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Birth Choices

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 

I'm curious to know everyone's plans for their birth. Hospital? Birth center? Home? Natural? Epidural? Doula? 


What I love about this site is how supportive everyone is of individual choices. :)


We're weighing hospital vs home right now. Our home birth ended in transfer and non-emergency cesarean. Now that I'm a VBAC candidate, I'm worried about risks. But I'm afraid another hospital stay will mean all of the things that happened last time (surgery, infection, separation from babe, breastfeeding initiation issues...)


So, what are your plans?

post #2 of 97

This is a fun thread!


I plan to birth with a midwife at home.  I had a homebirth with my first dd and an unplanned unassisted home/waterbirth with my second dd (midwife couldn't get there fast enough).  


I couldn't imagine birthing anywhere other than home, but I understand that's not the best/safest choice for everyone.  It's interesting to hear what other people choose. 

post #3 of 97

Homebirth with possible option of unassisted. I have had one unassisted birth and one with a mw, both were great. I'm really looking forward to giving birth again actually.

post #4 of 97

I would prefer a home birth but I am high risk so now I am just going with the flow. I am at least searching for a doula to attend the hospital birth.  

post #5 of 97

I'm going for a VBAC and will be birthing in a hospital. I had a lot of complications with my first pregnancy (HELLP syndrome) and my body would NOT dilate past 6 1/2 after 25 hours of labor (contractions every 2-3 minutes lasting 30 seconds the entire time). I started at a birthing center and was transferred after about 17 hours. So...I'm hoping that I won't need a c-section again, but I'm not sure if my body can actually birth vaginally. I was in an accident when I was 18 and the last vertibrae of my spine was slightly fractured...so I'm not sure if there is some scarring or something that won't let my hips open wide enough. My son had a pretty big head, though and he definitely did not go down into my pelvis. So I'm not sure if it was his fault or mine that we ended up with the c-section. 


Anyway, the ob I'm seeing is awesome and the hospital is more like a birthing center. He's very anti-c-section and my son can actually stay at the hospital with us (which was a big concern for me since he's never been away from me). I can also leave after about 12 hours if everything goes well and my dog can even come and visit me if I want. LOL. I loved that part. 


After my somewhat traumatic birthing experience with my son, I've come to realize that it really doesn't matter how your baby gets out. I was really upset about having a c-section because I had visualized this amazing water birth that just wasn't in the cards. So..to all of you first timers out there, don't get stuck on an idea. In the end, it won't matter how your baby gets to you, just that s/he does. Once you see that little face, nothing matters anymore. :)

post #6 of 97

I'm going for a natural VBAC in the hospital, laboring at home as long as I can.  I went through a birth center the first time but transferred and ended up with a section.  I did dilate all the way (eventually) but she just wouldn't descend.  I never ever felt like I needed to push.  I don't know if it was her size, her positioning, my exhaustion after 50 hours of active labor, or a combination of all.  And if it was her size I don't know how to guarantee it won't happen again, and I can't go through the trauma of transferring again.


Plus it's a money issue.  If everything were to go textbook, the birth center, a homebirth midwife, and a hospital birth would cost me about the same amount out of pocket.  But throw a monkey wrench in that and I'm paying multiple people and we're still not fully recovered financially from the last birth when that happened.  At least the hospital is happy to take small payments.


I'd love to go back to the birth center or do it at home but it's just not in the cards this time.


I'm putting a lot of trust in the OB I've chosen.  She has six kids of her own, one who was born in the birth center and one who she had at home.  I can't wait to talk to her about everything.  She was quoted in the city paper a few years back and sounds very hands-off and respectful of the natural process, so she's the only choice for me.

post #7 of 97

We are currently planning on a birth center birth, though we'll see what happens. I lean more towards homebirth, and dh leans more towards hospital birth (since it's really the only thing he's heard of!), so a birth center is nice middle ground. After all I've learned (I've spent the past 4+ years reading up on childbirth, despite having no children on the horizon!), I just can't see submitting myself to continuous fetal monitoring or to being forced to push on my back or being given Pitocin just because I'm not dilating at 1 cm/hr. And it's possible to have a hospital birth without all of that, but I'd rather just go somewhere where I didn't have to fight for all that. I just don't see myself being a fighter when I'm in labor, and I *do* see my dh wanting to cave to whatever the doctor suggests. I'm somewhat interested in homebirth, but since we will most likely be living in an apartment, I'm less keen on that idea. Especially since we don't even know what our next apartment will be like. I kind of like the idea of leaving home pregnant and coming back with a baby, and I also like that if we choose a birth center, I'll know way in advance where the birth will be happening, and it will be a familiar place.


We are lucky that there are 6 birth centers in the greater Houston area, so we will have a lot of choices. I think only one of them is in-network for our insurance, though, and I don't know that I want to birth there. It'll be a significant cost difference ($300 deductible + 10% after for in-network, $500 deductible + 30% after for out-of-network), but I'm thinking that either will be cheaper than the hospital. We will see.

post #8 of 97

This is not a fun thread for me. greensad.gif I have no choice but to birth in a hospital. I have diabetes, and no midwives take diabetic patients. I could do an unassisted home birth, but my husband is very adamantly against that-- and I agree (though less adamantly), because my blood pressure spiked dangerously during labor last time around. Which, of course, led to a cascade of interventions that ended in an episiotomy and vacuum assisted vaginal birth. I am praying for a better delivery this time. I desperately want to be able to home birth, and I really get pity-party over not having a choice.

post #9 of 97

hug2.gifCecilia'sMom, and other moms without a real choice in where/how they deliver. I have heard that midwives won't take diabetics, but I guess I don't know why that is? Does labor mess with your blood sugar?


I definitely feel very blessed that I have a lot of options open to me at this point. I'm definitely going to be very careful in who I choose for a care provider for this pregnancy, because I know my options for future pregnancies may very well depend on the outcome of this pregnancy, and I want to tip the odds as far in my favor as possible.

post #10 of 97

I'm having a hospital birth with a natural-friendly OB. I am not comfortable with homebirth in my area. I had a bad experience last time but that was all about the OB I had and not the hospital. The support team I had in the hospital was amazing and probably the only reason I had a vaginal birth, although it ended up being vacuum assisted. My old OB doesn't practice anymore, thank heavens, and I have received good suggestions for this time. I will probably also hire a doula. 

post #11 of 97

Blood sugar has to be monitored closely in labor, and actions have to be taken if it goes too high or too low. Most midwives wouldn't be able to provide that. As well, diabetic patients like me have to have their sugars monitored often during pregnancy-- my OB has me come in every two weeks and adjusts my insulin doses if things look wonky. There are also birth defects that can occur due to uncontrolled blood sugar, and that is a huge liability for midwives. I have heard that there are some midwives out there who will take type 1 patients if they work with an endocrinologist and/or a perinatologist during pregnancy, too, but they are few and far between. There are none here.

post #12 of 97

We don't have a lot of options either.  I work for a hospital, so my insurance covers their whole system 100%.  We don't have money out of poket for a home birth midwife.  One of the smaller hospitals in the system, thankfully, has a midwifery service with a very good reputation for natural births, so we'll be going to them for prenatal care.  With my son I went to a midwife, but got everything done - all the blood tests, nuchal ultrasound, anatomy ultrasound, gd screening, strep b test, you name it.  With this one we're not getting any ultrasounds, no blood tests other than a basic CBC if needed, and hopefully no GD or GBS tests.  I also think we're going to "oops" and have the baby at home unassisted.  The hospital is five minutes from my in-laws house (where I think we'll be staying by then, our current lease ends mid-June and we don't want to bother finding another place down here) so any problems could be addressed pretty quickly.  I intend to have all the rest of my kids completely unassisted, so I figure this is a good way to start us in that direction.

post #13 of 97

wave.gif Geigerin I'm happy to see you here! I was hoping some of you from Brestfeeding while TTC would make it on over!


There are not a lot of options for us in this area either. It is a fairly rural area with long distances between towns and the "big" citites. There are two hospitals about an hour away, no birth centers for hundreds of miles, and midwives are few and far between.


The doula I used last time with my hospital birth is also a midwife so it was the plan to use her until she moved to CA. The other midwife I know in town moved to CO around the same time. So, I interviewed the only midwife left in town.praying.gif I would really like her. Luckily, I did! So, this birth will be at home with a midwife. It may even end up being a waterbirth.jpg, but we'll see how I'm feeling about location and positioning during labor and delivery.

post #14 of 97

We are hoping for a homebirth!  We just chose our midwife yesterday and both my dh and I are looking forward to working with her.  She is a CNM (which is the only way to legally perform homebirths in Illinois), has caught over 1500 babies, started a birth center at a local hospital, and is willing to work with our needs and desires.  We're super excited about having our baby at home and are hoping for a water birth.  Hopefully all goes as planned...

post #15 of 97
Hoping for a repeat of the first time innocent.gif - I had a natural birth at a birth center and everything went really smoothly (9 hours from start to finish). In case anything goes amiss, the birth center is 2 minutes away from a very good hospital.
post #16 of 97

My first choice is a home (water) birth, but I'm not sure I'll be able to find a CNM who does them & is in my HMO network. We are less than 10 minutes (probably less than 5 in an ambulance) from a hospital if there was an emergency or need to transfer. If I use a CPM or a non-network CNM, we would have to pay out of pocket. 


We visited a birth center that's about 30 minutes away, and I really liked it, but there are a few things that might be deal breakers: 

- The hospital they transfer to for non-emergencies is about 15 minutes away (though they will still transfer emergency patients to the hospital across the street)

- Because of the possibility for transfer, they require you to have a car & licensed driver there for the birth. We don't own a car and my partner doesn't currently have his license - he can get it and we can rent a car, but this could cost us around $1000

- They will let you labor in the jacuzzi but do not currently let you deliver there


There are other birth centers in the area but they are farther away. 


There are a bunch of hospitals close by, but I have not researched them fully since I'd prefer not to plan to deliver there unless I am risked out of home/birth center with a midwife. 

post #17 of 97

I have had two water births, one hospital and one at home.  Both fast and easy labors.  I will be using a homebirth mw and an ob office.  My mw is a lay mw and cannot order any tests etc, and so I like being established with an ob in case I need them.  I am using a new Dr. this time and I am not sure how it will go when he finds out I have had a homebirth.  I don't want to lie, but I am not sure I am going to be totally honest about my plans.  I will probably feel out the new practice and then use a "wait and see" attitude when it gets closer to the birth.  I guess that is not toally dishonest, a lot can happen in the next 9 months, I may not be able to have a homebirth again if some issue comes up. I have another Dr. as back up option if I don't like this practice. 


My last OB office was a nightmare.  I had used them for my first and second pregnancies and had a great experience the first time, but lots of things changed with the practice in the years between baby one and two.  I was 12 days past my due date when ds was born.  I was getting major pressure to induce, I was told "the baby is the enemy" after the due date, even though I had totally normal biophysical profiles. I was literally chased down the hallway by the Dr. shouting "you know, no one goes to 42 weeks anymore!". I was scheduled to come in and talk about induction on the Monday he was born, they didn't even call when I didn't show up.  In fact, they never called.  I called them several weeks after he was born to tell them I had him and they said, "oh, ok", and hung up. 


I have my first appt with the new practice tomorrow.  I won't see the Dr, just the OB nurse.  I hope I get a feel for how I will be treated, good or bad, so I can just move on if I need to.



post #18 of 97

Oh boy. I have no idea what we're going to do! I would like to give birth at home again... I've had one at home with a midwife and one unassisted.  I gave birth unassisted in part because we live in China and you can't really do a homebirth any other way - and it was a far cry better choice than a Chinese hospital given that I'm low risk, etc.  And we had no insurance and no way to go back home for the birth that wouldn't have put us into tremendous debt.


However, in my current job - which provides us housing here in China - we are asked to vacate our apartments twice a year - in January and in August.  So, I'll be homeless when I give birth, most likely.  Ha ha! :)


Luckily, we're insured this time, so we'll have more options.  That said, I'd strongly consider birthing unassisted again, as would my husband.  We're going to see how the pregnancy goes, and make a call as time goes on.  I know if we'd like to homebirth - we'll figure out a place to call home and just give birth there.  It just can't be a hotel room with my other two kids!  Double ha ha!! :)


I'm not really worried though.  We'll figure something out.



post #19 of 97

We plan for this one to be another MW assisted homebirth, assuming I don't risk out.  If the baby ended up breech or twins I would transfer my care to the hospital.

post #20 of 97

This is a tough one for me.  I had a natural VBAC in the hospital 10 months ago.  It was a quick labor, 5 hours,  and I delivered my daughter in about twenty minutes. I hired a doula, had a supportive hospital staff, and overall had a beautiful experience.  However, I did tear third degree, which during the birth I did not even feel believe it or not. The healing part was tough but not awful.  I did end up having a mild prolapse which for the most part has not bothered me in the least.  This is my dilemma.  I don't want to make it worse where it does bother me.  I know just being pregnant can make it worse and a c-section does not guarantee it will not get worse, so I am going to play it by ear and see how things go.   I am leaning towards going for another VBAC that is what my heart wants.  Hopefully my body will cooperate!

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