker function.

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    Elizabeth 3yrs old Jane 1yr old

  • Wow Kate that's incredible!!! What an amazing story :) 
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  • i had a baby in a car

    labor was only about 30 min long and one push and she was out

    we had no time to pull over so i caught her myself

    my tip is to make sure you keep a blanket and some sheets in the car so baby can be kept warm when born and if you do realize you are far enough along and there is no time to make it to the hospital simply call the ambulance.... the worst thing that can happen is they will take you there and its much safer to give birth in an ambulance than a car 

  • image suad1987:

    i had a baby in a car

    labor was only about 30 min long and one push and she was out

    we had no time to pull over so i caught her myself

    my tip is to make sure you keep a blanket and some sheets in the car so baby can be kept warm when born and if you do realize you are far enough along and there is no time to make it to the hospital simply call the ambulance.... the worst thing that can happen is they will take you there and its much safer to give birth in an ambulance than a car 

    Wow!!

    Can I ask if you felt ok afterwards? I've been told it's common for Mums to go into shock with very quick deliveries.

    That's so awesome that you caught your baby yourself. That's something I'd really like to do for my next baby. 

    image
    Elizabeth 3yrs old Jane 1yr old

  • image suad1987:

    i had a baby in a car

    labor was only about 30 min long and one push and she was out

    we had no time to pull over so i caught her myself

    my tip is to make sure you keep a blanket and some sheets in the car so baby can be kept warm when born and if you do realize you are far enough along and there is no time to make it to the hospital simply call the ambulance.... the worst thing that can happen is they will take you there and its much safer to give birth in an ambulance than a car 

    wow thanks! Was that your first? 

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  • I have a friend who was planning a birthing center birth, she just had her baby a few weeks ago.  She had a very quick labor and she thought she had awhile to be at home and turned out she went fast. They got in the car with their 3 year old daughter and never made it to drop their daughter off or to the birthing center. Her husband delivered the baby on the side of the road. The midwife was trying to make it to them but baby came first. They called the midwife and let her know. Kept baby still attached to mama by the cord, she nursed her new daughter in the car until the midwife and doula arrived. She delivered her placenta, went home and everything was amazing.  I think it is a beautiful story. Her husband kept a level head and they handled it beautifully. 
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  • Wanted to say that the information shared in this thread has been comforting. I don't think that I will ever be in a situation where the baby will come faster than I can get to where I want to be as my first labor was pretty much 12 hrs but who knows.

    OP, I would just recommend being aware of labor milestones as best as you can be, and like a pp said, see if you can line up an emergency on-call babysitter  and back up driver for those last weeks of pregnancy. Good luck.

  • I absolutely loved my homebirth! It sounds like you have easy short labors so you might really enjoy it!
  • image mystrana:

    Wanted to say that the information shared in this thread has been comforting. I don't think that I will ever be in a situation where the baby will come faster than I can get to where I want to be as my first labor was pretty much 12 hrs but who knows.

    OP, I would just recommend being aware of labor milestones as best as you can be, and like a pp said, see if you can line up an emergency on-call babysitter  and back up driver for those last weeks of pregnancy. Good luck.

    Mystrana, I thought the same thing myself, as my first birth was 14 hours, with 3+ hours of pushing.  I was very surprised to end up with an accidentally unassisted 2nd birth.  You hear the stories, but I NEVER ever expected that to be me! (recently posted this link to my story so you may have already read it: http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2012/11/30/i-have-socks-on-an-unplanned-unassisted-birth/#comments)

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  • If your labor comes on really strong and you are left to drive yourself or don't think you will make it, I would call the ambulance and wait.  Be prepared to birth at home but like other pp said I would rather give birth in an ambulance on the way to the hospital or in my house with the emt, than a car with just DH and I or on the side of the road if I could avoid it.  

    I think home births are amazing, but also not my style and I would feel better having the emt's there. 



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  • image julyjennifer:
    image mystrana:

    Wanted to say that the information shared in this thread has been comforting. I don't think that I will ever be in a situation where the baby will come faster than I can get to where I want to be as my first labor was pretty much 12 hrs but who knows.

    OP, I would just recommend being aware of labor milestones as best as you can be, and like a pp said, see if you can line up an emergency on-call babysitter  and back up driver for those last weeks of pregnancy. Good luck.

    Mystrana, I thought the same thing myself, as my first birth was 14 hours, with 3+ hours of pushing.  I was very surprised to end up with an accidentally unassisted 2nd birth.  You hear the stories, but I NEVER ever expected that to be me! (recently posted this link to my story so you may have already read it: http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2012/11/30/i-have-socks-on-an-unplanned-unassisted-birth/#comments)

    Ditto this. My first labor was 15 hours, but #2 came with just a 78 minute labor from first contraction to birth. I also never, ever expected that to be me! Our saving grace was that we live 2 minutes from the hospital and DH ran every stop sign on the way there.
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  • image superned:
    image julyjennifer:
    image mystrana:

    Wanted to say that the information shared in this thread has been comforting. I don't think that I will ever be in a situation where the baby will come faster than I can get to where I want to be as my first labor was pretty much 12 hrs but who knows.

    OP, I would just recommend being aware of labor milestones as best as you can be, and like a pp said, see if you can line up an emergency on-call babysitter  and back up driver for those last weeks of pregnancy. Good luck.

    Mystrana, I thought the same thing myself, as my first birth was 14 hours, with 3+ hours of pushing.  I was very surprised to end up with an accidentally unassisted 2nd birth.  You hear the stories, but I NEVER ever expected that to be me! (recently posted this link to my story so you may have already read it: http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2012/11/30/i-have-socks-on-an-unplanned-unassisted-birth/#comments)

    Ditto this. My first labor was 15 hours, but #2 came with just a 78 minute labor from first contraction to birth. I also never, ever expected that to be me! Our saving grace was that we live 2 minutes from the hospital and DH ran every stop sign on the way there.

     

    same here

    my first was 2 days of on and off contractions then 24 hrs of intense contractions 3 hrs pushing and forceps 

  • I would way rather give birth at home than in a car. This is also coming from someone who attempted a home birth last time around though. I had a friend who was planning a home birth and had the same due date as I did but it was her third pregnancy. At her first contraction she called the midwife who got in her car to head over there (it was the first big snowstorm of the year here in MN) and 45 minutes later my friend's husband delivered her baby in the tub. She said she would have never planned an unassisted birth but that it was the most amazing experience ever. 
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  • This is a pdf from my midwives website. It's a box you put in your car and take with you wherever you go those last few weeks. It gives you a list of things to have and a "how to deliver a baby 101" list that includes as step one call 911. It is interesting because it tells you how to deliver if the cord is wrapped around the head and everything. Not that'd you'd want to, but if your babies move fast, this could help you move fast too.

    http://vivantemidwifery.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/BabyIsComingNOW.pdf

    I put this box together when we were antzy to get going with baby prep but didn't know the sex so we were waiting on some decor, clothes, registering, etc. My midwife did preface this handout with "always call 911 as step one!"

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