Planned to birth at Bryn Mawr Birth Center but ended up in hospital???? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-25-2011, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there anyone out there that planned on birthing at the Bryn Mawr Birth Center but got risked out prior to going into labor for a formality or otherwise and had to birth at Bryn Mawr Hospital WITH the midwife??


This looks like it's going to happen to me and I'm just trying to get experiences from women that this happened to.


My questions, besides just your general experience, are:


How involved was the labor and delivery team?

Why were you transferred?

Did you have a good experience?

And most importantly, how well did the midwife advocate for your choices? Did they stand up for what you originally wanted (natural birth) if possible???


I am interviewing midwives for a home birth but it's not covered by insurance and just want to get more info on this topic.


Thanks a lot!



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#2 of 8 Old 08-28-2011, 05:40 PM
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My situation was a little different so I'm not sure if it will help or not.  I went to the birth center in labor.  I labored (actively) at home for about 7 hours and then went to the birth center when contractions were as close as 3 minutes apart.  I labored there for another 13 hours but never got past 6 cm.  I was transferred as a result of the midwife's recommendation. She felt that I was exhausted (which I was) and was concerned that I wouldn't have enough energy to push and would end up with a c-section.  She suggested an epidural so i could sleep for a bit to give me some energy for pushing.  So I transferred.  My experience wasn't a good one, but I also was not prepared for having to be at the hospital and was very overwhelmed by it all and exhausted after 20 hours of labor and being awake for 31 hours at that point.  I got the epidural which did help me to sleep and feel more rested. They also gave me pitocin (which I don't remember happening or them asking or anything) and of course the IV, monitor, and everything else.  I started pushing and pushed for 3 1/2 hours before they finally used a vacuum.  I found the nurses nice, but annoying. I would push when I had a contraction and they kept telling me, "wait until you have a contraction." I'd tell them that I was, and they'd look at the computer screen and say "no, you're not." quickly followed by "oh, I guess you are." I wanted to scream at them "I'm here!  Look at me!  I'm the one feeling this.  Look away from that stupid monitor!"  The OB was rude.  No bedside manner. Not friendly.  When I started to push, she told me, "you're going to have to do better than that if you want to have a baby here."  I wanted to scream at her, "you see how hard you can push when you've been contracting for 26 hours!"  She asked every hour I was pushing if we could do the vacuum. I kept telling her no, I wanted to try more.  Finally, at the 3 1/2 hour mark, she asked again and I asked the midwife how much longer she thought I'd need to push to get the baby out. She said another hour. I knew I didn't have it in me so I decided on the vacuum.  


I honestly don't remember the midwife having much of any role there at all. She stayed with me and when they took my ds away to measure him, weigh him, check him over, etc she told them (after I'd asked the nurses 3 times for him back), "I think she wants her baby back."  Looking back, I feel that many things could have been done differently and I wish someone had asked me.  My brain literally shuts down during labor - I am unable to answer basic questions and I certainly can't come up with any ideas on my own.  So I couldn't think of any of this, but I wish my epidural had been turned off after I slept. Then I could have gotten up and felt the pushing and squatted or stood or something. I said several times while i was pushing, "I feel like I need to be upright. I feel like I need to sit up." and no one responded in any way to me.  I feel like my midwife (and my doula for that matter) should have picked up on that and also should have asked me, "do you want the epidural in for pushing? Do you want pitocin?"  The OB even cut the cord when ds was born, without asking either of us if we wanted to do it.  


That said, it may be very different if it's planned to be at the hospital and the midwife is the one who is in charge. Once I transferred, it was clear that we were in the OB's territory.  Plus, I think everyone was exhausted.  We were all up all night, the labor was long, extremely painful (back labor, non-stop contractions the whole time), and I don't know that everyone was at their best by that point.  


I don't know if any of that helps.  Feel free to ask any more questions.  

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#3 of 8 Old 08-31-2011, 04:59 AM
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I had my second daughter at the Birth Center but know that there are folks who went to the hospital with staff from there and got a lot of support!

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#4 of 8 Old 08-31-2011, 03:30 PM
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Contact the ladies at ICAN of Southeastern Pensylvania via facebook or at Jenn M. at She wil have good advice for you to!

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#5 of 8 Old 08-31-2011, 03:38 PM
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What insurance do you have?  Some insurance companies will cover homebirth, depending on the midwife and where you live. 

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#6 of 8 Old 08-31-2011, 07:19 PM
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I'm sure you'll get some more responses as this is a fairly new post, however - they just changed their non emergent transfer location from Bryn Mawr hospital to Delaware County M.H. in Drexel Hill...going into effect tomorrow actually. Well, in less than 2 hours technically speaking. So, the info you're seeking is only partially available from mothers who've experienced transfers in the past. The rate is high, generally speaking, and I think depending on the midwife/the day/the situation/the doc on call, etc - those experiences can look very different. I know I'm hoping to see change for the better with this new transfer locale. I don't know as of yet if and how policies regarding transferring has changed.


There are plenty of other options in the area, though, too!  And many women end up being surprised (unfortunately after they chose a hospital birth over a homebirth) b/c of paying out of pocket initially, and then find themselves getting a bill anyway sometimes the same or more than it would've been to pay a midwife for the care and birth you really wanted.



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#7 of 8 Old 09-02-2011, 10:52 AM
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You should definitely consider getting a doula. They don't advocate for you, but they help you and your partner find your voice, have informed consent, get the time you need to make the best decisions. Also, like the previous poster wrote, if you know you are going to deliver at the hospital ahead of time, it won't be at BM. The Birth Center just switched hospital affiliates. I spoke with one midwife there who said emergency transfers will still go to BM however.

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#8 of 8 Old 09-02-2011, 11:32 AM
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Hi -

With my first pregnancy I was all set to deliver at the birth center and then my water broke but I didn't go into labor so I ended up being induced at Bryn Mawr hospital.  As far as that went - I really wished I had a doula as I was in the hospital being induced for over 24 hours and I my coping skills were not up to par with being stuck in a bed hooked up to monitors.  I didn't like the OB who was on that day but I had very limited interactions with him during the delivery itself and I was delivered by the midwife.  I did not end up with the birth I wanted but all in all I received good care and was happy the midwife who delivered my daughter

With my current pregnancy I risked out of the bryn mawr birth center because of twins.  They did not keep me on as a patient so I don't have the option of delivering at Bryn Mawr (or Delco) with a midwife from that practice.  The Valley Birth center does do hospital births for those who risk out of their birth center (I know they would have done my twins) and I believe they deliver at Mongomery hospital.  There are a few other independent midwives who deliver at Montgomery Hospital as well.

I plan on getting a doula as I opted to work with an OB for this pregnancy.  I think I probably would have gotten one if I had gone with a midwife as well as if you have a long labor in the hospital it is really helpful to have an extra support person as your midwife may not be with you the whole time.  I think how much of an advocate your midwife is depends on the midwife and why your care is being directed by the OB on call instead of the midwife while you are in the hospital.

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