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#31 of 49 Old 07-26-2004, 09:40 PM
 
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Another vote for reading 'Thinking Womans Guide to a Better Birth' by Henci Goer. Don't remember who said it but.."If you don't know your choices, you don't have any'
Sandy

Sandy, proud mama and henna artist. :
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#32 of 49 Old 07-26-2004, 10:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilylove
Another vote for reading 'Thinking Womans Guide to a Better Birth' by Henci Goer. Don't remember who said it but.."If you don't know your choices, you don't have any'
Sandy
Furthermore,

"If you do not want to demand your rights, you are probably not entitled to them."

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#33 of 49 Old 07-27-2004, 01:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the input. Honestly, I am more discouraged now.

Not everyone has the same personality or the same thoughts. Mostly it just sounds like it's my own fault for wanting to birth in the hospital and I should just get over any desire for a natural birth. Fair enough, I suppose.

I will be talking with my dr. tomorrow about their policies and how doulas are reguarded. Then my husband and I will make a decision on whether or not to hire a doula. I don't have any recommendations for doulas. Do you all just recommend cold calling doulas from DONA's webpage?
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#34 of 49 Old 07-27-2004, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, I did some searches and was unable to find any free-standing birth centers in my area. Are there any webpages to look for this sort of thing? The closest I found were 45 min - 1 hour away in NO traffic, so I do not feel comfortable with those.
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#35 of 49 Old 07-27-2004, 02:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiValleySteph
Thank you for the input. Honestly, I am more discouraged now.

Not everyone has the same personality or the same thoughts. Mostly it just sounds like it's my own fault for wanting to birth in the hospital and I should just get over any desire for a natural birth. Fair enough, I suppose.
This is not a blatant disregard for all hospital births. It just takes a very strong will and an ability to say NO if you're planning one. With the current atmosphere and increasing cesarean rate, you're lucky if you are discharged without an operation.

I think the women here had some good advice....and are being honest. With a first time mom, the risk of having unnecessary interventions are very high (first time moms typically go past their due date, which could lead to induction, etc.).

Above all, I highly recommend a doula (and you don't have to ask your doctor about one - I wouldn't!) and also reading Henci Goer's book. The fact that you got a bit defensive there means that you hear some truth being spoken, I imagine.

Let yourself get a bit riled up. It's what will help you succeed in your wish for natural birth.

p.s.: About the freestanding birth center, check out the Tribe forums in your area - ask around. Also, I found the following link:

Birthing From Within are EXCELLENT childbirth classes - they dont' focus on natural/medicated births, they focus on personal empowerment for you and your partner about birth and parenting - and a whole lot in between. I highly, HIGHLY recommend them! http://www.heartandsoulchildbirth.com/ (this woman is a doula, too! Plus, I'll bet she has some great leads on providers that are supportive of natural birth!!) I can tell you that you'll get far more from a BFW series than any other childbirth class. I cannot say enough good things about it.

Hey, in addition, these CNMs might be a great place to receive some solid support for natural birth. I know I'd see most CNMs over most OBs any day for a normal pregnancy! http://www.midwifeinfo.com/mi_show.p...in=kavitanoble

Here are some midwives that practice around you - and a couple doulas (http://www.cooladoula.com/), too. Perhaps even calling one of them and talking about what they know in regards to supportive hospitals, birth centers, etc., might help...I get calls like this all the time and I'm happy to help: (I do know that Karen Ehrlich is a kick-ass midwife!!) http://www.birthpartners.com/search/results.asp

You are in a GREAT area for childbirth options. San Jose is near Santa Cruz and everyone knows that some of the most world-renowned midwives came from Santa Cruz! You have so many OPTIONS. Seek them out. You deserve to have an empowering first birth. So many women come to homebirth only after a horrible first hospital birth. You deserve to bypass that trauma - you can have a positive birth, but it really does depend on who is supporting you, who is caring for you and where you're giving birth.

Natural birth CAN happen in the hospital. It just takes more work.
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#36 of 49 Old 07-27-2004, 01:09 PM
 
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have you done your hospital tour yet?

This might sound naive but does your hospital have tub/jacuzzi rooms for the l&d?

I cheesed out and had a shot of demoral when I was at about 6-7 cm but from when I got to the hospital ( @3cms ) to when I was fully dilated I spent the whole time in the jacuzzi tub and it probably really helped with pain management. I took a few puffs of No2 as well but found it just made me feel nauseous.

I was induced with gel twice during the day ( was 10 days overdue ) and spent as much time at home as I could handle before leaving for the hospital. I dreaded the thought of spending hours and hours wondering the halls of a hospital.

I never intended to have a natural childbirth and it obviously wasn't but I got through with very little in the way of drugs and my daughter was born within 5 hours of getting to the hospital. From the moment she was born her eyes were wide open and alert and she was bf-ing within minutes of birth. This was approx 3 hours after the demoral shot.

By FAR I considered the last few contractions prior to the actual pushing to be the most painful, the pushing I found to be a different sensation, not a cake walk but at least productive.

Good luck and if the pain gets really bad, don't feel bad if you opt for some meds. Hopefully that is OK to say on the board

Remember:

They don't give out medals for labor but they do give out babies!
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#37 of 49 Old 07-28-2004, 01:18 AM
 
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In addition to all the great advice you have already gotten, remember that most babies are late. Get yourself and your partner (and anyone else who is close to you and influential) to start thinking of your "due date" as being a couple of weeks after the official EDD (for example, my due date is 7/29, but I start telling myself very early, "I will have a baby by mid-August."). It seems that a majority of people I know who have the start of the intervention cascade start with that damn "induction for dates!"

Tell your provider that you will be monitored if you go over your dates (twice weekly appts, a non-stress test, biophysical profile), but you will not be induced unless there is a clinical indication (dates on a calendar don't count).

I think a birth plan is a good idea even if your provider or hospital is not willing to read it. It is a great opportunity for you and your partner to really know what you want. He can advocate better if he is familiar with the language of birth and what your reasons are for wanting/not wanting certain things.

Oh, edit to add - I've had two wonderful hospital births. I had no IV, no pain meds, supportive midwives and nurses, and minimal EFM. I was able to labor and push and deliver in any position that felt right. With my second I told them no coaching during the pushing phase and they didn't. I am one of those who likes the back-up of the level III NICU and so would not consider a home birth. IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE A GREAT HOSPITAL BIRTH!!
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#38 of 49 Old 07-28-2004, 05:48 PM
 
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I suppose it depends on your definition of natural.

I decided to have my first baby in a near-by hospital. I chose my hospital, despite it being out of network because it was very close by (no problem if I wanted to labor at home) and because they said I could rent a labor tub and bring it.

Neither of these ended up being issues. I was induced with cervadil gel on my due date due to rising blood pressure, protein in my urine and massive swelling and weight gain. I had a posterior baby and while I immediately went into contractions, it took quite a while to efface and begin the dilation process. I happily agreed to AROM 12 hours later (about 5 hours after I was really feeling the contractions.)

I began pushing 7 hours after that, and happily agreed to an episiotomy when my ob told me I was tearing towards my clitoris. I pushed in a semi-sitting position. They tried to get me to squat but I didn't have enough strength left. We had a few moments spent on a shoulder dystocia scare, and then she was born.

I had spent many hours walking the very short corridor, in the shower and on the toilet, so they must have been lenient about efm, though I don't remember.

What I do remember is that by a certain point I wanted an epidural, but dh and my mom (my labor team) both knew how strongly opposed I was to that before labor, and just didn't let the nurses anywhere near me. Just about everything that I recall was either done by my ob or my mom/dh. I guess a nurse did install a heplock at the end. I wasn't really happy about that (and it hurt!) but I was tired.

If you can't hire a doula, find a good friend who is willing to learn how you feel and what you want, and help you achieve it. And then just stay away from the nurses.

Having an ob you trust is important as well. My sister liked hers, but got the on-call ob and he did a massive episiotomy as she told him not to, delivered her baby (who she was pushing out just fine) by forceps and then manually delivered her placenta. There were no indications for any of that. He was just a misogynist jerk.

Because of later complications, I decided that I didn't want any more hospital births, and really enjoyed my second birth at home in a fishy tub with 2 midwives.

This time it will just be me and my mom and dh and I am so excited! It's very possible to fight for a good hospital birth and get one. And it's REALLY important to birth WHERE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE. I'm just past the point of wanting to fight that fight, and I would rather keep them all far away from me. (My very sweet midwives included, they still did things that we didn't want them to do.)

Some people wouldn't call my hospital birth natural. But I had NO pain medication, and no pitocin, and that met my definition of natural childbirth. Now I am not hung up on definitions, but will definitely be birthing with those people who I know will support me 100%.

Good luck planning and carrying out the birth of YOUR dreams.

Rochelle
Mommy to Meg 5/00, Peter 6/02, #3 due soon
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#39 of 49 Old 08-01-2004, 05:45 PM
 
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i'm sorry to hear you're discouraged. i would be too.

i had a mw attended hospital birth with dd. the mw was very busy with another woman in labor who ended up with an emergency c/s. dh, my mom, and mil did most of my labor support.

i requested intermittent monitoring, and the hospital was very good about honoring that. no one ever made me lie down on the bed except for internal exams once or 2x. i labored in a bathtub most of the time, was allowed to vocalize as much as i wanted.

the only thing i remember needing to advocate for myself for was when the l&d nurse rolled an IV into the room. apparently the baby was "showing signs of distress." i told her no way was i getting an IV unless the mw said i needed it. mw came in and told her to take the IV out of the room.

i think you can have a good outcome with a hospital birth. but, i also believe it's in your hands, not your ob's, not your dh's, not your doula's. you need to be as educated as you can about the process and about typical hospital proceedures and how to avoid them. i'm pg with #2, no mws are delivering babies in hospitals where i live (thanks to the rising cost of insurance), and we can't afford a homebirth unless i go back to work. it's a choice i'm making. since i've been down the road before i know more about what my options are, what to expect at the hospital, and etc. i plan to read everything i can get my hands on to be as prepared as i can be.

good luck. chin up! don't be discouraged!
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#40 of 49 Old 08-01-2004, 08:40 PM
 
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Sorry you're feeling discouraged but I agree with what pamamidwife said.

I wish I'd read a thread like this before I had my dd. I'd read some things but didn't have strong negative hospital experiences really spelled out for me like here. I wish I'd been discouraged BEFORE the birth rather than AFTER it when it was too late.

Finding a birth center, try:
http://www.birthcenters.org/

and go to the your Tribal Area forum and ask other MDC moms in your area.
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#41 of 49 Old 08-01-2004, 09:01 PM
 
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Aprildawn

Quote:
i also believe it's in your hands, not your ob's, not your dh's, not your doula's.
VERY good point - I think it is so important to take ownership of your choices and to realize that you are ultimately the only one who can make those choices. I loved how you explained the reasons you couldn't have a homebirth (lots of circumstantial things that are not your fault) but then followed that by saying "it's a choice i'm making". Kudos to you for being making an informed decision instead of simply accepting circumstances! That is the root of empowerment!

In fact, if a woman does not own her choices, I think hiring a doula can actually be counterproductive - because it can give her yet another person to hand her power to. When one of my clients has a doctor pushing for an induction past forty weeks (or another intervention that is not medically indicated) I talk a lot about the difference between 'Accepting' and 'Choosing', and how the difference between those can have huge impact for the outcome of the birth and on the moms perception of and feelings about the birth after the fact (not just in two weeks, but in two years, or ten).

Every single choice that is made in birth ultimately must (or at least should) belong with the mother - even with an intervention is medically indicated and things happen that are not what she hoped and dreamed off - the final decision still belongs to the mother. I believe that it is when the mother is not able to, is prevented from, or is not open to taking on that empowered role, that many regrets crop up after all is said and done.

So the question is - how do we, as women, make that change from handing over these decisions, relinquishing our choices, accepting what is offered and feeling as if we have no other options - to actively CHOOSING our own paths and our own births? Birth Professionals: how do you help your clients do this? Birth Consumers: How did you do this for yourself/how did someone else help you to this point (or how come you found yourself unable to)?

Jeanette
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#42 of 49 Old 08-04-2004, 03:09 PM
 
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bumped up for RyansMom
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#43 of 49 Old 08-05-2004, 03:23 AM
 
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hi steph, i see you are in SJ. have you looked into blossom birth services? they are in mountain view and have tons of good natural birthing stuff. they can also reccommend a doula (they have a meet the doulas night for free once a week, i think). they are on the web at www.blossombirth.com

also, a wonderful midwife/doula down south is ronnie falcao. her webiste is www.gentlebirth.org and she is a warm and wonderful person. she would probably point you in a good direction if she couldn'thelp you out herself.

and oh my goodness, ITS NOT TOO LATE TO HAVE A HOMEBIRTH!!!! we have some great homebirth midwives in the bay area. PM me if you need more resources.
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#44 of 49 Old 08-05-2004, 03:30 AM
 
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oh, sorry i missed page 2 of this thread before i posted up there. i just wanted to confirm that there are no free standing birth centers on the peninsula or SF or east bay. the closest is in pleasanton. its called the birth home and is awesome, but WAY far from SJ. would take you hours to get there especially during rush hour.
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#45 of 49 Old 08-05-2004, 01:40 PM
 
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ITA, Jeanette!

"So the question is - how do we, as women, make that change from handing over these decisions, relinquishing our choices, accepting what is offered and feeling as if we have no other options - to actively CHOOSING our own paths and our own births?"

For me, it was first of all realizing that giving over my power utterly failed to get me what I wanted, and second, coming to understand that the experts did not actually know better than me what I needed and how I should best give birth, and third, that no matter how much of my power I gave away, I was still ultimately responsible for whatever happened.

Still, the "patient" role was (and still is) deeply ingrained in me, which is one reason that I eventually decided not to hire professional birth attendants -- it was just too hard not to fall into that pattern with them, despite intellectually understanding that it would be harmful to do so.
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#46 of 49 Old 08-06-2004, 12:42 AM
 
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blueviolet,
Since I've agreed with about 99% of your posts (can't think of any i haven't agreed with - but there must have been some ) I am highly flattered that you agreed with mine!

Way past my bedtime now, but will be back to write more tomorrow

J.
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#47 of 49 Old 08-07-2004, 10:32 AM
 
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Wanted to add, for the OP who's feeling discourage. Have a look at the "Natural Birth in a Hospital" thread on this same forum. There are lots of great suggestions there, too, on giving birth in the hospital.
I had 4 natural births, 3 of them in the hospital, and they were the greatest experiences in my life. It can be done.
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#48 of 49 Old 08-07-2004, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks bunny's mama! Blossom birth services is doing their "Meet the Doula" night every 2nd Friday and we found out about it too late for the last one. We're going to try and go this week (I work nights, so I have to change my schedule). After talking to doulas & all, we may hire one.

Thanks doctorjen for the other thread suggestion!

Thanks everyone for their advice. I'm feeling much better about this. I know it's up to me to be my own advocate. I do feel I am well educated and I feel like I will be most comfortable giving birth in the hospital. I do feel like birthing at home is a beautiful experience, but we are just not comfortable with that at this time. (Next time? ) Hubby & I will be trying to stay at home as long as possible and we have certain plans/ideals, but we will remain flexible and go with the flow.
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#49 of 49 Old 08-07-2004, 01:20 PM
 
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Yay, Steph! I'm so excited for you!

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