I attended my first hospital birth as a doula a couple of days ago... I've done birth center/homebirth support, but never hospital support.... WHAT A SHOCK TO MY SYSTEM!!!!
I couldn't believe how aggressive they were!! I met the lady - a first timer - at the hospital, and I helped her through transition... when they checked her, she was fully dilated! They insisted on an i.v. for group B strep and an EFM, since she "wasn't walking around anymore"... then the nurse told her she couldn't push if she wanted to wait for the midwife to arrive.... but if she HAD to push, one of the other docs would come in and assist. Well, she had to push, and a doc she'd never even met before came in and put his hands in her vagina, stuck her feet in the stirrups (eeekkk!! supine position!!! She was flat on her BACK!!), and then two OTHER docs came in, who she had never met before, and they're all standing there staring at her vagina (Gee, would you like to take a picture??? It would last longer!!!) and I kept hearing the word "tear" mumbled. I mentioned to them that she preferred an upright, active pushing position, and they said, "Well, it looks like she'll tear, and this is the easiest position for us to take care of her in...." Umm, duh!, who WOULDN'T tear in the supine position??? When her CNM arrived, who works on-call for an ob/gyn, I was totally relieved.... until this freakin' liar told the mother that "The baby's heartrate is dropping to 100 during the contractions, so I need to do an episiotomy to get the baby out faster." OHMYGOD!! As the baby's head starts to crown, heartrates in the 80's are considered normal!!! So they injected her with novacaine without even telling her... just jammed the needle into her vagina and made her jump ten feet into the air... cut a gaping episiotomy, which tore even further as the baby crowned, caught the baby, and cut the cord. When I mentioned that she wanted the baby laid out on her chest for bonding, they said, "Oh, yeah, we wouldn't do it any other way!" LIARS. They stuck the baby on her chest - not even skin-to-skin- for a total of maybe one minute before the nurse came over and said, "The pediatricians HAVE to look at the baby! They're standing there waiting for the baby!" So they swoop the baby out of momma's arms, stick it in the bassinet with a bright overhead light shining on it, and continue to poke, prod, measure, inject.... and this teeny infant is screaming hysterically, and no one is even TALKING to the baby or trying to comfort it!!!!
Sorry, sorry, sorry so long, but if I would have posted this gripe on any other message board, I'd probably be attacked for portraying hospital births so "negatively".... the funny part is, this woman's mother in law was blown away by the "quality of care" and how well mom and baby were treated and how hospital births were sooo fantastic nowadays!!! Aaaarrrgghhhhh!!!
Just edited to add... you should have seen the looks on all their faces when they asked if I was giving birth there, and I said, "Nope, it's homebirth all the way for me!"