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Help me prepare for a hospital birth, please. - Page 2

post #21 of 60
I want to emphasize what AmyJean said. They used even stronger tactics to get me to comply with what the hospital staff wanted, up to and including telling me my baby would die if I didn't do whatever it was they wanted me to do, telling me that "IF your baby survives, we'll have to call CPS and you will not be allowed to see your child, much less nurse her, until their investigation is over and you are determined to be a fit mother" They played on my worst fears. It was really awful. How wonderful for some women that do have positive hospital birth experiences, but the only ones I've ever heard of had doulas present at the time. It's that important to have someone there to help you advocate in a calm, clear-headed manner.
post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
Remember that you can refuse EVERYTHING. Even those things "legally required"

-Angela
ITA. It's state law in WI that newborns get the eye treatment and we are declining this. I have heard of instances of hospitals calling CPS when a parent declines a legally mandated procedure and the baby being taken away for a few days. I think this happened in New York. I don't know if this kind of thing still happens anymore. Where I live declining the eye ointment is not a big deal. We are planning a homebirth, but people who give birth in the local hospitals can generally decline this procedure w/o huge hassels. I think how much hassel you get depends to some degree on which nurse you get. I don't think some L&D nurses know why the eye ointment is given (to prevent blindness when mom has gonorrhea or chlamydia), they just know it's the law. In that scenerio I think it might be more difficult to explain how you are making an informed choice based on careful weighing of the risks and benefits of the procedure. Even so, my strategy with declining procedures is to let them know I am making an informed choice (and it's not just that I am refusing because I'm an oppositional person or something).

I do think it is wise to get the skinny as much as you can about common procedures for your doctor, your hospital, and the laws in your state (and strategies others have used to get around them if they're something you don't want). This is one way in which I think doulas can be really helpful.
post #23 of 60
Thread Starter 
Amyjean, I was paranoid to begin with, don't worry!! The situation was scaring the wits out of me, I just feel I have more to go with now than I did when I first posted. At least I feel very confident there is NO WAY I would get another epidural, even if I thought I was dying. Those 2 weeks after my first delivery I was unable to hold my baby and had to stay in a reclining position or I'd have HORRIBLE back, neck, and head pain, to the point of vomiting, is something I will *NOT* go through ever again. But at least it taught me to nurse lying down very quickly. :LOL

I'll be calling some doulas over the next few days in my area. I didn't even consider a doula before this, I figured they were as unaffordable as a midwife, and am so relieved that I may be able to find one to attend my birth.

Thank you again, ladies. I have an appointment with my OB next Thursday and will definitely be going in prepared. I'm determined to go to this hospital feeling confident my experience will be a good one, even if, in reality, it isn't perfect.
post #24 of 60
You might want to check with the hospital to find out if they offer a doula service. Some work with the March of Dimes and provide free doulas to those who might qualify (whatever that means) or a doula in training for free...someone who needs the hours to complete their certification.
All my best!
post #25 of 60
I agree about getting a doula. I had a hospital birth by choice and it was really OK. (Not great, not fantastic, but OK. Not horrible either.)

The hospital I birthed at supplied doula's if the mother requested. So I had a hospital supplied doula at no charge. She was fantastic.

I had talked a LOT to my OB about low intervention and she was righ on board with that. Unfortunately, she wasn't there for the first 17 out of 18 hours of my labor! So just remember that the doctor probably won't be there. It's those L&D nurses who "decide" when you need fetal monitoring, what you can eat, etc. I really tried to work WITH my nurses instead of opposing them. It worked out well for the most part, but I think one pushy one went off-duty or was reassigned.

I talked with both my mom and my DH about not wanting an epidural. I acknowledged to both of them that I knew they loved me and would never want to see me in pain. But that childbirth might look painful but I really wanted to trust my body and not have the epi. I told them it might be hard for them, but that I needed their support. They were both fantastic!

Also, if you are really at odds with your L&D nurse, you can ask to be assigned another one. Don't hesitate to do have your DH or doula do that if you see you have inadvertently come to have some antagonistic relationship.

You might also ask your OB if she knows any doulas or has worked with any good ones.
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keja
I'm determined to go to this hospital feeling confident my experience will be a good one, even if, in reality, it isn't perfect.
Good for you. That's the way to be.

Julia
post #27 of 60
We thought my husband would be a great avdocate my first birth which was in the hospital. Well, we were wrong. He was not prepared for how much politicing and coersion goes on and so failed in helping me navigate that. He was also a bit overwhelmed by the intensity of the labor and birth, it put him in a mode that was incapable of fighting with staff people. And at one point he feared for the life of me and the baby (after the nurce told a big honkin lie implying our lives were at danger) so he started to side with them, do whatever they say honey, he didn't want to lose his wife and child, YK?

So I strongly advise brininging a second support person who has been in the hospital L&D enviornment before and who know what to expect and how to help ypu navigate the BS. It's really hard to be rational and in fightin mode during laborland.
post #28 of 60
Quote:
I had talked a LOT to my OB about low intervention and she was righ on board with that. Unfortunately, she wasn't there for the first 17 out of 18 hours of my labor!
yep, my natural birth and even leboyer supporter OB wasn't there at all during my labor. By the time he showed up my nurses had bullied me into an epidural and had yelled me through over 2 hours of purple count to ten pushing. I don't think it matters what your doctor supports (in most cases) the nurses run the show. Getting a good nurse is 90% of the game.
post #29 of 60
I refused stuff and they did it anyways. I was forced to lay down flat on my back, forced to wear monitors... told I was getting pitocin, told I was getting an episiotomy... and I was so out of it with pain that I would fight it but not for long.

If you truly want to stop them from performing things on you without consent - you need to have somebody there willing to take a stand for you. Otherwise odds are very high they will just bulldoze right over you.

One nurse I had was very very nasty. Finally I told her to get the hll out of my room and htat she was fired. She never came back. I agree with previous posters - you are really subjected to the hospital nurse assigned to you.
post #30 of 60
Something you should be aware of also, though, is that they won't necessarily listen to anyone who isn't you. Legally, they don't have to. Neither your husband nor a doula has the right to speak for your medical decisions unless you're incapacitated or they have a medical power of attorney.

But a support person *can* support you in continuing to say no, and in *noticing* if they start to sneak something by you. Very, very valuable.

And me, I take great comfort in the fact that they can't actually do alot of things if I don't let them. I mean, they could bully me until I lie down and let them do whatever, but unless I consent in *some* way, they ain't getting the IV in, YKWIM? It makes me feel a bit more empowered, anyway.

Julia
post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mara
yep, my natural birth and even leboyer supporter OB wasn't there at all during my labor. By the time he showed up my nurses had bullied me into an epidural and had yelled me through over 2 hours of purple count to ten pushing. I don't think it matters what your doctor supports (in most cases) the nurses run the show. Getting a good nurse is 90% of the game.
If your physician/midwife is on board with what you want but they aren't there, ask the nurse to call her/him. Of course you can decline procedures regardless, but this might help with getting the nurses off your back.

Also, you can ask the person in charge for a different nurse if you have one who is really bad.

And if they are asking you to do something you don't want to do (like get in the bed for EFM) just don't do it. They cannot wrestle you down and force you in there (though they might try putting their hands on you and leading you).

When I got to the hospital I was 9cm dilated and they tried to get me to sit on the bed for 20 minutes of EFM. I told the nurse that while I could sit in between contractions I couldn't tolerate sitting during a contraction, so I could not sit in the bed at all, so I would stand. She was annoyed. Not my problem. My doula asked them to bring a birth ball, which they did (we also had one in the car in case they couldn't scrounge one up).

It's your body--you get to decide what happens to it!
post #32 of 60
Here is a little light reading for you :LOL - The American College of Obstetrics, specifically, ethics in Obstetrics.
http://www.acog.com/from_home/publications/ethics/

Very good to know- especially if "they" try and go around the guidelines or bend the rules.
I find it reassuring to know what the obstetric world's limitations are.

Be well mama.
post #33 of 60
My hospital birth was okay and I didn't have to fight a lot. I was lucky enough to have GREAT nurses. They were okay with no, IV, Epidural, me using the tub, minimal EFM, and minimal VEs. My dh and I both loved the nurses that we had that day. We couldn't say enough wonderful things about them.

The thing that made my birth experience less than desireable was the OB that was on call. I had previously discussed birthing options with my regular OB and he reluctantly agreed to most of it. (He's not going to attend my next birth either) He was pretty adamant about an IV though. I agreed to a heparin lock if nessesary. When Birthday came he was out of town so I got the OB on call. She was a very friendly person, but I didn't like that she had to do AROM, told me not to grunt while pushing, had to put in an IV "just in case", and yanked my placenta out when I was done.

Sorry to go off on a tangent, my point was to ask your OB who might attend your birth if he/she is not available and to ask if you could meet them too.
post #34 of 60
http://www.maternitywise.org/mw/rights.html

This is link is to legal right os chaild brearing woman.

Print it, take it with you.

(I can e-mail the doc to you if you can't get it).

It coveres what has been supported in court, and what is usally accepted.

remember -- you can refuse if you are wiolling to sign AMA. No biggie.

Don't allow scare grames -- incudeing calling CPS on you --

also

if ANYONE gives you crap -- ask for a boss -- everyone has one, right up to the CEO of the hospital. the higher you go the more worried they are about BAD PRESS and the more helpful they get. Espically when you imply you'll be vocal about them not being helpful. the lower the person the more worried about getting in toruble......... ANYONE who won't listen, and be NICE to you, call for their boss, and so on up the chain. Demand them be called THEM, not afterwards.

No need to casue waves, if you don't have to......but remember if push comver to shove and you are in a cornor and have to defecd yourself and the baby -- YOU have the rights...................

Just know your rights going in.

Aimee
post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalirush
You absolutely can refuse anything you're not comfortable with, but, if I were you, I'd pick your battles. Decide which things you're willing to put up with and which you aren't. I'm not saying to give in on things that are important to you, but compromise will probably help your doctor and the hospital staff to be happier with you. Many would say that it's not your job to make them happy, and it isn't, but there is a reality that you want a good relationship with your medical staff.
ITA. I've had two unmedicated hospital births. In both cases I had a few things I'd have preferred not to have in a perfect world but they were low level interventions I was willing to have because I didn't feel they were that big of a deal. In both cases I labored at home until I reached the point that I didn't know when I would go to the hospital if I didn't go then. I was 8cm with DD#1 and 9cm with DD#2 when I arrived at the hospital. It was hands down the most important part of successfully having a nonmedicated birth. I had already been down the cascade of interventions with my first two when I went to the hospital in early labor. Really can't emphasize enough how important it is to stay away from the hospital as long as you can. Yes the car ride sucked horribly but it was so worth that brief period of discomfort. I did give in to a hep lock because there were my third and fourth births and I have big babies so my risk of heavy bleeding was higher. I wasn't that concerned but it made the nurses calmer and it was not an iv so that was a trade I was willing to make. I did allow them to monitor me since I was so close to delivery that I wasn't concerned with any sort of failure to progress crap. I did not stay still for it. I got into the position I wanted to be in. If they were able to hold the monitor on my stomach well good for them if not well then too bad. I definitely agree with everyone else that preparing beforehand rather than trying to fight while naked and in labor is key. With DD#1 I was challenged over issues that I thought I was ready for and was bulldozed a bit and I feel it led to a bad result for DD. That helped me be more prepared for my next birth. I did have a doula with #2 but I waited so long to call her that honestly I could have done without her. :LOL I think you have a great attitude and that will make all the difference.

As far as refusing everything no you can not refuse everything outright. The eye ointment in MI for instance is a state law and not only do they not have to obtain informed consent but you can only refuse it for religious reasons period. If you come in saying you just want to refuse it for philosophic reasons they will not allow you to later say it is for religious reasons. I spent several months trying to find out how to refuse the drops and read about some awful experiences that MDC moms in MI had with CPS. So yes that still happens and I agree it is very important to find out what the laws are in your state because there is stuff that you can theoretically refuse but the hospital will call CPS and then they'll do it to your child anyway. So find out what the laws are in your state and what loopholes there are.
post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasabi
Really can't emphasize enough how important it is to stay away from the hospital as long as you can.


Don't go to the hospital at all. Hospitals are for sick and injured people. A woman in labor is neither

-Angela
post #37 of 60
Since this is your second child, I bet you are more in tune with your body to know when "it's time" to go to the hospital. Some mamas, (including me) are in the dark with their first baby. I learned from my 2nd baby that I am prone to prodromal labors. My first I think was forced out too early- simply because it was my first, and I went straight to the hospital when the contx were about 5-6 min apart. Baby2- I labored for a week. (sorry...don't meen to freak you out) Every night I thought this was it...but then labor would stop when dd1 would wake up.
Anyway...my point? I think you have lots of ammunition...plus your own experiences to help you manage your own labor the way you want to.
post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
Don't go to the hospital at all. Hospitals are for sick and injured people. A woman in labor is neither
That's really not terribly helpful. I know for me, I'm just not comfortable doing UC for my first birth, and I can't afford a homebirth. My insurance says it's this OB and this hospital or nothing.

I *know* what you're saying, and I agree, but it has no bearing whatsoever on my situation. I can't have this baby anywhere else unless I want to UC, which I really, really don't.

Sorry, I know this is me and not the op, but I get testy when I ask for help planning a hospital birth people tell me to have a homebirth. I *can't*, so don't rub it in.

Julia
post #39 of 60
Keja: How about you just "Dont make it to the hospital" in time?

Hehe "Ok honey I think it's time to...Oh Sh*t I'm pushing, can't go now!"
post #40 of 60
Four magic words.......

"I'll sign a waiver"

Most of the interventions offered are to cover the hospitals backside. They are really concerned with their liability.

I totally agree with choosing your battles wisely.
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