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Do you feel like you were a patient at your labor/birth? Where was your baby born?

I feel like I was a patient at the birth of my dd. I feel like the medwives, nurses, and ob's were all authorities. I went in with all sorts of expectations that I was going to question things and make sure they got informed consent, but then the time came and I went to the hospital and I didn't question anything (at least not then - I am questioning "everything" now).

I'm considering either a birthcenter or a homebirth next time. I will definitely "shop around" more for an attendant that I like and whose opinion I trust. If I was ever to do a hospital birth again (very highly doubt it, but I can't predict the future) I think I'd refuse to get into bed. I feel almost like that was the beginning of the end. I hopped up onto the bed and they strapped me to a monitor and I lost my voice (I should have told the nurse that she was looking in the wrong place for my dd's heartbeat when she had trouble getting her hospital "required" efm strip) - I just trusted that because this was what she does "every" day that she knew what she was doing and I trusted that she was the authority.

I'm wondering if this is a common feeling.
I'm also wondering if it's my personality or if it was the hospital.
Any thoughts or comments?
 

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I haven't had my baby yet but I know that I can tell a huge difference between the groups of dr.s and hospital based midwives I saw and my homebirth midwife. The dr.s and midwives who are hospital based were always so busy and even though I loved the midwife I saw, I hated the nurse! She treated me like a pediatric patient! And the dr. didn't show any emotion at all even when I was upset about possible problems (everything turned out ok now though) but my homebirth midwife really listens and makes me feel like I can let my guard down because she feels the same way about things that I do. And homebirth is not as expensive as I thought it would be. Most midwives do payment plans and such. All the fear I had about losing control and being treated bad left me when I chose to do homebirth and found a midwife I clicked with. Good luck with your search!
 

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I felt like, with dd's birth, that I was engaged in struggle - they wanted me to feel like a patient, and I didn't want to be a patient, under their authority. In retrospect, I feel like the dynamics of that struggle led to prolonging my labor - not that it was overally long, mind, just that it was longer than it was 'supposed' to have been, because my mind was occupied with the struggle. That, and no one noticed I was dehydrated (I didn't get the routine IV, but then they didn't want to help make sure I drank enough, either).

I don't think it's personality-specific or hospital-specific. Yes, you might hear about exceptions - where someone with an extraordinarily strong personality bucked the system, or the odd hospital where it's not the case - but I think overall it's just a part of the hospital 'package.'

LoveChild - which midwife did you pick?
(You can PM me if you'd rather.)
 

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I did not feel like a patient in any way. Which is a good thing, 'cause I'm a rotten patient


I had a homebirth. It was long but wonderful. If I had been in the hospital- best case senario I would have been managed and cut at least, most likely I would have ended up with a section. Instead I labored at my own pace and everything came out perfectly.

-Angela
 

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I don't really think I thought of myself as a patient. I also didn't go in ready to fight. I discussed everything matter of fact, as if it wasn't an option. When they wanted to do something, I just sain no thanks if I didn't agree with it. I told dh ahead of time the things he might need to do if they gave me a hard time, but I was just very calm and matter of fact in what I wanted and needed. I did question things, but not in a confrontational way- just b/c the nurses get caught up in their routine, and often times they're not asked to explain. No one gave me a hard time.
 

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I think it's more about who your providers are than what the setting is, although I'd agree that it's much more difficult to get mom-centered care in a hospital.

I had both my girls in the same hospital with different providers (OB's the first time, family practice docs the second time). During my first birth, I felt like I was in a real struggle to get the kind of care I thought was appropriate. My second birth was entirely different--my doctor and caregivers were well-informed about my wishes for birth and really went to bat for me when what I wanted wasn't in line with hospital policy. They helped create a safe space for me to labor and basically left me alone with my labor supporters. I felt both well taken care of and and active participant in the birth.

I am honestly a little surprised that I could have such a totally different experience in the exact same setting.
 

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my first birth, i felt less like a patient than a child; my doctor was always very condescending and acted like i couldn't possibly have a clue about what was going on. she seemed to resent the fact that i'd read up on the birth process
. my second was an emergency c-section, and oddly enough i felt much more in control of the whole thing. it was very surreal, but i was confident that what was happening was necessary and that I was making the right decision. i didn't feel bullied into it or scared into it or anything like that.
so, both kids were born at the hospital but with different care providers. i agree with pinky; who you see and not their title makes all the difference.
 

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I had our fist 2 in hospital and yes definitely a patient. I have to take some of the responsibility though (and believe me it was long time in coming what my part in all of it was) any way I was taught from childhood that doctors are a necessary evil that yes it is unpleasant that they invade our space but we need them so we put up with it. But in the same turn I was also taught all sorts of resourceful home care because the doc doesn't know everything.... Anyway even when I have gone in knowing exactly what I want even for general health concerns I am a patient so I avoid this situation if I can and also try to keep my wits about me- even when I went to a naturopathinc clinic I had the same reaction but I had a friend with me and she was very clear headed and really thought on her feet helped me alot and this wasn't birth related.The first birth was such a surprise and trauma that I tried to talk to this different doc and get things clear about what I wanted different- he was all yes and yes, and he had midwives in the office who did the prenatals(but not the births) anyway I had fantasies of renting a motorhome and parking it in the hospital parking lot as it was I had 1-2 contractions and my BOW broke and drove across town 1/2 hr and then was in hospital 1/2 hr and he was born- and the doctor did routine manual removal of placentas also I was there just long enough to be straped up for that manditory beginning strip.. called the nurses and said I am pushing and they told me I didn't have hard enough contractions and walked out called them again and baby crowing- the quickly had me get on a gurney- not ok in labor or pushing barely got into the room and he was born, I was so scared on the gurney other wise he would have probably been born on the gurney.
First home birth 4+ years later and my midwifery partner helped with the birth I was not a patient at all. although there were some small crazy things on my part like I couldn't speak to tell everyone what I wanted but I was angry they didn't read my mind!!!!!!! vbg I think that if my first births were like the first home birth I would not have been so impatient .
I think that I have it in me to put up with the doctor and I have no real defense against it on the other hand I work out stratgies of how not to interact with them much.
 
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