How far is too far to travel? — The Bump
Natural Birth

How far is too far to travel?

edited January 2015 in Natural Birth
Hi Ladies!

Just to introduce myself- I am a birthmom to a beautiful little girl. Circumstances were rough and I wanted to give her so much more than I could do alone. I wanted an unmedicated labor for my daughter, but 18 hours after my water broke I was only at 2 cm. We tried walking, squatting, pressure points, nipple stimulation, everything possible at a hospital but my labor kept stalling. I ended up with pitocin and 31 hours in I caved and got an epi. I was so emotionally drained I didn't care what they did to me any more. Our sweet girl was born an hour later after 3 pushes. 

I am pregnant again with my amazing husband and due in August, and we are very excited about this baby. I am determined to overcome my terrible previous labor and do this one unmedicated. I'm not sure I'm ready for home birth, but the birth center in my city shut down in November. There is one 1.5 hours away (100 miles) and two 1 hour 50 min away (~120 miles). I want so badly to have an unmedicated birth but also would like to have a birth outside of the hospital setting to set it even farther apart from my last birth.

1. Has anyone had experience traveling this far?

2. Would you recommend it?

Thank you!

Edit: I found another 1 hour 10 min away, or 72 miles.
Birthmom to A, 1/8- the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-Tzu

Re: How far is too far to travel?

  • As a FTM, I don't have any advice for you but good luck!  Driving 1 1/2 hours would be to uncomfortable for me but more power to you if you go that route!
  • For many women there isn't any other option but to go to a hospital this far away.  The town where I live in has a hospital that does L&D, but only if you fit a certain and very specific criteria.  And 10 years ago there was no L&D here at all.  Women had to go to the nearest city which is 120 miles away, but takes AT LEAST two hours to get to in good weather.  Throw in inclement weather (which MN has a lot of) and it can take 3-6 hours.  There are stories out there of women having babies on the side of the road, at one of the resorts along the way, at gas stations, etc.  But those are very few and far between.  It is so rare that a mother won't make it, especially a FTM.

    With DS I lived 65 miles from my hospital.  My plan was to head that way once I was sure labor had started and get a hotel room to labor in until I was ready to head to the hospital.  In the end I just happened to be 30 miles away at our cabin when my water broke and my labor was super short so I was in labor pretty deep by the time we got there so I skipped the hotel.  Yes, it sucked laboring in the car and I was happy I didn't have to do it for long, but my labor was very abnormal for a FTM with how short it was.  With a normal labor you'll have plenty of time to get there.

    In other words, I vote go for whatever hospital or birth center you feel most comfortable with.  Go and visit all of them and just see what fits best.  Just know that you may be traveling that distane for your prenatal appointments, so make sure you're comfortable spending the time and gas money to do that.

    B born 7/15/13, C born 3/2/15, #3 on the way May '17


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  • thank you!

    Birthmom to A, 1/8- the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

    A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-Tzu

  • My midwives are 55  miles away (1 hr drive for me).  The center I'm at will allow me to come in a little "early" based on how my contractions progress via phone contact during labor.
    One of the centers I interviewed said they have their mommas consider heading straight to town when they think they're starting labor, then check in a hotel until it's actually time to go to the birth center...
    TTC April 2012 
    BFP: Valentine's Day 2015!!!
    DUE:  late October 2015

  • I think you will be fine. And having the setting you will be most comfortable in and want will probably help you have an better labor this time around. I am having a home birth, but my midwife is 1 hour 10 away from me. And my local hospital doesn't deliver babies so I would have to travel and hour and a half anyway to get to a hospital. 

    Giving birth within an hour and a half of going into labor doesn't seen likely. Best of luck...I hope it all works out :)
  • I'm driving 2.5 hours.  I'm not too concerned about it.  Just might be pretty uncomfortable

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  • I saw your 1st delivery was lengthy and general guidance is the 2nd would be half as long. So I'd think an hour would be reasonable if you were clear on signs of labor. At the other side of the spectrum... My family has a history of quick deliveries and so I was very concerned about getting to my m/w in time and she's 30 minutes away. For my 1st pg, active labor was obvious, but for my 2nd I didn't know I was in active labor (contractions were a little uncomfortable and irregular) - thankfully I happened to have my m/w appt and she sent me to the delivery room. Then my water broke and I knew I was in active labor. I delivered 2 hrs later. Similarly my friend didn't recognize she was in active labor for her 2nd either and inadvertently delivered at home - mom and baby were fine.

    BTW - I didn't particular like my 1st delivery experience with nurse and last-minute OB; the 2nd was at the same hospital but with a m/w and nurse and it made all the difference!

    Wishing you a smoother experience!

    Unexplained IF/RPL

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  • I am an hour from my hospital, and tend to labor pretty quickly.  At the first signs of labor, we drove to a relative's house, who lives near the hospital-- and camped out there for a few hours.  Do you know anyone near the hospital?  Or, maybe you could even get a hotel room near the hospital while you wait for labor to progress a bit?

    Mom to Benjamin 6/2011 and Lena 5/2013; baby 3 on the way

    SharonB222
  • Just a question: why do you want an unmedicated birth so badly? I don't understand  the point...
  • YoungAlen said:
    Just a question: why do you want an unmedicated birth so badly? I don't understand  the point...
    you're on a Natural Birth board, maybe you should read some posts and then move along to another board if you don't see the point....
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