Should I stay close to home the last few weeks of my pregnancy?

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This is reader Rachel hanging out with OK Go.. while at their show pregnant. WIN.
There’s a gig that I and my husband want to go to about a week before my due date next year. The show is in a city that’s about an hour away from us where we live and two hours away from the hospital I’m supposed to be attending to give birth.

I’d love to go and I know that I’d probably be upset that we missed out if we ended up staying at home that night because we didn’t take a chance… only for the baby to be born late nearly a month later. I appreciate that if our impending offspring decides to put in an early appearance we may need to sell the tickets/cancel at short notice/leave part way through the gig, but is there anything else that we’re missing?

I was just wondering how active readers have been and how adventurous they’ve been about venturing from home in the few weeks before their due dates — did you err on the side of caution in the last few weeks of your pregnancy or did you stay close to home? — Clare

I thought it would be fun to include a bunch of reader photos of pregnant women rocking at concerts:

Jessica at House of Blues in Anaheim, CA.
Kristy seeing The Wedding Present at Emo’s in Austin.
Yvette covering Lollapalooza at six months pregnant.
Lizzie at a Phish show one week before giving birth.

Did you guys travel far and wide throughout your pregnancies, or stick close to home toward the end?

Comments on Should I stay close to home the last few weeks of my pregnancy?

  1. In NYC getting anywhere takes a while so two hours sounds like nothing to me. Pack your bag and plan to enjoy yourself. Labor will be easier if you’re relaxed and having fun.

    I went to a documentary screening a week before my due date. The location was at least an hour taxi ride from our birth center, but much closer than our apartment. I really really wanted to go, because the directors and subject were giving a Q&A. The day before the show I went into early labor, but refused to cancel the tickets. I went WHILE in labor. My husband was a little nervous, but it became one of the most memorable and loving experiences of our relationship. Our son finally made his appearance 24 hours later. (I had a 3 day affair.)

    Follow your gut and make sure your husband is willing to be your main coach should you go into labor early.

  2. For me it would depend on whether it was a concert with seating or a concert where I’ve got to stand for four hours. The travel actually wouldn’t have bothered me because I think two hours isn’t that far away if you left at the first sign of going into labor. But I skipped out on a concert a few days before my due date because the thought of standing for so long was just too exhausting. I did go to a few small (bar/coffee shop) SXSW festival shows about two weeks before my due date and also found that I had to leave and go sit down a few times because I couldn’t stand for very long without getting tired and woozy. Prior to the final month of pregnancy, I was good to go at the other shows I went to though.

  3. If possible, you could find out when your mother went into labour in relation to her due date. I think there is some hereditary element to whether you’ll be “early” or “late”, and also how long your labour is likely to be. If your mom was 2 weeks post due date and if her labour was really long, then you’re probably safe (either because you’ll be late or because you’ll have time to make it to your hospital). If she was 1-2 weeks early and/or had a short labour, you might want to be more wary!

  4. Play it by ear; your body will tell you whether to go. Each pregnancy is different. A week before my due date with baby #1 (Austin City Limits 7.5 months pregnant, camping 8 months pregnant) and #2 (Austin City Limits 5 months pregnant, camping 6 months pregnant) and I felt great, had great energy and was in a good mood! A week before my due date with baby #3, and you couldn’t pay me to leave my house. I was working from home because my hip and back pain were so severe it was hard for me to stand and walk (and sit on noncushioned surfaces).

    If you decide to go, you will want to make sure the pregnant lady essentials are available, ie. water, seating, and access to a bathroom. Plus, a SOBER driver that is not you. Whether its your partner or someone else, there needs to be a responsible person that can get you to some medical attention and/or a hospital, or just take you home if you start to feel tired and achy – without having to sober up first.

  5. Speaking as somebody 2 weeks overdue, I would have worried about going a lot, probably not gone and regretted it. I was cautious and tired for part of this final trimester but now I go anywhere and do anything I’m invited to. My medical people I’ve consulted have said go anywhere and do anything, be as active and ‘normal for you’ as possible, on the grounds that this results in a quicker recovery from labour.

    With my first pregnancy I would never have made it to the gig, I was practically incapacitated by various problems from 30 weeks, however, this time it would have worked to go. Can you buy the tickets and then pass them along nearer the time if you can’t make it? Pregnancy experiences are so variable, even across the course of a single pregnancy, if it means enough to you I would buy and then keep my fingers crossed but potentially have in mind somebody who might be able to go in my place.

  6. I wouldn’t be worried unless you were already have contractions. I drove all over CT when I was 38 wks pregnant with my first because my MIL was visiting and wanted to check out family history sites. It never occurred to me that I was risking anything.

  7. I went to Neil Diamond about two-three weeks before I was due with my son. I had a couple friends set up to take the tickets just in case, but we went and all was well … However, it would be worth a conversation with your doc or midwife to see what they advise.

    And it was so much fun! I currently have a month before my second son is born and I’ve been wondering if I could squeeze a concert in before he shows up. 🙂

  8. At the end of my first trimester, I went on a quick tour with my musician husband. We spent each day in a different city (only spending extra time in Minneapolis). I did most of the driving & loved it.

    By my third trimester, I was still going to (local/local-ish) shows… but by the end of my third trimester, I was only going to shows that had seating available!! Not that I was sitting the whole time, but I definitely needed to have the option to take a rest as needed. I also gave a venue major bonus points if they had good food to munch on.

    At a CD release show for our friends’ band, another woman went into labor. She was also a friend of the band, although I don’t know her, but it seems things went just fine judging by the Facebook post our mutual friend put up not long after.

    So I’d say go for it. Like others have said, have an exit strategy. Pack your bags & put them in the car. Have a car seat installed & ready. Make sure to park in an area that’s easy to get to (this might mean you’ll have to plan on getting there really early depending on the parking situation). This would be the time to pay for parking, even if you never pay for parking!

    But super important: If the venue will be hard to communicate in, have a plan for how you will let your partner know if something’s up.

  9. I bought tickets to The Movielife when I was about 6 months pregnant, knowing the show was 3 days before my due date (and turned out to be the night before Hurricane Irene was to hit the east coast). I had stopped working because of how I felt about 2 weeks before my due date but was determined to make this show since it was the band’s final show (after already being broken up for years), how my husband and I met, and we both have Movielife tattoos. We grocery shopped that morning (to prepare for the baby, and being stuck inside from the hurricane), and then headed into the city from Brooklyn. I had to sit for a lot of it, and missed the crowd interaction I would have had, but I am SO HAPPY I did it. And my daughter outlasted that, and the hurricane, and was born a day late.

    If you feel up to it day of, I say go for it. Just like everyone else said, look into local hospitals around the area just in case, but don’t stress yourself too much about the “what if”.

  10. I agree–go for it! As long as you’re prepared to leave early and have an exit strategy in place, 2 hours isn’t that long when we’re talking labor & delivery. I worked right up until the morning I went into labor–I felt fine and wanted to save all of my time off for after I had my baby–and didn’t pass on any other fun activities if I felt up to going. I ended up giving birth almost two weeks late, and during that time we went to a concert and a pro hockey game. The biggest hassle is people around you–they’re so nervous! You get a lot of looks like you’re a ticking time bomb. At the hockey game we made friends with a security guard who expressed concern; when he asked when my due date was and I said “3 days ago” he pointed out the emergency exits and where the paramedics were and that he’d be right there keeping an eye out for us so if we needed anything just signal to him. I felt great and we had a fun night out–which is important to to while you still have the time to do it!

  11. I’d say plan to go, then have a back up plan. Everyone is going to have anecdotal stories that vary – every pregnancy is different! I wasn’t comfortable traveling the last 2 months of my pregnancy myself. Turns out for good reason – I delivered early!

  12. Since you said “I appreciate that if our impending offspring decides to put in an early appearance we may need to sell the tickets/cancel at short notice/leave part way through the gig” I think you already have the right idea. If you want to do it, go for it, but be flexible if you’re not feeling up to it when the time comes.

  13. I went on a bus tour at 37 weeks, playing concerts and staying in a different hotel every night. It was a bit uncomfy sitting on the bus, but mainly it was FINE.

    Go for it!

  14. Go for it! I went camping about an hour away from my birthing hospital on my due date! The little miss was too comfy though, not budging for almost a week before being forcibly evicted (induction)! Just make sure you have plans in place, if bubs does decide to come whilst you are at the concert.

  15. I was SUPER active all throughout my pregnancy. I went on a 7mile snow shoe 2hrs away from home at 38weeks pregnant. My daughter came at 38.3. I think active labor in a car is the worst thing EVAR!!!! But I also think it is the rare rare bird who has such a precipitous labor that she skips over the prodrome and gets right down to biz. I think you can listen to your body and see what signals it is sending you around the date of the gig. If you feel up to it go for it. If you feel crappy and tired or lots of BH ctx and discharge, think about skipping it. If you are OK with the uncertainty then have a blast. It is so hard to say but totally within the realm of possibility if you keep listening to your body.

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