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Really regretting that I will have a hospital birth... - Page 2

post #21 of 56
OP...you've gotten some great advice on how to have a good hospital birth as much as possible. It's better to be overprepared then underprepared in this situation.

No, it's not necessarily too late for a HB....but at the same time I know what you mean on the money issue. My insurance would cover 70% of an out-of-network provider, however a HB was completely out for me due to the expense wanted up front, and my breadwinner would not do payments or anything. It wasn't until the MW actually offered to put aside the payment up front and bill my insurance like a regular doc's office after the birth did it become a reality for me....otherwise I'd be going back to the same birth center where ds was born. It was a great experience then, but now with new backing docs it's turned into a bureaucratic nightmare to actually get to birth there. I understand not having the money....going into debt is not a feasible option for everyone. If it's something you REALLY want though, it wouldn't hurt to at least contact MW's in the area, and see what they could come up with...you may be surprised. I certainly was. If not, you can have a great hospital birth as long as you prepare yourself fully for what you might have to face.
post #22 of 56
Hire a doula! She will go with you to the hospital, help you to have as natural a birth as possible and advocate for you. Other than that, just be very straight-forward about the procedures you do not want. Your doctor works for you and can only perform the procedures you consent to. Fwiw, my sil had a natural, drug-free birth at a hospital and it went very well. Although she did allow all of the routine newborn procedures
post #23 of 56
Just wanted to offer a since I don't have any advice. My HBs are some of my best memories and experiences and would recommend it to every woman having a baby (though I understand not everyone can).
post #24 of 56
Here is a link to Tricare's Maternity Fact Sheets:


Someone here told me Tricare is changing their homebirthing policy, so be careful. But you're having your birth so soon, you could call Tricare right now and confirm what they will or won't pay. Ask what you need to do to ensure it is covered. Also, ask to speak to a supervisor if the person on the phone does not know the policies in regards to homebirthing. Most don't since it's not a common question, so just politely ask to speak to a supervisor.

I know you feel you must give birth at the hospital, but really, don't give up yet. You already know that at the very least, you have the hospital as default (others here have already given you tips for that), but I'd call Tricare ASAP and see what you can find out for sure.

Fwiw, I'm going for an unassisted childbirth, because I don't trust Tricare to not change their policy by the time I give birth (likely not an issue for you). Scary thought at first, but the more I read about UC, I'm not scared at all anymore! Very excited and can't wait! (I'm also a Christian and my faith is in God, not a "practicing" physician. I trust the Great Physician, so it helps tremendously with my fears!) You can always go that route.
post #25 of 56
Thread Starter 
Wow thanks so much everyone! You have all been a really big help!
post #26 of 56
Thread Starter 
By the way, on another subject, are some of you not doing the Vitamin K at all, neither oral or injection? I was going to go ahead with the Vitamin K shot, though Im not completely sure I want my daughter to have it.. Then again, I dont want her to end up with some rare bleeding disorder... Just curious what you all are doing..
post #27 of 56
I did not do vit. K with either baby.

post #28 of 56
no vit k here, unless baby has serious bruising or other obvious trauma from the birth.
post #29 of 56
Make sure your DH is on the same page with your plans for the birth, no matter where it takes place.

I had a hospital birth with my first and I was mentally prepared as all get out to have to fight tooth and nail to avoid an epi and a c-section. But you know what? I never needed to fight about those things. It never came up, things went just fine, even though I was in a hospital.

I'm having a midwife instead of an OBGYN this time, but Im still having a hospital birth *gasp* even the second time around! Even though I read MDC and all *the right books,* etc.

My point is, a hospital birth isn't the end of the world. It's not a big huge scary stream of doctors and nurses holding you at gun point to submit to 9 million interventions. BUT, it is up to you and your support (DH? Doula? Midwife?) to work with your OBGYN, the nurses and the hospital policy. You have to stick to your guns sometimes, and you will need your DH to be on the same page with you.
post #30 of 56
Originally Posted by _betsy_ View Post
My point is, a hospital birth isn't the end of the world. It's not a big huge scary stream of doctors and nurses holding you at gun point to submit to 9 million interventions. BUT, it is up to you and your support (DH? Doula? Midwife?) to work with your OBGYN, the nurses and the hospital policy. You have to stick to your guns sometimes, and you will need your DH to be on the same page with you.
This really depends on the climate in your area. I completely understand that fabulous hospital birth is possible in some areas. It's really not here. *Here* it's going into the lion's den and it's ugly.

post #31 of 56
You've gotten some excellent advice here that I can't even add to. I just wanted to give you some support and say that it is absolutely possible to have a wonderful hospital birth (I've had two.) As others have said, talking with the hospital beforehand is really helpful, as is having a strong advocate in your corner, whether it be your DH or a doula.

Good luck!
post #32 of 56
Originally Posted by Viriditas View Post
1. Talk to your doctor confidently and authoritatively about the specific details of your birth plan. Don't say, "I think it would be good if I could move around during labor." Say, "I WILL be moving around during labor. Will I encounter any problems when I ask for a hep lock/no IV and refuse continuous fetal monitoring?" A lot of doctors will give lip service to a birth plan, but not follow through. Nevertheless, I think it's important that s/he knows your wishes.

2. Make sure the nurses and hospital staff are also familiar with your birth plan.

3. Make it clear to your husband that a very important part of his job during the birth is to be firm with the hospital staff about your choices and defend your right to labor however you want. You really need his support so you can concentrate on your labor.

4. Get a doula!!!

5. Don't get intimidated by the hospital staff! This is YOUR labor and you have to do what you need to do. If the nurses or doctor get pissy with you, let them.

Best of luck wherever you end up!
It seems like one of the biggest mistakes women make in the hospital is being bullied! Stand up for your rights and beliefs, and have support people who will do it FOR YOU!

Originally Posted by meganmarie View Post
I am assuming that at this point, your decision is made and that what you most want now is confidence, support and practical advice for your decision.

I have had two successful hospital births - 100% intervention-free. I know others who have also gotten natural birth in a hospital. So please - believe it can be done, and put aside your fear! There are some steps you can and should take to help things. Here's what worked for me:

1. Go to the hospital as late as possible. My Bradley classes said, wait until cx have been 4 min apart AND 1 minute long for 1 full hour (remember 4-1-1) Also, you should be emotionally feeling serious, stressed and inward-focused (not happy, excited and chatty) as this is a signpost for the 2nd stage of labor. Following this advice got me to the hospital at 9-10 cm dilated both times - so I spent 90% of labor doing whatever the **** I wanted at home. Lots of walking, sitting on the birth ball, easing my pain in the shower, getting lovely back rubs from DH and doula, etc.

2. Get a doula. Its late but you never know when a doula may have a last-minute opening in her schedule (client gave birth early etc.) so get the list of local doulas from the DONA site, and just start calling. Spending $600 on a doula is less than the $3000 for a home-birth and believe me your DH will be grateful for the help. Apprentice doulas may even work free to get certified. When I got to the hospital, I was completely out of it and unable to communicate. DH was a stressed out wreck poor thing, just holding my hand. The doula calmly handed over my birth plan, gently mentioned how the birth plan said I didn't want an IV or hep lock, and in a thousand subtle ways nudged things into the right place. She also helped us decide on exactly the right time to leave for the hospital so we timed it right.

3. Get your OB to sign off on your birth plan in advance. Ask him/her to put a signature on it. Review it with every doc in the practice, if possible. Ask them to place a signed copy in your medical file (which will be at the hospital). And obviously also bring it along with you. Your OB may not show up right away and this will help ensure the RNs or the resident on-call defer to the birth plan that your doctor has agreed to honor, even if they can't reach him.

4. Make DH memorize the following words "We want all newborn procedures conducted in our presence and with our express consent." And here's a little-known secret: tell the nurses you want to wait and give baby the first bath yourselves, at home! The bath can be a huge reason for mother-baby separation after birth - it gives them an excuse to take baby to the nursery, where they could do all kinds of things behind your back in addition to the bath, and then post-bath baby's temp always drops (surprise!) which is an excuse to stick baby under the warmer to "regulate the temperature" for 2-3 hours During this time, you are quietly going insane. I fell for this b-s in birth #1 and stood my ground with #2 - "Thanks but no thanks, no bath for us - just towel her dry please!" and was so glad I did, she never left my side.

Have you taken the hospital tour? On the tour generally the nurse will tell you what they usually do "routinely" and you can ask whether that can be avoided if the doctor says so. Their reaction will tell you a lot about what to expect.

When it comes to being induced, just say no. It is hard, I know. The latest trick seems to be using low amniotic fluid as an excuse to induce, which is not justified unless there are other signs that baby is not doing well. Drink a lot of water before any u/s (or even better, refuse the u/s!) as that can help your fluid levels. Going past your due date is also not an evidence-based reason to induce until close to 42 weeks again unless there are other signs baby is not doing well. If you are feeling pressure to induce for what you believe is a flimsy reason, and are having trouble standing up to the doc, try playing along "oh, i see what you mean, let me discuss this with dh and we'll call the office to schedule the induction" and then turning off your phone.
In terms of avoiding c-section, based on the experience of my many, many friends who have been cut open for no good reason, it is almost always due to baby being "stuck" or labor "failing to progress." All of them were trapped lying in bed with epidurals and fetal monitors and IVs. If you can stay out of bed, change positions, get on your hands and knees, squat to open up the pelvis, etc., that will greatly reduce the chances of this happening to you.

Good luck! You can do it. Look forward to hearing your happy birth story - hopefully soon!
Another great thing about refusing to let them bathe your baby is that they will wear gloves when handleling baby, reducing exposure to nasty hospital germs! (SuperBug anyone? )

I just strongly agree with other bolded statements!

Originally Posted by thixle View Post
If every fiber of your being tells you not to go to the hospital, stay home.
FOR REAL! Listen to your HEART! Listen to you BODY! Listen to YOURSELF!
post #33 of 56
I did the shot with my first two, it was the only thing we did do in the hosp but this time I have the oral drops. Personally, with the research I have done, I wouldn't do the injection unless there was trauma, severe bruising or premiee birth.
post #34 of 56

I am one who understands that $3000 either cash or debt is a lot for some people. It would be a mountainous, overwhelming amount for us!!

I dont want to end up being induced and I dont want to end up with a C section. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make a hospital birth better? I know that its better if you can be up and moving around during labor, but will most hospitals let you do this, if you dont get an epidural?
I have had three hospital births. Not my first choice, but at the time I was forced to decide between hospital and unassisted birth, and we just weren't confident about UC for many reasons.

What I learned after my first birth was that I needed to be strong, well-educated about birth, and able to stand up for myself. That served me well in the next two. I also learned that the longer you're in the hospital, the more opportunity you give them to pester you and try to intervene, so the last two times I have stayed home until I knew I was *really* heavily into labor (so the ctx weren't going to slow down and then have them say "Oh, we need to keep this going, here's some Pitocin!").

I also refused IV but accepted a heplock, so that they didn't have the IV excuse to keep me in bed. I also specified intermittent monitoring rather than havign those belts strapped around your belly the whole time. That's another tether to the bed you don't want. You should also know that they can listen to the baby without making you like on your back. They can do it just fine while you're standing up, or on hands and knees. Do not let them force you to lie on your back for delivery. Hand's and knees was very good for me (with two very large babies) and it is hardly "inconvenient" for the baby to be caught from that position, especially if you are up on the bed.
There are lots of ways you can promote a healthy, intervention free birth. And you'll get lots of ideas here.

I think primarily you need to be confident enough to say "NO!" and to insist on what you know is right for you and your baby. It is very, very hard to refuse procedures under pressure and some doctors will be manipulative and pull the "dead baby" card ("If you do not let me break your waters/cut an episiotomy/put you on Pit/whatever....your baby will die!")
post #35 of 56
I had a wonderful, intervention free, natural hospital birth with my DS.

Here's what I would do:

* Labour at home as long as possible.
Read "Natural Childbirth - The Bradley Method" by McCutcheon-Rosegg & Bradley and educate yourself on on how to get your DH /support person involved with your birth. The photos are hilarious (think pornstar mo's and tan lines) but the advice is great. It tells your partner how to time contractions and gives some strategies to manage pain drug free. This means that you can prolong your birth at home as long as possible.

2. When you get to the hospital, take along anything that makes you comfortable but hopefully, you'll have read the Bradley book and you'll already be at 8cm and thus wont give a patooie what music is playing in the background, lol. Let your partner be an excellent advocate for you.

3. Dont be afraid to get the sheets dirty.
Hey, your at hospital, but your still the boss. Labour in any position you want to. Grab an extra pillow or two. Ask for a jug of water. In my experience, the midwives were great with this. They want your labour to be successful - and they're not surgeons - so they are might be more pro-natural than you might think.

4. Tell the midwives you want to go natural.
Hospitals are actually used to women screaming for epidurals, not telling them to put the needle away. So they gear up for intervention. If you say - I'm going natural (and you really mean it) they will support you more than you might think

5. Your ped is a surgeon. He is there to cut out babies and stitch you up. Dont expect him to get involved too much (mine sat reclined on a chair in the background) -which was great. And dont expect him to discuss anything you've talked about before (like birth plans). TALK TO YOUR MIDWIVES & NURSES. They will be the real angels on the day.

6. Give your partner the responsibility of telling the Dr's about your birth wishes. Just concern yourself with thinking positive thoughts and birthing your baby - let DH fill out the forms and worry about VitK pricks.

7. You CAN have a positive hospital experience. They're not going to tie you down and drug you unwillingly. Just smile (yes, you can still smile during labour, lol) and say "No thanks, I dont want any intervention". You can do it - believe it!

Good luck - read that book. Its a great resource for natural hospital births.
post #36 of 56
If you want to go ahead with your hospital birth, i would keep in mind my mother's advice. She is a ob/nurse with tons of natural birth creds and educaiton. She always says the only way to have a natural birth in a hostpital and not get "messed with" as she calls it, is to STAY AWAY and STAY HOME until you are AT LEAST 7 cm. She says this is the hardest thing in the world for first-time moms to do, because you can't feel what phase of labor you're in, and you're a little nervous, etc.

She says if you're scared about staying away at all, go to the hospital and labor in your car in the parking lot!!!

Can you get a labor support person who could do vag. exams to check how far you've progressed? Have you taken a birthing class? Have your partner and yourself monitor your emotional stages--this can really help you tell more than a physical check can anyway. Like I knew once I a) wanted drugs b) vomited and c) felt "pushy" it was time to go to the birthing center for real because I was in transition. I got into my room and I was fully dilated, ready to push.

That is how you want to show up at the hospital. They will not have the time to do anything but deliver your beautiful, healthy baby!

If you do go in a little early and you're say, 2 or 3, or even 4 cm dilated. DO NOT let them admit you. Check yourself out and go home. Don't let them break your water or do anything else to make you stay in the hospital. If you go in at 2 or 3, they're gonna push the pit, push an epi, and put you on the 12-hour clock. Get outta there and go home to labor some more.

You'll have a great birth with the right support and by not submitting yourself for interventions before there's any chance you would even need them.
post #37 of 56
I wanted to add.. I was supposed to have a homebirth. We had Preterm labor issues then $ became an issue. I had already paid the 2500 on my deductible from insurance because of PTL and we were already in the care of the OB's I loved. I wanted the homebirth but was no longer comfortable with it. Our MW became our doula (LOVE her). and we had the most amazing hospital birth ever. No complications not one person ever argued my wishes.. lol our nurse was a bit cooky at times but MW and myself kept her at bay. She wasn't bad just quirky... she got smacked a few times lol and she got the hint (don't come at a woman in transition!)

Our birth was amazing.. DS is perfect we went home within 24 hours. (It was good we stayed because my bleeding got quite heavy).

The OB didn't do anything but suction out DS nose, and mouth. DH caught him. OB caught placenta and left. He stood leaning on the wall while I was pushing almost half asleep looking. Everyone was really hands off it was wonderful.

Homebirths are great for some but if your not comfortable or even $ is an issue then make the most of what you can do and do what you feel comfortable with and not what others think is best.
post #38 of 56
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone, you all are so great! I do like my OB and midwife (though she calls herself a med wife) lol But she is married to the OB so I guess it makes sense.. I have talked to them and it sounds like they will follow my wishes. I have not told them I am totally against an epidural but I would like to avoid it if I can.. And if I get to the hospital too late for an epi then that would work! lol I like the idea of going there and laboring in the car. I hadnt thought of that one. Hopefully they will let me be up off the bed.. What are the best positions to labor in, standing, squatting, etc? Well, thanks so much!

post #39 of 56
What are the best positions to labor in, standing, squatting, etc?
Practically speaking, anything that allows gravity to work. But you will probably find your body preferring certain positions depending on how the baby is positioned and what kind of labor your having.

My second labor, sitting on a birthing ball was so wonderful, and then I pushed on hands and knees. My third labor, the *only* way I could cope with ctx was bent at a 90 degree angle, either standing up bent over, or on my hands and knees.
post #40 of 56
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