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Anyone else have a fabulous hospital birth story?

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
I am a big proponent of homebirth, it just isn't for me and my family, just a personal preference. I have had 2 hospital births. The first was not what I wanted, so I made the decision that the second one would be, and it was. I was allowed to drink water freely in labor, had no interventions at all, pushed on my hands and knees, the cord had stopped pulsing before it was cut, my midwife and 1 nurse were the only attendants (other than dh and SIL), the baby was put immediately on my chest to nurse, and left there for nearly 2 hours before he was weighed, measured, etc. They did take him to the nursery, but waited until I was to the point that I could take him there myself, so we were not separated at all. He was never out of arm's reach during our whole stay, which was only 24 hrs. Nobody balked at that, either. I see very, very little anywhere about positive hospital birthing, and just wanted to share my experience!
post #2 of 72
I've never known anyone to have a positive hospital birth, but I'm really glad that you did. :-)
post #3 of 72
I had four good, relatively non-interventive, hospital births; all at the same birthing-center-within-a-hospital. The first was in 1990, the last in 2000. It was interesting to see how procedures changed there over the course of 10 years - each time I went in to have a baby things were different/even better than they had been before.

The third, my first waterbirth, is really the only one I would call "fabulous". That birth was EXACTLY as I wanted/planned/hoped. It was really beautiful and peaceful.

My fourth was also a waterbirth.

I had some issues with the on-call OB the night I went in with my second labor. He was a HUGE problem, very traditional and old school - and after that experience, DH and I were much more proactive/assertive about MY needs & wishes being met.

The things I'm happy about were that I always had a private, cozy room for delivery and for my stay; I never had a heplock, IV, or any type of medication; I breastfed my babies as soon as they were born, my babies roomed in with me (except my fourth, who had a life-threatening issue and had to be transferred to a NICU in another hospital), and I had wonderful labor nurses. (Shortly after I'd had my fourth baby, a nurse came in to change my bed, and I exclaimed, "Hey, I know you!" She said, "Are you sure? I haven't worked here in years." I said, "Yes! You were my labor nurse when I had my first baby, ten years ago! You had laryngitis and you were losing your voice, and they kept telling you to go home; but you refused to leave me until my son was born." She was like, "Omigosh, that was YOU?! I do remember that!" )
post #4 of 72
I had a pretty darn great hospital experience with my first birth, which was twins.

I had a friend (who is an ICAN regional representative) who had had twins via c-s and then gone on to have 2 hbacs, and while I was on bedrest she gave me a ton of great books about childbirth. TWG really changed my life and at that point I realized it was MY birth, and for the most part, *I* could call the shots.

In retrospect, my doc was very liberal in even "allowing" a mom with twins to labor. He was a high risk perinate who specialized in mults, and he had a lot of vaginal mult births under his belt. Anyway, I was induced, due to Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, and that was okay with me because all I needed was cervidil and my body just went right into labor. I had my friend with me, and she held all the belts in place, and I labored basically standing up and rocking back and forth. When I was puking she was like, "That's awesome! You're doing so great! That's probably another cm!" Anyway, I ended up having both kids vaginally, 1 small tear because baby B was a footling breech, but no real interventions.

No AROM, No IV, no episiotomy -- none of the really annoying hospital type interventions. I even labored in my own clothes for most of it.

HOWEVER. I have to say that my knowledge/expectations were different than they are now. I was young and a single mom of twins, and I wasn't a doula. I lived in a big city. I didn't really know my options, and I thought the hospital was the "safest" place to have a baby. Now that I am older, more knowledgable, and live in a very small town with a very old-school hospital that triages laboring moms AWAY FROM THEIR PARTNERS/HUSBANDS/DOULAS/ETC, I can honestly say I'd never give birth in a hospital again.
post #5 of 72
I had a great hospital birth here on Okinawa. The US Naval Hospital here delivers over 1200 babes a year (to a population of about 30K), so they've got it DOWN. The OB staff are largely CNMs, so definitely have the holistic lean. They don't see many natural births at all (lots of really young, scared, unprepared mamas), but my CNM was very encouraging toward my plan and never skeptical at all. The labor nurse that taught our childbirth class was definitely pro-NCB. When I asked her about the epi rate (over 90%), she just said it was really sad. ANYWAY, my CNM encouraged me to write up a birth plan just because I had such clear plans and had educated myself well on why I wanted a NCB. I'm glad she recommended and that I asked all my questions about hospital policy, because the nurse on shift when I arrived was new and kept spouting incorrect policy at me ("Oh no no no, you can't eat that Luna Bar later... only ice chips and popsicles once you're admitted!"... "Yes, we DO have to put you on the IV bag, it's *hospital policy!*"). Anyway, thankfully, she went off shift and the next crew had either read my plan or talked to my midwife or just actually knew what the hell the real policies were. Everything went exactly as I'd hoped (except I didn't get up and squat at the end, but that was my own fault) and my labor went really well and calmly. I really trusted my CNM and the labor nurse and corpsman were very calm. No one offered me drugs and they left me off the monitor for the most part so I could be on the ball and do things the way I wanted to. I'm mainstream enough to be OK with some of the procedures like her first bath, APGAR, yada yada -- and my husband was with her if I wasn't. Other than all of that, she was with me from moment zero and breastfed within minutes. My stay in post-partum for 2 days was kind of annoying just because it's hard for me to sleep with chit-chat out in the hallway, but the staff there was really kind and left me alone with Nevie almost 100% of the time. They did a baby round-up every 12 hours for the pediatrician to check them out, so that got a little old... on the other hand, I trusted the staff and I used that time to just lay back and process everything that was happening.

So, all that being said, if home birth had been an option this go-round, that would have been neat. It wasn't and I don't feel cheated. The only thing I really wish they'd had were big tubs. The staff wishes they had them, too -- but the hospital is old, slated for demolition, and the Navy isn't throwing any money at it right now. I think I had a great labor and awesome crew helping me through it and I'm not sorry that I was in a position to get immediate help if I'd needed it or Nevie had needed it. I won't be sorry to do it at home someday, either, now that I know better how this process goes.
post #6 of 72
I had a wonderful hospital birth too. I had a great nurse who requested me when she heard who my midwife was. No continuous monitoring, no heplock or IV, the only intervention at all was that my midwife broke my water at 9 1/2 cm at my request. I could eat and drink whatever I wanted and move about freely. And I loved being taken care of postpartum. The nurses were so good to me.

That being said, I have had Doula clients give birth at the same hospital and have completely opposite, horrible experiences (although they have had a different caregiver).
post #7 of 72

I continue to be pleased with my experiencies

Both mine were born in a small community hospital that is, I now know, really unusual.

I went to a large combined OB/midwife practice, but saw only midwives for prenatal care (CNMs).

Hospital does not (didn't then, anyway) offer epidurals, mostly because they're so small they don't have an anesthesiologist to devote to the materntiy dept. You could get an intrathecal, but they told everyone interested in one to wait as long as possible because they only last about 90 minutes and wear off very quickly... *lots* of unmedicated birthers here, even very mainstream moms. All my coworkers with children had undrugged births. They also do a lot of VBACs, I think. My coworker's daughter who had a C with her #1 wasn't even offered a repeat C date - it was assumed she'd VBAC when #2 was born.

I labored in the tub both times, no rules about food and drink, non-obtrusive (to me) intermittent monitoring (came in quietly, asked if it was a good time to listen for a minute). Heplocks aren't routine (though I had one with #2 for abx for GBS - I discussed it thoroughly with the midwives and elected to go ahead with it) I picked my own position to birth, no coached pushing, no routine episiotomy. Meconium in the water with #1 wasn't a panic and no ped was called "just in case." Breastfed immediately both times. All exams of the baby were done in the room, most with baby in my arms. The nursery was empty both times because rooming in is standard. Many nurses trained as LCs, got *great* breastfeeding advice, and never saw a drop of formula, nor coupons. Went home with a medela manual breastpump, a baby t-shirt, "goodnight Moon" and (with #2), "Helping Mommy Breastfeed" for big brother but no "breastfeeding success formula pack." Oh - and they use cloth diapers on all the babies in the hospital and all cloth chux pads.

All that said, if I have another, the only thing pulling me away from homebirth is the fact that I genuinely like the CNMs who delivered both my babies and would love to share another pregnancy and birth with them. If we were to move away from here I'd almost certainly be homebirthing, since I'm pretty sure that in many hospitals, #1 would have wound up being a C-section because labor got off to a slow start and never "got established" according to the charts in the Dublin Protocol. It was actually a short labor for a first baby, but it was atypical in a bunch of ways that would have freaked out a control-freak OB.
post #8 of 72
I had dd1 in a hospital in '96. I was happy with that birth. Not sure I'd call it fabulous but it was very good, especially compared to 99% of hospital births. I drank water, I walked, I labored in any position I wanted, no IV, no fetal monitoring except the fetoscope. No extra people in the room - just me, dh, midwife and one nurse. Lights were dimmed; it was quiet. I held dd for an hour after she was born - before anything was done (except Apgar which was done while I held her on my chest). She never left our room. We skipped all the normal poking and prodding (me and baby) for the most part. My birth plan was followed to the letter - with respect.

However, dd2 was born in a freestanding birth center. Now THAT was fabulous!!!!

Dd3 was born at home at that was also fabulous!!!!

So I would rate my hospital birth as good - very good as hospital births go.
post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny
Both mine were born in a small community hospital that is, I now know, really unusual.

I went to a large combined OB/midwife practice, but saw only midwives for prenatal care (CNMs).

Hospital does not (didn't then, anyway) offer epidurals, mostly because they're so small they don't have an anesthesiologist to devote to the materntiy dept. You could get an intrathecal, but they told everyone interested in one to wait as long as possible because they only last about 90 minutes and wear off very quickly... *lots* of unmedicated birthers here, even very mainstream moms. All my coworkers with children had undrugged births. They also do a lot of VBACs, I think. My coworker's daughter who had a C with her #1 wasn't even offered a repeat C date - it was assumed she'd VBAC when #2 was born.

I labored in the tub both times, no rules about food and drink, non-obtrusive (to me) intermittent monitoring (came in quietly, asked if it was a good time to listen for a minute). Heplocks aren't routine (though I had one with #2 for abx for GBS - I discussed it thoroughly with the midwives and elected to go ahead with it) I picked my own position to birth, no coached pushing, no routine episiotomy. Meconium in the water with #1 wasn't a panic and no ped was called "just in case." Breastfed immediately both times. All exams of the baby were done in the room, most with baby in my arms. The nursery was empty both times because rooming in is standard. Many nurses trained as LCs, got *great* breastfeeding advice, and never saw a drop of formula, nor coupons. Went home with a medela manual breastpump, a baby t-shirt, "goodnight Moon" and (with #2), "Helping Mommy Breastfeed" for big brother but no "breastfeeding success formula pack." Oh - and they use cloth diapers on all the babies in the hospital and all cloth chux pads.

All that said, if I have another, the only thing pulling me away from homebirth is the fact that I genuinely like the CNMs who delivered both my babies and would love to share another pregnancy and birth with them. If we were to move away from here I'd almost certainly be homebirthing, since I'm pretty sure that in many hospitals, #1 would have wound up being a C-section because labor got off to a slow start and never "got established" according to the charts in the Dublin Protocol. It was actually a short labor for a first baby, but it was atypical in a bunch of ways that would have freaked out a control-freak OB.
That sounds lovely. I'm moving to where you live!
post #10 of 72
I would say that two of my births that were in a hospital were positive experienes. There was no separation, nobody really bothered us (I had a doula-necessity in my humble opinion), nurses were great, gave birth to son on hands and knees and doc let me stay like that to deliver placenta because I felt I couldn't move. Took early discharge with one with no hassles (stayed with other because I wanted some alone time with baby).

My son was very fussy right from birth, so one of the nurses held him for me while doing paperwork so I could get a shower.

I am a homebirth midwife, but homebirths are not for everyone. Nor is everyone who wants one going to be able to have one, so I am always happy to hear good hospital stories. There are lots of hardworking nurses out there trying their best under less than positive circumstances! I know, I was one!
post #11 of 72
I had an excellent hospital birth, largely due to my excellent CNM. When my water broke almost 4 weeks early, she fudged the dates a bit so that I could avoid all of the "standard" interventions that the hospital insists on for early babies. Her only concession to SOP was that I had to have an IV port-thingy inserted, but she covered it with plastic so that I could get it wet.

As a result, I was able to labor in water and in the shower. Between the soothing water and the amazing doula that the hospital provided for free, I was never tempted to ask for drugs, even though I had many, many hours of back labor and pushed for almost 3 hours.

After Kate was born, they handed her to me immediately so that we could get to know each other a bit. Then the nurses and dh held her while the CNM stitched me up. DD was right next to me for the entire time I was in the hospital, and no one ever gave me a hard time about BFing or co-sleeping.
post #12 of 72
I feel I had a great birth... knowing now what I do, it doesn't sound so great, but I have no regrets.

I had contractions 5 mins apart for 12 hrs after which I was 3 cm (ouch). I had an epidural. : I was able to rest and relax enough that 12 hrs after that I pushed my baby boy out into the world, the proudest moment of my life.

The hospital where I gave birth had a "family birthing centre". I had a FANTASTIC nurse who was with me for much of my late labour stages and all of the pushing.

The birthing centre has a rooming in policy. I was able to stay in the same room for labour, delivery and recovery. Again, I had a great nurse who tucked Trent and I into bed together propped up with blankets and showed me how to breastfeed him lying down.

I would definitely go back there again, but next time I think I will go with a midwife and I will be more educated (and experienced) so that I can avoid so much intervention. However, I feel good about the experience I had, that it was happy and peaceful.

I guess this won't sound fabulous because of the epidural and what not but you live and you learn. I guess I'm lucky it turned out so well.
post #13 of 72
Just attended one a week ago. Granted she was only there for an hour before the baby was born, but absolutely no interventions. Laboring (and checked at her request when she felt rectal pressure) in the tub, pushed in her own time standing up, birthed squatting. No iv, ate what and when she wanted, you name it, it rocked. That all said, she had a very young and inexperienced resident and a very experienced, pro NCB nurse and a doula. The doc pretty much let us call the shots, was hugely easygoing about pretty much everything...except for pushing in the tub. You could tell she had never SEEN, let alone caught a baby born in a tub, and there was a look of "oh, crap, what do I DO if she won't get out!" written across her face for a moment there!

They CAN happen! However, they're few and far between.
post #14 of 72
I had a great hospital birth. I laboured at home, I transferred to the hospital with my midwife when I was about 6 cm. I laboured in hospital in the company of my primary midwife, the midwifery student, and my husband. When I started to push (on my own accord), the midwife brought a hospital nurse in because the law says the second midwife needs to be there to catch the baby, or else they have to call hospital staff, and my baby was coming so fast they second midwife wasn't gonna get there in time!

I *was* subjected to the midwife whispering "push push push" at me, and because I'm sort of goal driven and I worried that something might be wrong with the baby, I pushed with everything I had, and tore (3rd degree-nuchal arm). Next time, I'll specify that no one tells me to push unless there actually is something wrong with the baby. I gave birth on hands and knees, the baby was put skin to skin right away, then later given to my husband while I squatted and pushed out the placenta. Cord was allowed to stop pulsing, we nursed right away, no poking and prodding until after we'd gotten an hour to chill. I was discharged from the labour room, two hours after delivery. I was in hospital for a grand total of 4 hours. Home by 3am, asleep by 4.

Drive by birth. I highly recommend it. I'd do it again.
post #15 of 72
My dd's birth was traumatic, but that was beyond the control of anyone in attendance. She has a rare chromosome disorder and wasn't breathing well at birth, so was whisked away to the NICU.

BUT- labor and delivery itself was not a negative experience at all. I had wonderful, supportive nurses and two great midwives. My first midwife encouraged me to wait as long as possible before getting the epidural (I was on pitocin). And my second midwife, the one who delivered dd, was calm about me pushing for 3 hours, never mentioned the word c-section, and I only had a tiny tear. Everyone supported my decisions on position, when to walk, when to have my cervical checks, etc.

in an ideal world, she would have been born at home, but with all her health concerns I'm glad we were at a hospital with a high-tech NICU, she came home after 5 days. I was encouraged to pump by several nurses the night she was born and the lactation consultant visited the next and and literally patted me on the back when I said I wanted to continue to bf for at least a year.
post #16 of 72
I had a mostly good hospital birth. The nurses were wonderful and really respected my wishes. Here's a link to my dd's story.

I don't know if I'll be so lucky next time. I've doula-ed at the same hospital where I gave birth since then and I've seen things happen that I don't want happening to me. I'm not going to take the risk next time, I'm either birthing in a FSBC or at home; haven't decided which yet.
post #17 of 72
I had 2 great hospital births, the first one an induction that was still beautiful and wonderful and the 2nd totally natural and even better. I would like a homebirth but I really like my midwife practice and they don't do homebirths anymore. The midwives have hospital privileges and they have L&D nurses that work in their style so you can have a nice birth even at the hospital.
post #18 of 72
Yes, I had a very positive hospital birthing experience with my first DD. PM me for details because I fear that putting them here will lead to censorship and the thread being deleted.
post #19 of 72
I would actually strongly prefer to give birth at home or in a freestanding birth center (as I did with my second), but I live in a state that makes it a bit difficult. As soon as we get the laws changed (and maybe before if I get fed up enough) I'll be giving birth at home!

That said, I had a marvelous hospital birth this year! My nurse was excellent - volunteered to take me because she knows the types of births my midwife handles. I wore my own clothes, ate my own food, drank my own power drinks, was massaged with my own aromatherapy blend (rose, neroli and jasmine...mmmmmmmmm ), wasn't poked with a single needle, strapped with a single wire....you get the idea. I labored in the water until I started pushing, and could have stayed to give birth, but chose to hop out. Ds only left my sight once - with dad to do the hearing test.

We left 12 hours later in a snowstorm (I can't sleep in a hospital!), and I could not have been more satisfied, for a hospital. It can happen - you just have to know how to get it all set up beforehand.
post #20 of 72
Birth of my daughter was exactly as I wanted it: drug free, minimal interventions (external monitor, pitocin after delivery), baby given to me immediately and stayed within arm's reach (more accurately, mouth's reach) for probably 90% of the entire 36 hours we were there.

I believe this was in large part a result of my husband's medical background and his understanding of my desire for a drug-free delivery: I labored at home for most of it, and we left for the hospital at quite possibly the last moment possible for us to actually REACH the hospital before the baby was born. She wasn't crowning when we hit the parking lot, but she was born about 20 minutes after I got out of the car. He knew when we HAD to go, and I knew I could trust him to make those decisions correctly, and if necessary (unexpected traffic, flat tire, whatever), deliver the baby himself.

I got lots of support from the hospital staff in establishing breastfeeding: the baby was on the breast almost the whole time we were in the hospital, and they were very willing to delay whatever tests or checkups they had to make until she was finished feeding. Toward the end of our stay, I realized she'd not be finished, likely, ever, so would just pull her off for the few minutes they needed and then resume. There was no pressure from the staff, though, to do this.
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