Anyone know anything about hospitals (Sacred Heart) in Allentown area? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-23-2009, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm expecting my first and am considering giving birth at Sacred Heart because I'm NOT going to LVH (and they make themselves out to be so natural birth friendly on their website. Ugh!) and I'm not sure about St Lukes.
I'm looking into a homebirth but I don't think my husband will back down and support that for this birth. He's gone very "medical" on me now that it's our own actual preborn baby we're talking about, as opposed to "someday when we're pregnant...." : Plus I'm not sure giving birth in our teensy cramped apartment would work (the walls aren't THAT thick!). Not sure if we could afford it either. We're applying for Medicaid.
Anyway, whatcha all know about Sacred Heart? I've heard good things about them from friends, but in a post about Laurice and all the junk that happened at LVH someone mentioned she had to leave Sacred Heart because of a mess with anesthesiologists? Can someone fill me in?
Anyone recommend St Lukes?

Thanks! I appreciate any help.

Lore, aka Momma-on-a-mission

Lore, mom to my sweet little boy, born at home 11/09, and my spunky little girl, born in the hospital 10/10

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Old 06-26-2009, 04:11 AM
 
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I just had a mama in my practice give birth at St. Luke's Allentown. I'd had to risk her out of a homebirth and she had a nice birth there overall. They were supportive of her wanting a natural birth and that's what she got.

I've also had some experience at LVH and although they were ok, I prefered the atmosphere at St. Luke's this last time over the LVH experiences.

Homebirth Midwifing mama to five blessings in Northeastern PA.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:16 AM
 
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I understand about a husband not being totally onboard at the beginning with hb. Why not have a consult with a hb mw? It is free and he can ask all the tough questions he wants and see whether or not he likes the answers. And, hb isn't as expensive as you may think. It doesn't hurt to investigate it. Good luck!!

Beth

Beth wife to Tom and mommy to Therese 11/4/04 Anna Mary 6/15/07 and Veronica 10/20/09
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to both of you for the info.

Beth, my husband has been calming down a little (I think he's just stressed - he's self-employed, works a TON, and now I'm coming at him with all this detailed info about childbirth!) and is open to consulting with a midwife re hb. We're also looking into birth centers, though the closest are an hour away.

Anyone else? I'm still hoping to find out more about Sacred Heart just in case I go the hospital route.

~Lore

Lore, mom to my sweet little boy, born at home 11/09, and my spunky little girl, born in the hospital 10/10

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Old 06-27-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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Lore-

Have your husband watch "The Business of Being Born". It's a documentary that came out that speaks as to why so many women are choosing the homebirth route and simply avoiding the hospitals. My husband watched that (and dated an OB before we met) and he came to the conclusion of homebirth even before I did.

Funny thing is, I see us as a Dharma and Greg relationship. So for him to come around to the homebirth idea was really great. Now to convince the in-laws....

Best of luck!

DD#1 arrived 2/7/10!
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:44 PM
 
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I toured sacred Heart when I was pregnant with my first and did not like the overall vibe. It didn't seem like a hospital, but also didn't seem like a place I would want to birth in either. It seemed kind of unsanitary and disorganized. Plus its in a crappy neighborhood. I ended up delivering at st Lukes Allentown, and while it was definitely a smaller feel, be aware that if you have a roomie your husband will be forced to LEAVE. He can't sleep on the floor, or in the waiting room, or in the parking lot. : We got lucky to have a nice midwife suite and no roomie, but i was still stressed about that. As far as the nurses, its the same old crap. I got a few nice ones, and some really awful ones... ("Oh, so you WANT you baby to feel pain?!" when I refused sugar water dipped paci for the heel prick ). St lukes bethlehem is very typical, tiny rooms, a hundred billion women giving birth, etc...

FYI Laurice isn't delivering ANYWHERE currently...(I don't think?)

Then I had an AMAZING homebirth with a wonderful midwife with #2 and would never step foot in a hospital again

If you need recommendations for HB midwives, PM me. Any I second the Business of Being Born- it changed my DH's opinion quick!

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:42 AM
 
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I had my son at Sacred Heart 4 years ago - with Laurice. It was a special MW room that she had set up there. Doubt it is still being used now though. But they did allow laboring in the tub and even waterbirths at that point in time. My nurse Suzanne was fabulous! All teh nurses were really wonderful and helpful with BFing. the only nurse I ran into any problems with was the nursery nurse - she was satan's bride. Refused to listen to anything we requested and even fed DS formula behind our back.

That said - they encouraged rooming in. most of the nurses were fabulous and very helpful. didn't offer binkies or anything since he was BF. I got discharge the day before DS did, but they let us still stay the night in our room - which was awesome. Food was really good too - a lunch bag full of yummy food right after I had him 0 the best turkey sandwich ever, fruit, chips, etc. And Suzanne even brought an extra one for DH. i actually got lunch bags every night I was there - up nursing and starving LOL

I had a really good experience there, despite it being quite an ordeal - DS had erbs palsy, and then jaundice. they do have biliblankets there, in addition to the lights, so that they can get treatment and room in


I would NOT recommend LVH - I did my nursing clinicals on the OB floor at Muhlenberg. It was awful - we were literally fighting for vaginal births. Notice I say vaginal, not natural. They are a high risk facility, with a great NICU. But being high risk, they tend to want to "manage" labors - all labors. There was one woman there that was laboring naturally (I was there 5 days a week for 3 weeks!) and they treated her like she was nuts. Complained like crazy about her too. I would never recommend that hospital unless you were truly a high risk pregnancy.
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:54 PM
 
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I just attended a birth at St. Lukes Bethlehem, and the staff was very nice to work with. The nurses were so good with my client, they tried to help her achieve the drug free birth she wanted. The OB was pretty cool too. I think I would recommend this hospital. I was pleasently surprised!
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the info, everyone! It sounds like people have something good to say about all the area hospitals, which is encouraging. I guess I'll tour them all and go from there. That being said, I am doing more research on homebirthing or birthing center options. Thanks for the encouragement!

Lore, mom to my sweet little boy, born at home 11/09, and my spunky little girl, born in the hospital 10/10

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Old 07-03-2009, 12:30 AM
 
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Hi Lore,

This is so funny! I never come to this section and tonight I wanted to and now see 2 posts about my area!

I don't know about Sacred Heart, though. In fact, I just had an OB appt today and we were discussing hospitals in the LV.
He is the most VBAC friendly here (used to be the midwives back up) and the only one I could find who will be truly supportive of my planned VBA2C.

He said the #1 hospital to deliver for VBAC is LVH. He really likes them and after I asked him a lot of questions about interventions, etc...he explained that the hospital policy there (at least as far as VBAC) is the most supportive of as natural a birth experience possible in this area, but some nurses are not comfortable with forgoing certain things. Then he said if that happens, I can get a different nurse.

He did tell me that St. Luke's talks a good game but can become pushy with interventions.
(He delivers at both hospitals.)

A friend of mine used the midwives and delivered at LVH 2 years ago and had a great experience.

I had DD there in 2005 and it was awesome. I did have to have a c section because she flipped to a footling breech at the last second , but the nurses went out of their way to help with breastfeeding and everything. No baby interventions that I didn't want, etc...

The thing is, I hate what they did to the midwives!
But there is not a real option for me that comes close to being able to have the birth experience I want.

HTH,

Deb

ETA I just saw above posts...no Laurice isn't delivering anywhere...

Also ETA...Muhlenberg is not where I delivered at LVH, I went to the Cedar Crest location and that's what my dr recommends.

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Deb, thanks for responding.
Regarding your situation, I just found this thread as I was looking for info tonight and when I read your post I thought I should share it with you, regarding VBAC doctors in the area:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1094927
Hope you get the experience you want.

~Lore

Lore, mom to my sweet little boy, born at home 11/09, and my spunky little girl, born in the hospital 10/10

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Old 07-03-2009, 09:14 AM
 
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AAAHHHHH!!!!!
This is the dr I just met! Dr. Kouronis! Oh, man, I think I better start another thread so I don't hijack yours...

My regular OB is Dr. Peters at College Heights and I love her. I met Dr. K 2 times now...sigh...

Thank you so much for finding that thread!

Another thing about St. Luke's though. Now, this is the one in Fountain Hill, not Allentown, I actually forgot they expanded Allentown!

My sister delivered her last baby at St. Luke's in 2005. She used the Pocono Midwives and Andrea. So, this was her 4th child, never a complicated pg or birth before and came in to St. Luke's in active labor, delivered him only about an hour later, lol.

Anyway, she had a birth plan and it was blown off. Andrea got there late, maybe it would have been ok if my sister had made it to the hospital earlier and Andrea had time to get there.
But the nurses were all over her, stuck an IV in her hand while she was trying to deal with her labor and unable to really concentrate on anything else. The OB who was there came in and decided that she needed fetal scalp monitoring, stuck that in and then I finally got there to be with her.
She was so upset by then! Thankfully she delivered fast and got out of there.
Andrea got there right at the end and stopped them from taking the baby away, cutting the cord early, etc...because they were all set to do that.

She was stuck over in this old section of the maternity area so it was pretty far away from the nursery area, they said it was because it was so busy but I think it was also because she was labeled as a "problem patient" for wanting to deny certain interventions.

She only stayed overnight and half the next day but the nursery came and took the baby in the morning saying they would be right back. Hours later, she went off looking for him and finally got him back and could check out!

It was crazy.

So, anyway, maybe it has a lot to do with the staff who are on when you arrive in labor at any of these hospitals.

Why does it have to be so difficult??? Birth should be joyful and natural, it isn't a disease!!!:

Deb

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:15 AM
 
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The OB who was there came in and decided that she needed fetal scalp monitoring, stuck that in and then I finally got there to be with her.
Word to the wise- if you use Pocono Midwives and Andrea- get a back -up OB out of St. Luke's Beth., otherwise it's "who-ever" and it's sad!

 

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