Hurricane Evacuation - Bad Idea? | Giftie Etcetera: Hurricane Evacuation - Bad Idea?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hurricane Evacuation - Bad Idea?

Well, there's a hurricane in the Gulf. As y'all know, I live south of Baton Rouge. During Katrina, my parish (aka county) was the furthest north that had a madatory evacuation order. (I wrote this part for my "virtual" loyal readers. The IRL readers already know.) I have an evacuation plan in place, which involves going to MIL's house with my immediate family. She lives about 4 hours away, but during the Katrina evacuation, the trip took 8 - 10 hours. I was pregnant then, but only 8 or 9weeks pregnant.

It was awful. We had to use the bathroom whenever we got a chance where ever we got a chance. Food was all carbs. And if I went into labor, the local hospital had no NICU. Nowadays, I pee every hour or so (plus other digestive issues ), I have gestational diabetes, and I keep contracting, making a preterm baby very likely. Oh, and riding in a car equals labor for me so far this month. Plus, the lower pressure of a tropical storm can cause labor (fact, not theory).

This weekend, when I'm just barely 34 weeks (and at the same point in pregnancy when Ander was born and spent over two weeks in the NICU), Hurricane Gustav is expected to be in range to decide whether we need to evacuate. I am nervous about this. (I know the hurricane might totally go elsewhere. The thing is, if it doesn't, we have to prepare this weekend, because I'm on bedrest and Alan has to do everything.)

If we don't evacuate, there is a chance the roads will close and I won't be able to get to the hospital. We will LIKELY lose electricity and water for several days, in the Louisiana heat. The hospital in Baton Rouge (where my doctor and the NICU are) is THE hospital for transfers of NICU babies and high risk moms from the New Orleans area. There won't be any hotels open near the hospital. We could crash with people in Baton Rouge, for a bit extra safety, but not really near the hospital.

If we do, I very well could have a preemie baby in the car. A friend of mine (a giftie) already joked that I need to pack hot water and towels. If not, I could have the baby in a place with poor medical care. I would be EXTREMELY uncomfortable on the car ride and would likely contract the entire time, based on my recent history.

There's probably only about a 10% chance this hurricane could hit us. Maybe even less. But if it does, what should I do? (I plan to ask my doctor tomorrow, too.) Would you leave town this pregnant with labor constantly threatening?



Mamaebeth said...

ohh, this is a tough one... i would wait till the hurricane gets into the gulf (to see how much of a threat it is) and then i would probably leave town. better to plan a leisurly trip to a city with adequate medical services. plus the barometric pressure issue which i think is serious enough to evacuate for.

what about going to houston? you could make hotel reservations now and cancel them if there is no hurricane. Houston has plenty of hospitals that should be able to take care of you and it is a 5 hour drive instead of 8-10. if you leave far enough in advance there shouldn't be too much traffic and there are regular stops off the interstate.

a closer option is to go to lafayette. you just need to get on the west side of the storm to avoid the bad weather. and lafayette is only 50 minutes which means a quicker trip home if the hurricane weakens or changes course.

i would probably plan a trip to lafayette and then decide if i needed to go all the way to houston.

i think if you go ahead and make a plan now it will be less stressful (with hopefully less contractions).

Rachel said...

I would suggest making plans to evacuate. But like beth said, plan a a short evacuation; just far enough to get you out of the worst of the danger zone without stressing your body to hard.

And for what it's worth, we're only twenty minutes from the hospital. I realize you may not consider our parish an improvement, but, well, we're open to house guests. It's an option.

Anonymous said...

Yay houston!!! Come visit!
hugs, Beth