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A birth community for homebirthers etc.

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Hospital Births [Jun. 19th, 2007|04:58 pm]
A birth community for homebirthers etc.

winter07_08edd

[my_everafter]
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |hopefulhopeful]

I just wanted to say some things about hospital births that I hope most of you will agree with and understand.

Many of us have seen over and over again those (usually first-time) moms who say, "Oh yes, I'm planning a natural delivery in the hospital" bla bla bla. Usually you can tell right away that they are a lot of talk and don't even realize what they are saying. More often than not (probably about 95% of the time if not more?) they come back from their birth saying, "Well that was extraordinarily painful and there was no way I could do it without an epidural! So that's that." Some end up being induced or even having c-sections. That's just the way it usually is and most of you know this I think.

That is why I specifically made this community for homebirth, UC, and birth center moms. That, however, does NOT mean that you hospital birth moms aren't welcome!

I just want you to understand that there might be negative things said about hospitals and hospital births here and please don't take them personally. Many of us have had bad experiences with hospital births and have a general distrust of the medical establishment at large! I just want you to be prepared for that. This is primarily a homebirth/birth center/UC community so it's a given that many of us will be of the "hospitals and doctors are evil" persuasion. Again, please don't take it personally! That doesn't mean we can't be understanding of anyone's individual situation and reasons for needing/wanting a hospital birth!

So I want everyone to understand that first up.

Second, sometimes it's hard for moms who have had natural births to believe a mom who is planning a hospital birth and says "I'm planning a natural birth." It's just my first instinct when I hear that to think, "Yeah right!" and I smile and nod. Again, please don't be offended or take this personally!

This is merely my own reaction because I've had a hospital birth and I've had a birth center birth. For me (and many women) it is necessary to be outside of a hospital in order to give birth naturally. When I took my birth class the teacher said, "Going to a hospital for a natural birth is like going to McDonalds for authentic fine Thai Cuisine. It is humanly possible to get Thai food INSIDE a McDonalds, but it's generally a big hassle and generally not what happens at McDonalds!"

Even at my birth center birth, once I hit transition I was telling my husband, "I want to transfer to a hospital and get an epidural RIGHT NOW PLEEEEEASE!" I was begging him to take me to a hospital for an epidural at one point. Up to that moment I hadn't mentioned an epidural nor did I want one. And after transition passed and I gave birth to my beautiful baby I could not have dreamed of having her in any other place or any other way or imagined that just a little while earlier I had been begging for drugs! But in the intensity of that moment and in my own extremely vulnerable state (in laborworld), I was begging for pain meds. Imagine if I had been in the hospital! Would I have had a natural birth? Nope.

I'm always shocked and amazed when I hear of a woman having a natural birth in the hospital so to those of you who have done it, my hat is off to you! You are truly incredible!

So please forgive any doctor/hospital skepticism you might find here and realize that this community is geared towards women who are 100% certain that they ARE most DEFINITELY having 100% natural births. And it's easy to believe a women for whom pain meds won't even be an option (aka homebirth/birth center) and not so easy to believe those who will be surrounded by pain relief options.

This isn't meant to offend anyone! Merely to clear the air and to let you know, yeah- there might be some skepticism, but remember who we are and what this community is about. But we do want the best for each and every one of you and hope that you will definitely have the amazing natural birth of your dreams!

I got a comment on my recent intro post that made my day. It was a first-time mom who said, "Reading about other mommas learning from a bad hospital experience *really* helps to soothe the anxieties of a first-timer like myself. Thank you!"

That says it all to me. If anyone can learn from my experiences, I couldn't be more thrilled! That is what I'm about here.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: isarma
2007-06-19 09:08 pm (UTC)

Yeah, what she said

I could've written most of this post. With my son, my 2nd, I was determined to go natural. I had a midwife (a medwife) and was in a hospital attached birthing center with a good rep. (No freestanding ones in Atlanta, I was too scared to homebirth.) Still, I caved, during a very long transitional period and complained wanting drugs. I still suspect that this wouldn't have happened if I'd been ALLOWED to fucking eat. Not eating for something like 18 hours will bring on severe low blood sugar, which increases the pain and makes labor harder. Still, I whined, I begged and I got my drugs. I don't want that option! I've told my husband, if I ask to transfer, you are NOT to drive me. If our lives are in danger, that's fine. If I'm just in transition, refuse. I don't care what I say. I believe that merely being home and away from all that will take me out of the "save me" paradigm, because no one else is there to do so. It's all me...or us:)

I seriously LOLed when I read your line about needing to be outside a hospital to have a natural birth. SO TRUE!
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[User Picture]From: mizzy
2007-06-19 09:15 pm (UTC)

Re: Yeah, what she said

I have heard of couples making "secret code" for THIS IS SERIOUS ...

Like if the mom knows something is totally wrong and needs to transfer to the hospital (during a homebirth) saying "i need to go to a baseball game" lets her hubby know its for real and not just transition talking. Because it takes actual thought to remember the code and say it and to mean it. So she can say "i need drugs, i need to transer to the hospital" all she wants and he knows its not true.
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[User Picture]From: isarma
2007-06-19 09:20 pm (UTC)

Re: Yeah, what she said

I'd actually thought of this, it's sorta like safeword for BDSM. I think if I freaked I'd just use it! LOL I feel confident that if it is serious, it'll be fairly obvious and I won't have trouble articulating that. Plus, it's so unlikely to be necessary, I'd rather NOT give myself a backdoor. I know the hospital is 5 minutes away and that's as much of a backdoor as I want!
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[User Picture]From: itsjustababy
2007-06-19 09:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Yeah, what she said

*laughs* My Doula and I have a safeword. We laughed about it over dinner and I told her I didn't want any drugs even if I screamed for them.

She said she'd have to know sometime, if I really meant it... so we came up with that.
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[User Picture]From: isarma
2007-06-19 09:27 pm (UTC)

Re: Yeah, what she said

I've tried safewords before (no, not for birth;) I don't like 'em. I tend to either a) forget they exist, even if I'm in real trouble or b) use them way before I'm in trouble, because I'm whiny and I haven't forgotten! I know they work for lots of other people.
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[User Picture]From: itsjustababy
2007-06-19 09:33 pm (UTC)

Re: Yeah, what she said

Safewords for my partner and I are second nature (used less now that I'm 4 1/2 mo pregnant) so when it came up with my doula, it really made me giggle. If she only knew.

Diff'rent strokes and all that :)
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[User Picture]From: geeki
2007-06-19 11:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Yeah, what she said

I'm pretty sure I'd use it before hand...which is kinda why I am getting a Doula....so she can tell me to shut up and deal with transition!
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[User Picture]From: judyisapunk
2007-06-19 09:17 pm (UTC)

Re: Yeah, what she said

When I was in labor with my first son (in a hospital), my aunt snuck me in miso soup and a bagel. I don't know if I would have lasted without it!
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[User Picture]From: isarma
2007-06-19 09:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Yeah, what she said

It's insane, expecting you to do some of the hardest physical labor of your life on NO FOOD! I suppose if you follow protocol and get an IV, you're fine, but I was bound and determined to not have any interventions. I should've brought in a pizza and told them to bite me:)
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[User Picture]From: my_everafter
2007-06-19 11:55 pm (UTC)

Re: Yeah, what she said

Thankfully my husband knew better and just kept calmly telling me that everything was going to be fine and that I was doing a great job. He never fell for my begging once. haha! I think he knew from reading birth books and taking the birth class with me not to take anything I said seriously in transition. lol Smart man. :)
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[User Picture]From: pancakes_house
2007-06-19 09:20 pm (UTC)
I agree. If someone wants to have their baby in the hospital, that's their choice, but I'm avoiding that this time. It seems close to impossible to have a natural birth in a hospital. Someone I know had a homebirth last summer and told me that if she had been in the hospital, she would have given in and gotten and epidural. If it's there, it's tempting. It was for me.
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[User Picture]From: itsjustababy
2007-06-19 09:29 pm (UTC)

*raises hand*

I'm a Natural Birth wanna-be mom who will be trying her best to do so in a hospital. (I'm on Medicaid, so a mid-wife home birth is not covered, and not something my partner is 100% comfortable with).

Choosing this path as caused hesitation because yes, I have heard horror stories, but I am confident with my doula never leaving my side and the backing of my OB, nothing will happen unless it REALLY needs to, and I'm ok with it.

I think EVERYONE should be skeptical of medical establishments, because at their core, they are flawed. Most medical professionals treat the symptoms, not the person.

Pregnancy is not something I need to be "cured" of! My OB and my doula had both suggested that when I go to the hospital, I have someone post my birth plan on the wall, in the bathroom and hand it to all new incoming nurses to read. Not that it will solve all problems, but you know... It can't hurt.

Thank you for this post!
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[User Picture]From: belleweather
2007-06-19 10:27 pm (UTC)

Re: *raises hand*

Medicaid covers homebirths attended by a certified nurse midwife at 100%, by law in all states. Unless you live in a state where midwifery is illegal (and not a-legal, actually against the law), you should be able to homebirth on Medicaid. Medicaid covered my birth center birth, minus the facility fee, and will likely cover this baby's homebirth as well.

If your partner isn't comfortable with it, though, that's another matter. :)
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[User Picture]From: itsjustababy
2007-06-19 11:09 pm (UTC)

Re: *raises hand*

I live in Colorado, where Midwifery is regulated by Registration. There are Direct Entry Midwives near me who I'd love to use, but I can't afford their fees. Medicaid does not cover Direct-Entry midwives (http://mana.org/statechart.html).

Certified Nurse Midwives are reimbursed directly from Medicaid in Colorado, but there are no CNM's that do homebirths that service the area where I live... so I am out of luck. But believe me... I LOOKED.

I should have qualified my statement.
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[User Picture]From: belleweather
2007-06-19 11:21 pm (UTC)

Re: *raises hand*

I understand. We were planning on moving back to Denver in the next couple of months, but nixed it because I don't know how I feel about a direct entry midwife attending my birth, plus since I'm reliant on medication while pregnant I'd have to do the shadow-care thing and work out how to pay for both. I looked and looked for an CNM who did homebirths and I couldn't find one either, so we decided to stay here at least until the baby was born.

On the other hand, I did hear some very good things about the hospitals there!
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[User Picture]From: my_everafter
2007-06-19 11:24 pm (UTC)

Re: *raises hand*

I'm just wondering what the deal with direct-entry midwives is? What is your hesitation with a direct-entry mw? I hadn't thought much about it, but my midwife is direct-entry so maybe I should?
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[User Picture]From: belleweather
2007-06-19 11:33 pm (UTC)

Re: *raises hand*

Mainly is that they can't prescribe medicine -- I'm relying on Zofran to be even partially functional with hyperemesis, and also take prometrium basically permanently because my endocrine system is a complete mess. I would be completely lost without those pills. With a DEM, I'd have to have 'shadow care' with an OB to get the medicine I need, which makes me uncomfortable.

Also, last time I was pregnant I ended up having some other medical issues (weird heart rate, a gallbladder that decided it hated me, PPD), and because I was seeing a CNM, she was really well-connected and able to refer me and work with my doctors, even after I'd delivered to make sure everything got taken care of. I guess worry that with a DEM I'd get risked out, or they wouldn't be able to deal with the medical personell on a level of equal respect. Plus, I love that my midwife can also do all my well-woman care when I'm not pregnant.
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[User Picture]From: belleweather
2007-06-19 11:34 pm (UTC)

Re: *raises hand*

Just to add: I don't think there's anything wrong or unsafe about using a direct-entry midwife, I'm just not sure it's for me, personally.
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[User Picture]From: itsjustababy
2007-06-19 11:43 pm (UTC)

Re: *raises hand*

There are some great ones. I will be delivering at Exempla Good Samaritan. They have complimentary aromatherapy, birthing balls, water therapy and give you a free "first night at home" dinner to take home at discharge. They consider their Labor And Delivery wing a "birthing center" which is pretty forward thinking in most hospitals, even if it's just a few words.

There is ONE free standing birthing center in Colorado: http://www.mountainmidwifery.com/ but it's over an hour from my home, and I really feel uncomfortable with just one choice, and having to drive two hours round trip for all my pre-natal appts.

I'm confident that the choice I made is a good one, just like yours! Ahh, what we do for our children, eh?
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[User Picture]From: geogirl
2007-06-19 09:47 pm (UTC)
I'm planning a natural VBAC in a hospital. I know the odds are stacked against me. I do. But I'm going to do everything I possibly can to have the birth experience I want. I can't find a midwife in my town who will assist a homebirth with a first VBAC and our only free-standing birth center won't do first VBAC either. I'm not ready for unassisted. Luckily, if I decide to have a third child, nearly all of the midwives will assist homebirths after you've had a successful VBAC.

I understand the negativity about doctors and hospitals because I feel exactly the same way! If I had known then (with my first) what I know now, everything would have been different.

The most important thing I'm doing this pregnancy is focusing on the positive. I don't want to hear negative birth stories. I don't want to dwell on how and why I had my cesarean. I want to focus on having a natural VBAC, and that's it. I have a doula and a very supportive CNM who has had 2 VBAC's herself.
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[User Picture]From: letisca
2007-06-19 11:36 pm (UTC)
I'll just jump in and say that I had a natural VBAC in a hospital, so I believe it can be done. Especially if your care provider really thinks VBAC is a good idea (and isn't merely "allowing" VBAC).

Sounds like you've found a supportive care provider, which is awesome. Best wishes to you! I get excited about VBAC's because it was a seriously wonderful and empowering experience in my life and I wish the same for other women.
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[User Picture]From: danuv
2007-06-19 10:00 pm (UTC)
I kinda worry about the lack of support in general (not in this community) for women who chose to have natural births in hospitals. It is possible. I've had two. My mother had four. My sister had one. I know other people who have had them.

There seems to be a general consensus among natural birth people that the ONLY way to have a PROPER natural birth is to have one at home or in a birthing center. I fear that it ends up discouraging women who would like to have a natural birth but for whatever reason can't or won't do a home birth. There just don't seem to be a lot of forums for those people anymore.

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[User Picture]From: my_everafter
2007-06-19 10:19 pm (UTC)
You're right- there definitely is a lack of support, probably because of all the skepticism surrounding the issue.

It is primarily the medical establishment's fault for making natural birth difficult for moms, but thankfully some hospitals (like yours!) are coming around and making it more of a possibility which I think is fantastic. I'd love to hear the stats out of your hospital- like the natural birth stats and the c-section stats. It would be a very interesting thing to study!

I am convinced that homebirth is the only way to go for myself (and my safest option) and I'm grateful that I have the support and resources to do it (a home suitable for homebirth, a fantastic midwife, the money to cover it out-of-pocket etc), but I do know that it is possible to have an intervention-free hospital birth and trust me, I totally support those who do that!
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[User Picture]From: wundermuffin
2007-08-23 01:55 am (UTC)
i know i'm responding way late in the game (just got a link over from a recent post) but yeah to that. a lot of people do seem to think that you can't have a natural hospital birth. for people who don't really feel like they have an option besides a hospital birth... i think that's a dangerous view to be spreading around. if i listened to everyone who's saying "yeah right" about being able to have a natural hospital birth then i'd be more likely to psych myself out much more easily while in labor. talking to women who have had natural births at my hospital and at other hospitals and feeling confident that it CAN be done is WAY more encouraging and empowering - and that's the kind of attitude we want to spread to pregnant women. no matter where they are going to give birth!
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[User Picture]From: belleweather
2007-06-19 10:28 pm (UTC)
My favorite blogging midwife says "You buy the Hospital ticket, you go on the hospital ride", and I think there's a huge amount of truth to that statement.
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[User Picture]From: my_everafter
2007-06-19 11:26 pm (UTC)
That's a great way to put it. I agree. I'm sure there are exceptions (as with everything), but for the most part (and in my experience) it is all too true too often!
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[User Picture]From: geeki
2007-06-19 11:28 pm (UTC)
I'll freely admit I'm terrified. I'm scared I wont be able to take the pain (although I think I know deep down I CAN).

I'm terrified something will go wrong....

I'm trying to plan a Birth Center, but knowing it might not be possible, I'm staying with my OBGYN and hospital right now. Knowing 2 women who have had a total of 4 natural births at this hospital makes me ... kinda go "Oh damn IT CAN happen"

One of my near and dear friends had both of her boys there, weighing 10 pounds and ALMOST 12 pounds respectively...both natural with little to no tearing. I'm using her Doula :)

Home birth isnt an option for my DH, and honestly he's willing to compromise on A LOT, knowing his history with childbirth, so I'm willing to give that. And I think having never gone through child birth, I'm too much of a chicken to attempt it on my first.
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From: headless_waltzz
2007-06-20 12:20 am (UTC)
12 pounds?! *faints*
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[User Picture]From: geeki
2007-06-20 12:50 am (UTC)
*nods*
NATURAL! And due to extensive work with her doula, husband and a nurse, the only tore a little.

He was her first, her second came in at like 10 pounds 2 ounces....

Jonah...Jonah's still big, but he's thin and tall now. He's ...5 in a few weeks and he's the same size as my 7 year old.
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From: sandramort
2007-06-20 04:56 am (UTC)
Heh. My third was 11-0, born at home like the others, and over an intact perineum, in 65 minutes. Gotta love hot water!!! I'm hoping this baby isn't much larger, but I'm not really WORRIED about it. It's just a preference.
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[User Picture]From: wtchywmyn
2007-06-20 01:36 am (UTC)

The Cranky One :-P

I'm glad you posted this. I'm VERY anti western med except in true emergencies. Add to that the fact that my homebirth was railroaded into a transfer and c/s and 2 years later, with #2 on the way, I'm still angry and will likely vent. I'm probably going to offend people with some of my commentary and I hope that people are ok with the fact that we don't all have to agree and that someone is going to be totally opposed to choises they're making. I won't be intentionally offensive, but I'm looking for a safe place to vent my frustrations and it won't always be favorable to "mainstream" opinions. Most of us are here because we think the typical due date clubs are ridiculous, so I'm going not going to tread on eggshells or try to be PC, but I will try to remember that we're all different and have our own reasons and situations and try to not make generalizations, and will always try to be kind. We all want the same thing- to safely and happily bring a new person into the world.

Cheers!

Beth
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[User Picture]From: my_everafter
2007-06-21 02:35 am (UTC)

Re: The Cranky One :-P

Sorry I took so long to reply. Please feel free (and safe) to vent here. I intended this as a place to be able to vent about hospital births.

I am welcoming those moms who have opted for a natural hospital birth, but I do want them to understand that the original intent is a safe place for us homebirthers and UCers to feel free to say what we think regarding standard medical practices and hospitals. That's just the way it is here!


I considered not allowing any hospital birthers, but that seemed too unfair so- I did what I thought I should. There are those hospital birthers who do a great job at having natural and intervention free births. And I know they all have their very individual needs and reasons for having to make that choice. *shrug*

As long as you aren't intentionally offensive and try to be kind (like you said!), you're totally find to say what you think. Most of us will probably whole-heartedly agree with you!

I for one would love to convince anyone who has the option of getting OUT of a hospital birth to DO IT ASAP! hehe
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[User Picture]From: wundermuffin
2007-08-22 10:12 pm (UTC)
good to know. i would love to have a homebirth... but i really can't afford it. it'll cost me $250 for my hospital birth and all my prenatal care is covered. homebirth... not so much. and i hate my apartment and would hate to give birth here. i'd hate to be judged for that.

and on the other side - i'd totally have a birth center birth but the only one in the area? their rate of intervention is like twice the rate of intervention at the hospital i'm going to. the best one in the area closed 2 years ago. i've read several experiences from moms on forums who have had totally awesome natural births (in active birth positions or after laboring in water or using birth balls or stools) and had just awesome experiences at my hospital. so while a lot of hospitals might be like "natural birth? what's that? strap this bitch down and stick an IV in her veins"... i'm really proud of my hospital for being natural birth friendly. and i'm proud of my midwives for making it a huge priority to MAKE it natural birth friendly after their own birth center closed. i wouldn't be going there if i were unable to move around or eat or if i had to be subjected to routine IVs or vitamin K shots or eye ointment or separation or anything like that. :)

i hope this didn't come across as defensive. i think if a woman really does her research about the place she's birthing at and any chosen attendants there may be there... that she can make sure to have the birth experience she wants. and i find that really empowering. and i'm glad that i'm going to this hospital rather than choosing the birth center in the area thinking that experience might be more natural birth friendly when it seems like the opposite is true. yay for the internet and all its information. hee.
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