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Looking for perspective - late change from home to hospital birth

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

Looking for a little perspective and encouragement here. I'm 27 weeks pregnant with #2. #1 was born at home - a very long but deeply wonderful and uncomplicated experience. We've been planning another home birth.

 

We're moving in one week, and it's looking very unlikely that we'll be able to stick with this plan. My pregnancy has been super healthy and I remain very low risk, but our new area just doesn't have any home birth midwives, and I'm not willing to plan for an unassisted birth. We knew from maybe halfway through the pregnancy that we'd be moving, but have only known our exact new location for about a month.

 

While my fingers (all of them, and all my toes too) are crossed that something/someone will turn up, I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea of a hospital birth. So far I'm not doing a great job at that and would love to know if anyone has been in a similar situation and how they made peace with such a big change. I'd really like to work on this now so that when it comes time to meet this baby, I'm not feeling panicked or sad.

 

We are lucky in that in looks like there is a baby-friendly designated hospital with midwives and some water births within reasonable driving distance (although I still need to get in touch ... I have zero clue how you plan a hospital birth!). The two things I have thought of to begin to put my mind at ease are to schedule a tour of the birthing unit there ASAP, and to hire a doula, who could help us stay home as long as possible, continue to help with pain management at this hospital, and generally advocate for us there.

 

Thanks for any ideas.

post #2 of 7

You have some good ideas with the tour and hiring a doula. I would also suggest a birth plan, and to see if the hospital(s) you are considering offer a birth planner/consultant program (probably called different things at different hospitals). Basically a nurse who works in the birthing unit to talk to one-on-one about your concerns, hospital policies, etc. It can be helpful to know what to expect at the hospital, especially since this is a different environment than you were planning and its easy to picture the "worst case scenario" when you feel like you don't have other choices.

post #3 of 7

I didn't have a homebirth or plan for one (although I secretly wanted one!) so I can't be of much help with changing your expectations for a hospital birth....  But I did have an awesome hospital birth and I would do it all over again if I could.  

 

It helps tremendously to find a baby/mama friendly hospital, for starters.  If you've found one with birth tubs, I'd say that's a really great sign!!  My husband and I agreed on everything that we did and did not want during both of our babies' births, so he was able to speak for me in the times that I wasn't able to.  that was also a huge help.  I delivered in two different hospitals in two different states, and with both births, I never felt like I had to stand up for myself or advocate, etc.  We just shared what we hoped for ("least amount of intervention possible") and everyone got it and understood.  I think it makes a huge difference to choose a facility where the nursing staff is comfortable with that. 

 

There were a few little times where say a nurse came in intending to take LO for a quick trip to the nursery to check her blood sugars (she was under 5 lbs) and since we didnt intend to be separated from our baby, I just said something like, "Oh can you wait for a minute so my husband can go with you and the baby to the nursery?" and she was completely understanding.  It was never even an issue.  

 

I hope that you will get great vibes once you've been able to take a hospital tour and ask questions!  For sure, it will be a different experience than birth at home, but there's no reason why it can't be just as awesome in a different way.  (and personally, I LOVED ordering meals from the cafeteria menu every day!)

post #4 of 7

I can only imagine how difficult it is to change your plans mid-way, if you have your heart set on something. I think hiring a doula would be an a great idea, and talk with your doula (or any supportive friend) at length about the disappointment you are feeling. If you don't work through these feelings now/during pregnancy, they can come through during birth, which could lead to unnecessary interventions...that is if you are hanging on the hope of a birth you can't have, your body may not do what it needs to do and you may not progress, or not as easily/quickly as you should. Thats when the hospital staff will step in.

 

Interview midwives in your new area. And don't stop with just the first one. Keep checking for the practictioner who will fit best with you (and that may be a doctor!) Ask around who had a good experience with natural birth (find a local FB group, LLL group, or natural families group, whatever you can find to meet people).  tour the hospital (or more than 1 if there are several to choose from), make a birth plan, and have extra copies of that birth plan with you when you arrive at the hospital.

 

I know when you just find out you are pregnant, you have 9 whole months to research and make decisions. You are quickly approaching the final stretch and you will need to make these decisions much more quickly than you might otherwise. I'm sure that with the right support, you will make the best choices with the resources and options available to you. Good luck and hope you have a great birth experience!

post #5 of 7

I had a hospital birth with a midwife and it was a great experience for me but that seems to be rare.

 

I made sure that I had covered all my bases on what the hospital would allow me to do while in labor and that I was okay with it. I also checked to see what they did after the baby came. All of their procedures were so natural birth friendly and I never felt tempted by anyone. However, while the midwife was awesome the nurses weren't as great so you may want to prepare yourself for dealing with that. It is possible to find a hospital that is natural birth friendly but you may have to do some searching. Oh yeah, and I had a doula which helped me immensely. 

 

Good luck!

post #6 of 7

I think there are some fabulous midwife practices within hospitals.  The tour and interview with mine really sold me.  They had a c-section rate of only 8%, let you walk around without a monitor, had birthing tubs, etc and my experience there was really great.  

post #7 of 7

For the doula search: www.doulamatch.net lets you search by zip code.

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