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Question's you wished you would have asked BEFORE birth - Page 3

post #41 of 59
Wow, this thread is really good! I asked many of these questions this time around during the hospital tours, mainly because I am in a new city (which means new hospitals and new providers from my previous 2 deliveries). I do think finding out how things work at the hospital is just as important as finding out info about your provider's policies.

Part of the reason I switched hospitals midway through my pregnancy was the first hospital refused to use the term VBAC, but insisted on calling it a "Trial of Labor after c/s" I was totally offended by that. It just sounded like they planned on you failing!!! Then once I found out my OB was going on vacation the day after my due date, I switched hospitals and providers. I liked my provider, but I wasn't about to risk ending up with one of his non-VBAC friendly partners.

My first appointment with my new OB she asked "so how do you plan on having this one, since you had a c/s last time?" I said "I plan on a VBAC and natural as possible." She said "Oh good! I can't understand these women that just want a repeat c/s." I was sooooo floored!! It was almost like being back with midwives!

I haven't asked quite as many questions this time as much as made firm statements during my OB appointments though. I know this is going to be my last time around and definitely don't want certain things done!!! I gave my OB my 5 page birth plan and she okay'd everything in it.
post #42 of 59
I asked a ton of questions and got a ton of answers (for the most part very good ones). I asked about situations I never thought would come up, and things I knew would. The one question I didn't ask, though it should have been an obvious one...

Should a c/s be required, who will do the surgery?

My care provider wasn't an OB and obviously couldn't do the surgery herself...so some doctor I'd never met before in my life appeared, said "yup, looks like a cesarean, she's been in labor how long?! Why didn't you call me sooner?", did the surgery, and then vanished (I saw him once more when he removed the staples before I went home). It made a stressful situation a little bit more stressful/surreal. It also made follow up care confusing since my own doctor had no experience with that sort of major wound care situation and couldn't advise me on things like scar massage...while the OB who did the surgery wouldn't answer my questions since I "wasn't his patient".

So even if you don't expect a c/s (I know I didn't!) it's a good thing to ask a non-OB.
post #43 of 59
With my first dd I had on my birth plan that I preferred to tear, not to be cut unless it was an emergency situation. To this day I don't even know if the doc did an episiotomy. Just recently my dh said he noticed the doctor had scissors and said something about cutting me while I was pushing. Because of the epidural of course I didn't feel anything. I asked my doc at my last appt and he said I could look it up in the hospital records because he wasn't sure but if my dh saw scissors I probably had an episiotomy. I'm not really upset about getting the cut, I actually healed very quickly and wasn't in a lot of pain after birth. Which is why I figured I was left to tear, also because my doc said I had a 2nd degree tear and needed stitches after the birth and never mentioned cutting to my recollection. BUT I am ticked off that despite my birth plan my wishes could have been either ignored or forgotten. Now I'm worried the same thing will happen this time, that my doctor is just paying lip service to respecting my wishes but when we get in there he'll do whatever he wants anyway.

I didn't ask about delaying or avoiding IV's completely, when I got to the hospital and asked to delay the IV the nurse said it was "hospital policy" like it was a law or something.

I would switch docs but there are only 2 OBs in the entire city and they switch for on-calls so I could end up with this OB anyway. I went to my last doctor appt with a slew of questions:

Intermittent Fetal monitoring vs Continous (Answer: During active labor continuous fetal monitoring is best. When I pressed and said I didn't want continuous because I didn't want to be tied down to the bed like last time and also asked if they had wireless monitoring (no) he said "What's the point in having a hospital birth if you don't want monitoring?"

Forceps vs vacuum (forceps are more effective, rarely use vacuum, I was just curious about this one, he didn't use it on my last)

Food & Drink during labor( fine until active labor, then only clear fluids.)

Heplock vs IV ( Again he said something about what's the point of having a hospital birth? I agreed to an IV if I am GBS positive but otherwise I only want a heplock)

Is this hospital a teaching hospital? (no for doctors, yes for nurses. I'm requesting no student nurses)

Hospital stay length? (24 hrs without GBS, 48 hours with GBS)

Is there a cut off for getting the epidural? I'm going to try to go natural this time but I've had friends/relatives who got to the hospital at 8cm, wanted the epi and couldn't get one (No cut off, even if you're 10 cm you can have one as long as you can sit still, although if you make it that far you might as well go natural for the rest of it)

I agree with what others said about phrasing things as a demand, not a wish. "I will not be having xyz" vs "I prefer to avoid having xyz"
post #44 of 59
I wished I'd asked what side effects I might experieince with nubain. It make me really loopy and made me so out of it during the labor with my second. Consequently, I'm not even sure if i asked some of the questions I wanted to ask about her birth. I think I asked if she'd be okay, her chances of any long term effects of the prematurity, and that's about it.

I wish I'd asked, "What will my baby look like?"
"What happens when she goes to the NICU? Who goes with her?"
"When will I be able to see her?"
"What procedures can I expect her to have (routinely)?"
"What are some common concerns with babies born at this stage?"

I just wasn't really prepared at all for a 33 week birth. My previous birth ( at 36 weeks) was pretty uneventful and my dd came home from the hospital with me.
post #45 of 59
subbing
post #46 of 59
This thread was so great, let's have some more suggestions. Particularly from people who had babies last fall and have had a chance to process things a bit now.
post #47 of 59
Not a question to ask the OB really, but I should have found out somehow that NO, they CANNOT refuse you care because you refuse any procedure. They are NEVER allowed to kick you out of the hospital, it is illegal (in the US at least).

But when the head nurse (I'm still furious about this) threatened to send me home because I didn't want an (excruciating) internal exam while I was in active labor (5 cm as it turned out), this possibly after my water had broken already (did they ever hear of infection?!)... I just didn't know any better, and felt like I had no choice.
post #48 of 59
I was glad DH thought to ask: What will labor be like if we induce? Well you could be in labor for 48 hours. We turned it down. The doctor felt so sorry for me. He knew how miserable I was.

What I wish I had asked the first time and did ask this time: What is your schedule like around my due date? I asked my frist dr if he was going to be here on my due date (it was joke because I was due on his birthday) and he said yes. he forgot to tell me that he was going to be gone that entire weekend before my due date. I think the shock of him not being there really hurt my labor. I started crying when I found out he wasn't there.
Unfortunately my ob this time is not on call during my due date and the two days before my due date. I dont' know what I'm going to do if I go into labor during that time.
post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeThinkinMama View Post
Is this hospital a teaching hospital? (no for doctors, yes for nurses. I'm requesting no student nurses)
This is a personal preference for everyone, of course, but I just wanted to share my experience in case someone is curious about it.

After my c-section, I had a rotation of about 10 different nurses, plus two pairs of 2 student nurses. The student nurses were the BEST. They were kind, friendly, helpful, and willing to explain everything to me. Most of the veteran nurses seemed to have this attitude of "you're just the patient, you don't need to know anything." The student nurses would actually talk to me about things like whether my incision was healing normally. Also, having their instructor demonstrate things to them meant I got more information than I would otherwise, because she explained all the procedures in detail.

I also got lucky because of the student nurses (I speculate that she was a CNA going for her RN, but I don't know for sure) had worked for a plastic surgeon for 14 years, and knew more about helping my incision heal than the regular nurses did.

Anyway, YMMV, but if anyone isn't sure whether to request no students, I thought I'd share my positive experience.
post #50 of 59
Just to add my .02, which I am sure is biased. I am a student nurse and I would love to have a student nurse at my birth- they have all the time in the world to work with you, they are still excited about the process, and their instructors are generally very experienced OB nurses who do not work for that hospital and therefore have other opinions on some things. Their education is very current and they tend to ask a lot of questions of nurse and ensure things are done the right way.

People who I would not let near me: medical students. They are just doing homework by doing interviews. The interviews they do in my hospital are solely for the purpose of their homework and nothing else. They are majorly annoying to my patients. Residents scare me, they have too much control and too little experience. Although there are many good residents, I would never let one care for me unless I needed an emergency c-section.
post #51 of 59
I gotta agree with the student nurses thing. I've been a nursing instructor and as far as I know, "my" students never did anything that would aggravate a laboring woman. At least at the school where I taught, they were not allowed to do VEs, give meds, etc. They were to watch and learn, stay out of the way, but try to be helpful. Hard job, really. If you have a student nurse assigned to you, you have a permanent step-and-fetch-it to get you ice chips, water, juice, snacks, warm blankets, cold washcloths, etc. They generally don't practice procedures (except maybe IV starts, because pregnant women are generally really easy sticks), just ask questions for their homework. I always told mine not to ask too many questions of women who were in hard labor, and that if some things had to be left blank on their homework, that was better than aggravating a laboring mom. Ditto in postpartum, they didn't do procedures or give complicated meds (other than a routine prenatal vit, tylenol, and a stool softener). They do really great assessments, generally better than the floor nurses have time for. And they have time to talk to you, help find answers to questions, etc. If they give you any trouble, you can talk to the instructor and get an immediate resolution--you won't find that with the floor nurses!

My DD was delivered by a medical resident 13 1/2 years ago. Mine was his second delivery--ever. It was only because he was so wet behind the ears that I was "allowed" to push for 4 hours and managed not to have a cesarean.
post #52 of 59
5 Questions to ask before ANY procedure or test or intervention:
What is it and how is it done?

How will is affect my baby?

How will it affect me?

How will it affect my labor?

Any alternitives/is it okay if we wait?
post #53 of 59
I third (fourth) the thumbs up for student nurses...during my labor a student nurse asked if she could participate (since she'd just started her maternity rotation and never seen a mama laboring drug free). I said sure and even though I did eventually wind up with a c/s after 19 hours at 7cm (so not the best example of the wonders of natural labor!) she stayed with me the whole time and was more help than my doula! My doula suddenly realized that she couldn't bear the thought of being in the OR with me so after DH left with DD this student nurse stayed with me and explained what was happening and held my hand and, well...she made a really traumatic experience a HECK of a lot better.

I would say no to a medical student, and I'd say no to having any significant interventions done by a student, but all the student nurses I met during my hospital stay were amazingly friendly, patient, helpful, supportive, and really really eager to learn.

Though obviously every mama deseves the right to choose who participates in her care and birth experience!
post #54 of 59
Now I wonder if it's possible to request EXTRA student nurses ...
post #55 of 59
I have to disagree on the medical students - DD was delivered by a student who was WONDERFUL!

She was too short to see over me on the table {I actually thought she was sitting on a chair thru the delivery} but she had hands from heaven! I swear she must have had some training as a midwife, because she knew exactly how to stretch to keep me from tearing, which wasn't easy as DD came very fast.

Myself though, I didn't want any student nurses. Not because they aren't great or anything, but because I"m in college with most of them!
post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotamidnight View Post
I have to disagree on the medical students - DD was delivered by a student who was WONDERFUL!

She was too short to see over me on the table {I actually thought she was sitting on a chair thru the delivery} but she had hands from heaven! I swear she must have had some training as a midwife, because she knew exactly how to stretch to keep me from tearing, which wasn't easy as DD came very fast.

Myself though, I didn't want any student nurses. Not because they aren't great or anything, but because I"m in college with most of them!
I just want to clarify- at least where I am, medical students don't do anything clinical- they are there to observe, maybe do a couple of simple things. No baby catchin. The interns and residents do that. It may not be the same everywhere, that's just my experience.
post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEG View Post
I just want to clarify- at least where I am, medical students don't do anything clinical- they are there to observe, maybe do a couple of simple things. No baby catchin. The interns and residents do that. It may not be the same everywhere, that's just my experience.
she might have been an intern or resident - I was pretty out of it from various medications they gave me.
post #58 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotamidnight View Post
she might have been an intern or resident - I was pretty out of it from various medications they gave me.
I don't think it really matters she may have been a med student, just wanted to clarify for other people thinking about what they might request. Glad you had a good experience. Sometimes I have to remind myself they aren't all evil
post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel View Post
Now I wonder if it's possible to request EXTRA student nurses ...
Probably. I know I always had more students than patients who were laboring. Sometimes they would double up if a mama was okay with that. Depends on the number of laboring mamas and number of students available.
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