Really regretting that I will have a hospital birth... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all. Well I have been reading so much on this website and on the internet about homebirths and I think they sound so amazing. I had been considering having one, and even contacted a midwife, but what it comes down to basically is that the midwife would have been $3000 out of pocket and with our insurance, the hospital wont cost us anything (tricare insurance). So thats why Im going to the hospital. I am at 39 weeks now so its a little late to change anything, and my husband didnt want us to have to pay that extra money anyway, but I am just worried about how things will go. I dont want to end up being induced and I dont want to end up with a C section. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make a hospital birth better? I know that its better if you can be up and moving around during labor, but will most hospitals let you do this, if you dont get an epidural? I am just frustrated with this.. I am also paranoid about my daughter accidentally receiving the Hep B vaccine without my consent which I absolutely dont want her to have. Its in my birth plan and I know they are supposed to get consent before doing it, but it still worries me.. Anyway, I know theres not much I can do about this now, just wanted to vent a little. Thanks all

Jen
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#2 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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It's not too late. Many midwives would still consider taking you.

I would never risk myself and my baby in a hospital due to money. It's just not worth it.



-Angela
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#3 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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I agree with alegna. If you' like a homebirth, then go for it! Some midwives will give you credit for your prenatal care and deduct that portion from their fee. It's worth looking into and asking about.

But if you do go with the hospital, remember that they cannot force you to do anything!!! To avoid induction I would labor at home as long as possible, heck until you're ready to push that baby out - then go in and let them catch. I wish you much luck on whatever you choose, just make sure you're in control or have something saying that DH will make decisions for you if you are unable to, and that he follows your birth plan.

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#4 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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I would talk to your husband again and try to convince him that paying for a homebirth will be worth every penny.

But...if you end up having to give birth in the hospital, there are some things you can do to minimize the risks.

1. Talk to your doctor confidently and authoritatively about the specific details of your birth plan. Don't say, "I think it would be good if I could move around during labor." Say, "I WILL be moving around during labor. Will I encounter any problems when I ask for a hep lock/no IV and refuse continuous fetal monitoring?" A lot of doctors will give lip service to a birth plan, but not follow through. Nevertheless, I think it's important that s/he knows your wishes.

2. Make sure the nurses and hospital staff are also familiar with your birth plan.

3. Make it clear to your husband that a very important part of his job during the birth is to be firm with the hospital staff about your choices and defend your right to labor however you want. You really need his support so you can concentrate on your labor.

4. Get a doula!!!

5. Don't get intimidated by the hospital staff! This is YOUR labor and you have to do what you need to do. If the nurses or doctor get pissy with you, let them.

Best of luck wherever you end up!
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#5 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 01:01 PM
 
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I'm not sure if this is what you wanted to hear, but "we" (MDCers) have heard so many stories of thinking of homebirthing, hospital birthing anyway (money is a very common reason, if not the most common), and then regretting it (not saying they all went disasterously, but some simply felt stressed and pushed around by hospital staff, but others did also feel they or their babies were physically injured due to unneeded interventions).

So a lot of posters are going to skip your question (how to make a hospital birth better) and say, girl, have a home birth. $3k is cheap for your and your baby's safety, security and peace. You would never skimp for your DH, right? "Oh honey, I know you want X but Y is FREE and you PROBABLY won't get hurt." (Sorry, couldn't come up with any appropriate analogies to birthing that didn't imply a medical procedure or something that is strictly leisure).

It's scary, I know. But it's time for you to make the decision about what you WANT. (And maybe that's a hospital birth, I don't know). Don't decide from fear, decide from research and intuition. And then DO what you've decided. If it's a home birth, this is one of the few things that I would even go into debt for, since it's important, it's not just a little extravagance.

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#6 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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If you have decided to go with the hospital birth, my advice is to think positively about it. Imagine the best case scenario, focus on the upcoming birth of your sweet baby, and go into it with a good attitude and lots of gratitude for being healthy and even having had a choice at all. I can almost promise you, if you go into the hospital with a defeatist attitude and if you radiate complete distrust for everyone and everything around you, you won't have a positive experience. A little positivity and kindness goes a long way...with hospital staff included!!

I recently read somewhere about someone wanting to stay positive and thankful, so they brought a batch of home baked goodies to give to the hospital nursing staff upon arrival. What a breath of fresh air!

Best of luck to you! How exciting that you get to meet your little one soon!

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#7 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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Too many first time moms (myself included) didnt even know that homebirth was a safer, happier alternative to hospital birth. But the fact that you are aware now, before you are giving birth speaks volumes about your awarness. Don't ignore that feeling of insecurity and then end up regretting it like so many of us (as a PP said). There are many people who have been were you are and ignored there intuition- BIG MISTAKE.
Call some midwives, just to see what they say.
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#8 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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Honestly? Go run by the hospital and talk to the staff. Find out what the policies are. It's better to get answers now so you're prepared. Chances are, some of the things you're worried about may not even be issues. Just tell them you realize the some things you want may seem unconventional to them, however they're really important to you and you want to make sure your wishes are respected.

Make sure you Dr. is backing you up.Talk it over with your Dr. and have it written out so they can refer to it. Make sure DH knows your concerns so he can back you up, if need be.

I've only seen one birth, but it was in a hospital and it was amazing.

I know how you feel. I was so excited about having a home birth, then I found out I couldn't have one. I was so upset and I didn't even want to go to the hospital. However, when I stopped by and voiced my concerns, the nurses were great. They helped me, and gave me their opinions of my OB. (which were great, they all love her) She's the crunchiest thing on this island. Everyone loves her.

ETA-I've had a lot longer to come to grips with this, but I am nothing but excited about my birth now. I've got a great Dr, and a fantastic husband. We know what we want and what we don't and they seem really on board with us. --Except no dogs. I think that will be the hardest thing, to be away from them.
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#9 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 01:56 PM
 
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I am assuming that at this point, your decision is made and that what you most want now is confidence, support and practical advice for your decision.

I have had two successful hospital births - 100% intervention-free. I know others who have also gotten natural birth in a hospital. So please - believe it can be done, and put aside your fear! There are some steps you can and should take to help things. Here's what worked for me:

1. Go to the hospital as late as possible. My Bradley classes said, wait until cx have been 4 min apart AND 1 minute long for 1 full hour (remember 4-1-1) Also, you should be emotionally feeling serious, stressed and inward-focused (not happy, excited and chatty) as this is a signpost for the 2nd stage of labor. Following this advice got me to the hospital at 9-10 cm dilated both times - so I spent 90% of labor doing whatever the **** I wanted at home. Lots of walking, sitting on the birth ball, easing my pain in the shower, getting lovely back rubs from DH and doula, etc.

2. Get a doula. Its late but you never know when a doula may have a last-minute opening in her schedule (client gave birth early etc.) so get the list of local doulas from the DONA site, and just start calling. Spending $600 on a doula is less than the $3000 for a home-birth and believe me your DH will be grateful for the help. Apprentice doulas may even work free to get certified. When I got to the hospital, I was completely out of it and unable to communicate. DH was a stressed out wreck poor thing, just holding my hand. The doula calmly handed over my birth plan, gently mentioned how the birth plan said I didn't want an IV or hep lock, and in a thousand subtle ways nudged things into the right place. She also helped us decide on exactly the right time to leave for the hospital so we timed it right.

3. Get your OB to sign off on your birth plan in advance. Ask him/her to put a signature on it. Review it with every doc in the practice, if possible. Ask them to place a signed copy in your medical file (which will be at the hospital). And obviously also bring it along with you. Your OB may not show up right away and this will help ensure the RNs or the resident on-call defer to the birth plan that your doctor has agreed to honor, even if they can't reach him.

4. Make DH memorize the following words "We want all newborn procedures conducted in our presence and with our express consent." And here's a little-known secret: tell the nurses you want to wait and give baby the first bath yourselves, at home! The bath can be a huge reason for mother-baby separation after birth - it gives them an excuse to take baby to the nursery, where they could do all kinds of things behind your back in addition to the bath, and then post-bath baby's temp always drops (surprise!) which is an excuse to stick baby under the warmer to "regulate the temperature" for 2-3 hours During this time, you are quietly going insane. I fell for this b-s in birth #1 and stood my ground with #2 - "Thanks but no thanks, no bath for us - just towel her dry please!" and was so glad I did, she never left my side.

Have you taken the hospital tour? On the tour generally the nurse will tell you what they usually do "routinely" and you can ask whether that can be avoided if the doctor says so. Their reaction will tell you a lot about what to expect.

When it comes to being induced, just say no. It is hard, I know. The latest trick seems to be using low amniotic fluid as an excuse to induce, which is not justified unless there are other signs that baby is not doing well. Drink a lot of water before any u/s (or even better, refuse the u/s!) as that can help your fluid levels. Going past your due date is also not an evidence-based reason to induce until close to 42 weeks again unless there are other signs baby is not doing well. If you are feeling pressure to induce for what you believe is a flimsy reason, and are having trouble standing up to the doc, try playing along "oh, i see what you mean, let me discuss this with dh and we'll call the office to schedule the induction" and then turning off your phone.

In terms of avoiding c-section, based on the experience of my many, many friends who have been cut open for no good reason, it is almost always due to baby being "stuck" or labor "failing to progress." All of them were trapped lying in bed with epidurals and fetal monitors and IVs. If you can stay out of bed, change positions, get on your hands and knees, squat to open up the pelvis, etc., that will greatly reduce the chances of this happening to you.

Good luck! You can do it. Look forward to hearing your happy birth story - hopefully soon!
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#10 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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I have had 2 hospital births and have loved them, they were unmedicated, nonintervention births!! I did not have to fight with anyone about being up and walking around, everyone knew I did not want meds and did not offer them to me. My new little one never left my side, the nursery workers came to my room to assess him and do their paper work, they were surprised I did not want hep B, vit K, or eye drops but did not pressure me and I just signed the wavers and they went on. they knew we were breastfeeding only and never even offered any formula or paci, plus we all went home a few hours after birth.

How did I accomplish all of this in the big bad world of a hospital???? I had a birth plan that I discussed with my provider and said that every point was not negotiable and would sign wavers if needed. I would not be continuously monitored, induced, or have an IV unless I felt it was medically necessary, I would not be bullied by scare tactics or hospital policy. I called the Director of Women's and Children's Services and spoke to them about what I wanted out of my delivery and care of newborn aftereards. That prepared the staff for someone "out of the Normal" coming in. Most likely why I didn't have to Fight with anyone - they were aware I was coming and didn't feel the need to push me into something they were use too.

I had wonderful hospital births, and for me, at the time, it was the best option for me and my family. Dh is very uneasy with the idea of homebirth, mainly unassisted births - so we have ours in a hospital. He knows what I want and is steadfast in making sure I get it and does not let things slide. We have discussed many times what I want labor and delivery and post to be like, so he never has to ask a question or get talked into something at the hospital. I find that having him as educated as I am keeps him from getting bullied or scared by what is said or what might be going on. Sometimes I think he gets tired of me going over stuff or asking him what he would do in so and so situation.

Hope you have a great birth, it can be done!!!

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#11 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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What is your relationship like with your OB?
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#12 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 01:58 PM
 
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I actually also agree with Calynde. Great post
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#13 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 02:15 PM
 
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i made the mistake of doing a hospital birth for my first, and wish i had done more research about homebirths. back then, we could've afforded a midwife... this time, not so much. i think hiring a doula is a great idea (we're doing that for our upcoming hospital birth). i feel better knowing there is another voice to speak against interventions, and to tell me i really, really don't want to get the epidural.

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#14 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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Remember, the hospital doesn't "let" you do anything. You are the customer and you will, in all likelihood, have to assert yourself. If you can't get a doula, bring a "body guard"- just someone you trust not to panic and to make sure your wishes are honored. If you have a painful labor, it can be really hard to focus- and by that I mean even notice anything that is going on around you.
By all means go in with a positive attitude, but be very aware (and have someone else there with you very aware) that routine procedure doesn't have to happen in a normal birth. You will do good if you have that attitude of self-initiative, pro-activeness.

Is your OB a single OB or a group practice? Make sure to discuss everything you want to happen with the birth (walking, showers, drinking clear fluids is usually okay instead of IV, etc). VERY IMPORTANT- if you absolutely refuse certain procedures (episiotomy, conitnuous EFT, vaccinations, or the like) get every possible doctor that could attend your birth to sign a statement saying so. If you are injured from a procedure you explicity refuse, you will have some kind of legal backing.

If every fiber of your being tells you not to go to the hospital, stay home.

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#15 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah W View Post
Honestly? Go run by the hospital and talk to the staff. Find out what the policies are.


Ditto that. My hospital is amazing: whirlpool to labor in, birthing ball, bean bag chairs, midwife-friendly, the whole family stays in the room together, and so on. I did their tour, I talked to a neighbor who had twins there in March, I talked to a social acquaintance who worked there... It doesn't have to be all fascist ugly just because it's a hospital.
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#16 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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For me, spending $3k on a home birth would ruin me financially so if I couldn't afford it or it was too late to switch, I would just get a doula, write out a stringent birth plan and go over it with the OB and other staff and get DH 100% behind me. If you are strong and confident and know exactly what you want and are not afraid to say it, their offers of intervention and drugs are unlikely to make you crumble under the pressure. Just be calm, confident and never let them see you doubt your decisions or your DH not backing you up. Good luck!

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#17 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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A doula can make a HUGE difference. Doulas have been shown to reduce the risk of c-section, the need/request for epidurals, inductions, and improve mom-baby bonding. If you can't swing a homebirth, then find a doula quick!

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#18 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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Tricare covers home births! On Tricare Prime they cover it 100% and on Tricare Standard they will usually end up paying around $1500 plus all the labs. I got my homebirth mostly covered while on tricare standard last year It's not too late at all!

Rachel, mom to Jake (5/04) and Alexia (7/07) a surprise UC thanks to hypnobabies!
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#19 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 03:41 PM
 
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... if your midwife is a CNM (who takes Tricare).
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#20 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvillemidwife View Post
... if your midwife is a CNM (who takes Tricare).
Not true anymore. No where in the new handbook do they specify it has to be a CNM like it used to. My birth was with an LM.

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#21 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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OP...you've gotten some great advice on how to have a good hospital birth as much as possible. It's better to be overprepared then underprepared in this situation.

No, it's not necessarily too late for a HB....but at the same time I know what you mean on the money issue. My insurance would cover 70% of an out-of-network provider, however a HB was completely out for me due to the expense wanted up front, and my breadwinner would not do payments or anything. It wasn't until the MW actually offered to put aside the payment up front and bill my insurance like a regular doc's office after the birth did it become a reality for me....otherwise I'd be going back to the same birth center where ds was born. It was a great experience then, but now with new backing docs it's turned into a bureaucratic nightmare to actually get to birth there. I understand not having the money....going into debt is not a feasible option for everyone. If it's something you REALLY want though, it wouldn't hurt to at least contact MW's in the area, and see what they could come up with...you may be surprised. I certainly was. If not, you can have a great hospital birth as long as you prepare yourself fully for what you might have to face.

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#22 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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Hire a doula! She will go with you to the hospital, help you to have as natural a birth as possible and advocate for you. Other than that, just be very straight-forward about the procedures you do not want. Your doctor works for you and can only perform the procedures you consent to. Fwiw, my sil had a natural, drug-free birth at a hospital and it went very well. Although she did allow all of the routine newborn procedures

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#23 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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Just wanted to offer a since I don't have any advice. My HBs are some of my best memories and experiences and would recommend it to every woman having a baby (though I understand not everyone can).

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#24 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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Here is a link to Tricare's Maternity Fact Sheets:

http://www.tricare.mil/factsheets/vi...eet.cfm?id=261

Someone here told me Tricare is changing their homebirthing policy, so be careful. But you're having your birth so soon, you could call Tricare right now and confirm what they will or won't pay. Ask what you need to do to ensure it is covered. Also, ask to speak to a supervisor if the person on the phone does not know the policies in regards to homebirthing. Most don't since it's not a common question, so just politely ask to speak to a supervisor.

I know you feel you must give birth at the hospital, but really, don't give up yet. You already know that at the very least, you have the hospital as default (others here have already given you tips for that), but I'd call Tricare ASAP and see what you can find out for sure.

Fwiw, I'm going for an unassisted childbirth, because I don't trust Tricare to not change their policy by the time I give birth (likely not an issue for you). Scary thought at first, but the more I read about UC, I'm not scared at all anymore! Very excited and can't wait! (I'm also a Christian and my faith is in God, not a "practicing" physician. I trust the Great Physician, so it helps tremendously with my fears!) You can always go that route.
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#25 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow thanks so much everyone! You have all been a really big help!
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#26 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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By the way, on another subject, are some of you not doing the Vitamin K at all, neither oral or injection? I was going to go ahead with the Vitamin K shot, though Im not completely sure I want my daughter to have it.. Then again, I dont want her to end up with some rare bleeding disorder... Just curious what you all are doing..
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#27 of 56 Old 06-20-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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I did not do vit. K with either baby.

-Angela
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#28 of 56 Old 06-21-2008, 12:11 AM
 
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no vit k here, unless baby has serious bruising or other obvious trauma from the birth.

Jenny (27) partner to Michael (28) mama to Zoe (8) Selene (4) Garvin (2) and baby Gwendolyn (born 14 Jan 2011)
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#29 of 56 Old 06-21-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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Make sure your DH is on the same page with your plans for the birth, no matter where it takes place.

I had a hospital birth with my first and I was mentally prepared as all get out to have to fight tooth and nail to avoid an epi and a c-section. But you know what? I never needed to fight about those things. It never came up, things went just fine, even though I was in a hospital.

I'm having a midwife instead of an OBGYN this time, but Im still having a hospital birth *gasp* even the second time around! Even though I read MDC and all *the right books,* etc.

My point is, a hospital birth isn't the end of the world. It's not a big huge scary stream of doctors and nurses holding you at gun point to submit to 9 million interventions. BUT, it is up to you and your support (DH? Doula? Midwife?) to work with your OBGYN, the nurses and the hospital policy. You have to stick to your guns sometimes, and you will need your DH to be on the same page with you.
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#30 of 56 Old 06-21-2008, 01:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by _betsy_ View Post
My point is, a hospital birth isn't the end of the world. It's not a big huge scary stream of doctors and nurses holding you at gun point to submit to 9 million interventions. BUT, it is up to you and your support (DH? Doula? Midwife?) to work with your OBGYN, the nurses and the hospital policy. You have to stick to your guns sometimes, and you will need your DH to be on the same page with you.
This really depends on the climate in your area. I completely understand that fabulous hospital birth is possible in some areas. It's really not here. *Here* it's going into the lion's den and it's ugly.

-Angela
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