Unity or Mercy? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 07-20-2009, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys!

I have a potential Doula client that is trying to decide between these two hospitals. Does anyone have any info/experience with either of these hospitals?

Randine , Wife to Chris , mama to Gracie (3) and to Soren (07/08/2010)
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#2 of 6 Old 07-21-2009, 12:53 PM
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I don't know anything about Mercy, but IME (from friends and family who've delivered there) Unity has a high intervention rate; episiotomies seem sorta routine. : Of course it all depends on the provider!

Not much help, am I?


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#3 of 6 Old 07-25-2009, 04:09 AM
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I deleted my brief comment as I do not have statistics on either hospital. Good luck.
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#4 of 6 Old 07-30-2009, 02:55 AM
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This was my experience... perhaps I lucked out (well, I know I did!).

I was supposed to deliver my 1st at the HCMC midwife unit; he came too fast and we had to go to Mercy instead. I showed up pushing and they knew nothing about me.

My triage nurse was in CNM school; she stayed with me for the birth (1st stroke of luck).

The OB that I got happened to deliver my doula's kids... Dr Collins (2nd stroke of luck). He wanted to put an external monitor on me. I said no thanks. He said OK. He wanted to put in a heplock. I said no thanks. He said OK. He let the triage nurse/ CNM student handle most of the birth along with my DH and just sorta sat back out of the picture. He scooted forward for the crowning, checked for a cord, and let my DH and I pull him out the rest of the way. He asked if he could give me a pitocin shot after the birth. I said no thanks. He said OK. He asked if he could stitch up my "skidmark". I said no thanks. He said OK.

I don't think the hands off approach was his natural inclination but he was great!!

The night nurse did not object when I wanted to do his 1st bath. We were never separated.

I left after 24 hours. I think normally that's something that is discussed in the office so the staff knows and no one has to scramble to get their stuff done. But they were OK with it (well, the day nurse grumbled a bit but she was kinda an old grump).

It could've gone so much worse. But I don't think it could've gone better!! I think natural births don't happen there very often; my DH said people were talking about it at the desk.

Also I think people respected our wishes b/c we are both RNs and my DH works there. And I'm a NICU RN so I didn't need any help from the baby care/ BFing end of it. In fact the nursing staff just kinda left me alone, which was what I wanted

So there were a lot of stars in alignment there, but it can happen! I think in a hospital not set up for that sort of thing, you need to have your wishes known and have good guardians around you (ie doula and DH) to make sure the "norm" doesn't happen to you (EFM, heplock, epis, pit, etc).

HTH! Christina

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#5 of 6 Old 07-30-2009, 05:03 PM
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I delivered all 3 kids at Mercy. My first was an emergency c/s for fetal distress and breech presentation. no labor.

In general a decent experience--my only complaint was that they tried to take me to my c/s before my DH got there. I had been at a drs appt not expecting to deliver that day. he was at work. when they decided it was best to deliver at 34 weeks for the fetal distress they put me on a wait list for an OR and I called DH. The dr (lindman-******) came in and told me they were taking me down for my c/s. I refused saying I was NOT going without my DH there because before they realized from my chart he was breech they were planning to induce me which would have taken hours. someone else needed an emergency c/s while I was refusing so I got bumped back a few hours. The anestesologist was wonderful--found a poloroid camera and took pictures of the birth since we had NOTHING with us--not even a change of clothes. He also sat with me while they stitched me up so DH could go to the nursery with DS. Most of the nurses that time were wonderful with me and DS.

DS2--I showed up in triage dilated to 8 for a VBAC. Nurse accidentally broke my water--they had to rush me down the hall telling me not to push. Met my dr (gorneau) when I got in the room--other than the snotty nurse that said "next time get here sooner" nothing bad to say. The dr looked a bit freaked when he realized he was delivering a VBAC and they'd done no monitoring on me but otherwise was fine. the nurses forced the whole counting to ten thing on me which on one level was fine because I wasn't sure what the heck I was doing since I didn't labor with DS1. I actually liked the dr's bedside manner and saw him for most of my OB appts for DD--I saw dr Slama the last few appts and REALLY liked him. He took a lot of time to talk and make sure I felt comfortable with my VBAC choice. I don't remember the name of the dr on call the day after I delivered DS2 but she congratulated me on my VBAC and said she was proud of me because most women don't try a VBAC--they just go with the ERC.

DD--hoping to avoid the almost delivering the baby in the hall like with DS2 I arrived earlier. Ended up with an IV I was not happy with but was told it was procedure. Nurse botched the IV and had to redo when my hand started swelling up. Then she tried to tell me to get into bed and I flat out refused. I told her in no circumstance was I allowing myself to be confined to bed if I did not want to because my labor had been going rather slowly (checked in at a 4 when I really had thought I might be a 6 or more). She told me it was policy. I again stated I'd agree to intermittant monitoring but would not be confined to bed for continous monitoring no matter what their VBAC policy might have changed to. She took my case to the dr on call that night (Schoel) since she said she had previously worked at hospital that didn't require continous monitoring for VBACs and felt I was right that moving about was beneficial and came back with the dr agreeing that I could move about if I agreed to 5 minutes of monitoring every 10 minutes. Not ideal but I was willing to concede to that since I was told during the monitoring I could be in bed, on the birthing ball or in a chair--I just had to be in the room since they didn't have any unwired monitoring available. the nurse suggested several times that they break my water since things were moving slowly but I kept saying "maybe later". She did suggest the birthing ball and a few different positions when my contractions got worse. I didn't meet the dr until i was ready to push. She didn't coach--honestly she said NOTHING while she delivered the baby which kind of unnerved me. She really didn't have the best bedside manner IMHO but maybe I was just tired by then. I delivered DD med-free and none of the staff tried to force any meds on me. When I got settled in they asked if I wanted anything and when I said I planned to delivery med-free since I'd delivered DS2 that way they never asked again. However after DD was born when DH asked the dr/nurse how many women delivery epi-free the dr said "very very few".

In general I didn't think Mercy was a bad choice--it's a bit more intervention friendly than I would have liked but I was able to have a VBAC and go with natural childbirth without the nurses/drs trying to convince me otherwise.

also--I did not have an episiotomy with either birth--I tore with DS2 but not with DD. dr tried stretching the perinium during my pushing to help with DS2's birth but it was just too quick and I tore.
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#6 of 6 Old 07-31-2009, 02:25 AM
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I work at both hospital sites and they have very similar statistics. Both are VERY conservative hospitals, but I've found the nursing staff at Unity to be more supportive of natural birth than Mercy nursing staff. Unity also has a doula program and a doula on-call 24/7.

Summer: crafty mama to 2 little girls and wife to Bob
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