Hello. I'm trying to find stories of people who've had positive, natural birth experiences in hospital.
I am having a really hard time getting over the fact that I am being forced to give birth in a hospital.
I am perfectly healthy, there are just no midwives available where I live, they were all booked by the time I contacted them at 6 weeks pregnant. I've been calling the midwives throughout the pregnancy in case there were any openings, but at 30 weeks, it's time for me to face reality and start finding a way to be ok with a hospital birth.
I made the mistake of asking one of the midwives' receptionists about alternative birth attendants (unregistered or lay midwives) that could help me learn enough to have a safe birth at home, and I was devestated when she called child services to report me. I was just asking for information! I almost certainly would have decided that an unassisted home birth is too risky for me anyway, but I am still so offended that I was reported just for trying to find out information about my options.
Anyway, I feel like I've gotten useless prenatal care from my doctor (I know I don't have high blood pressure or diabetes - since I'm healthy, there's really nothing else for him to say). I leave every appointment feeling so let down.
I just don't know how to get excited about giving birth in a hospital with some OB I won't even get to choose, I'll be lucky if I get to meet him / her beforehand. I've tried to learn everything I'll need to know to make informed choices but I'm afraid of being pushed into decisions I don't understand - I feel like this experience has been taken completely out of my hands.
If I try to question things, as I did when trying to find out options about homebirth, apparently I'll be called an unfit mother before I've even had my baby and they'll take her away. I heard the same thing about drops in the eyes - they report you to child services if you try to refuse (I don't know if I'd refuse those or not, but it would be good to feel like it's safe to ask). I don't even know who to ask about things like this and I'm afraid to ask the hospital about their policies. Not that it matters, I don't have a choice.
I am just so angry about feeling forced into a hospital and I want to know how to make it feel alright.
Where do you live? Some areas have hospitals that are more friendly than others, and people on this board can give you better advice by region.
I did not have a natural birth (c/s for a breech) and my hospital experience was positive, for what it's worth--very friendly and safe. Try to find a hospital/care provider you feel positive about. They do exist.
I just gave birth in Ontario & had a very positive hospital experience. I do think this can vary greatly by hospital & by doctor.
Are you in a doctor sharing situation or will you be able to have your doctor? Different practices do this differently but I know the doctor sharing is becoming more common. We didn't have delivery in our own town & had to travel to another town so in choosing I specifically chose one that only has 2 ob's each who deals with their own patients unless one is on vacation or sick. I have many friends who have used doctor sharing hospitals & have been ok with it. Many will tell you when it comes right down to it it's the nurses that matter 'cause they're the ones you most will deal with.
How I approached both of my births (my first was in a different country) was to ask only one or two questions at each appt with my doctor. I tried to ask open-ended questions so I could get the best feel for how my doctor actually dealt with things (for example: what positions do you have women push in or how do you approach things if I go past my due date). I was lucky that I really felt comfortable with my doctor by the time delivery arrived.
I had hoped to follow the advice to not go in until I was well into labour but for me that wasn't an option as I ended up being induced both times (a decision I feel was made based on my own medical needs) but I still felt like I had good deliveries.
I went into the hospital with a gift basket of teas, instant coffees, hot chocolates for the nurses & we put it at the nurses station immediately with a thank you tag on it. Some people disagree with this approach but I felt that having the nurses feel favourable towards us from the start was helpful.
Dh was 100% on board with the things I wanted for the delivery. He was well-versed on this & ready to step in advocate for me if needed. At one point things did escalate to a point I was very unhappy with & I had a bit of a panic attack & he kicked everyone including the doctor & nurses out of the room so we could have some time to regroup & talk. He really helped to make me feel safe.
I talked to my nurses a LOT. When we decided to add pit to the induction process I was very, very upset but I asked her about 1000 questions & in the end I think it was a good decision & I didn't find it made labour as terrible as others report - probably because I felt like I was in charge & respected.
This is a great book I found really helpful as well. I also had my Mom read it as she was there as support as well & she found it helpful as well which in turn was good for me.
Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).
Thanks for sharing your experience, and for the book recommendation too. I like the idea of doing something for the nurses, but I still wish I didn't have to look forward to a bunch of people that I don't know going in and out of the labour and delivery rooms.
I have been seeing my family doctor for prenatal care but he does not do deliveries, so he will be referring me to an OB soon. They are all pretty busy here and it takes a while to get a referral, so I'm not really able to "shop around" to find someone who I'm comfortable with.
I have a friend who's had three amazing water births at home and when I speak with her about her experiences, or when I read the stories in Ina May's books, I just feel so cheated.
That's terrible. If I were you, I would seriously consider pursuing a complaint against that staff member to whatever overseeing bodies are available. It's just so extremely unreasonable and inappropriate.
Not sure that I'm crunchy, but definitely a "tough chew".
Here is the link to my birth story from almost two years ago. Im planning another hospital birth, and expect a positive outcome this time as well.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
Well I understand that everyone wants to protect children from danger, but it does seem a little extreme, doesn't it? That was one thing that kind of freaked me out - realizing how much control these external organizations have on something that to me, seems intensely personal. To the point where I'm not even free to ask for information. Like I said, I probably wouldn't have felt comfortable going that route anyway (meaning unassisted childbirth, or a birth attended by an unregistered midwife) but I'd rather be able to reach that conclusion by myself rather than feeling like some sort of irresponsible freak for even asking.
just want to encourage you.....you can have a positive hospital birth. ive had 2 hospital births and am pregnant and planning on another one. The dr. didnt make it on time for my son so the nurses "caught" him and a nurse midwife i had never met delivered my daughter. For me, i was so focused on the task at hand(labor) and the excitement of meeting my baby i really was on autopilot. Everything worked out and im sure it will for you too!
I had a wonderful hospital birth, although it was a homebirth transfer. While planning my homebirth, I never would have thought that transferring to a hospital would have ended up as a positive experience, but it did! The biggest thing for me was to have my husband completely on board with me about the newborn care (baby to stay with me, not leave the room, DH to go with baby if there was a problem, no vax, no bath, placed directly on my tummy) and also to have my doula there, who were both advocating for me while I was in labor-land brain. We live in a small community and she supports moms in that hospital all the time, so all the nurses know and respect her, especially because she does a great job of supporting the mom while not getting in the way of the hospital staff. I would highly recommend getting doula to come with you!
Mama Bear , Papa Bear and Baby Bear (8/11)
I recently had a wonderful hospital birth - completely natural - with amazing, supportive nurses. I labored while walking the halls of the hospital, on a birth ball, in a tub. I pushed in all positions. My nurse rubbed my back through the worst of the contractions, held my hair while I puked, brought ice and hot washcloths, and kept me calm when I didn't think I could handle the pain anymore. I had specifically chosen my OB because he was 98% likely to be there, but the 2% chance popped up on the day I went into labor and I had an OB I didn't know. He was there for all of 10 minutes to catch the baby (and I or my husband would have been allowed to instead - with the OB there of course.). At that point, it really didn't matter! The baby was immediately placed on my chest. They checked vitals on my chest, then we were left alone for an hour. I was given the option to decline any of the typical newborn procedures until the next day. We didn't bathe him for 4 hours and then it was us, not the nurses, that did it. He was with us during our entire hospital stay, except for the hearing screen, which my husband went along to.
Going on a tour of the hospital and talking to some of the L&D staff, learning about their protocols and procedures made me very comfortable before hand. Those ladies are amazing. Not all of them, but most. I also went with the thank you gift for the nurses. :)
I had really wanted a homebirth but for various reasons, mainly DH's feelings, wound up hospital birthing. I was not too happy about it. And it was great! I labored at home w/my husband, mom, and doula until I hit that more serious, "turning within" point, then went in. I had a very basic birth plan including free movement, eat/drink at will, IA as long as appropriate, planned on drug-free but I'll let them know if I change my mind, baby goes to my chest and stays there unless he NEEDS to go elsewhere. I had one VE on admission (5cm) and one more right before I pushed. I labored in the tub for most of it, with the RN or my amazing CNM popping in once in a while to listen to the babe. I let them know when I felt I needed to push and I pushed on all fours and side-lying; basically throughout the birth I did what I needed to and they tried to keep up :) My DH stayed in my arms even through suturing my first deg tear and a minor PP hemorrhage (sometimes that just happens, there truly was no yanking on the cord or anything). I got so much breastfeeding support and did not at all mind all the diaper changing the staff did :) DS slept in bed with me btw and I thought the staff might get irritated, but nope, they encouraged it.
It was a great start for my little family.
At home amongst the redwoods with my husband and my son, born 7/5/11 Instant CNM, just add !
Here is a link to TONS of positive hospital births using Hypnobabies! http://www.pregnancybirthandbabies.com/POSITIVE_birth_stories.htm
Me & DH 38 y/o with 5 y/o & 2 y/o boys.
Labor & Delivery nurse and Hypnobabies instructor.
My hospital births have been VERY positive.
All I can say is don't be combative right off the bat; you can tell them your preferences without setting yourself up for the nurses to think you are 'the difficult one,' KWIM? Better to leave them with a surprised, pleasant impression of how your 'hands off' birth went well than be the one that refuses something they actually need, a standoff occurs, etc.
I look at it like a not-quite spa visit. I don't have to worry about my home responsibilities, my older kid/s gets to hang out with grandparents/dad/aunts and have a little adventure, and people bring me food in bed :)
Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11
One thing I-as a veteran of two very positive hospital births AND as the sister of a nurse-would recommend is to keep your birth plan short. Nurses are pressed for time, they haven't got 20 minutes to sit down and peruse a 4 or 5 page birth plan, it's just not going to happen. You're more likely to get things the way you want them if you keep it short, sweet and to the point, and if you work WITH the nurses rather than against them.
Eva, Tired Single Mama of Hurricane Bella~3/06 and Boy Bug Silas~7/08
I had a very positive hospital birth with a doula attending. Our birth doula made a big difference in the birthing process. She worked well with our doctor and helped ensure that we were making decisions that were consistent with our birth plan. After 42 1/2 hours I made the choice to have an epidural, but thanks to our doula I was informed enough to ask for a "light" epidural. I could feel all of my contractions as well as the massaging and warm compresses that my doula and OB alternated.
I'm sure there are birth doulas in your area. Check out www.dona.org to find a list.
My first time was very pleasant. My nurses were very helpful and checked on my right away when I needed anything. Luckily my OB came right as my daughter was coming out (she had a lot of emergency deliveries at the same hospital that night!). Because of concern for my daughter's health, there were A LOT of NICU people in the room when she was born (she was starting to use up her body fat!). But when she came out all pink and crying and peed all over the nurses they saw she was fine and packed up their NICU gear and left us to care for our little angel.
For our twins, my only concern is that they may assume I will want to rest and not breastfeed because there are two of them - but I'll set them strraight. I want those two babies right away!