General Question

M1952's avatar

Is it a bad idea to drive yourself to the hospital while in labor?

Asked by M1952 (301points) September 3rd, 2014 from iPhone

I am 6 months pregnant at the moment, the time is nearing and I am getting so worried, plus my daughter was almost a month early, so I have no idea when I will have this baby, and I have literally one person I can call who is local and would be willing to help drive me to the hospital. My concern is (like my last pregnancy) I will go into labor at 3am and not want to bother my friend at that time. My mother mentioned I should call an ambulance but I have a young daughter and I don’t know how I feel about that, if I drive myself when the labor first starts or shortly after I think I should be ok? I live about 20 minutes from the hospital and my family could be at the hospital within an hour and a half of me letting them know it’s starting.

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37 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

Fucking horrible idea. So bad I would hope you are tossed in jail for doing it.

Contraction, swerve, kill a family coming home from Burger King.

Figure something else out. You could kill me or my sisters twins.

M1952's avatar

I see, I just don’t recall being in that much pain when my labor started last time but thanks for that response?

johnpowell's avatar

It isn’t like each birth is the same. I drove drunk once but that doesn’t mean It is okay to do it again.

M1952's avatar

That’s true, I forgot to mention, (I believe you’re male so not sure you’re aware) but my water was broken by the doctor at the hospital so that’s when the real pain started, before and on the way it was just a dull pain.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

You can’t be sure your labour will be anything like your first. None of mine were alike. @johnpowell is right. Driving yourself to the hospital is a really bad idea. You have time to make other arrangements. Check out the ambulance service and make sure the number is pinned above the phone so it can easily be found. Speak to your health professionals about the lack of birthing support. They may have ideas about who you can call when things start. This must happen to other women. And re-connect with your family. Perhaps someone can move in with you closer to your due date (or even a month before).

M1952's avatar

Nothing to cause an accident over, I mean.

M1952's avatar

I have thought about that @Earthbound_Misfit but neither my sister, grandmother or brother have their drivers license, and my parents obviously have priorities and jobs, they cannot dedicate that time to being here for me not knowing when it will happen but I will look into the ambulance, thank you!

johnpowell's avatar

How far are your parents? If they are close surely their employer wouldn’t give a shit if they went off for a few hours to take their daughter to the hospital to give birth. It isn’t like they need to be there the whole time.

M1952's avatar

@johnpowell yes they will come when I go into active labor, I just meant they cannot come stay with me for a month prior, not knowing when I will go into labor, and they are about an hour and a half away.

M1952's avatar

I suppose I could just wait for them to get to my house after I start feeling contractions, then have them drive me

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Can you go and stay with them or a relative who lives close to them so it’s not such a distance for them to reach you? Family help out when things like this happen. Do you have any friends you can call on?

M1952's avatar

I have one friend who said she would take me, she is about 15 minutes away but like I said, I’m just worried ill go into labor at some random time of early morning and not want to bother her. Then I think about an ambulance but there are so many hospitals in my area that are closer then the one I am giving birth at, and I would imagine they take you to the closest one, and I would prefer to have my doctor.

M1952's avatar

I’m sure I’ll figure something out, it was just a question, and if it was like my last pregnancy my water had to be broken at the hospital so I wasn’t in much pain until about 5 hours later. Thank you.

seekingwolf's avatar

Anytime you are having a medical condition in which you are not 100% sure of your abilities/cognition/pain level (let’s face it, just because your first labour went one way does NOT mean that you can be 100% sure that your 2nd labour will go that way too), you should not, I repeat, not be driving.

Rely on your friend who has agreed to take you. Do not drive yourself.

I’d much rather you awake your good friend in the wee hours than drive yourself and risk hurting yourself or someone else on the road. It’s not worth it.

M1952's avatar

That’s true thank you @seekingwolf

seekingwolf's avatar


No problem, good luck. You have a good friend, btw.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Monumentally bad idea. Your friend can be bothered at 3 AM if it comes down to it. She’s agreed to drive you so let her drive you no matter what time it is. I’m sure when she agreed to drive you she already figured in the possibility of it happening at a really inconvenient time.

Buttonstc's avatar

You really do need to get firmly settled in your mind which course of action you will take and just eliminate “driving myself” as an option. It just isn’t. Period. For all of the excellent reasons stated above.

So, with your two remaining options, you need to decide within the next 24 hrs. which you’ll choose. You need to answer the question is my friend a “Bestie” or more like a casual friend or friendly acquaintance? A bestie is there for you any time of the day or night (if at all physically possible) regardless of the inconvenience. Period. No ifs ands or buts.

If you’re concerned about this, just give her a call tomorrow and tell her that you’re concerned about not taking advantage of her if it’s a 3 in the morning scenario. She likely has to go to work like most people, so this is a perfectly legit question.

Then give her a chance to answer that. If it’s anything but a wholehearted “Of course call me regardless of the time. I’ll be there for you” then you’ll know your answer for sure.

It’s not an unreasonable question since it gives her an out if she wants it. And clarifies the issue for you.

Can you imagine how a best friend would feel if you ended up in a horrible car accident by stubbornly driving yourself in the middle of labor when she was willing to do it? Think about it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’ve had 3 children and all 3 of their births were different. With my last one, we barely made it to the hospital in time. There is no way I could have drove myself to the hospital. If your friend agreed, I’m sure she realized it could happen any time. Besides, you need someone to watch your daughter while you are having this baby. The hospital staff cannot do that for you.

JLeslie's avatar

I wouldn’t feel bad about calling your friend in the middle of the night if she offered. If it was my friend in labor I wouldn’t mind for a second that she woke me at 3am. The only thing I might care about is I would want to use her car.

How much is a taxi? Are you very far from the hospital?

Buttonstc's avatar

And if you discover she’s really willing to drive you no matter when, and you still have FALSE guilt about it, the best thing to do is find out what type of thoughtful (or lavish) gift you could give her afterwards.

It could be anything from a thoughtful letter listing all her good qualities and how grateful you are for her kindness (if finances are kinda tight) or a gift certificate to a day spa or a high end restaurant if you can afford it. I’m sure either would be well received.

And if the unforseen happens and she can’t do it, just be sure to let 911 operator know that in addition to needing an ambulance you also have a
minor child.

They’ll let the police know and they can make arrangements for somebody to take her if the ambulance won’t allow her to go with you.

Thy do have contingency resources for minor children when parents are incapicitated in emergencies.

JLeslie's avatar

About the taxi, my husband recently took a taxi from the little PIE airport (you know where Allegiant airlines is and the coastguard) to the Clearwater Costco at Gulf to Bay and 19 and I think it was right around $20 with tip. You can figure out how much a taxi would be if you have the amount of miles the hospital is from where you live.

Also, you could call your hospital and see if there is some sort of service, but any service done by the hospital will probably be expensive.

I’ve never been in labor, but I know some labors start off pretty easy so it’s probably pretty safe to drive, but I think it is better not to drive just in case. Some labors move along very quickly. Having a car accident while in labor sounds disasterous to me.

jca's avatar

If you have to, call a taxi.

jca's avatar

When I went into labor at around 1:00 am, I called my mother. People understand that babies don’t emerge according to a work schedule or sleep schedule. I’m sure your friend expects that the baby may come in the middle of the night. Baby’s birth is such a wonderful occasion that your friend will probably be thrilled just to be part of the whole experience.

JLeslie's avatar

A friend of mine could just “need a friend” at 3am and I would be there for her. Assuming it is not a regular occurence.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Screw it, I would drive myself. But then I drove to my doctor 25 miles away with a concussion and a shattered collarbone. So maybe you don’t want to go be my example.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe With a concussion? Really not good. LOL. I certainly do know women who have driven themselves to the hospital while in labor. I had a manager who went into labor at work while we were all in a meeting. She said nothing until it ended 45 minutes later, finished up some paperwork, and then drove to the hospital.

I still think at minimum the OP needs a back up plan in case she winds up unable to do it.

jca's avatar

Labor is different than other types of pain because the contractions come on very strong and very sudden. So you’re feeling ok and then all of a sudden **WHAAAAMM!!** Pain so strong you can’t even talk.

A friend of mine said her labor pains were so bad that in the hospital, she broke a chair (out of frustration).

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I agree a backup plan is a good idea, but sometimes you do what you have to do. Although in my case the doctor looked at my eyes and said “I really don’t think you should be driving.” I didn’t argue, so I guess I’m not totally nuts.

gailcalled's avatar

At least have the closest local taxi number at hand (and check with the manager in a month or so for how they handle this kind of call at weird hours).

Labor can go from “This isn’t so bad” to “OMG,” to “Oh, look, there’s the baby’s head” in several minutes.

With my first, I spent all day at home joking around and finally showed up at the hospital around 7:00PM. In the elevator things changed and within 50 minutes my son was born.

Have you considered moving back home to be with or at least near your family? Your husband and his horrible family have hung you out to dry, which is beyond inhuman. What prevents you from leaving?

Have you gotten an attorney yet?

Stinley's avatar

Have a home birth instead. If your first labour and delivery were fine then you are a good candidate.

Rtpizarro's avatar

I totally drove myself to the 25 miles to the hospital for my second birth but I went early enough in my contractions that I knew I would have a while. But this is absolutely a last resort. Please consider home birth.

seekingwolf's avatar

I can’t believe people are still advocating for home births. If my mom did that with me, I may have died. I was her first too. You never know how things may go during a birth and afterward. The baby may need help or medical care.

M1952's avatar

I would be terrified to have a home birth ): my daughter had a bit of jaundice when she was born but I can’t imagine if there is something more serious or if something happens to me, and you wouldn’t know until you give birth! ):

Adagio's avatar

If someone has offered to drive you to the hospital I’m sure they won’t mind being woken in the early hours of the morning, if it was my friend I certainly would not mind, it’s not an everyday occurrence.

JLeslie's avatar

Seven sevens is one of the cabs here. 777–7777. Just like in NY, not that it matters. I just mention it, because if you dont do the research for cabs, but then find yourself in a situation where you need one, that one is easy to remember. There are several taxi services in Pinellas.

Here2_4's avatar

With my first, my water broke, I drove myself to the hospital, labor had to be induced. With my second, my water broke in the bathroom. By the time I got to the other end of the hall, I was in hard labor. The first contraction hit, and each one after was less than two minutes apart. Less than an hour after that water broke, I had someone needing a name! The third one, my water broke, I got a cab to the hospital, and labor had to be induced again. Looking back, driving myself to the hospital was a terrible risk, which was why I didn’t do it again. If it happens at three in the morning, call your friends. It isn.t like going to the store, it is once, not every week.

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