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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I keep trying to think it'll be ok, but I'm scared to death of the hospital I have to deliver at. Every time someone offline asks where I'll be going and I tell them, they always tell me an awful horror story and end with "I would *never* recommend anyone go there". Even my lactation consultant, who is not crunchy by any stretch of the imagination, says that she'd never recommend it...and she works for the county health department. You'd think this was an easy solution...just don't go there, right?<br><br>
Wrong.<br><br>
The nearest hospital that would actually have a really nice shot of making this a great experience is well over an hour away. My midwife doesn't deliver there...in fact, the only midwife my insurance covers (my midwife) only delivers at the horrid hospital. And at 26 weeks pregnant, I'm not sure anyone else would take me on. Which doesn't matter much because I would have to travel an hour each way for a 15 minute doctor's appointment with a toddler and a husband who would have to take time off work to do so.<br><br>
So my monitrice says that this pregnancy has been going really well, and there is a good shot that despite being high risk my first pregnancy, I may be able to be approved for a midwife assisted homebirth. That is what I want...that is what I really really want. But, we can barely afford to pay the bills, let alone come up with almost $3000 in the next 3 months to have the midwife assisted homebirth (I'm not comfortable with an unassisted birth right now because of the complications with my first). I'm just completely heartbroken...the homebirth I want has only one thing standing in it's way...$3000. That is just ridiculous... Yeah, it's cheaper than a hospital birth, but at least with hospital birth, I'll only owe about $500 in co-pays. I've already shelled $800 out for a monitrice and $250 for a labor tub...we just can't afford to do anymore.<br><br>
So, now my only option is the hospital that I'd rather give birth in the parking lot in a thunderstorm than ever step foot in. I just had such a horrible experience with my first hospital birth, and I wanted this to be different. But, it's not...this hospital is so intervention happy, and they take the baby away for 4+ hours after you give birth, and they've already made it known to me that they'll fight me on the things I want to do in my birth plan. My husband says "well, we'll fight back". He doesn't get it...I don't WANT the entire birth experience to consist of me fighting to have my baby not taken away or circed or vaxed or whatever. I want to be HAPPY, not spend the whole time fighting...<br><br>
I just don't know what to do. I'm so upset that I can't get excited about this...I'm dreading it. I just want it to be over with so I don't have to think about it anymore...<br><br>
This isn't how birth is supposed to be. All I wanted was a good birth experience...not to have it controlled by every other person--doctors, nurses, my husband.... I just wanted to be able to birth my baby the way I want...<br><br>
Sorry for the long vent...I'm just really upset and sad and disappointed. I'm still haunted by my first birth...it was so traumatic. But at this point, I feel that if I don't want to spend 2 days fighting, I just have to give in and let them do what they want... It's my baby. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Oh Ally, that's terrible. I'm sure it's taking most of the enjoyment out this pregnancy. I can't even imagine how you must feel-scared, worried, mad!<br>
If the hospital has said they will fight you on things, maybe you could try to put together some research and talk to some one higher up at the hospital. Or did you already? Maybe if your ped is on your side, too, you could present something to them and get them to let you do it your way.<br>
If worst comes to worst, maybe the midwife would work out a payment plan for you for a homebirth. It never hurts to ask!<br>
I'm so sorry you have to deal with these hospital idiots. What kind of complications did you have the first time, if you don't mind sharing?<br><br>
Suzy
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
With my first son, I had PIH and was on bedrest for 6 weeks... I was also induced at the end (big mistake) which led to a whole host of problems...a 3rd degree tear, episiotomy, 53 hour induction, 3 hours of pushing, vacuum extraction...which of course led to Bran swallowing merconium, etc. While the PIH was not caused by the doctor's interventions, the rest probably were...<br><br>
Unfortunately our ped doesn't have privelages at this hospital either (we did use a ped that was associated with the hospital, but they were as awful as the hospital...told me there was no point in bfing past 6 months, etc.). So, we have to use a hospital ped after the birth (LOL...that should be interesting.... They last saw my son at 8 months and I never went back to them after that...)<br><br>
I might try talking to the homebirth midwife group again...they're the ones my monitrice is through. We have a payment plan with her, but everything has to be paid by 38 weeks. I don't know if they'll make an exception, but I guess it never hurts to ask... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Drive really slow to the hospital and have the baby in the parking lot!!<br>
Kidding!<br><br>
What a crappy hospital. I bet your midwife would be sympathetic. Have you mentioned your concerns to her? I can't believe she's happy with the hospital either. It sounds miserable and I can easily understand why you wouldn't want to give birth there. I'm terrified of hospitals and doctors. We have a wonderful birth center here otherwise I'd be birthing at home. I can't deal with the feelings of helplessness and how they take ownership of your body and your baby while you are there.<br>
I hope you can find some alternative plan. Keep us updated. I'll be thinking for you and hoping for the best!<br>
Suzy
 

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Hae you talked to midwife about your concerns and strategies to help you get the birth youwant?<br><br>
I gave birth at a conservative hospital last time and I did have a positive experience overall. The thing that I did that made a huge difference was I labored at him for a long time. By the time I got to the hospital I was 9cm. It was really nice to do most of my laboring at home.<br><br>
A monitrice is a souped-up doula, right? That is awesome that you will have that support! This will help if you try to labor at home a long time. It's also really nice to have support like that at the hospital. I had a doula at the hospital and I was really glad to have her there.<br><br>
I was worried about getting into a tense, adverserial dynamic with the hospital staff. My midwife advised bringing cookies for nurses to get off on the right foot with them. I brought 8 bags of peppridge farm cookies (enough for 2 shifts in case i was there that long).<br><br>
Also, I made a short birth plan (not good to hand them a 5 page document IMO), but labelled it "birth preferences." I figure you can't really plan birth,YKWIM?<br><br>
I have to go. Will add more tomorrow!
 

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That's horrible, the hospital nearest us is also horrible, it has the highest c-section rate in the country.... I'm having a homebirth. I have to pay out of pocket too. It's worth it. You could ask your bank if you can get a low interest line of credit so that you can pay it off over a couple of years?<br><br>
If you really feel that's not possible, then what I would do is go to the hospital at the last possible minute, do as much laboring at home as you can, so that when you get there they can't induce your or pump you full of anything....
 

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That stinks Ally,<br>
Can you dig through some of the legal aspects dealing with your wishes? maybe by having the laws in your state spelled out along with your birth preferences the hospital jerks will have no choice but to abide by your wants?<br><br>
I can totally sympathize. We will be moving about an hour away in the next month or so (back home to the small town). The hospital there was neglegent (sp) during my mother's heart attack & with their help she died in flight to a larger hospital - I have major problems with them to say the least! We will be travelling over an hour to the hospital our MW's are associated with. Not looking forward to the drive but then there isn't much choice IMO.<br><br>
Do you have other hospitals w/in a couple hours that other mw's work with?(My current mw's know the mw's in my hometown that caught my older daughters), All the mw's knowing each other is a big comfort to me. I hope you can work something out that you, your DH & your mw's will be happy with.
 

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I'm with PPs in that I would talk to the midwife you would like to use for a homebirth. Explain your situation, the panic you feel, the monetary constraints, and that you really want to pay her the full $3000. Maybe there is some way you or DH could exchange services (I don't know what your DH does for a living or you). If you came in with a few options of what you CAN do, she may see that you're serious about paying her what she deserves. As a doctor and business owner myself, I am much more willing to work with or extend a scholarship program to people who present this way.<br><br>
I would HOPE that a homebirth midwife would be so understanding of the emotional trauma you and your baby are experiencing over your lack of options that she would try to work with you as much as possible. I wish you were in Indiana so that I could refer you to mine!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks ladies... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I called the insurance company...they weren't so helpful. They said that they cover 65% after the first $2500 for homebirths. So, um...yikes. They said that if my current midwife does homebirths, it would be covered as an in-network procedure (whoa!) and they'd pay the full 85%, no deductable...I'm not sure if I could convince her to do a homebirth though. She's the only midwife for an hour, and the only in-network one for several hours, so she's pretty busy... She also works in an OB practice, so I'm not sure they'd even let her do that, but I guess it never hurts to check... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I'm definately laboring at home as long as possible. The only (and I mean only) bonus of this hospital is I live 5 minutes away from it, so I can stay home until the last possible second and still make it in time.<br><br>
The group of homebirth midwives does do bartering, but I own a cloth diaper store and my husband works doing computer stuff for the government... They may want some diapers (but man, a $3000 stash is a huge stash! LOL!)<br><br>
Music-mommy...I can totally empathize with you and the high c-sec hospital...the one I'm going to has a 33% c-sec rate, an 80% pitocin use rate, and only 22% of the women breastfeed upon discharge (um, probably because they keep the babies for 4-6 hours in the stupid nursery for no reason!). They gave me crap because I still nurse my 18 month old and told HIM that he'd have to wean before the baby was born. Um, yeah...that's not going to happen and I didn't appreciate someone telling him that (he was only 13 months old when the dumb L&D nurse told him that too!). So, I guess if I have to go there, I will at least have the joy in watching the nurse's face when I'm tandem nursing a newborn and 21 month old in the hospital bed! LOL!<br><br>
Zelda's mom...yep, that's exactly what a monitrice is! We hired one instead of a doula so that we can get the extra prenatal support (she sees me as often as a regular ob would, but spends a full hour answering questions and talking about real birth stuff...not epidurals or inductions). I love her, and she works in the group of homebirth midwives, so she can vouch to them how much I don't want to go to this hospital.<br><br>
It's really really funny because I never considered a homebirth ever...my mom was the nurse manager of a maternity floor at a hospital, so that's what I thought was normal (I still can't tell her I want a homebirth...she always says "we see all of the ways a homebirth can go bad"...she forgets that she doesn't get to see all of the ways they go well!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ah man...my current midwife only does hospital births. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I thought as much...
 

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Ally,<br><br>
I can sympathize with you. I would have loved to deliver at a free standing birth center and there isn't one in my area. There are NO midwives in my area who are on my insurance, so I'm left with a hospital birth and a group of ob's who seem pretty open minded, but they're still ob's so you feel like you're on a conveyor belt when you are in the office. I'm lucky if I get 5 mins. in the room with them to ask questions. The hospital seems nice enough, based on what I've heard, but our tour is next month, so I'll get all of the details then.<br><br>
Fortunately, I too have a good source of support in my Bradley instructor, who is also a doula and lactation consultant.<br><br>
What we're planning on doing is creating some sort of sign to hang on the door of our labor and delivery room. Something respectful, along the lines of:<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Natural Birth in Progress</span><br>
Please do not offer us pain medication, or any intervention that is not medically necessary.<br>
We would be happy to take any suggestions that you may have in order to help us acheive our goal of an unmedicated birth.<br>
Thank you so much.<br><br>
Not exactly, but something like that. That way you don't have to explain your stand to every person who enters the room. It's plain as day. I am prepared to fight every step of the way too...and although that's not how I always pictured it, it's better than throwing our hands up and giving them control of our birth, isn't it?<br><br>
Hang in there. Try and let go of the fear of a miserable birth experience, and set your mind to a positive one. You will wind up with a beautiful, healthy baby in the end, and really, that's the most important thing, right?
 

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I'm also delivering in a hospital when I'd rather be at home, though it doesn't sound as bad as yours.<br><br>
So let's practice some lines together:<br><br>
"No"<br><br>
"No, you may not take my baby to the nursery. I am keeping him here with me."<br><br>
"No, you are not vaccinating my baby. We will handle that with our pediatrician."
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">You will wind up with a beautiful, healthy baby in the end, and really, that's the most important thing, right?</td>
</tr></table></div>
Mostly, but not feeling violated and stepped on is also important and a lot of hospitals disregard the feelings of the laboring mom in order to get a "healthy baby" by doing things that often aren't even neccessary. Electronic monitoring, breaking the water, episiotomy...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I agree with that...and I'm not so convinced I *can* have a healthy baby in a hospital. With my son, their stupid interventions made his heart rate plummet during every contraction, he swallowed merconium, and had a headache for a long time because of the vacuum. He couldn't nurse (and we're still paying the price of having my supply permenantly messed up). They gave him SUGAR water because he was crying even though he wasn't hungry. Today, he has SID....I'm convinced that was due in large part to the birth. I really think that a healthy baby in an intervention-happy hospital is the luck of the draw. Not to mention, it's not healthy to still be traumatized about a birth that took away every single ounce of dignity, confidence, and control.<br><br>
How is it legal to sit there and force a woman and child to endure things against their will. I can't wrap my mind around it because normally, if it was any other medical procedure, you could refuse, no questions asked. But at this hospital, I wouldn't be surprised...I went in there for difficulty breathing, and they asked if I was nauseous. I said yes, but I was 12 weeks pregnant and it was 2 AM and that is why I was nauseous. They told me they were going to insert phenegran into my IV...I told them absolutely not--I don't tolerate that med well. All they said was "sorry, it was ordered for you" and they put it into my IV without my permission. Of course, I had a reaction and they just walked out of the room, leaving me there for 5 hours alone. That is the very same hospital that I'm supposed to give birth in. Women don't have a voice there...I don't even know how that's legal.<br><br>
Why can't women just have babies like they've been doing since the beginning of time....
 

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I would make a list of your childbirth choices/concerns and discuss them with the hospital midwife. This will either a) tell you that you better find some way to make a home birth happen, or b) help you start strategizing how to get the closest to the birth you want at the hospital. I just started a birth plan thread over in the birth and beyond forum that lists the issues I am including on my birth plan.<br><br>
I also toured the hospital where I gave birth to DS very early in my pregnancy and found out all the relevant policies and procedures (e.g. I wanted to use heat as a comfort measure. I found out I couldn’t plug anything into the wall, but we would have access to a microwave to heat up a rice sock). The people giving the tour might not know the answers to some of your questions. You might have to talk to the nurse manager (e.g. at my hospital you had to talk to her if you were bringing in your own rental birth tub—which they actually allowed but I eventually decided against).<br><br>
We thought through various aspects of the birth that were important to us and what we would say/do if there was a problem at the hospital with getting that (e.g. I wanted to avoid an IV if at all possible. My midwife was on board with this, but I was worried about arriving at the hospital when my midwife wasn’t there yet and the nurses wanting to give me one cuz most people at that hospital have one. Technically the nurses weren’t supposed to give IVs w/o a doctor/midwife order. If they tried to put in an IV we were going to ask the nurse if she could call our midwife to check about this since we had plans to avoid use of an IV.)<br><br>
PPs have suggested finding out about what the paremeters are legally and to practice up at saying no. I think this is a good idea. I probably didn't do this enough to prepare for my son's birth. I don't have much knowledge on this issue, but my understanding is that they can't really make you do anything, it's more that you have to agree to take responsibility for the results of not doing what they're trying to get you to do. I would find out from your midwife/monatrice the mechanics of doing this and what procedures are easily declined and which ones not (e.g. if you end of up having an epidural it's my understanding that you pretty much have to have an IV and continuous EFM). Henci Goer <a href="http://www.hencigoer.com" target="_blank">www.hencigoer.com</a> is also really helpful with sorting out what it medically necessary and what is not.
 

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I had some ideas about the HB MW group. Does your DH know how to do websites and maybe the group would like a really great one? My MW group has an awesome one (<a href="http:" target="_blank">www.home4birth.com)</a>. Also, maybe you could hold homebirthing/natural birth classes in your store that the MWs could use as an opportunity to educate the community, or some other type of class. You could keep their brochures out in your store or run video in your store about midwifery. Also, maybe you could provide coupons or cloth diaper samples to each of their clients in their "welcome" bag or "new baby" bag. This could be an ongoing thing.<br><br>
I think the PPs have great ideas for what to do if you have to do it at the hospital, and while you work on implementing those, I would still reeeeeeallllllly try to talk to the HB group. Maybe some of my ideas, as well as your own, won't take care of the whole cost, but it might help a lot. I see your business as a big opportunity for the midwifery group.
 

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I have nothing really constructive to say, I just wanted to let you know that I am hoping you are able to get something resolved, either having a homebirth, or finding out legally what the hospital can and can't do. I am truly sorry that you have such a horrid hospital as basically your only choice for care. At least with it being so close to you you have the option of staying home until the last possible moment. I like the ideas that chiro_kristin suggested. If my business was in a store, and not out of my kitchen, *snicker*, I would do all of that stuff. Or at least offer to. Keep us updated on how things are going. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, my business is online (it's an online cloth diaper store. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ). We're still looking at options--dh is going to call Blue Cross and explain how much cheaper it would be to reimburse a homebirth than a hospital birth--maybe that'll work. We're also going to meet with the homebirth midwife group (where my monitrice is from) and see if they would consider taking me on--especially since most of the complications with my previous pregnancy were probably related to the induction (besides the 6 weeks of PIH, which resolved itself). If they approve me, we're really going to hit the insurance company hard...and I'll drain every last cent of profit from the business if I have to. It still may not be enough, but at least we would have tried....<br><br>
So, Tuesday when the group opens, I'll call them up and see if they can squeeze me in for a consult (they're only open 2 days a week, so it could be a while). I guess knowing whether they would risk me out would be a step in the right direction--up to this point, I have had no complications this time around, which is a good thing!
 

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This is my first pregnancy and I was horrified about the "giving birth" part of it all. I knew that afterwards, it would all be okay....but just dreading that GIVING BIRTH part! My options were actually more varied.... several hospitals, and one birthing center that would except Medi-Cal here in San Francisco. However, I have this huge fear of hospitals. I had to go for my ultrasound by myself and cried half the time because i just felt so uncomfortable and lonely there.<br>
Even the thought of the birthing center.... something didn't feel right. I didn't want to go ANYWHERE!! So i started researching homebirths. Turns out that Medi-Cal won't cover them at all due to past malpractice suits. So that meant paying at least $2000, up to about $5000. Crap. I don't have that kind of money.<br>
So here on this forum I saw the headline "Unassisted Childbirth" and clicked on it. Lol, I did a lot of reading.... about 8 hours!! Turns out that I don't have to pay ANYONE to come and intervene with my child's birth. And also.... birth doesn't have to be scary and painful.<br><br>
After LOTS of reading and asking questions... I have decided to have a UC. And you know what? I have never in my life been so excited by the thought of GIVING BIRTH!! I swear, I don't know how miserable I would be if I had stuck to what I THOUGHT were my only options.<br><br>
There are tons of people on this site who have had UCs and are very supportive with tons of info.<br><br>
There's hope!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
They approved us for the switch!!!! We are now officially planned homebirth clients! They said they couldn't see a single reason why a homebirth would be too risky for this pregnancy (and in fact, they agreed that giving birth at the hospital I was going to would be a greater risk to me because they are very intervention happy). So now, if everything goes as planned, little Ry will be born at HOME!
 
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