intervention free birth in a hosptial? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it possible to have a truly intervention free birth in a hospital with a doctor and no doula? I mean, no breaking the water, no pit, no prostaglandin, no continuous monitoring, being able to get up and move around freely, the whole deal. Has anyone managed it?
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#2 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 06:50 PM
 
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I would say it's possible but unlikely, unless you have some VERY strong support from your partner.

I had an almost completely intervention free birth in a hospital with DD. Great partner AND great doula though. My choice of doctor was also CRUCIAL, I believe.

Only interventions I had were 20 minutes total of monitoring at the very beginning, and doctor breaking my water when I was getting ready to push (he only did that AFTER asking and receiving my permission though). Other than those two things, no interventions at all. Spent most of the time in the tub and delivered on my knees. It was a fabulous birth and my one huge regret is that I did not videotape it.
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#3 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That sounds lovely. I'd be very satisfied with your birth. Actually I plan to labor at home and go to the hospital when I'm getting ready to push. Not sure that I'll make it that far, but that's the plan. I'm highly motivated, but I think Dh would be happy with an all intervention birth. It's really my thing though, and I'm sure he'll support me whatever I decide.
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#4 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 07:15 PM
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It's possible - with a low risk pregnancy AND a doula. You NEED a doula in your corner!!!!
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#5 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 08:47 PM
 
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I second the doula. I could not have done without her. My doctor was VERY stand offish as far as non invasive birth goes, but still the nurses are the ones that run the showes. Even with my doula they tried to give me a hard time. I was squating and they kept putting my bed down, they would bring me ice chips instead of snacks...
If you can get a doula, DO IT!
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#6 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 09:13 PM
 
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i had two. in two different hospitals with midwifes not ob's though.
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#7 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 09:22 PM
 
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I had two intervention free births (okay, one I had my membranes stripped after my water broke and no contractions for almost 9 hours, but I was at 40 weeks and 4cm/80%), with no doula, but a wonderful supportive dh, and a midwife attending (not an OB).

Both labors were less than 4 hours long, first one, membranes stripped, back labor, about 3hrs 45 minutes from the stripping. Spent it in the shower, mostly. 2nd one, 3.5 hours, m/w touched me twice, once to check when I arrived, once when I said I wanted to push. My dd was almost born in the caul, my water broke as she crowned.....

Yep, it is possible. Good support is critical!!! A great doula or a great dh, or even, I think, I could do it with just my m/w if dh were deployed. But she's one in a million.
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#8 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 09:34 PM
 
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totally possible.

if you are ready --

my two sisters have had 3 between them. no drugs, no equipmet. nothing more than a 30 minute fetal monitor -- external -- when they arrived (and one did only did 15 minutes, then claimed she had to pee).

You just gotta be ready.

choose a good hosptial -- there are some where it just won't happen. talk to peple, knwo the stats. doula, good MW (though little sis used a OBGYN cuz she had childhood epilsey -- sp? -- and was consiered at higher risk). good birth plan -- detailed. and a big backbone. be up front, be poilt and take nonthing off anyone. Both sisters took, as i will, posters. one for teh door sayign to the effect "natural, non-medical birth, please be supportive" one for over the bed saying more or less the same thing......big sis's doula told her something kinda cool, and i am going to try to adopt this mind set -- it is like kids, if you expect a fight, you'll get one, if you smile and phrase everything as if you are preaching to the chior you seem so much more cofidnt and things are easier -- at least on you.

You also gottan be in a good place physically ...healthy pregancy, educated, wait as long as possible to go to hos, be as rested as you can coming from home, eat and drink to keep up your strenght. keep the labor going -- that whirpool might feel great, but if labor slowes, kick yourself out.

stuff like that.

I am fully confident that a totally non-medical birth can occure in a hospital setting. BUT I do not think they are the norm (not yet, maybe when our daughters are posting); and i do not think they just happen.

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#9 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 09:36 PM
 
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Good luck!! I highly suggest you get a doula!

Is it possible to have a truly intervention free birth in a hospital with a doctor and no doula?(doubt it!) I mean, no breaking the water(they will do this if you not going "fast enough' for them ), no pit (same here ), no prostaglandin, no continuous monitoring (most hospitals require this, no if's and's or but's about it ), being able to get up and move around freely(maybe if you can refuse the epidural. But most hopitals will not allow food or drin by mouth, so you have to drag an I.V. cart with you. And this is also hard to do with a monitor straped around your belly and a needle screwed in you babys scalp, unless they have monitoring by remote methods which a lot of hospitals do not have yet... ), the whole deal. With a doula you will have a better chance of standing up for yourself...she will do it for you. Some doctors will say anything to get you to do what they want you too, even if it means to scare you by telling you your baby will die if you do not do such and such...
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#10 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 09:52 PM
 
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I did that! Same midwife and hospital both times. A Bradley class under our belts and my hubbie as the only doula I will ever need. It really rocks the staff to see a lady giving birth the way Nature intended. Just me pacing naked with the midwife checking the heartbeat once in awhile. All she did was that and "catch" the baby. No tubes, no wires, no Iv, no eyedrops for baby, no vit K, no seperation or premature cutting of the cord. Loved it!
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#11 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 09:57 PM
 
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possible, but statistically unlikely. If you really want an intervention free birth homebirth is the way to go.

-Angela
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#12 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 09:57 PM
 
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I did it!

I had a midwife deliver and I think there were 2-3 other nurses in the room and DH. I had no IV, no drugs, nothing except for the external baby moniter which really didn't bother me, I liked hearing that little heartbeat throughout

I didn't want an episiotomy, but ended up with one, but only after I tore a bit I think they were trying to keep me from tearing more.

Why does everybody say you have to have a Doula? What excaclty does she do?
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#13 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 10:18 PM
 
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I had 2 unassisted births at the hospital (no birthing centers near me.) BUT . . . I did have a great ob doc (a very open-minded woman who let me take the lead in everything.)
I doubt that I would have had such a good hospital experience (twice) if it weren't for her.
I'd ask your ob doc. See what she/he says. Then if your doc is open to it make sure that she tells the nursing staff.
I had a birth plan signed by my ob that stated all those things so that the nurses would know. TUrns out I didn't even need it as I labored at home until the pushing stage for the 1st one and for my second some of the nurses remembered me so it was no problem convincing anyone the 2nd time around.
I agree, the nurses run the show. If your doc tells them it's okay for you to do unassisted then they'll back off.
Good luck!
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#14 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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hey anything's possible I guess

but I just don't think the hospital environment lends itself to a normal labor and birth- being in an environment that you are most comfortable in makes for a better birth outcome. I know I would have had the epi and pitocin in the hospital because my birth didn't fit the "timetables" and wasn't within the "normal" range (i.e. it took a couple hours longer than average). I was in pain toward the end and wanted drugs (totally the nearing-transition pain talking not me) and would have taken the epidural they would be waiving in front of me.

I don't feel like a woman in labor should have to fight to get what she wants or even have to say "no I don't want that" and explain it out- a laboring woman needs to know that her caregiver is on the same wavelength as she is so she can let herself be in laborland and be vulnerable instead of trying to stay aware of things so that she doesn't get an intervention she doesn't want.

There's no reason to start out at a hospital with an OB/GYN (a surgeon) if a natural intervention free birth is what you want- at the very least a CNM hospital-based midwife would be a better choice. At best a homebirth (that is where you find the least interventions used and the most successful natural births).

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#15 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 11:33 PM
 
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our doula is great. mom and big sister and cheer leader all roled into one. she is a freind with an education. she is emotional support. she is a resource.

there are a lot of stats on how female support in labor, no matter how great dh is, can cut interventions. i'll find them for you if you want.

Our doula is just there...she has BTDT and reminds you that YOU can too. she is encourageing, she is a great resource -- books and answeres questions, and tell stories about other women who have successed. she has training -- in childbirth education, in lactation. She knows us personally like even out MW can't (though our MW only does 4 births a month and spend an hour with us every other week). Doula knows what kind of juice i like, and will remind me to drink it in labor. she knows i like the smell of cocnut not jasmin. she knows my hopes and dreams.

she will stay with me ALL THE TIME from the time i call her till after the baby is born.

she knows a lot about all the intervention and drugs we might be offered. she make no decisions; but 1. she can suppy information, 2. she can help us think and brainstorm pros and cons, and 3. she knows what we want and can help us focus on that ("I knw you don't want pain medication, lets trys a hot shower for the next two contractions and see how you feel then"). she is not so emotionally involved; and having BTDT she can offer suggestions we might miss in the moment. she is expereinced; i may not know that every woman feels X and i might worry there is something wrong with me; she can reassure me i am normal, and she felt that way too....

Birth used to be very woman centered -- one generation guideing the next in birth and breastfeeding and so on. the old midwife catching babies; family taking care of family. now we are all more isolated; I have never seen a live birth, 150 years ago i would have seen sibs born, and freind have kids, and older sisters have kids....... a doula is a connection.

she is there for DH -- to make sure he eats, to stay with me if he needs to take a break, to answer his questions and support him as he supports me. this is our first, we both need that "everything is fine, this is what is going on, here is what to expect..." type thing. If Dh has a question or concern; he can ask her and thus not let on to me he is worried.

She will be as hands on -- or off as we want. she will hold my hand, massage me, or sit back and offer suggestions. she will come to the house and labor with us so we can delay going to the hospital as long as possible.

She is certfied http://www.dona.org/ here is where we found her.

I am sure there are others who can offer an offical defination (doula is greek for "slave" or something) and the stats are amazing. i can find all that for you tomorrow if you want. above are my impressions of how our doula makes me feel.

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#16 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 11:38 PM
 
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I had one. I agree that the choice of doctor is crucial. We had a VERY detailed birth plan, and we got the doctor to sign by each thing we wrote, and write in what situations whatever intervention would be needed. It seemed a bit dramatic, but I felt it was nessicary. We also copied the birth plan with his signatures on it, and gove it to the hospital to be looked over and put in our file. I think this was very important, because there were things like every woman must have an IV that our doctor disagreed with, and because we went over it with the hospital and had his signatures, they made an exception for us.
I did have a doula, but she was still in training. We couldn't afford a doula and someone pointed us to a woman who was one birth away from her becoming a doula (they are required to attend a certain number of births before they are "official"). It turned out she didn't need to do anything. No one at the hospital interfered, and I was a very internal birther. It was comforting though to know that she was there if I needed her.
So to sum it up, I think it is possible, but you have to do more work and research in order to insure it. I think next time I'll be brave enough to give birth at a birth center (dh refuses to do a home birth, so it's a compromise).
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#17 of 40 Old 09-11-2005, 11:40 PM
 
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I did it. I was moving freely, not hooked to anything, and birth squatting on the floor at the hospital. However, I didn't like what happened so much after the birth. They let me hold the baby for about 45 min. to an hour and then took her across the room to bathe her and left her in the warmer screaming for another hour .
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#18 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 12:00 AM
 
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you should also read the legal rights of child brearing woman.

http://www.maternitywise.org/mw/rights.html

and remember that even in a hos -- you can refuse most everything ...all you have to do is sign for it.

Education is the key -- to everything.

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Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#19 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 02:40 AM
 
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My midwife has told me that by law, she must monitor the heartbeat for 15mins. out of every hour but besides that, she will be entirely hands off during my labor & delivery at our hospital.

During my last birth I didn't have any intervention at all except for my water being broken after the OB asking me if I wanted it. I delivered at the county hospital & hadn't ever met the OB, I was just lucky I guess. I haven't ever used a doula either. I was however, extremely bothered by the fact they wouldn't let me drink anything, ice chips only. Grr. But otherwise, no intervention!

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#20 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by zjande
ice chips only. Grr. But otherwise, no intervention!
That bothers me to no end. It was the same for me - and getting ice chips was difficult because I was only allowed so many. It's plain stupid to allow a laboring woman to get dehydrated! thankfully - my hospital will even "let" me have popsicles!
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#21 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 03:01 AM
 
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I think Dh would be happy with an all intervention birth
This is EXACTLY why you need a doula and why I need one, as well. My dh is the same way, to a point. He's pro-epi all the way...mostly out of his fears or my pain. :LOL

I agree with the poster that suggested a certified nurse-midwife if a homebirth is not an option (and it doesn't sound like dh is real open to that, just like mine), as well as a hospital that is open to it. The nurses are the ones that will determine how well your birthing experience is. If you use an o/b, they don't usually show up until it's time to push, unless you are having complications that may warrant a c/s. Also, like others said, your choice of o/b is critical in your success. And, a nurse does not stay with you throughout your labor...she checks in on you now & again, as she has other patients in labor simutaneously. Could anyone imagine their midwife leaving them and going into the next room to coach someone else for a while, leaving you there? Of course not, but with the wide use of epidurals to keep women numb and relaxed, it's a totally different environment in a hospital.

I'm in the same boat as yourself and there's no way in hell I would attempt a drug-free, let alone intervention-free, birth without using a doula. I'm not even wholeheartedly convinced I won't have an epi, to be honest, and I still want a doula there to be my advocate with the nursing staff, esp. after my first hospital birth experience.
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#22 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 04:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveChild421

There's no reason to start out at a hospital with an OB/GYN (a surgeon) if a natural intervention free birth is what you want- at the very least a CNM hospital-based midwife would be a better choice.
Not true. Some states you cannot get a midwife - some states you can get a midwife but they will only attend at a hospital. In my case - midwives are legally not able to see me in Otnario because I am not a "low-risk" pregnancy. Some women have no choice but to birth in a hospital.
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#23 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 11:01 AM
 
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I didn't have time to read all the previous posts but I wanted to suggest checking out these 2 doula sites:

www.dona.org

www.alace.org

When I was pregnant I couldn't afford a doula but the DONA site had a few poeple listed who were in the midst of getting their certification and I didn't have to pay anything---she was AWESOME to boot!!

I also second the idea of staying home as LONG AS POSSIBLE!

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#24 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 11:54 AM
 
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I think the thing to focus on here is no unwanted/unnecessary interventions. In rare cases interventions become necessary and/or mom decides she wants them. The point is, you want it to be YOUR educated decision to have/not have something you believe is necessary/unnecessary.

That said, I feel my birth w/ DS was intervention-free. It was in a hospital, with a CNM, my DH, and a friend acting as doula. I was constantly encouraged to walk, rock on birth ball, lie in the bathtub, breathe, etc. Only when I wanted to lie in bed was I monitored. I did have intrathecal narcotics at 8 cm, but it was my idea and my decision, made over everyone else's questioning and encouragement to keep going without the meds. I knew what I needed: rest. And that's exactly what the intrathecal gave me. After the birth, my MW agreed that that seemed to be exactly what I needed to get me through to the end.

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#25 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 12:10 PM
 
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I also agree that birth is about DH too and what he thinks, feels and is comfortable with. This is DH's baby too, and i am his wife and he is faceing a lot of fears of looseing one or both of us (irrational fears, maybe, but normal for a first time dad nonetheless). i am going to give birth, but at least i get to be active. DH gets to be there, and "supportive" but really he will be watching, he won't really kow what i feel, or really what is happening. It would be wrong, and crule, on my part to force him into a setting he is not ready for (ie homebirth). This is not just about ME; it is US and OUR child. this needs to be a good expereince for us all, as a family.

Dh would not go for homebirth; he didn't really like the birth center idea but was willing to accept that -- but the BC and hos have a very hostial realtinhsip on transfers so i agreed with him IF we were in that situation we didn't want to be caught up in that....so we are going to the hos. but DH is totally supportive of our CNM, beacuse she is an RN, he would not be comfortable with a lay MW and it would be wrong of me to ask him to be.

I need his support, i need his confidnce, and i need him to be happy and good with the birth so that there is not tension. that is for me, but again, this is his birth too.

He understands the slippery slope of intervention, and the dangers of non-nevessary medications and so on..............but he is worried; he feels out of control as it is my body and all he feels he can do is watch. I do worry he would be more accepting of medication or intervention than I will be -- but it is his love that will make him that way. he will be worried ("shouldn't labor be over by now...") or he will be hurting to see me in pain or whatever......and he might be talked into something by a well meaning nurse. so we have a doula for him to bounce things off of, for him to talk to, to help keep us focused. she can -- and does -- notice when he seems to be holding back, thinking, and she can draw him out -- offer "you know a lot of fathers thing/wonder.... and the fact is, the truth is". and we have a CNM who is as opposed to intervention as i am (she is indepentant, not medical office based, but can still catch at the hosptial). I want to support Dh and make this birth good for him too.

So I agree with pp -- it is almost hurtful to say to a mom "oh have a homebirth" when her dh isn't comfortable with that; thus the family as a unit is not comfortable with that.

JMO

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#26 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Exactly. Dh is really not ok with a homebirth. I would love one. Everyone telling me how much I need one really hurts. There are no CNMs here. If I can find one, I will use one. I'm not betting on it. We can't afford a doula. If I can get one for free, or at low cost, or if my parents help us, then I will use one. But again, I can't bet on it. There are no birth centers here. Again if there were, I would use one.

Dh and I have a medical background. He understands the slippery slope of intervention. He would prefer an intervention free birth, but I know that he will cave under pressure. He isn't willing to risk me or the baby and he doesn't want to see me in pain. We had a birth plan last time, and followed it pretty much exactly. We had allowance for interventions, and ended up with every one of them. ( I would not agree to a c-section unless I was dying, and I delivered before the dr told me I needed one). Dh advocated for me exactly the way I asked him to.

I plan to choose a family practicioner. Ime they are much more natural friendly. I will not use an OB/GYN unless it cannot be avoided. For my last birth there was only one doctor available, and it the ob with a 30% c section rate. I have more choices available this time. I will interview before I decide.

I plan to labor at home for as long as possible. at my last birth, I planned the same thing, but contractions came very close together and we ended up at the hospital way too early. I have learned from that experience, and this time I will risk delivering at home before I risk going too early.

Now that I have made my situation a bit more clear, is there still no hope for me? If it is not possible to have an intervention free birth in my circumstances, then I will make my peace with it now.
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#27 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 12:42 PM
 
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I have an idea.....

a doula doesn't have to be a paid person.....

1. doulas have to attend so many births before they can be certified -- how about that? (a gift afterwards would be nice, since you aren't supposed to pay them)

2. how about a freind or sister? The biggest aspect of the doula is the female support, the extra support for you and DH. Got a good buddy that would come, tell the hosptial she is doula in training, or whatever, or just bring her -- at my hos i can have a hubby and a 2nd support person, no questions asked. The title isn't importnat. a little exrta support is. a cheerleader. just someone else there. for you and for your hubby. I think our is for DH as much as me; so I don't have to worry about him while in L&D, beacuse i would. someone a little less "involved" who can say "yes it is getting tough, but remember when yu feel like you can't go on, it is transition ans you are almost there...." soemthing you know, but cabn't really tell yourself and something DH may not really grasp or remember to apply at the time.

I think you are on the right track..........what you need is to be healthy (low risk, don't give them an excuse); and educated (i have a binder i am making of cheat sheets so not only is the data in my head, i can pull it out if i have to). Spend as little time at teh hos as possible and be confident.

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#28 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 01:36 PM
 
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Now that I have made my situation a bit more clear, is there still no hope for me?
I definitely think there is hope. I have to...I'm hoping to have an low-intervention (I don't think it will ever be monitor-free) hospital birth, myself. I think it's all going to depend on how educated you are about the interventions (which is sounds like you are already) and how prepared you are to labor w/out drugs.

I agree with the ladies who said you should look into getting a doula seeking certification or a friend/family member who will be a strong advocate for the three of you (you, dh & baby). Be sure that person is knowledgeable about the "methods" you are using, whether it be hypnobirthing, Bradley, etc.

I also think it's very possible to find a like-minded o/b. If I can find one in my extremely mainstream town, I bet you can. Have you checked in the "Finding My Tribe" forum? I didn't think I'd find a homebirthing/naturalbirthing supportive o/b (I was asking dh to move out of state because I was afraid to deliver in this city again), but through the ladies on that forum, I did and I'm really excited about my pg...thank goodness.

And, again, I think it greatly depends on the hospital staff. This time, I plan on delivering at a hospital where the head nurse is an ex-midwife and they frequently have women laboring w/out drugs. I'm going to need their support to make it through. Good luck to you.
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#29 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 01:42 PM
 
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As long as you now how you want your birth to go and don't let the nurses/ob's intimidate you you'll probably be fine!
I do agree that you should try to have a friend/support person if you can't find a doula wo isn't charging--it can make all the difference in the world--so it doesn't seem like it's you and your dh against the world ya know?
Where do you live?
I am a doula--I'll support you for free!

Erin-doula and mama to Ari Beat (4/7/03) and Eli Roots (3/27/06) angel.gif 6/09 angel.gif 10/09 and sweet Bodhi (6/25/11). Now growing #4 who we will meet in October joy.gif
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#30 of 40 Old 09-12-2005, 07:23 PM
 
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Yes, I have had two. Both with a doula and an OB. For my first I had an amazing L&D nurse who supported me in labor literally and physically. For my second, I didn't even have a nurse (I came during shift change and had fast progress). Had intermittend doppler monitoring for both, no attached monitors. Was in the tub for both for labor. No IV's. For my second I bypassed triage where they make you sit for 15 minutes with a belly band to measure contractions. For both labors, the OB was not in attendance and there was a mad scramble to find him/her when the baby was about to pop out.

For me the key was to be clear about my wishes to my care providers. Have a doula, a birth plan that I shared with all involved, and show up as late as possible. I was 5 cm both times upon arrival. With my first, the OB did ask me if I wanted pain relief. She was aware of my wishes and told me that this was the only time she would bring it up, and it was true. I had no pressure.

I am not nervous about birthing in the hospital. Though the trip to the hospital slowed my labor both times, contractions picked up and I was pretty much in transition both times soon after arrival. I also have fast labors. The other big thing in my favor was that I live in a progressive city where NCB is supported.

AS far as the eating and drinking thing, I don't think I was supposed to, but if I had wanted to there was nobody there to stop me KWIM?

It is doable. they can't force something on you.

Mama to 3 daughters, expecting #4chicken3.gif

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