Carmageddon Might Force Me to Give Birth In My Car!

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backseat of car
Could THIS be my L&D room?
Alright all of you Angelenos freaking out about Carmageddon -- you can stop your bitching about not being able to make it to the beach or having to cancel your hard-to-get dinner reservations when the 405 Freeway (the main pipeline running through Los Angeles) gets shut down this weekend. Sure, you may be a wee bit inconvenienced, but are you days from giving birth? Huh? Are you?

Because I am! I'm pregnant with twins, less than two weeks from my due date, and I know that I don't know you or anything so I can't really ask you to care, but, what if I go into labor this weekend? For the love of all things good and holy, what am I going to do?!?!

First of all, our hospital is a 30-minute drive away, without traffic. Why did I pick this place so far, far away? Because when I first found out that I was having twins, I wanted the hospital that had the best NICU, concerned that my little ones could be premature. Well, luckily, thankfully, they're now fully-cooked ... but I'm miles away from my chosen hospital and doctor! Normally, this drive wouldn't really be an issue, but with gazillions of cars jamming up the side streets, it could be total mayhem. It might take more like hours to get to the hospital if it's as bad as they (you know the "they" that know everything) predict.

So if I do go into labor, and we're stuck in traffic, what then? Get out and walk? Aargh, it's times like this that I really wish that Segways had caught on! Oh God, what if I have one of those really fast, two contractions, baby-just-falls-out labors and my husband has to deliver our babies himself by the side of the road? We would be that 11:00 news story: "Blood Everywhere: Woman Gives Birth to Twin Babies During Carmageddon Traffic Jam." Should we load sterilized water, Handi Wipes, blankets and nail scissors into our car, just in case? Will we be able to find a "backseat baby delivery" instructional video on YouTube? Oh, and one of my babies is transverse, so how's that going to work? Maybe we can flag down a traffic cop to help assist.

I think that we'll just have to get in the car and go at the first signs of labor, even if those signs of labor are really more like gas pains. My mom was in labor for awhile with me, so I'm hoping that if genetics has anything to do with it, I'll have at least 12 hours to get to the hospital. Someone suggested I just call an ambulance so I don't have to worry about the traffic, except that I'm not sure contractions twenty minutes apart would qualify as an emergency. Plus, ambulances aren't hovercrafts -- they're going to get stuck in the same traffic! Another friend suggested we drive to the hospital that's ten minutes away and see if they'll Medi-vac me to my hospital. Of course, at that point, I should probably just deliver there, huh?

Of course, we asked the OB for his professional opinion, thinking he might have some complicated, medical disaster-scenario plan in place for his patients. Perhaps the hospital has a secret supply of jet-packs reserved for just this kind of situation? No, apparently not. Instead, I guess he thought we were just looking for a human-GPS because all he did was map out the best route to the hospital. Oh, and reassured me that he lives near the hospital, too. Good to know at least one of us will be able to get there.

Soooo, I guess the only thing to do is just make sure that I don't go into labor this weekend. Because I have about as much control over that as I do the traffic. Hopefully, fellow LA-residents will just stay close to home, get to know their neighbors, discover a local Thai restaurant that they never even realized was on their street, all of which will just make my path to the hospital even easier. Just in case though, maybe I should see how much my husband knows about home birthing.

Do you ever worry about not making it to your hospital or birth center in time?


Image via tienvijftien/Flickr

labor & delivery