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Non-homebirth natural birthers out there?

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 

I saw the homebirth thread and was inspired!


Anyone here planning on having an natural, unmedicated hospital birth?  Or birthing center birth?  I ended up with pitocin with my DS, but other than that, had a fantastic birth experience with the MWs at my OB office.


I'm looking forward to having an intervention-free birth this time, and am open to others experiences with how they got the experience they wanted.


I already got through 1 hurdle - We had a dating sonogram to confirm pregnancy today, and the baby was a week behind the due date based on my last missed period today.  I asked the midwife to use the date based on the ultrasound (which I think more closely reflects my acutal due date based on my longer than average cycle), pointing out that I know people start getting antsy for induction at 41 weeks.  Which would actually be 40 weeks assuming the ultrasound is right.


She said, "No problem, I'll put that date down."


So, I was very glad I opened my mouth.  Last time, I had a fantastic experience, but I also got a little *lucky* that the midwife who actually delivered my son had NUCBs herself and was a big Ina May fan.  I'm excited to start this journey from the beginning and learn from my previous experiences to make better choices.


So, if you are going the hospital/birthing center route, hopefully it's by choice.  Please share your experiences (excitements/frustrations).  For other BTDT moms, what did you change the second time around?

post #2 of 64

Thanks for the thread! smile.gif


I would love to have a homebirth, but unfortunately we are not in a good location for it.  It is an hour drive to the nearest hospital, and most emergencies are air-lifted out, with an ambulance ride to the helicopter, so my DH and I are not really comfortable with it in case something goes wrong and I needed a transfer.  We did a hospital birth last time and I am planning another one this time.


Last time I was able to have a drug-free birth, and the hospital and nurses were really good about following my birth plan.  However, luck of the draw, I ended up with the one OB in the practice that I couldn't stand from my prenatal visits, and she really soured the experience for me.  She made decisions and just announced she was doing them, instead of asking, like breaking my water at 9 cm (which I was ok with), flipping me on my back for delivery (which I was not ok with, I had been pushing on hands and knees and wanted to try squatting but couldn't express myself well and couldn't get myself in the position), then telling me I was pushing wrong, I needed to hold my breath (which was not helpful), and then doing an emergency episiotomy when DS went into distress, and pulling out my placenta afterward.  I did not have a doula but I think it would have helped.  I am going with a midwife (hospital-based) practice this time and hoping that it will be a better experience, and DH said that I can get a doula if I want.

post #3 of 64

I was really glad to have a doula at my first hospital birth. She was great and really prepped me for what was happening next (induction + AROM + Nuban + internal monitor, but no epidural), and giving me lots of options that I liked (positions etc).

The nurses knew her are were more hands off because they trusted her judgement to keep an eye on me. Everyone seemed to be on their better behavior because she was there.

post #4 of 64

Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer is a great book for planning a natural hospital birth.  I read it although I had planned homebirths.  And doulas; indispensable!

I honestly think you women are the toughest cookies of them all, resisting medication/advocating for self despite unknown conditions and/or attendants while birthing!  Hearing stories of natural birth in hospitals always inspire me!  I'm very much looking forward to hearing about your births in August.

post #5 of 64
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the book recommendation, Emily!  I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and did the Hypnobabies sountracks the first time (I didn't follow the whole program, just did the tracks at night time).


I think this time, I'm going to look into the Bradley Method some.  And I'm going to keep the Doula option open; I'd love to have one, but I'm not sure I want to pay for one.  We'll see.  My DH was very supportive in concept last time, but he didn't really spend any time prepping, nor did he know what to do to help.  So I'm hoping if I can get him to actually read a book this time, he'll be more help.  If he drags his feet, I might put my foot down and say I want a doula.  I'm not too concerned about them pushing interventions, especially if I get the same attendants, but who knows?  Labor by nature is unpredictable.


Any suggestions on a good Bradley book for those who have read them?

post #6 of 64

I've had two unmedicated hospital births and am planning my third (and final!) for this baby. I see CNMs and deliver at the local university hospital. For my first birth I had a doula, mostly because I didn't know what to expect from the birth and hospital experience. For my 2nd I felt like I could do it on my own and will do so again this time.


I'm thankful that I never had to really "fight" for anything. My hospital tries to give you a natural birth friendly nurse if that is in your plan and last time I got my favorite CNM for the birth. It was awesome.


I would say have a doula and make a birth plan. I would be happy to send you mine if you want an example. Also, I was always sure to be flexible with the staff. I mean, it is a hospital so fighting against certain procedures is futile. However, talk with your midwife and see what is truly optional and what is mandatory. Knowing what to expect will make the whole process smoother.

post #7 of 64

I had a great natural birth in a hospital with a CNM. I think it depends a lot on your particular hospital and a huge amount on who your care provider is, but it most certainly can be done!

post #8 of 64
We were in England with my first. But I had him on the military base hospital. My husband was in Afghanistan at the time so much of the birth was not what I had envisioned. Though done naturally because of muconium in my waters they had taken my son almost immediately to ensure he was okay.
This time once I get released from the RE at 12 weeks I am thinking of going with the birth centre here. I used to volunteer there and think a water birth would be amazing. Only downfall is they don't really do ultrasounds.
post #9 of 64

Yes, thank you so much for this thread! 

My intention was a natural delivery at a hospital the first time around.  I had a Birthplan that was approved by my OB that was virtually laughed at when I got to the hospital.  The first nurse that came in, I ended up throwing out of the room and telling them to find another nurse to deal with me.  They did.  The nurses at the hospital were my only saving grace.  They appeared genuinely excited to assist me through a natural childbirth.  They offered different positions, and agreed to intermittent monitoring.  However, The first OB on duty was a witch who was "appalled" by my request to not use pitocin post delivery, and that ended up being my first concession.  Thankfully she went off shift before I delivered. The OB who delivered my DS was kind, gentle and compassionate, but I still ended up with pitocin because my water had broke 12 hours earlier and there was slight meconium.  I really did not want an epidural and never had one but ended up taking Stadol after the pitocin because the contractions were unbearable!  Stadol was probably the worst decision, ever. I felt high but still in pain.  Thankfully, my DS was born vaginally and healthy in the end.


With all that said, I would really, really like a more natural (and shorter -I was in labor for 4 days from first contraction to delivery!) birth this time around.  I am starting with my OB practice for my first appointment do confirm pregnancy, do blood work etc, but then I am heading over to our local Birth Center for a meet and greet.  It is little bit farther from the house then the hospital I delivered at but knowing how slow the process is, I am less concerned with getting there.  Its attached to a larger hospital with a traditional L&D ward if needed, so that is comforting.  It seems like it could be the best of both worlds (fingers crossed.)  


BTW anyone else in MA?  Anyone deliver at the Birth Center at Beverly Hospital?

post #10 of 64
Hi all,

I am planning an unmedicated hospital/birth center birth, although I do contemplate a home birth.. (Jillgayle, I am in MA, but have not birthed at the Beverly Birth Center - I'm in Boston, so most BC people I know went to Cambridge, which is where I'm probably going to end up.). We had our first birth at a major teaching hospital and it was totally what you hear so many first time moms saying: ended up with pit/epi because of x, y, or z. I don't feel like I was pressured per se, but I don't feel like I was given all my options, either. Our second birth was at a hospital and was lovely. Unmedicated, free from intervention, and just a great experience. Unfortunately, we have had an insurance change and that hospital is no longer covered. Bummer. So now I'm left with a choice between a really big teaching hospital that doesn't even have midwives and is reputedly very hard on ncb, or a birth center that is over an hour away if there's any traffic. But I think we're going to go with the birth center despite its distance. That said, my first appointment is with an Ob at the big hospital because we do want first tri testing and my insurance coverage is better if we start there. (What a mess, right?!?). Anyway, that's me. Hoping to get to know you all a bit better over the next several months!
post #11 of 64

MellyBelly, my first was born in Boston (at Brigham) and I loved the reputation of Cambridge BC (though they have had some changes) and Mt Auburn.

I would choose the birth center for me and head out really early (better to drive home, than be later and uncomfortable)

post #12 of 64

I think I might try the Hypnobabies home course this time.

post #13 of 64

I would go for a homebirth, but DH isn't comfortable with the idea.  We'll do what we did with #4, and get all the homebirth stuff ready in case (my babies tend to come quickly - luckily, I was already at the hospital for my 41 week non-stress test when I went into labour with him).  I just hope this baby isn't as big as #4 was - 10 lbs, 10 oz!  I had him naturally, but man, that hurt!

post #14 of 64

I am planning my natural birth at the hospital. Last time I was in labor for 40 hours and did wind up getting a bit of pitocin, just the smallest dose to get me through because I didn't sleep for 40 hours and was getting too tired. I am not comfortable with birthing at home JIC plus insurance wouldn't cover MW charges etc and the money isn't there for us to cover it ourselves. I did have to switch to a new practice with 9 MWs I am nervous because I was really confident and in love with my old MWs.

post #15 of 64

Hey Leigh,


I had our first at BWH, also.  But this one will either be at BI or CBC (probably CBC - I'm going to a meet-the-midwives in a couple of weeks).  I've just heard awful things about natural childbirth at BI, so...  even though CBC will require me to do some convincing of my DH, I think it's worth it.  :)

post #16 of 64

Thanks for the thread! Dh and I are planning a natural birth centre birth. The birth centre we chose is attached to a hospital. We're meeting with our midwives in a couple weeks, but I'm a little nervous that they'll defer us to an OB because I have an irregular heart beat. I'm glad to hear that some of you have had fantastic experiences.

post #17 of 64
Thread Starter 

DH got me Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way for Christmas!  I'm so excited to start reading.


For those who celebrate, I hope you had a restful and relaxing holiday!  For those who don't, I'm glad you all have your christmas radio stations and regular tv programming back Sheepish.gif

post #18 of 64

Switching to a birth center from homebirth. I just couldn't convince DH to get on board with homebirth as I will be doing a VBAC. I'm excited though. A birth center should be a lot of fun!

post #19 of 64
I'm so so thankful for this thread. It simply isn't in the cards for me to have a homebirth and I'm getting tired of mourning that. I've had successful natural births in the hopital and I will have the birth I want no matter where I end up bc I'm going to prepare and set intentions to do so. I think I'm a little bitter about not getting to homebirth and fear I will regret it but I really want to get past these feelings and move on to plan and prepare for a beautiful birth! My midwife is fantastic and incredibly supportive and this will be my second child birthed with her present! I know it will be great! Now to get past my negative feelings and move on.
The biggest thing I think I will need to emphasize is that I want to go home ASAP after birth.
I also want to be sure that even if in transition I'm asking for pain meds that its not what I really want! I asked last time and luckily it was too late but this time if I ask I want to be reminded that I can do without! I need the words to empower me through that phase!

What things will you be most concerned with in getting a natural birth in the hospital?
post #20 of 64
This is not a concern, but something I like about the hospital: someone else does all the cleaning, they deliver you food at regular intervals, and they give you all the pads and mesh panties you want post-partum. Are these weird reasons to like the hospy? Probably, but I'll take it!
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