I know I'm mostly a lurker but I need advice on birth options (at 4am) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry - long post - rambly mind, middle of the night and NEED feedback!

OK. Here's the deal. WIth my first, we used a Kaiser birth center that is about 15 minutes away. IT suited our needs quite well - although I would have been more comfy in a non-hospital BC, it was close, I loved my MW and DH is particularly nervous without more medical staff nearby. THis BC is basically another wing of the hospital.. that is staffed almost solely by MWs big rooms, showers, (no tibs, though) . Good birth, overall a happy experience.

Was fine doing it again with THIS birth. Same MW (and backup MWs that I know) , same place, etc - which is particularly important because new surroundings stress my out quite a bit and the ONE thing about my labor that I NEED to change is my ability to relax (I'm doing hypbirth this time as well as the Bradley stuff)

ANd now I find out - due to budget cuts - the BC is only open from 8am-8pm.. otherwise you end up in the regular maternity ward (and YUP, they WILL move you if you are still there after 8pm) ZOIKS! ANd the maternity ward has these dinky rooms and no showers and there are NO MWs there at night.

My other option is to get a NEW MW at another Kaiser hospital 30 miles away - and that 30 miles is significant - I live in Southern California... and it's possible that the 30 miles is a 90 minute drive during rush hour.

WHat the heck do I do?

Old Center? comfort is important!
New center - MWs are important

try out the new center and decide when I go into labor? If at night go to the new center, otherwise, the old one

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#2 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 10:11 AM
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I would say neither and look for a homebirth midwife. The midwives who work for Kaiser operate under really strict protocols -- the same as OBs. I'm sorry this is happening to you!!
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#3 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 10:17 AM
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#4 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 10:42 AM
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Okay, I'm not sure why others are telling you to have the babe at home when you've already explicitly said that for your family it's comforting to have the medical staff available - but, okay.

I'd suggest that befor eyou make any decision, you go and check out the new center and see how it feels. If it were *me*, I'd probably plan to go to the old center if I started labor early in the day, and go to the new center if it were late in the day (at which point, you'd be past rush hour and hopefully wouldn't have to deal with traffic. Although I'm betting LA is like Long Island, where no matter what the time of day, there's ALWAYS traffic, LOL!) Really though, I wouldn't make any decisions until you visit the new center and meet at least one MW from there. Who knows, you may totally fall in love with t and be completel comfortable, then your decision will be easy
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#5 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks.. yup. for many reasons, homebirth is not an option

and FWIW, though it is true that Kaiser MWs HAVE strict protocols. It's not necessarily true that they FOLLOW them.

I didn't know this until my 6 week PP visit but my MWs had to get permission to allow me to labor the way I did... I went 44 hours ater my water broke and the babe had fairly severe heart decelerations when i got to the center that continued throughout.... I later found out that according to protocol, I should have had a c-section the minute i GOT there, and even without the decelerations, I should have been whisked to surgery after 24 hours post water break...

instead, I labored the way i wanted and the only discussion of drugs came at hour 30 or so....
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#6 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 02:52 PM
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Hi Lisa. I'm Kaiser too. I live in No. Cal (Bay area) and used to live in So. Cal so I completely understand your travel concerns. The facility I have to birth at is exactly 1/2 hr away (none closer) and I can't even imagine how long if I go into labor during commute hrs.

I fully agree with the posts that said to check out the newer (farther) facility. If you love it, go with it. You have had a baby before so to a certain extent you know what to expect. Also, you mentioned you are doing Hypnobirthing (which I did with my last and with this one too). Between those two things you will be very aware of your body and can put yourself in a state of relaxation during the travel time.

I have no choice on location so I'm choosing NOT to stress about it (for the two aforementioned reasons!!).

Good luck!!!
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#7 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 03:26 PM
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So you had a really long 1st labor...not that there is always a correlation but the next one might be on the long side as well so it seems that you would have the time to drive to the other, new center if you like it better. The idea of being moved while in labor and having to change caregivers is what I would worry most about. Talk about a break in concentration that is hard to come back from even with hypnobirthing techniques to help!

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#8 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 03:38 PM
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I like the idea of checking out the new place, too. But I don't really have any advice on that topic.

I wanted to let you know what we planned with my son's birth (and will most likely do again this time). We live 60 miles from the hospital (the nearest hospital that does births... but we're rural, so 60 miles is about 60 minutes). Our plan was to leave as soon as I thought I was in early labor and go walk around the mall (during the day) or the 24 hour Wal-Mart if not during mall hours. That way, I could still let my body progress naturally without rushing to the hospital and we would have the long drive behind us in early labor. My son was due in February, this baby November, so bad weather here is a VERY real possibility.

(It didn't work out that way, because the one thing I never checked with my doctor was what I should do if my water broke first. We were told in our Bradley classes that less than 10% of women have their waters spontaneously break before contractions, so it never crossed my mind. Then my water actually broke within 2 hours of my first contraction - 2 hours I slept - so we chose to go directly to the hospital since we didn't know whether we should stay or go?)

Anyway, that may help ease some of your concerns with traffic, too, if you choose to go to the new bc. If you can find someplace around there where you would feel comfortable walking/moving around before going in if you don't want to go too early. There's always the possibility of renting a hotel room for a day near there, too (unless it's Thanksgiving... in which case... good luck ).
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#9 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 10:27 PM
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can you register at both BC and if it happens during early morning you could go to nearby and avoid the traffic rush etc but if it's mid of day or afternoon you could take the time and go to the further BC knowing you'll stay in the BC overnight without being kicked out. is that possible?? Can you have Plan A and Plan B BC options and based on the timing etc.. and you could leave by the time you'rein early labor and always go to the further one but take the time and walk near parks or beach before going in the new BC if you dont feel you're ready to go in BC yet.

My BC with DD was 25-30min away and we decided to leave at 5 and didn't get there til 6am and I'm glad I did i know the ride wasn't fun but if you can work through your hynobirthing plan and have a supportive DH to talk you through the contraxs.. I got at the hospital 6am at 9cm! I'm glad because just a while later I had a baby in my arms than going in labor for much longer in a unfamiliar environment.

This pregnancy I hope for a homebirth if all works out well.. so my DD can be presented and be part to welcome the new sibling
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