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Mothering › Groups › September 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › Trying to have a positive natural birth in the hospital. HELP?!

Trying to have a positive natural birth in the hospital. HELP?!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I would LOVE a homebirth... but I cannot afford a doula or midwife, and I am 'high risk' because of RH factor, tilted pelvis, and irritable uterus ( or so my OB tells me )

My first birth was a so-so experience. I arrived at the hospital after laboring at home for 5 hours... I was dialated to an 8 when I got there... I jumped into the shower and instinctively rocked on my hands and knees (not knowing my baby was posterier)... I was able to stay on top of my contractions by making deep, low ahhing noises. After about an hour or two of that, the nurses came in and told me they needed to monitor baby. I REALLY didn't want to get out. They needed me out of the shower and on my back in the bed.  Looking back I feel that I protested and fought against their request... but apparently I didn't because within minutes I was flat on my back... having full on horrendous back labor... no breaks in between contractions... and BEGGING for pain meds. I felt like a caged animal.

I ended up getting the intrathecal (I live on a small island, no epidurals here)  and cried because I felt I gave up on my body and my baby. I felt horrible giving into pain meds.... It turned out that I got a few hour nap, woke up at 10 cm. Doctors told me to push... I told them I didn't have an urge to push and didn't want to... they told me that I had to or I would be getting a cesarian. Around this time... the doctor realized the posterior position of my baby.

I pushed for an hour, then my doctor came in and told me I had better hurry up or I wouldn't have a choice and I was putting my baby at risk. I stuck to my guns ( SO THANKFUL I WAS ABLE TO DO SO) and told her that I was NOT going to be getting a c section. I pushed for a total of 3.5 hours... (mainly because I couldnt feel any sensation because of the meds... ) towards the end I started to regain feeling in my legs and bottom... And I pushed his head out. Doctor was nervous because babys heartrate was low so she was yelling "push push push!!" and she pulled him out... hurting his little shoulder. He had a bruised shoulder for 2 weeks. :( poor little guy

I am thankful that I was able to vaginally deliver my son, but this time around I feel alot more confident and empowered to have the birth experience I feel is right for me.

I plan on laboring at home for as long as possible and going to the hospital when I am feeling transition come on. But... I dont know if that will go as planned.  If I do have to labor for any amount of time in the hospital I would like to be in the shower ( or whatever my body want to do) without any intervention.  I understand that it is the nurses and doctors responsibility to monitor and check vitals and all that.. but I don't want it! None of it. 

So this time... if they tell me they need me to lay down and I don't want to. I am not moving. I plan on being a pain in the ass patient. Unless they completly allow me to do what I want ( doubtful )

Does anyone have advice or experience with this??? Ideas... anything?

post #2 of 11

Can you find any doulas who 1. need hours/experience and will give you a cut rate

or 2. would be willing to exchange services with you in some fashion?


Sometimes Midwives will give you a super discount if you can't afford them.  Have you tried calling around?  Especially since you are close to the end, you won't have to pay for a full 9 months of midwifery, you know?


I think it is important enough to at least call and ask.  If they can't help you, maybe they know someone who can or a doula who needs the hours to help you out...  that sort of thing.

post #3 of 11

Have you seen the book Homebirth in the Hospital? You might be interested in that... http://homebirthinthehospital.com/


Or this http://mothering.com/pregnancy-birth/bringing-homebirth-into-the-hospital


I'll type more tomorrow.

post #4 of 11

I am having a hospital birth as well and at first I was pretty disappointed... I had always imagined super natural and relaxing and I didn't think hospital births could be that way. I don't know if you like reading or not, but "Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds" by Cynthia Gabriel helped me SO much to come to terms with everything. I am actually reading it a second time now that I'm closer to laboring. (: Maybe it will help you too! 

post #5 of 11

I have now had two natural hospital births, the first a low risk, the second a high risk twins delivery in the  OR. I loved both my natural births and wouldn't change a thing! Both times I tried to really keep in mind that the staff cares about you and the baby. It is easy for us to feel annoyed by the procedures especially ones we deem as unnecessary and there are lots, but remember you catch more flies with honey. I showed up with muffins/donuts for the nurses. I had a supportive partner who was able to be the bad guy for me if needed, which it really wasn't. Instead of saying we wouldn't do that we would try and say "we would like to try this instead" etc. Regarding the monitoring I agree this was my least favorite part. See if they have a telemetry unit, it is something that is continuous monitoring but you can walk around with it have it in the tub etc. so it may take care of every body's goal for a healthy safe birth.  My first birth the monitoring really was a challenge but this time I used hypnosis and and deep relaxation and I was able to stay in the zone even when transported to the OR and being moved tables etc. You can have the birth you dreamed about. Try as much as you can to release the parts of your previous birth that were negative and start visualizing yourself having your ideal birth. I know it sounds cheesy but it really worked for me. Good luck!

post #6 of 11
This thread has been so helpful and a great reminder that a natural birth in a hospital is not necessarily an "us vs. them" situation.
post #7 of 11

I have found that natural hospital births don't typically go well when someone comes in and is already hostile towards the staff before anything has been done.  If however, you find ways to modify the hospital policies/procedures to fit your wishes, then things can go much more smoothly.


The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to call the hospital ahead of time.  Ask to speak to the nurse manager of the L&D unit.  Schedule a time to meet with him/her in person.  I know many nurse managers and all the ones I know of are more than happy to meet with patients ahead of time.  At your appointment, let them know about your concerns about the prior birth without placing blame.  Say that you would like to work with the hospital to make this birth as safe and enjoyable as possible.  Ask for a tour of the unit.  See what support equipment is available (many hospitals have large mirrors, birthing balls, stools, bars, etc.).  Ask which room has the largest tub/shower.  Ask if they have fetal monitoring equipment that can be used in the tub/shower (some hospitals have waterproof dopplers).  Then, ask to review their fetal monitoring, vital sign, and other applicable policies.  Thank them for their time.  Even though it may be difficult, in the hospital (as well as pretty much every other area of life) you'll get better service if you do your best to be cordial, friendly, and open.  


Once you're back home, come up with a basic birth plan that incorporates what you have learned.  For instance, if room 18 has the big tub then state that you would like to have room 18 if it is available.  If you learn that their policies require vital sign checks every 15 minutes, find a middle ground and state that you would like vital signs to be performed every 30 minutes unless concerns arise which necessitate more frequent checking.  Etc.  Use what you learned during your appointment to compose a practical plan.  If the nurse manager is willing, email it to him/her and ask for suggestions based on their hospital policies.


You CAN have a peaceful, enjoyable, happy hospital birth.  Hostility is not the way to get there though.  I've found that having information beforehand really leads to a better experience.  The nurses want to help you have a safe birth--that is what they are trained to do.  If you have a nurse who you feel is unsupportive of your wishes, ask to speak to the charge nurse.  When the charge nurse arrives, inform them that you would like to be assigned to someone else.


Good luck!

post #8 of 11

One thing that I have found invaluable is my relationship with my OB. This is my 3rd pregnancy with her, and we have talked at length about my birth desires. We don't always agree, but she flexes and so do I. The benefit is that we can present a united front. And I get to say, "Please speak with my OB if you are uncomfortable with XYZ." With my first birth with her, the nurse kept bugging me to have AROM. I kept declining. Finally she mentioned it in front of my OB who looked at the nurse and said, "We already agreed to no AROM. Please don't bring it up again."  My OB even has prepped specific nurses for this birth in hopes that they be on duty. She then prepped ME on what to ask for in triage to get the best situation possible. She even told me to kindly ask for another nurse if I find that the one assigned to me seems uncomfortable with my birth plan (VBAC waterbirth) because some would be.


Secondly, my doula has great relationships with a number of the nursing staff due to her frequent and long term work at this particular hospital. During my last birth, at shift change she was able to hunt down an awesome CNM-in-training to be my labor nurse, and I had an AWESOME experience with tons of hands on support from two very experienced birthworkers. 


I risk out of our local birth center for a variety of reasons, but I hope due to the two above things to have an experience as close to that as possible for this birth.

post #9 of 11

A doula really can make a difference. If you look on the DONA site and/or contact other doulas in the area, there are often new/newly trained doulas who will provide their services free or very cheap. Some more experienced doulas will also accept payment in trade.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Great great advice! I may have come off as "hostile" which isn't what I was, am or planning to be at all. Just talking about my story get's me all riled up because I know I could have had a UC without any complications, and it frustrates me beacause I feel that it was taken from me because of "necessary intervention". I LOVE my OB and we are able to see eye to eye on mostly everything. I would love if she was on call when I go into labor. I live on a tiny island with one hospital so you get what you get. The doctors in the unit are all on a rotating on call shift, so there is no way to know who will be assisting the birth. Unless I get induced... which was offered twice.

There are limited resources and space available at our hospital. Only bedside monitoring, no tubs,stools, balls, bars, your not even allowed to walk the unit while laboring!.... I'm just really torn because I do not want ANY intervention and I am not willing to compromise... and this hospital does not have the option to be flexible... which I understand because they are running on VERY limited resources. I have toured the unit and spoke with staff and it just seems that there isn't very must understanding between us.... it was very clear that if I am laboring at their hospital I will have to be hooked to a monitor for at least 20 minutes an hour.  I am visualizing this birth going great. I do not have bad expectations... I just know that I will have to fight for what I want.

  I can either have a UC at home and risk the chance of something happening... no NICU, or major OR here! have to get flown to another island.... or.... hospital. It's just such a bummer that those are my only 2 options I feel. Im really looking foward to reading more about this. I ordered 3 books today!

I'm also frustrated because I do trust my body... but I guess not enough to stand my ground and have a UC at home. :/

Edited by RavenDB - 9/7/12 at 11:58pm
post #11 of 11

Raven, after that explanation, I have a few thoughts. The first is that -if mother and baby are low risk/healthy- the vast majority of complications (esp with a not-first baby) happen at the time of birth. How manageable is it to labor until the last minute and then go to the hospital? You could even order a Dopplar or fetascope online, if it would give you peace of mind. We got one pretty cheap on Ebay.


My other main thought is, what is their postpartum unit like? Is it supportive of breastfeeding? Full rooming in? Remember to factor in the postpartum experience to your decision. Of course, many people who go in last minute and have the baby soon after arrival (on purpose) will then sign out (often AMA) early, too...


How busy they are will likely have a big effect on how amiable they are to flexibility.

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