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Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me: Ride Home From the Hospital

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me: Ride Home From the Hospital

I've experienced my share of scary car rides — driving in storms with minimal visibility or with a 14-year-old driver back in high school, but nothing prepared me for the terror that was our car ride home from the hospital with our brand new bundle of joy.

Though my husband painstakingly strapped the safest carseat we could find into our sedan, and checked it 15 more times at my nudging, it wasn't what was inside the vehicle — our daughter, balloons, floral arrangements, bags of baby goods and a life-sized stuffed animal that made me nervous — it was the lack of control of the things outside of those confines. To hear what happened,


As we sped home at ten miles an hour, the very route I had taken to all my doctors' appointments (just a short distance from our apartment) had become a race track, a rat race.

Watching cars whiz by, I just hoped we'd make it home. And, we did. But, we bought a bigger carseat and a SUV before we made the trek again a few years later with our son.


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peepshow peepshow 9 years
I just want to bring mine home!! I'm 38 weeks and so excited!
macgirl macgirl 9 years
Lilabo, not sure how old you are but when I was a baby in the early 1970's they didn't even have carseats ;-) As far as car rides go, the ride home from the hospital was OK. The first time I drove alone with my first son I reached my hand back to feel his little head and it wasn't there! pulled over and found that my car seat was at too much of an incline and his head was tilted forward! I freaked out and proceeded to keep one hand holding his head in place during our ride to and from his 1 week check up. This was 9 years ago before they made the big mirrors to keep an eye on your baby. Thankfully the car seat I bought for my new son had a little twist knob to lower or raise the car seat base to prevent this :-)
ylatan ylatan 9 years
this makes homebirth even more appealing to me. lol.
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
Wow, I feel fortunate! Our ride home was uneventful (and we were lucky the hospital was so close). We even stopped at the store so I could rent a breast pump on the way home. However, a week later when we drove to the airport to pick up my mom, the car seat came unattached on one side from the seatbelt. Mom's fault--she undid it trying to fasten her belt in the backseat. That freaked me out and I made my husband get off the freeway and pull into a parking lot to essentially re-install the seat in the dark.
MotoLinz MotoLinz 9 years
Our hospital's NICU required a one-hour car seat test before we could take the little man home. So, he had to be strapped into the car seat for a full hour with no blips from the monitors. That was the longest hour of our lives. He'd been in for 10 days, and we were so ready to just have him home. Luckily, he passed on the first go-round, and our half-hour drive home (the closer hospital didn't have as intense a NICU) was mostly uneventful, other than me sitting in the back with him and staring intently to make sure he was still breathing.
macneil macneil 9 years
The nurse made us bring in the car seat for inspection. It had taken my husband a while to work out how to strap it in. She told us the straps were too low. We had them on the lowest setting and my daughter was 5.5 pounds and had lost weight in her 3 days in hospital. We said, how could it be any lower? What size baby would that be for? She said she'd been on several car seat courses and knew what she was talking about. So, my husband tried to fix it higher. I had had a miserable time at the hospital, not being able to nurse, not seeing the same nurse twice, not having any milk, and I would have done anything to get out, but was kept in because my baby kept losing weight. I was hysterical and crying. My husband couldn't work out how to refit the straps, he'd left the manual at home. Despite her several courses, she didn't offer to show him. Three hours later he gave up. Eventually, the nurse said, 'Well if you want to leave, you're just going to have to go with it like that, but I have to tell you you're risking your baby's life. But that's your decision.' We went. We RAN. When we got home, we found the manual which said it was on the correct setting, and putting the straps ABOVE the baby's shoulders was extremely dangerous.
GoOzzie30 GoOzzie30 9 years
Big car does not = safer.
GirlC GirlC 9 years
Cute story. Thankfully I live in a small town so I don't have to worry about highways etc.
nancita nancita 9 years
I never would have thought of this. That, like so many things about having a new baby, sounds terrifying!
SussLW SussLW 9 years
Not to scare all you moms out there more, but please research your SUV purchases. Many of them are not very safe at all, just bigger, causing other parents and their kids to be in more peril in their smaller sedan.
fashionhore fashionhore 9 years
fashionhore fashionhore 9 years
I helped my aunt and uncle home from the hospital last year because my aunt had a difficult pregnancy/birth process. My aunt was a wreck as she sat by the baby trying to cover her from sun or if another car came near the side of their car, she would sheild the baby. They even have a Mercury Mariner, and she was still scared as hell.
wingedkiare wingedkiare 9 years
The drive home with our firstborn was a nightmare! I sat in the back and my husband took the most roundabout way home to avoid the freeway. And we didn't even have all the flowers and balloons and such - I had my mom take them back to our apartment (with the exception of the flowers - I had two cats that ate foliage, so I gave the flowers to the nurses).
LilaBo LilaBo 9 years
love the photo of the way out-dated carseat that would never meet safety standards in a million years! and..... the bottle of juice thrown in the seat. soooo 1970's!
khrystena khrystena 9 years
Our hospital and the apt were both downtown and at noon when i was released it was bumper to bumper, it was the first time i liked that everyone was crawling in their cars
sofi sofi 9 years
wow- yeah, that car ride home is tough. I felt really safe and secure in the hospital and now I am going home with another lil' person who I need to protect from everything out there! Scary and unforgettable. thx :)
stina829 stina829 9 years
Sounds familiar... I was driving around in a 2 door tiny sportscar when my son was born. After driving him around in it for 2 months and being stressed out everytime we got in the car, I broke down and traded that car in for a SUV. I feel a lot safer now. I'll feel even more safe once I get my son into a better carseat, which is happening in the next month. :)
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