I posted a more detailed thread in birth and beyond, but basically, a homebirth is out for me, UC or assisted (this is my second child). I am not high risk or anything like that, both my baby and I are healthy, and I had a completely unmedicated, uncomplicated, short labor and birth in a hospital with my first child--it is an accessibility issue. I have no access to a homebirth attendant, and DH will not budge on a UC. In either case, it's too late for either now as I'm nearly 38 weeks.
My problem is that I'm heartbroken and practically inconsolable tonight. I've ignored the disappointment and anger about being denied what I feel is my right to birth privately and naturally to such a degree that I'm railroaded into a hospital again, but tonight when I tried to watch the Orgasmic Birth documentary, I had to turn it off ten minutes in because I was sobbing uncontrollably.
I don't know how to make peace with this reality that I am GOING to be robbed of mine and my baby's privacy and intimacy during and after birth. Did anyone who had planned a homebirth have to transfer, or switch to a hospital prior to labor, and manage to still have a good experience? I really don't want to start my labor in this frame of mind but right now I'm having a hard time imagining how I'm not still going to be heartbroken and angry at whatever point I have to head to the hospital, and that won't help anyone.
Any words of advice or encouragement, from anyone? Thanks.
Sorry that you are not able to birth where you want, but you cn still have a beautiful birth experience.
-Labor in the comfort of your home as long as possible.
-Once you transfer, make the staff aware that you would like to be left alone as much as possible. They will need to do their checks, but other than that, they should be able to let you labor how you want to.
-Make the delivery room as comfortable as possible. Wear your own clothes, bring music, battery operated candles, your own pillows, etc
-Have a doula or other reliable birth companion there with you to help you feel comfortable birthing in a hospital.
Lovin my sweet babygirl 3-17-10 and expecting another in March!
I could've worked a lot harder to get the homebirth I wanted, but in the end just didn't have the support I feel like I needed and had a hospital birth, with an OB.
I think this made me work even harder for the birth I wanted, and I really did have a positive experience. I hired a doula, labored at home as long as I could, and gave birth to my son naturally. I totally thought I'd be checking out of the hospital early, but after laboring and not sleeping for 27 hours straight, I gave birth Friday night, used Saturday to get some rest and get to know my baby, and went home Sunday as per the hospital's schedule.
I'm now pretty set on a hospital birth next time, as long as I'm confident I can have the same experience. There are some very minor changes I would make- the big one is that I communicated with my OB practice what I wanted, but not the hospital- the hosp was GREAT really, the only thing was insisted on taking him to the nursery after he was born- they usually take the babies after an hour, and they let me keep him for about 3, and then let DH stay with the baby, but I really did not want him taken from me at all. They said that if I'd let them know ahead of time (still not sure exactly how that works) they would've accomodated that, apparently they do it often. I think they said it had to do with staffing. It was silly, though, because we declined everything they wanted to do there ;-) and he was back in about an hour.
Thank you all SO VERYMUCH. I am feeling much, much better today, and more confident. We do have a doula (which I did not my first time) and I'm just going to try to expect the best. I don't want to create a self fulfilling prophecy with my own negativity. Thanks again to all the wonderful women here. I don't know anyone in person (not well, anyway) that shares the same feelings about birth I do, so it's hard for those around me to understand what I'm so upset about.
Please don't feel that your hospital birth is necessarily going to be awful!
I was SO hoping to have my first baby at a birth center, but my husband wasn't wild about the idea, and our insurance wouldn't cover it. I ended up having a very good birth experience at the hospital ... and my second son's there was even better. Really, all of the things I was so sure "THEY" would do to me or forbid me to do never happened :) I wasn't induced, I didn't take pain meds (I didn't ask, they didn't offer), I didn't get an episiotomy, I was able to hold our babies the second they were born and nurse them right away, they slept in my room, etc. And this wasn't some fancy NYC or LA hospital either ... just a fairly typical Midwestern hospital in a fairly typical Midwestern city :)
We're having our third baby next month, at the same hospital, and I have NO reservations at all.
I think the things that made a difference for us were having a doula (first birth only), having an OB practice that was very understanding of what I wanted, and just being able to say, "No, thanks" -- but without being rude or defensive. I did have a birth plan, but I tried to word it in a very non-judgmental way, so that the nurses wouldn't feel I thought they were "out to get me" or anything. I also had my OB sign a copy of it. I think the only time I needed to call it out was when one nurse wanted me to lie on my back, and I said, "Dr. W says it's fine for me to labor however I like."
Both of my children were born in a hospital: #1 was a HB transfer and not a super hospital experience, though the labor at home was wonderful. #2 was a planned hospital birth with a CNM. In hindsight, if I had to make those birth choices over again, I wouldn't change a thing.
I was really miserable at first when we decided on a hospital birth for #2, but my hospital experience ended up being fantastic the second time around. I'll share details if you're interested, but I think that what helped me the most when I was preparing for my birth was an MDC thread full of "reasons to be glad about my hospital birth plans." So, having had the planned-HB experience, as well as a hospital experience, here are the reasons I was glad I chose a hospital birth the second time around:
- my MIL and SIL didn't have to spend three hours draining the birth pool in the middle of the night this time
- I didn't have to spend weeks & weeks of my pregnancy trying to convince a reluctant DH to get on board with HB plans (and trying to get him to be nice to the HB MW; this was a Big Problem for me the first time around)
- I didn't have to spend anywhere near the amount of time & money I did prepping my house for a HB (deep cleaning, assembling birth kit, renting & setting up birth pool, etc.)
- There were lots of support staff on hand in case one needed a break (my HB MW ended up nearly fainting from exhaustion herself by the end of my labor with #1, which made me anxious for her as well as me)
- Unlimited hot water and giant jacuzzi tub (our hot-water tank and bathtub were totally not up to my labor the first time)
- Unlimited access to snacks, drinks, coffee, hot food, ice, etc., all set up in the room ahead of time or delivered to my door
- Adjustable hospital bed actually made breastfeeding tons easier for the first few hours PP -- no need to pile pillows everywhere to prop me up
- Piles of fresh towels, postpartum supplies, diapers, etc. on hand
- lots of various kinds of birthing supplies on hand -- I used two different sizes of birth balls, for example
- Breastfeeding and baby support on hand if I needed it (I didn't, but it was nice to know it was there)
- DH could focus entirely on me, since the nurses were occupied with all the "housekeeping" details
- DD had plenty of space to run around in the hallways when she got bored hanging out in my room with me (it was a rainy day and our tiny house would have felt very small indeed had she been running around there when I was in labor)
- I didn't have to do a speck of laundry or dishes before or afterwards! And there was a LOT of blood this time, so I was grateful my mattress at home was spared.
- I cleaned the house in early labor before we left for the hospital, so I got to come home to a clean house, bed, etc. -- my family didn't have to come over and clean up from a long hard labor before we got home with the new baby
- Insurance covered it! Our HB MW was an out-of-pocket expense and then we still had to pay for the hospital later. This was a bit simpler.
I'm sure there's more, but those are some things to consider. Of course, I'm not saying I wouldn't try a HB with a hypotherical #3... :)
You've gotten really great advice and info from everyone, but I just wanted to add another voice of encouragement. Powerful, intimate, compassionate births can and do happen in the hospital. Our family had a really great hospital experience with the birth of our son, and I am planning on giving birth there with any kids I have in the future. If you want to check out the birth story, it is in the Birth Stories forum and is titled "The Natural Hospital Birth of Liam Freeman."
Mama to DS 11/25/09
Married to my truelove since 6/2/2007
<- that happened, EDD 6/28/14
Is it the same hospital you went to before? If not, it might help to go for a tour or visit so you know where things are and feel more familiar and comfortable in the space.
The suggestions here are great, and I really appreciated the list of hospital "positives" that was posted. Thank you ladies so much. No, this is definitely not the same hospital as before (thank goodness). I'm not even in the same state, or same part of the country. I did not have a doula the first time (although I tried to find one) and I do have one this time, who has not only doula'd at this hospital but delivered there herself, so she has some familiarity with some of the staff and the hospital itself. I did the tour and it seems nice enough. They didn't seem to promote some of the things I was hoping for, but it's possible that was just a time issue and they only have time to go over basics on the tour. My OB has reviewed my birth plan with me and assured me there's nothing on there that will be a problem. I also spoke to the nurse manager at the hospital since I plan to take my placenta home, and although I didn't get into anything other than that with her, she seemed very kind and respectful, which gives me a lot of comfort. I'm going to check out the birth story of Liam here in just a min. Thanks again to everyone--now I'm just waiting on DD to decide she's ready to join us (she's due this Sun).