Any L&D nurses who will birth/have birthed at work? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 11-19-2008, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm hoping to open a conversation with other nurses who are pregnant and plan to birth at the hospital they work at or nurses who have birthed at "their" hospital.

I'm not pregnant yet- but hope to be next year sometime. I'm a bit ~eh~ about delivering at my hospital. I've only been there 5 months now and really just don't *love* any of the providers at this point. I like the midwives far more than the OBs, but still... I know that I want the crunchier midwife, but I feel odd asking her to "special" me. I'd be a VBAC/TOLAC and really not planning on being the most compliant patient ever... I don't know that I'd want to do an ultrasound, which is pretty standard for VBACs. I guess if it was a huge sticking point for her I'd talk it over with my DP and maybe we'd take a 2 second peak to check the placenta. But that would be it- seriously!

I'd rather not do a hep lock either, and don't actually want the standard 20 of pit postpartum that everyone gets here...

I also don't plan on showing up to the hospital until I'm really really ready to be there. I don't mind the continuous monitoring (we have telemetry and it's awesome) but I wouldn't consent to a FSE or an IUPC if they had a hard time getting a tracing for some reason. I'm heavier than some so it's not outside the realm of possibility that I might be harder to trace than others.

My last babe was 43 weeks and 10 lbs, 8.5oz. Our docs are induction MAD (routine inductions at 38-39 weeks for primips) and the midwives put mamas on the books too- although they are more conservative about it. If I end up growing another big baby/they think I have a big baby I *know* I'll get the hard sell for a "little AROM at 39 weeks or so". Ugh.

I can't imagine taking a doula with me- although I have doula friends who would be glad to attend. I'm nervous that I won't be able to advocate for myself once I'm in "labor land"- which is how I ended up a section with my last birth.

I guess what it boils down to is that I'm the new girl AND one of the crunchiest of our bunch (although several of us have a bit of a snap when bent!). I'm at least somewhat concerned about my personal birthing decisions affecting my professional relationships with my nursing colleagues as well as with the midwives and obs.

And then really- it is just a bit funky to be that exposed to your co-workers. I'm not a hugely modest person either, so it's odd that I feel angsty about it. Maybe I'm just over-thinking it? Another nurse is due in a couple of months, I'm hoping I work when she's in labor- maybe I'd feel better about it after that???

Honestly, I'd rather do an HBAC with a midwife friend, but my DP isn't on-board at this point. Maybe things will change once I'm pregnant. I'm sure an HBAC would cause lots of conversation, but at least I wouldn't be worried about the midwife that I work with dropping me as a client! That would be awkward! Yet I understand that although our personal philosophies seem to mesh well, she has to answer to the OBs...

Anyone been there/done that/there now?

Jen, L&D RN, CBE, CLEC who loves to knit.gif! I adore my modifiedartist.gifDP, treehugger.gifDD 10/98, & sweet new babygirl.gif5/10!!!
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#2 of 19 Old 11-19-2008, 03:17 AM
 
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I had my second baby on the unit I work on. At the end, there was not a labor nurse there who hadn't checked my cervix or a midwife who hadn't swept my membranes. It was weird -- for about five minutes. I got over it.

I was planning a VBAC, and I had a birth plan that was pretty clear. I gave in on the things that didn't matter to me (I think continuous EFM is valuable for VBAC, for example, and I don't care about eye ointment). I did not have my VBAC because I was an insulin-dependent gestational diabetic with Kell antibodies and renal damage from pre-eclampsia, and I had some questionable monitoring at 39w5d and was sectioned.

I think a saline lock is a reasonable precaution for a VBAC. The likelihood of needing it is very small. But if it's needed -- well, you know that the people hardest to start are the ones who really need their lines. So you may want to consider that.

Bottom line is that this is your birth. Have a doula (I was going to). Have a birth plan. Ask your midwife to special you. Anything you would ask for outside your unit, ask for on your unit. Because this is a job, and there are a lot you'll have in your life. This is your kid's only birth.

It was wonderful delivering on my unit. It was like having my whole family there to take care of me. I couldn't sleep the night after my section and went walking in the halls, and finally they told me to go back to bed or they'd give me an assignment.

I did ask my OB to special me. It's a pretty routine courtesy for labor nurses. Obviously, it ended up not being an issue, but he was amused by the request.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#3 of 19 Old 11-19-2008, 04:25 AM
 
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I had a different situation when I had my son, but can relate to the birthing at work part. I was an RN in a freestanding birth center - pretty small practice of 3 CNMs and a handful of nurses who took call for births/postpartum (~15 births/mo). No fight about being as crunchy as I wanted to be, but I was weirded out by the thought of my co-workers seeing me in labor/seeing my stuff.

However, having worked closely with all of the midwives I knew what I wanted for my birth and who could best provide that. My preferred CNM agreed to special me, though it turned out she was on call the day I had my son anyhow.

Though I truly adored most of my RN co-workers as co-workers, I wasn't sure about most of them attending me in labor. My preferred nurse, and good friend, also agreed to special me.

I wrote a very detailed birth plan and had an incredible doula who knew how to preserve my cocoon in labor. She also took care of my husband so I didn't have to worry about him, and he was free to be supportive and nurturing and free of worry/fear.

Because I worked there I was pretty much able to hand pick what dh and I referred to as our "dream team." I had a long labor, during which I felt nothing but caring and support. These ladies wanted nothing but the best for me because they knew me really well - it was like they were caring for their sister or niece. It was wonderful!

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#4 of 19 Old 11-19-2008, 09:41 AM
 
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I had all 3 of my babies at the hospital I worked at, and for me it was wonderful experience. I was not a L&D RN, but a postpartum/antepartum RN.

For a brief moment I was uncomfortable about co-workers seeing me in labor, etc. But I got over it very quicky. I hand picked my labor nurse and was able to control at lot of what went on. My situation was a bit different because I had some pre-existing issues and I was a scheduled induction all 3 times. I wanted an epidural and was able to select which anestheologist placed it. I do newborn meds, and have no issue with a hearing screen or the newborn metabolic screeing. The hospital I delivered at has rooming in so there was no friction with the nursery keeping the baby.

In the end delivering where I worked increased my comfort level. Because of what was going on with my pregnancies there was a very real chance of a NICU stay, which thankfully never happened. But I was glad to know it was there even though I didn't need it.
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#5 of 19 Old 11-19-2008, 11:21 AM
 
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Well, I am not a nurse, but I am a staff doula at the hospital that I birthed my last baby at. In fact I even had one of my do-workers who is a doula attend my birth, and never thought anything about it. The way I see it is that they see everything and anything both in desires for how a mother wants their birth and so why should you be seen any differently when you come in as a patient?! Same applies for nudity. With my last baby I thought for a fleeting moment about a co-worker seeing me naked, but once I got there I had one of the nicest nurses we have. I will admit that I think they gave her to me on purpose, and it wasn't uncomfortable at all. She was professional, but also personal which was nice. She never thought any of it when I decided to parade around completely naked and didn't even say anything when I ran to the next room half naked so I could get into the tub.

I think as a pregnant and laboring mother you should be treated like anyone else who comes into the hospital - meaning they should be professional and not be uncomfortable with taking care of you. I know when I was pregnant I remember talking with a couple of the nurses and she asked me if I thought it would be weird having a co-worker seeing me naked or the thought of a co-worker having her fingers inside of me, and at the time I just chuckled and said that I have had seven babies and am not that worried about modesty and just told her if she was uncomfortable with it then she wasn't the nurse I wanted.

Also unless there is a no doulas policy at the hospital I don't see why you couldn't take one. I think it might be a nice opportunity to let your co-workers see how nice a doula birth can be. When my great niece was pregnant the hospital she birthed at didn't like doulas. I ended up going in and when asked who I was I told them her great aunt - her mother was there too and the funny thing was that hours into her labor the nurse came in and told us how wonderfully we worked and that we should become doulas because they would love to see a good doula coming through their doors, and then I admitted I was a doula and her mother said I taught her everything she was doing. So it was a nice chance for them to see a good doula and not dread it and now when I enter that hospital I am greeted nicely and not with dread.
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#6 of 19 Old 11-19-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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What does it mean to 'special' you? Like they would be there for your delivery even if they weren't on call or at work that day?
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#7 of 19 Old 11-20-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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Exactly. A lot of providers will do it for longtime patients, and it's considered a fairly common courtesy for coworkers. My OB was scheduled to present at a conference around week 42, but he otherwise agreed to be on call for me.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#8 of 19 Old 11-20-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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someone i know on here who usually homenrths b irthed at her hospital, and she said it was great b/c she didnt have to fight for anything. Everyone gave her exactlywhat she wanted and were so so nice.
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#9 of 19 Old 11-20-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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I'll be having my baby at the hospital I work at. I'm not worried about it. I did ask one of my favorite nurses to come in for me and be my nurse -- she's willing to be "on call" for me -- how awesome is that?

I'm not too worried about modesty issues. We've all seen hundreds of naked people and we all look pretty much the same I would like to keep the number of people in the room to a bare minimum, but I'm sure that will be respected. I'm a little worried that I'm go a little "nutso" in transition, but even if I did, who cares?...pretty normal really.

I would definitely ask your favorite midwife to provide your care for you and think about asking a nurse you feel comfortable with to come in for your birth, if that would be helpful.

I think a doula is a fantastic idea, especially if you want to labor at home for a long time. It helps to have that objective but nurturing person to be there to support and guide you in labor, whether you're a L&D nurse or not! I haven't decided if I'm going to have one or not ... it just depends, but several co-workers have offered to stop by and check on me or check my cervix at my house if I want them to (how cool is that?).

I have NO problem declining interventions and I will be asking to be discharged within 6 hours of the birth, but my midwife and the pediatrician are okay with that. We've just discussed everything beforehand so that there's no surprises and we're all on the same page.

My advice -- get your midwife, nurse and doula lined up. Get the support you need! Pick your battles -- if your midwife is way uncomfortable with not having a saline lock....well, maybe that would be worth consenting to. But stand firm on the things that are important to you and enjoy your birth! It's YOURS!
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#10 of 19 Old 11-20-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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I had both my babies at the hosptial I work at. It was absolutely wonderful both times. I knew I was in good hands and it was a safe familiar environment for me. It's really nice to know what is routine and to know whose decisions you can trust when you're vulnerable. I saw a CNM group and there was 3 out of 5 that I loved. The three had a plan that one of them would come in if I went into labor when the one of the other 2 were on. It's pretty common practice for providers to special other doctors/nurses. We even have an anesthesiology attending who will special us too When they knew I was coming in, the girls had the room all set up for me with special signs and words of love and encouragement. I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. I felt like they all showed a lot of respect for my privacy and were just their super caring selves! And I got a private room on postpartum and Dh got his own bed--good perks!

I also love being on the caregiver side when caring for coworkers. There are a few where I wouldn't want to be their nurse just because I know that I wouldn't be the best one to take care of them (personality stuff/the couple of nurses who want to circ their boys etc.)

As far as the whole being naked in front of your coworkers...it's slightly intimidating to think about when you're not in labor, but trust me when I say you won't give it a second thought in labor! My mind didn't even go there. We see naked women all the time, all shapes and sizes, all levels of grooming, piercing, tatoos...they all kind of look the same after awhile, lol!

I think if you create a birth plan outlining your wishes for your next birth, they will advocate for you even if some things aren't necissarily standard practice. If you can get a provider to special you, talk about what things are flexible, what things aren't. Like maybe if you are an easy stick, you could bypass the routine TOLAC hep lock etc. That way you are both on the same page for your labor/birth and you can enter the experience knowing that you've already made your wishes clear.

Laura...part-time OB nurse, and full-time mom to two sweet boysnocirc.gifintactlact.gif
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#11 of 19 Old 11-20-2008, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies! I'm glad that everyone has had good experiences!

Jen, L&D RN, CBE, CLEC who loves to knit.gif! I adore my modifiedartist.gifDP, treehugger.gifDD 10/98, & sweet new babygirl.gif5/10!!!
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#12 of 19 Old 11-20-2008, 09:07 PM
 
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Hi,
I have been a L&D nurse for almost 10 years and had my first DS where I worked. I was happy with my care and not all that crunchy yet so there were no big conflicts. We did a lot of amish and mennonite births and they are generally very low tech and so when I yelled in labor or didn't want this or that it was normal.
My second DS was a completely different story. By the time he rolled around I was working at a different hospital that was induction and intervention happy. The OBs that I liked only took call every other weekend and the other weekend was a horrible doc who was rude and Loved to pit EVERYONE. So I made the decision to homebirth with a cnm and made no secret of it. I told everyone, even sometimes patients and was truly shocked how much support and understanding I recieved. Even the head OB of the unit asked me about it and after gently explaining that I was low risk and I saw it as a natural process and giving a bit of backround on my CNM he was completely supportive! He even said that if his insurance would let him he would love to see a homebirth. (How ironic, that an OB longed to see a natural delivery) When I did encounter someone who was negitive, I tried to not be defensive about it and just understand that people are going to have a lot of questions and past experiences clouding their judgement. i am again expecting any day now and am working at yet another hospital. I have been very upfront again. I again I am having a very positive reaction after some questions.
Good luck and don't stress about it. It will all work out.

Julia
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#13 of 19 Old 11-21-2008, 01:53 AM
 
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I am a L&D RN who also had a great experience birthing where I work. What was great was, I knew where I was, what the routines were, and who everyone was. So that eliminated the whole getting nervous of the unknown aspect. I was worried about my co-workers seeing me naked; but it's very true about losing all modesty when you're in labor! I feel like everyone was respectful of the things I wanted (or didn't want for that matter), gave my family extra attention as they waited in the hallway outside my door(instead of being asked to sit in the waiting room), and to this day insist they didn't hear my screams (though I'm sure they could).

wife to T and mama to H & E
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#14 of 19 Old 11-21-2008, 09:58 AM
 
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I worked as a CNM when my first son was born. I couldn't get past the idea of laboring with my coworkers. I chose a different CNM and a different hospital. I have no regrets about doing it that way.

For my second son, I chose the hospital where I had worked 1997-2000 (this was 2008). So, lots of people knew me, but I don't work there everyday. It was FABULOUS!!! I ended up with a repeat c-section at 42 weeks. But, it was comfortable and wonderful, and it was truly better than I had hoped for. People from my past dropped in my room to wish me well. One of the sad parts from my first labor/delivery (that I didn't anticipate) was that no one dropped in to say hello and admire my baby. So, with the second one, problem solved!

It was easy to get the baby to nurse in recovery, I kept the baby with me 24/7 with no problems, my doc was sweet and accomodating. The nurses were great. I'd like to think that they were that way for everyone, but I probably got treated a little bit differently than everyone else.
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#15 of 19 Old 11-22-2008, 03:48 AM
 
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My first baby was in 1979. Bradley, unmedicated. But back in days of labor room, delivery room, recovery room, postpartum. I was still elated just the joy of holding your healthy baby in your arms.

My second I had become a Bradley teacher and was around a lot of homebirthers. My OB happened to tell me that two CNMs were opening a homebirth practice. He didn't seem to mind I went to them too. I came to his visits as well. As it turned out, he had colon cancer surgery right when I gave birth. My CNMs were great, the birth was fast, one of those dont push there is the baby type births. I was YOUNG!

My third, 15 years later ( 10 as a labor nurse) I had seen so much. I had been to homebirth back before I was a nurse but now I no longer felt safe at home. I loved the IDEA of a homebirth, but I had seen too many realities of what having an NICU down the hall and a C/S room and teams of people working together ...no way I would feel I was giving my baby the best chance.

Having worked there for 10 years it sort of was like a second home. Did I miss the idea of homebirth....yes. But it didn't matter the place I felt my baby was safest mattered most. I had my best friend as my nurse I had no meds as desired, I asked for an FSE I preferred it to the belts and interruptions to adjust. In many ways I didn't feel it was so different from my homebirth. I was in laborland and I moved constantly and moaned and howled..this labor at 36 was not like being 18 or 20....primip and a half? It still was fast like the others. I had no IV, I was never seperated from my baby, we left in four hours. We left for the hospital in the morning, were surrounded by people I loved and trusted, and went happily and joyfully home with our healthy baby that night.
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#16 of 19 Old 11-22-2008, 12:28 PM
 
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Where would you birth if you DIDn't work at that hospital? If it's anywhere else, I'd do that... I have worked at my hospital about 5 months too, and am also the most "crunchy" one there. I don't think I'm going to have any more children, but if I did, I wouldn't hesitate the birth at the birthing center where I had my last child. (I had my second at the hospital I work for, 5 years before I started working there, and had a good experience, BUT I have now experienced the wonderful birthing center culture, and would never look back.)

Same as you, I don't really like any of our docs, and the midwives are pretty "medwifey." I did have a good birth experience with them with #2, but now that I know them and their practices better, I don't trust them as much.

It sounds like you have recognized some significant differences in birthing philosophy...don't ignore it, I doubt they will go away. If there is another option out there that you feel fits your needs better, I'd take it.
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#17 of 19 Old 12-16-2008, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just as an update- I'm still not pregnant, but I'm feeling way better about the whole situation. The other nurse who was pregnant did deliver, and I just happened to be working that day! Everyone was awesome with her and she was remarkably non-compliant too! I felt like everyone was really respectful of her privacy and her wishes.

So yay! A bit less stress anyway...

Jen, L&D RN, CBE, CLEC who loves to knit.gif! I adore my modifiedartist.gifDP, treehugger.gifDD 10/98, & sweet new babygirl.gif5/10!!!
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#18 of 19 Old 12-16-2008, 04:03 PM
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I had a homebirth and did not and would not give birth at the hospital where I worked (it was an awful place). But there was only one OB practice and the nurses all picked a doc and were "specialed" and the same with anesthesiologists and there seemed to be no ill will about it, so I think that is realistic. Good luck.
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#19 of 19 Old 12-18-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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I did! My water broke while on my shift while was helping with a delivery I didn't say anything right away but after the delivery and the mom and baby was off to recovery I called my Ob and he laughed and said "Well at least you don't have to drive to the hospital." I just kept on working until the contractions were not bearable anymore, checked myself into a room, changed into some sweats and called Dh to let him know. My co-workers obviously respected my wishes of no IVs, privacy and a dark room. It was really neat actually because I felt "at home" because this was a place I was at all the time so I was comfortable and it was familiar (plus I got the BIG room at the corner so it was quiet ) With my second daughter I birthed at a different hospital with the same Ob...LONG story there.
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