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Question for those that have had unmedicated hospital briths...

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

How long did you labor at home? I would like to have an unmedicated birth and because of financial/insurance reasons I will be giving birth at the hospital. I know once I get to the hospital the docs will try to get me to do one med intervention after the other, so I am thinking my best bet is to stay at home as long as I can. I don't know in the midst of labor I will be able to say no to medication, so I am hoping I can stay away from the hospital and get there when it is too late for them to give me anything anyway. LOL!  I live 15 minutes from the hospital so I think I am safe waiting it out for a while.

 

I can only go off the last birth experience. I got to the hospital and it was the total snowball effect like they describe in business of being born. It was really fursterating and they did not listen to my requests at all. I do not want that to happen this time and I don't think it will because I am hiring a Doula and I am much more educated now about my options and rights then I was but, still...I think I can help myself out by laboring in the peace of my home as long as possible.

 

Okay, thanks for reading my long winded email to ask a little questionlove.gif

 

Megan

post #2 of 38

I was very near transition and credit my MW for being a great advocate. Good on you for hiring a doula!

post #3 of 38

I would not show up until I could not talk at all during contractions and felt that intense transitiony feeling, maybe even pushy.

post #4 of 38

Docs cannot push you to take pain medication. There is something called a Patient's Bill of Rights, where you can refuse medical treatment (ie. including all drugs). Pain control is completely optional. A great way to do this is write out your birth plan, and give copies to all involved physicians & the nursing staff when you arrive.

post #5 of 38

I went to the hospital when I was 7.5 cm.  Now, I ended up with a very much needed C-section anyways, but the time I labored was unmedicated., and I labored to 10 cm plus several hours of pushing.

 

I would not wait to show up until transition, unless you can be sure your DH will stand up for you.  Being in transition means you may be too far into labor land to communicate your wishes as you would normally. 

post #6 of 38

With my oldest I got to the hospital at about 3.5 cm. I walked the halls for 45 minutes or so and I was rechecked and I was at 4.5 cm so they admitted me. I refused an IV, but did allow a saline lock. I refused continuous EF monitoring, but did do 10 minutes of monitoring every hour or so. The nurses offered pain meds over and over again and I said "No thank you" each time. After about the 5th time I told the nurse that I would ask for meds if I wanted them and please stop asking. I asked her to pass that along to the other RNs as well. They didn't ask again. We got to the hospital at noon and my son was born at 6:42 that evening after maybe 25 minutes of pushing.

 

With my second I got to the hospital in the middle of the night, around 3 am, and at about 4.5 cm. They admitted me and I went to sleep, after refusing an IV and a saline lock and telling the nurse not to ask me about meds. At around 5 am I called my mom to tell her I was in labor and at the hospital and I sort of dozed off and on for the 45 minutes or so that it took her and my sister to get there. My daughter was born at 8:56 that morning after about 20 minutes of pushing.

 

I think my births were so low intervention-wise because I just politely said "No thank you" to just about everything they said they were going to do.

 

RN: We're just going to start your IV now.

Me: No thank you

 

RN: We're going to hook you up to the monitors now.

Me: No thank you.

 

RN: Would you like something for pain?

Me: No thank you.

 

RN: I need you to get in the bed and lie down.

Me: No thank you.

 

Eventually they pretty much stopped asking me stuff because they got the same answer each time. LOL

 

I think that hiring a doula is a great step toward having a med-free and no or low intervention birth. I always encouraged my doula clients to make a birth plan, but often giving it to the nurses at the hospital doesn't do any good. They don't read them and often, and worse, will laugh at them and start taking bets on how long the momma will labor before her "emergency" c/s. So, do a birth plan, talk it over with your MW/OB and doula and partner. Know what you want, Visualize how your birth will look. Be polite and firm with the nurses and staff members. Use your doula as your advocate. Don't be afraid to say no. The 1992 Patient's Self Determination Act protects you from ANY and ALL undesired treatments and procedures. If you refuse and they do it anyway, it is assault and battery.

post #7 of 38

My first I was in the hospital for 12 hours and never had anything given to me, not even an IV. However I was 19 and thought I was suppose to be there at the first sign of labor.   My second we squeaked in just in time for me to give birth. Both were delivered by a midwife only with no interraction from an OB what so ever.  Not sure if that made a difference. This time I plan on either getting there in the nick of time or maybe "accidentally" waiting too long at home.

post #8 of 38

I get to the hospital at nine centimeters each time. But, I have fast labors, so I don't count as average. I did make sure the contractions were steady and that I dreaded the sight of the car.That's how my midwife told me to gauge it and she was dead on for me.

 

My midwife met me at the hospital and no one offered me anything, ever. They just crept up to me once in awhile to hear the baby's heartbeat.

post #9 of 38

It really depends on what staff members you run into, whether they will pressure you or not. With DD1 the nurse and the MW were *awesome*. I labored there for 16 hours and when I said I wanted pain meds, when I was entering transition, the MW took my face in her hands, bent down and got right in my eyes and said, "I'm going to start the jacuzzi as a way for you to redirect the discomfort. If you still want something after that, we have other options." Exactly what she knew I wanted all along. The nurse was beautiful and agreed with her. As soon as the MW shut the door to start the jacuzzi, I told the nurse I had to push. She lit up with this huuuuge beaming smile and said so joyfully, "Push your baby out!" She was in her 60's and had been an L&D nurse for over 30 years. From the look on her face in the pictures and her quiet, calm enthusiasm, you would think it was her first birth! She is actually tearfully happy in one of our pictures.

 

DD2 I got there about 10 minutes before the birth. The nurse was awful, physically tried to force me onto my back, tried to take my shirt off to change me into a gown AS I was pushing?! When I stopped her she threw up her hands and said, "Don't blame me if you have an emergency c-section and we have to cut your shirt off." She also said when we first got there, as I was squatting, that I should have come earlier so she would have had time to arrange the epidural. I fought her the entire time I pushed. She would not shut up. I had also signed the papers waiving the vitamin K and eye drops and she was extremely pushy about those as well, to the point where I almost felt assaulted by her.

 

Whatever you do, make sure you have a very strong advocate because you might have to actively defend yourself. I hope you get the awesome staff who will support your wishes!!!

post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddhamom View Post

My first I was in the hospital for 12 hours and never had anything given to me, not even an IV. However I was 19 and thought I was suppose to be there at the first sign of labor.   My second we squeaked in just in time for me to give birth. Both were delivered by a midwife only with no interraction from an OB what so ever.  Not sure if that made a difference. This time I plan on either getting there in the nick of time or maybe "accidentally" waiting too long at home.



omg, i am so with you on the accidentally waiting too long at home... just have to get dh on board with that! lol 

 

to the op, i cannot really offer a helpful answer, as my first birth was twins and i was sick before i went into active labor. i arrived at the hospital too early, but throwing up and diarrhea and dehydrated, so needed help. my second birth started at 33 weeks when my water broke. i ended up in the hospital on bedrest for two weeks before delivering beautifully with my midwife.

 

this time, i want to wait as long as possible, and possibly wait so long that i have a home delivery. i continue to imagine my labor and birth being at home whenever i think about it... 

 

post #11 of 38

This but I wasn't so polite. I just didn't do what I didn't want to do. I didn't have support other than my MW - it was me, the MW and whatever hospital staff. I didn't stay in bed and on my side still for 15m so the babe could be monitored. I got up, I found my comfortable space. Do I want an IV? No. No! With the exception of 1 PP nurse everyone I met was respectful of my choices which was great because I can be ornery.
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jshannyn519 View Post

 

I think my births were so low intervention-wise because I just politely said "No thank you" to just about everything they said they were going to do.

 

RN: We're just going to start your IV now.

Me: No thank you

 

RN: We're going to hook you up to the monitors now.

Me: No thank you.

 

RN: Would you like something for pain?

Me: No thank you.

 

RN: I need you to get in the bed and lie down.

Me: No thank you.

post #12 of 38


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

I get to the hospital at nine centimeters each time. But, I have fast labors, so I don't count as average. I did make sure the contractions were steady and that I dreaded the sight of the car.That's how my midwife told me to gauge it and she was dead on for me.

 

My midwife met me at the hospital and no one offered me anything, ever. They just crept up to me once in awhile to hear the baby's heartbeat.


This is pretty much me, my labors are really really fast.  The last time when I called my midwife I told her I was going to labor at home awhile longer before coming in.  I think we were at the hospital within 30 mins.  The nurses made a comment to me the next day about how when my midwife got off the phone told them to hurry and fill the tub cuz I was coming in and I go so fast.  We were at the hospital for an hr and he was out. 

 

That being said, it totally depends on what hospital you are at.  There are two in my town. I had my first at one of them and if the one where I go now wasn't here I would totally do home-births. I ended up with an induction with cytotec and pit, an IV and an epi and an epsiotomy.  I switched hospitals and providers and the hospital I now use does not "require" routine IV's and pretty much will let you do what you want. If you are a midwife patient, they automatically put you in a room with a water-birth tub.  

 

I'm not planning on a home-birth, but my last labor was 5 hrs. total. first contractions to when the baby was out. The one before that was 7 hrs.  so if we go down by 2 hrs every time, that leaves me with three.  

 

I cant give you a good time to go.  I don't time my contractions (i think my husband might, but he doesn't tell me) It's just a feeling that's like "OK, if we don't leave right this second, this baby is coming out here"  If the hospital where you had your 1st is where you are returning, I would wait as long as possible.  

post #13 of 38

With my last birth I was 8 cm once I arrived at the hospital.  The only downfall to that was that I was GBS positive, so I prayed that I would make it another 4 hours so they wouldn't whisk the baby away to the NICU.  I waited until they administered the second dose of antibiotics and then they checked me and I was nearly 10, so they broke my water and 10 minutes later DS was born.

 

We had an awesome L&D nurse!  She kept everyone out of the room and was super encouraging.  She knew we were going for a natural birth and got pissed when the anesthesiologist asked if I wanted an epi.  lol!  She unhooked me from the constant monitoring and offered several different positions and suggestions to DH and I during labor.  We were really blessed to have such a great nurse!

post #14 of 38

I had a really good experience with the birth of my son.  I labored at home for 5 or so hours and then my water broke; so, it was time to go.  I was GBS positive and like a PP said, wanted to get to the hospital in time to have the antibiotics for the 4 hours.  At the time, I lived 45 minutes from the hospital where my midwife delivered.  It was an incredibly intense ride!!  I pretty much got to the hospital 45 minutes or so before I hit transition.  I ended up having to push for about 2 hours because my son was facing sideways, and I was having a helluva time getting him out.  But, I had a wonderful midwife and the nurse that was on staff helping us out was amazing!!  Because a lot of midwives deliver at this hospital, they were used to women wanting natural births.  I was asked once about an epidural and when I said no, everything else was left alone.

 

I'm hoping that my experience this go around will be as fantastic.

post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KempsMama View Post

I went to the hospital when I was 7.5 cm.  Now, I ended up with a very much needed C-section anyways, but the time I labored was unmedicated., and I labored to 10 cm plus several hours of pushing.

 

I would not wait to show up until transition, unless you can be sure your DH will stand up for you.  Being in transition means you may be too far into labor land to communicate your wishes as you would normally. 

 

DDC crashing, but this is basically my story. In my case, my first stage was too fast to do much laboring at home. I woke up at 4 a.m. with mild contractions, 12 minutes apart, but by 6 a.m., they were 4 minutes apart and lasting for more than a minute. I was planning to "arrive pushing," but realized things were progressing too quickly for me to wait it out any longer. I walked into the hospital at 6-7 cm and everyone thought the baby would be out by noon. I ended up with a c-section at 4:30 (baby was acynclitic, which usually resolves during labor, but didn't and wouldn't, even after 4 hours of what my very pro NCB doctor--at my first visit, she offered to refer me to a homebirth midwife, for whom she provides backup care--considered effective pushing). 

 

My advice is find a caregiver you trust, if you can. I cannot stress that enough. If you're at the mercy of the OB/GYN pool, find a doula. If I'd been giving birth with the backup doctor or a random resident, I'd be wondering to this day if there was more I could have done to avoid the section. I trust that we exhausted all of our reasonable options. 

post #16 of 38

It sounds like before you go to the hospital you need to find a doctor that will support your wishes & use this time left to build a relationship.  I had a mostly non medicated birth with my son 4 years ago.  My doc knew exactly what I wanted & I had a midwife as my doula.  My water broke 4 weeks early & I didn't go into labor so I had to have pitocin.  No one tried to talk me into anything.  When I was in extreem pain they did ask if I wanted anything / epidural whatever (I don't even remember), but no pushing just an inquire. I think you should also make sure you do a hospital tour so you can ask questions.  Where I live the hospital mostly does what the doc requests so that's who you need to talk to before the big day.   

post #17 of 38

Lots of good advice already shared here, but I wanted to add that there isn't really a "too late" for pain medication if you're using the idea that you'll be denied it as a hope you won't ask for it...I've attended births where the mom was 10 cm, ready to push, and was so fearful of pushing that even though the anesthesiologist of all people told her she could do it without medication (you will NEVER hear that from an anesthesiologist) she insisted and got a spinal injection 5 minutes before pushing her baby out. It barely had time to take effect but it was enough for her mentally to have had it...so there really isn't ever a time when it's too late for anesthesia unless you are actually already pushing. 

 

My best advice is to hire a doula to labor at home with you and help you decide when is the best time to go. Take a really intense childbirth education class and learn about the different stages and signs of labor to let you know where you're at, and have your partner or anyone attending you in labor read "the birth partner" by penny simkin for ways to support you at home as long as possible. And also to work with a hospital-based midwife if possible? So you'll have a provider who is more on board with what you want. The real luck of the draw is what you get in the labor nurse department, because a lot of them would rather have you on your back with the epidural (less work for them--they are tired and overworked and can watch your monitor tracings from the desk). They will offer drugs to you at every wince of pain unless you are up front with them from the beginning about not wanting any medication. You have to tell yourself and everyone around you that anesthesia is not an option, and that you would rather not be offered without asking for it yourself. I lucked out with an amazing labor nurse at my first birth who never once mentioned drugs when i told her what my wishes were, but I've seen so many women (as a doula) undermined by nurses who come in and say "honey are you sure you don't want something? i hate to see you like this..." because they've so rarely seen a woman laboring naturally. 

 

you can do it! 

post #18 of 38
Thread Starter 

Wow what wonderful stories and advice. Thank you so much for sharing with me!!love.gif

 

I have a midwife now but, I also had a midwife with my last birth. The problem is that with Kaiser I am not guarenteed to get a midwife, I get who is on call. With that said, I am not at the same hospital this time, last time I was not at a Kaiser hospital, I was at a contracted hospital so this could have been why I had a random OB when I got there. 

 

I always heard there was a point where they couldn't give you drugs because you are just so close. I am suprised to find that out. I was lucky with my first birth in that the epidural wore off and I didn't ask for more around pushing time so I was able to feel and expereince that however, I just hated laboring in a bed. I think having a Doula and just saying no is what I need to do. Dh is super supportive and told me he would advocate for me in the hospital so that is reassuring!!

 

I have a second question maybe someone can answer. This is something I am planning to talk to my midwife about however, I am not sure I will get a straight story from her either since she is part of the same group. In my last birth, I was given pictocin right away when I got to the hospital because my water had broke and I was 2 cm dia. I was not having contractions I could feel at that time. I argued with the doc. that I did not want it and I wanted time for my body to do its thing. He told me I could have 1 hour and if there wasn't any sign of progression they would start antibiotics and pic. He pulled the your baby could get an infection...at the end of the 1 hours and walking and trying everything I could to get things going. They hooked me up and started the pic. My question is if your water breaks at an early stage in labor and I do not start progressing. How long is it safe to wait for you body to start doing its thing? I really thought 1 hour was not enough time. I probably had about 2 hours because the time it took to get to the hospital, etc. Is infection really a concern or was this just something the doc pulled to get me to sit in the bed and shut up??

 

I am wondering in case the same thing happens again, I can just stay home for x hours and wait for something to happen and if it doesn't then I know I need to go in at x hours.

 

Thank you for all of your support and help!!

 

Megan

 

 

 

post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mad4mady View Post

 

I have a second question maybe someone can answer. This is something I am planning to talk to my midwife about however, I am not sure I will get a straight story from her either since she is part of the same group. In my last birth, I was given pictocin right away when I got to the hospital because my water had broke and I was 2 cm dia. I was not having contractions I could feel at that time. I argued with the doc. that I did not want it and I wanted time for my body to do its thing. He told me I could have 1 hour and if there wasn't any sign of progression they would start antibiotics and pic. He pulled the your baby could get an infection...at the end of the 1 hours and walking and trying everything I could to get things going. They hooked me up and started the pic. My question is if your water breaks at an early stage in labor and I do not start progressing. How long is it safe to wait for you body to start doing its thing? I really thought 1 hour was not enough time. I probably had about 2 hours because the time it took to get to the hospital, etc. Is infection really a concern or was this just something the doc pulled to get me to sit in the bed and shut up??

 

 

 

 

Women at home have gone days w/ ruptured membranes and no issues w/ infection. The problem in hospital is they are checking your cervix, potentially introducing bacteria that can lead to infection. That increases your chances greatly! W/ my 7th, born at home, I had ruptured membranes at 3am, she was not born until 9pm. I never hit any sort of contractions really or even a labor pattern until 7pm or so. It is safe to wait quite a long time, especially avoiding certain behavior that can risk infection. 

 

http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/prom.html

post #20 of 38

If your membranes rupture while you are at  home, your chances of any kind of infection occurring are way lower than if you went into the hospital. The bacteria/viruses/germs in your home are the ones that your body is used to. Heck, most of them are from your body and the bodies of your family anyway. Plus, at home (like MamaCrunch said) you're not sticking things into your vagina every hour or so. If your membranes rupture and the liquid is clear and doesn't smell bad, you really have quite a while before you need to be anywhere for labor. I know a woman who had SROM (spontaneous rupture of membranes) for almost 48 hours before her baby was born. There was no infection and everyone was fine.

 

I will say that if you have a vaginal infection at the time of SROM, there is some worry that the infection could travel up into the uterus. It's one of those things where you kind of have to use your own best judgment. However, and hour or two is not enough time and even the 12 to 24 hour time limit that most OBs place on women is not enough time.

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