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What would you do? re: where to give birth

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I had a beautiful birth center birth with my DD, now almost 2. SInce then we have moved out of state and are now contemplating baby #2. My trouble is where to birth. A homebirth isn't for me, but the nearest birth center is an hour away and insurance doesn't cover it. My labor with DD was about 4 hours so I'm not anxious to face an hour long car ride and risk delivering on the way. There is a hospital 30 minutes away that has a midwife on staff and a pool, but if I have to travel 30 minutes in labor, what's another 30 to make it to the birth center. There is also a hospital here in town and I toured the facility. It's nice, but it's not nearly as wonderful as the birth center where we welcomed our DD. It's a hospital and they do hospital things . . . I hate that I can't be back where I am comfortable and had such a wonderful experience. I welcome your thoughts. What would you do?

post #2 of 13

I would contemplate the pros and cons for ME personally of each option. (And try to avoid getting sucked into thinking about what others' expectations are or what others would tell you is right for them.) I would include homebirth when you do your lists, not because I think you should consider homebirth (if it's not something that's comfortable for you, I think that's really important to honor) but because writing out what the "pros" and "cons" of homebirth for you would be might help you clarify what's important to you in the place in the place that you birth.

 

Remember there's no one right way, just what's right for you. smile.gif

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply, I guess I'm struggling with my pros and cons list because I can't visualize what a hospital birth could look like for me. I was so comfortable at our old birth center to labor freely and never have my baby taken from me. I guess I need to get more of an education on what I can expect with a hospital birth.

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpcard View Post

Thanks for the reply, I guess I'm struggling with my pros and cons list because I can't visualize what a hospital birth could look like for me. I was so comfortable at our old birth center to labor freely and never have my baby taken from me. I guess I need to get more of an education on what I can expect with a hospital birth.


I think hospital births can really vary. For example, at the hospital I birthed at, I did not have my baby taken from me. I recommend posting in your tribe and talking with women in your area who have given birth at different hospitals to hear what the hospitals in your area are like.

 

post #5 of 13

I would post in you local tribe forum and see if you can hear back from women who have birthed there. Also talk with midwives in you are and see what their feel on it is.

 

We are having our first planned hospital birth after 3 beautiful homebirths and 2 good unplanned/transfer hospital births. The ob I chose does not work at the hospital the girls were born at, so are driving a little further to a newer one. I've heard good reports from midwives and it is designated baby-friendly, so we'll see. It was not an easy decision. 

post #6 of 13

My two hospitals births went very well imo, first was a non-emergent transfer and she was born very quickly after we got there and they never took her from me. Second time I was there for monitoring and we started labor with Arom. There was concerns about birth defects so at birth there were a lot of people in the room and she needed help so was taken to nicu, dad was with her the whole time, but labor I was pretty much left to myself with dh and my midwife who was playing doula. The staff was good and I was specifically given a nurse who was trained in Bradley. Also got to use the tub for most of labor and was only given a hep lock, no iv.

post #7 of 13

I agonized about having to birth at the hospital with my second.  And then it happened and it was great!  I did have to use my big girl voice now and then with the Dr., but honestly it was a good experience to stand up for myself.  My baby was never taken from me, nor never was it suggested that she would be, my dh and my son stayed in the room with me overnight, I was left alone to labor, massaged by the nurses, encouraged by the nurses and just really well taken care of in general.  They  respected my wishes and preferences, and even complimented me!  And I stressed about it for months!!!  The stress was the worst part of it. 

 

When you toured the hospital, did you ask about the things that are important to you?  I had a long list of questions when I toured the hospital, and most of them were answered in the tour, to my liking, without me even having to bring them up.  Also, there were a few things that I really should have discussed with my Dr. beforehand, like my preference to push in positions other than on my back.  Because she wasn't really down with that. But whatever, since I push my babies out in 5 mins or less, it really was no big deal. 

 

If you don't like the hospital close by, then I'd say go for the one 1/2 hour away.  But, I have 24 hour labors so a short ride like that is just really a time killer. 

post #8 of 13

When you say your labor was 4 hours, do you mean that it was 4 hours from the first cx to birth? I so, you might want to learn about homebirth/unassisted for a *just in case* scenario, as many times the second baby comes faster than the first.

 

If you meant that you had 4 hours of the active-hard labor, then you might still want to consider the better hospital or the birth center (except for the no-insurance part, that sucks). I traveled 1 1/2 hours my hospital and it wasn't as bad as I had envisioned. I am so much happier that I birthed in a place that respected my wishes, as the local hospital doesn't follow the standard of care that I think is important.

post #9 of 13

With a 4-hour first birth (zowie!), I'd plan for homebirth or at max, hospital in the same town for your second.  Otherwise you might get a car birth! 

post #10 of 13

I did a hospital birth with our DD bc nearest birth center was over an hr away and DH was not all about the homebirth (and honestly, after seeing what came out of me, I'm not sure I'd want to deal with that kind of mess at home with the next one!).  I had a 4 page birth plan and a super awesome midwife.  She looked over my plan, said it was worded a bit "strong" but after getting to know me, she realized that it was who I am and that I would back it up if questioned.  I got to labor as I wanted, walk halls, take a nap, even snack.  My water broke before my cx started and since I tested pos for group B I did get the penacillin drip, but I was rockin out to Rick James dacing with the pump as I wheeled it down the hall ;-) It unfortunately didn't move my cx into a regular rythym so 14hrs after my water broke I did get pitocin :-( boo.  I went with no epidural so I was still allowed to walk and move as I pleased.  DH delivered, the midwife made sure her head was out and he was allowed to 'catch' and put her on me.  I did delayed cord cutting, no vit k, no hep b, no antbx in eyes. DH carried her to be weighed, we did the bath ourselves in the recovery room, she never left our hands and no one questioned us at all. The nurse that was with me during the actual delivery said it was one of the best deliveries she's done since we were so laid back and naural about everything.  So as long as the hospital staff are open you can get the birth you want in a hospital, it's doesn't have to be bad!  The only thing I will change for myself next time around is on the recovery side.  Every time I'd fall asleep, someone came to check me, everytime DD fell asleep someone wanted to check her.  There were more nurses in our room in those 2 days than I've seen in my life.  My friend who used to work in postpartum told me afterwards that I could sign a waiver asking for fewer checks, especially at night. 

post #11 of 13

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

With a 4-hour first birth (zowie!), I'd plan for homebirth or at max, hospital in the same town for your second.  Otherwise you might get a car birth! 

 


I agree. My first dd was born in 4hrs 50 min from first ctrx. My second dd was born in 52 minutes from first ctrx. There is no way, in your situation, I would attempt a one hour drive. Honestly, I wouldn't even attempt a 30 minute drive unless the local hospital was bad. Can you find out what their policies are? Not all hospitals take the baby away at all. Some of them do *everything* right there in the room with you. 

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. I think I need to consider the hospital here given my fast labor. (It wasn't 4 hours from first contraction but it was 4 hours from the time I realized it was real labor. Probably 6-7 hours, but 90 minutes of that was active pushing since DD was turned sideways. I'm imagining a shorter pushing period and faster labor in general the second time. The LAST think I want is a car birth--all I can imagine is the mess!)

My new mommy friends in the area are very traditional in approach to labor and delivery so I think their experiences are coloring my idea of a hospital birth. My problem is that I started researching childbirth and pregnancy years before I conceived and had a clear picture of what I wanted and we lived in a city big enough I could have birthed anyway I chose. Now I'm in a small center and have less time to educate myself on what I want given the limitations. I guess I need to get busy researching how to advocate for myself in a hospital birth . . .

 

post #13 of 13

If you have a fast birth they won't have time to do anything weird to you anyway.  Plus since you've been through it before you probably have a fair idea of how you handle labor and what kinds of things are ok vs not-ok.  Not that you shouldn't educate yourself, it's just that you're in a very different position from a first-time mom in a traditional hospital setting.

 

(FWIW my first labor was 14 hours from first contraction and my second was less than 2 hours and maybe more like 1.5 hours.  So you could easily be looking at a labor that lasts less than an hour, in which case by the time you get to the L&D floor they probably won't even have time to pop a heplock in you before you deliver.)

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