20 answers

Traveling 4 Hours Away for Funeral at 37 Weeks Pregnant?

My husband's great-uncle passed away yesterday and the wake is Sunday, funeral Monday in Indiana - about 4 hours from where we live. I'm 37 weeks pregnant and had an ultrasound on Monday, baby is doing great at 6lbs, 3ounces. I called my OB and left a message and am waiting for his call, but I was wondering: would you go?

ETA: I'm not close to his great-uncle, in fact I've never met him, but DH was. This is my 2nd baby. My DD was 4 days late, but her labor was short for a first baby (8 hours). That is a good point about insurance. I have no idea if mine will cover me at another hospital.

I'm also kind of a wimp about being away from my 2 year old for a day or two if she goes with DH to the funeral. The biggest motivating factors for me to go would be to not be away from her and to support my DH. I know the former reason is probably silly :)

What can I do next?

More Answers

No, I would not go. Your baby must come first. It would stink to go into labor when you are 4 hours from home.
EDIT: My labor for my 3 rd baby was about 1 to 1 1/2 hours total. I delivered within 12 minutes of getting into my hospital room. This is not your first baby so I personally would not take the chance. My daughter was born exactly 2 weeks before her due date.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, I would go. You normally can make it back to your hospital in 4 hours if you need to.


Yes, I would go. You normally can make it back to your hospital in 4 hours if you need to.

2 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't go. Stay home and relax and enjoy a couple of days to yourself!

1 mom found this helpful

Do you have a sign of labor ? If not, I would go.
If yes, ask yourself if you are willing to travel and if this person is an important person for you/your hubby. Is it worth the discomfort of travel and the risk of being in labor ?
Usually the baby is not coming within the 4 hours since the first sign of labor (with the exception of some women who happen to have a very quick one).

1 mom found this helpful

My grandfather past away a few weeks ago when I was 36 weeks pregnant. Our drive was 5 hours. After talking with my doctor and getting his blessing I decided to make the trip. It was that important to me on so many levels. I called United Health Care before going to make sure I understood what my options were for hospitals along the way. For us we could deliver at any hospital that took UHC which the options were endless. We printed off the hospital options in each city along the way and brought that with us. We also brought my labor delivery bag, postpartum bag, and car seat. My doctor made sure we understood to drink lots of extra fluids and to walk around every 2 hours. That wasn't a problem because at 36 weeks pregnant I was going to need to potty at least that often.

My daughter did not go. She stayed with my mom. I felt like if i went into labor my parents and daughter could jump in the car and be there in 5 hours which by that time the baby would most likely still not be here. First labor was 12 hours. However, I could not imagine going into labor without my husband around so I was much more willing to make the journey and keep us together than for him to go alone. I did fine and had no problems. It was the right decision for me.

1 mom found this helpful

NO. I wouldn't go. Its too close for comfort. What if you go into labor on the way? Would you be comfortable delivering at an unknown hospital with people who don't know you or your history? I wouldn't take the chance. I am very sorry to hear about your great-uncle. Take care~

1 mom found this helpful

It would depend on the weather and if you are at all dilated of softening. Also what your ob says. I think I would probably not go if it were me.


It would depend on the weather and if you are at all dilated of softening. Also what your ob says. I think I would probably not go if it were me.

1 mom found this helpful

If you're looking for an excuse not to attend a funeral, just use whatever the OB tells you. I'm almost positive that they'll tell you to stay home. No one, not even your husband, will look down on you for staying home.

You know I just read yours over a few times and didn't think of it in terms of you. I did me. My baby is more important than any uncle, or great uncle. My family is more important and especially my baby than paying my respects at this moment in time. I wouldn't go. I also want my husband to go and would tell him about my insecurities. You can drive up there later and pay your respects. But I'd stay close to my doctor, hospital and my family. If your insurance is like mine it would cover other hospitals but it wouldn't be in network or whatever so it would only pay out of network prices. I think mine is pre-approval and 50%. Which is not good. My first was a 6 hour later labor. My second was 30 mins. and my third was pry 2 hours, maybe less. So I definitely wouldn't be 4 hours away.

But like I said I just looked at it like me and this is what I decided if it had happened to me. :)

Good luck with your upcoming birth and addition to your family!

Only you can choose your priorities, I personally, if I were to go would get a copy of my records take them with me, and get a list hospital locations all along the trip. All of my labors were 4 hrs or less, yes even my first.

Choose wisly and be prepared, that is all anyone can say. Bring your hospital bag, insurance cards and baby's car seat just incase.

Be Safe!

I would talk with your husband. I don't see where there would be any harm in going, but if you would feel better staying at home, do so. Let him know how you feel. Also let him know that you support him in his time of loss.

Is this your first baby? Do you have a feel if you'll be early or late on the due date? The doctor will probably tell you not to go. My husband's grandmother passed away when I was bout 35 or 36 weeks and my doctor strongly said I shouldn't go (I didn't) even though I knew I was no where close to dilating/labor. Stay home and "enjoy" some quiet time by yourself. Plus you never know what the winter weather will do, esp there in WI / IL / IN.

Really, it depends on a) how close my family was to the relatives, b) how I was feeling and/or doc's okay, c) what if any pressure there is to attend, d) if I was okay having my baby far from home/known doctors.

We are not close to any of my "greats," so personally, the answer would be no for me.

I would also check with your insurance. My insurance past 36 weeks won't allow me to travel more then 2 hours from my house without a doctors note. If I was to travel without the doctors note and went into labor, my insurance wouldn't cover any of the medicial expenses.

As for it I would go, I wouldn't go. I have gone early with both of my children (first at 39 weeks, second 38 weeks) and once my water broke I had my children within four hours. I would just be to nervous that I would go into labor and my water would break. Plus once the contractions started the last place I wanted to be was in a car. I would encourage my husband to go to the funeral and have people on hand to call if I was to go into labor to take me to the hospital. Family will understand why you were not able to make it.

All of the women (mom, sister, aunts and cousins) in my family were taking an end of summer vacation about 4 hours from home when I was 37 weeks pregnant. My husband was deployed at the time so my labor and delivery support was my mom and my sister.... since they were going so was I!!! My doctor didn't want me to go because I was so close to my due date, I was already dialated and long car rides/ sitting for long periods of time that late in pregnancy is not good. After some begging I was allowed. I did check out the hospital/insurance sitation, my doctor gave me a copy of my medical records of the pregnancy to bring with and he strictly instructed that we stop every hour or so to stretch my legs and move around and to keep well hydrated- which will give you a good reason to keep stopping!! I think that if you really want to be with your husband and daughter, you are not having a high risk pregnancy, your doctor gives you the go ahead and you do your homework and gather some paperwork before you leave than you should go with your husband to the funeral.

I would not.
1) you will be miserable. being THAT pregnant is uncomfortable even at home
2) you will be miserable. being that pregnant will turn that 4 hr car ride into a 6 hr car ride having to stop every 20 mins to pee.
3) something could happen and that's a long way to be away from your Dr.

Funerals are for the living - so this is about your husband and his family and honoring their grief. Was your husband and his parents close to the great uncle? Will you be comfortable driving the four hours? How do you feel about your husband going without you?

Personally I would probably have let my husband go without me - but I had huge babies and the last few weeks were very uncomfortable and I had to use the bathroom every hour. That would make a 4 hour drive into 5 hours. Have a girlfriend come stay with you if you don't want to stay alone.

While babies can occassionally arrive 2 weeks early it's rare and you probably won't have the baby at 3 weeks early. And - as another person wrote - even if you go into labor 4 hours is still enough time for your husband to get back home.

On the other hand if you're close with his family and the ride won't be too uncomfortable for you go for the service. I hate to say it - but funerals are one of the only times you get to see extended family as you all grow up. You and your husband may enjoy seeing his family and they may enjoy seeing you pregnant - kind of illustrates the continuing widening circle of family - and that even when one person dies there's still new life to celebrate and life goes on.

The very worst case scenario is that you go in to labor and have the baby in another city. While it's not your first choice - but it would make for a fun birth story years later for your child. Fortunately we live in America and there are good hospitals withing a hour drive of almost everywhere.

Whatever you do it will end up being the best decision for you - just weigh out all the options and discuss with hubby.

In light of your circumstances of not knowing his great uncle personally I would stay right at home and send flowers from everyone. If someone has a problem with your not attending then all that does is highlight that you don't need to have that person in your life. But I don't think anyone will mind and everyone should understand your situation. Babies have a lovely way of having really bad timing when being born. I woudn't chance it.

I LIVED 3 1/2 hours away from the hospital with my first....and had him weeks after he was due, made it with hours to spare...So, of course I would go.

I would not go, but that is me. I had my first baby at 35 weeks. my in-laws had my baby shower that weekend and we traveled 3 hrs out of town. I will never know what caused the pre-term labor, but I think the traveling and "busyness" of that weekend could of been the start.
Just remenber, everyone is different and you have to decide for yourself what matters morn in the long run? I'm not close to my great-uncle or my husbands great-uncles but maybe you are? If you do decide to go... do your research first. I would look up every hospital between your house & the town you are traveling to and maybe which ones cover your isurance. I always live by the old saying, the more prepared you are, the less likely it will happen!

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