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Hi mommas,<br><br>
I really need you to share your positive hospital birth stories with me.<br><br>
I took a tour of the L & D center of the hosptial I am birthing in and am very sad that I made the decision to birth this way. I do not feel comfortable about changing to a homebirth this last in the game. Especially since this is my first child.<br><br>
So, please give me your happy stories and or any advice to make this a great expirence!!<br><br>
Warmly,<br><br>
Becky
 

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Unfortunately I cant tell you my own was positive cause it wasnt but I have known one person with what I would consider a positive one. She labored at home for a longgggggggg time before she went in. She only labored in the hopital for an hour before she had the baby. I know plenty of people who consider their experiene to be positive but they also dont have an issue with a csection or lots of interventions. Are you going to hire a doula... that would help a lot.
 

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I had a good hospital experience with dd#1 (though I did a homebirth with #2 and am planning one for this baby - so obviously I didn't think it was the ideal experience).<br><br>
If you have a good midwife/OB who knows what sort of birth you want, and you have a birth plan ready to give hospital staff, that will help a lot.<br><br>
Every hospital is different, but at the one where dd was born, once they knew what sort of birth we wanted (no drugs, minimal interventions) they did seem to make an effort to provide it, and were respectful of our choices even if they were unconventional (e.g., not letting them bath dd or put drops in her eyes). We did have to sign a form saying that we understood the risks of refusing eye drops and vitamin k shot, but they didn't make a big deal out of it.<br><br>
They were very bf supportive and allowed rooming in. We were never separated from dd the whole time we were there.<br><br>
My main complaint is that checking out was annoying - there seemed to be a lot of hoops to jump through... the pediatrician had to check the baby, the mw had to check me, the lactation consultant came, we had to go to a parenting-for-dummies class, they sent someone down to our car to make sure the carseat was properly installed. But I can't complain too much; I realize that other parents may have found these things helpful or reassuring.<br><br>
So don't worry too much! Just be prepared. Hospitals are a lot better than they used to be, and you may have a wonderful experience.
 

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I am having a hospital birth as well. I have a ton of worries about this experience in my life. I had the last 3 kids at a birthing center in CAmbridge England with a awesome midwife team...Now however I am stuck in the boondocks in the south with only a hospital around. I heard at first that this place is great and that they are caring...then however I went into premature labour and realized that they are okay. No one in the medical community cares a 100% about you. They have 20 other people on the floor that they are waiting on also. That bothers me some. Although quite honestly I figure I have a great husband and he is my advocate so that is all I need. IF they ignore me he gets them in there.Good luck girl on the journey ahead for you and the little one.
 

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I second, third, fourth the doula recommendation. You HAVE to have someone there to advocate for you when you cannot, or are otherwise preoccupied, and just having another voice to tell you that you can do it when all the other voices are pushing drugs and interventions can make a big difference. Find someone who's really experienced, knows a lot (what to do, eg, if baby's heart rate decels--what to try before being rushed off for c/s), and has the right kind of firm personality.<br><br>
But mostly I would really encourage you to think seriously about finding a MW and doing a HB. It's honestly NOT too late to change your plans (I wish I'd realized that while pg with #1). It's sooooo important to feel comfortable in your surroundings and to do everything you can to have a positive birth experience. You won't fully realize this now, but the birth will be the most important moment of your life, you'll be replaying it incessantly for months and months, and you HAVE to feel confident that you did what you could to make it a good experience (however it turns out).<br><br>
Other advice re hospital birthing, though:<br><br>
- talk to your OB, share your birth plan, be firm about what you want. Often the hospital's "policies" are trumped by what the doc says, so if you can get him/her/them on your side, that's good. I was freaked by our hospital tour too, after they said "oh yes, it's standard policy to take baby away for checks immediately after birth" and stuff like that. The next day I asked the doc, and she was totally fine with giving me the baby right away and having them check apgars etc on my chest. Et cetera<br><br>
- wait at home as LONG as possible, preferably until you're pushing! The less time they have you there, the less intervention they can do. To that end, I recommend making sure you test negative for GBS (lots of threads about that--hibiclens wash would be my suggestion) and that your water doesn't break early: lots and lots of vitamin c from now on will help with both. Even if your water DOES break, stay home, take vitamin c, and don't rush things--learn about what to do in case of PROM w/out contractions.<br><br>
- remember, and remind yourself (AND dh) that it's YOUR baby and YOU make the decisions: don't let them bully you into doing things to baby that you don't want (including "minor" things like bath or diapering). You have the right to refuse anything. (And be prepared for the blissful compliance that may come during labor or with postpartum hormones: you may not be ready then to fight for these things, but you could regret it later. So make sure dh or your doula know what is actually really important to you, and have them ready to fight for it even if you don't feel like it at the time.)<br><br>
Anyway, I'm making it seem like it's a constant war, but actually our hospital experience wasn't all that bad. The staff was great, we didn't get pressured into much we didn't want, and it all mostly went like we'd hoped. It just wasn't "right," kwim? We're HBing this time and SOOOOOOOOO happy we are--it's a completely different experience, already.<br><br>
Good luck! HTH
 

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I LOVED my hospital birth and I can PM you later with it, because I'm at work right now. Another MDC member (cashewmommy) had a wonderful hospital birth as well, and although she is home birthing next time, I think you would get inspiration from her story as well.<br><br>
Hollie
 

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All 4 of my births have been hospital births and all positive. In fact with my last one I asked if I could catch my son as he came out and I did<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> They were really good about letting me move around as I needed to. I think the most important thing is let the nurses and doctor know what your expectations are of the birth and if it doesn't happen let it go and be ok. Births don't always go as planned. (((((HUGS))))) I am birthing at a hospital agin this time #5.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jokerama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10318976"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are you going to hire a doula... that would help a lot.</div>
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I have a very strong birthing team who support natural birthing and they know what their roles will be at home while laboring and in the hospital.<br><br>
An old friend of mine is also a L & D nurse at the hospital I am delivering at. She wanted to become a midwife in PA, but due to politics of midwifery, she knew she could assist best in natural/gentle birthing as a nurse. She is also an doula and she has offered to be present at my birth if she is not on shift at that time.<br><br>
I do intend to labor at home for as long as possible!!!
 

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I had a wonderful, perfect hospital birth. I birthed with a midwife and doula and it was truly a completely positive experience. I had previously discussed my birth plan with my MW and was all ready to have her deliver ds. She warned me--don't go into labor on March 19 because she knew she had to take care of her sick mother that day--she was joking but let me know that she was already planning to be gone that day. So, of course, when do I go into labor? March 19! I was so bummed and nervous about working with another MW, but she turned out to be completely respectful of my birth plan and honored our wishes. It was great having a doula there, too, although, she provided much more comfort to me rather than having to be my advocate (which she would have gladly done, if necessary.) I had a natural birth, no offers of epidurals or pain relief, no demands on what I had to do or not and complete adherence to my birth plan. I look back at that time and have really great memories.<br><br>
I know not all people have this kind of experience with hospital births, but I wanted you to hear about another good one. I hope this eases some of your worries and you enjoy the remainder of your pregnancy and the safe arrival of your new one.
 

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I have had three very positive hospital experiences. In fact, I'd have to say my second and third hospital births were as peaceful and calm as my free-standing birth center birth. For me, what helped most was having a midwife I trusted very much and laboring at home for as long as possible. I didn't labor in the hospital for more than an hour.<br><br>
What I found more difficult in the hospital was the post-partum period. I often felt a bit bullied or pestered by nurses who were concerned about the baby not eating "enough" or not peeing "enough" or whatever. Remember that you continue to need your support system even after labor and delivery. Make sure you have someone to remind you that baby's don't follow a schedule and that you will figure everything out as a mommy/baby couple.<br><br>
I truly hope you have a wonderful birth in the hospital. It is possible. Try to relax and enjoy it.
 

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My son's birth was in the hospital, and it was perfect. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I'm having a home birth this time around, but it's not because my hospital birth was rotten. I had a long labor, pushed for a looooong time, and did it all without drugs. I would just recommend being clear as day about what you expect and want with the hospital staff. Be clear that you don't want an epi. or drugs (unless you do), and that you don't want to be pestered about it. It might even help to write down your birth plan, and give copies to your nurses.
 

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Both my births (and this third one) were at the hospital. My first birth, the nurse that stayed with me the whole time was also a midwife. She was so sweet and so calming. As sson as we walked into the L&D room, she took my hand and said some things to me. I can't rememeber what she said, but I instantly felt calm, I hadn't realized how nervous I was until she calmed me down. She had to stay with me because I had to be on monitors as DD1 had tachicardia and my water had been broken for too many hours.<br><br>
Second birth, again, the nurses were fantastic. I had a virtually painfree labour and they just left me alone with DH, checking in on me as needed. They were always in great spirits and provided us with everything we needed.<br><br>
After both births I hemorraged and in both cases it was handled extremely well, no panicking. Just immediate fix it mode. I didn't feel any panic or sense of being scared during those times.<br><br>
I found that I didn't need a birth plan, they assumed right off the bat that we'd want less intrusive as possible birth and as much baby contact as possible. They asked questions slowly during the labour (so it wasn't like a question form right when we arrived) as to what our expectations were when the baby arrived. Like if DH wanted to catch or cut the cord, etc.<br><br>
I think my only complaint about my hospital birth was that they couldn't get food fast enough to me after I delivered. The time it took for someone to walk down the hall and back (DH said it was a few minutes) felt like and hour! So, in reality, I have no complaints and esp. with my second birth, I wouldn't change a thing.
 

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I had a wonderful hospital birth. I had an amazing midwife and the staff was so respectful of our birthplan. Honestly, the only problem I had in having a hospital birth was getting the hep lock done. I have really bad veins and I am glad I had the hep lock, because I needed medication right after birth for a few complications.<br><br>
The best advice I can give you to put together a really clear birth plan and make sure you team is all on the same page. Also, there are lots of reasons to choose a hospital birth. My own fear of needing instant medical help makes me uncomfortable with homebirth, but they are also very hard to finance. But if you really want a homebirth and can finance it, it isn't too late to switch.
 

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I'm not in your DDC, but I strongly suggest you read <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Ina May's Guide to Childbirth</span> by Ina May Gaskin. I'm sure you can check it out from your library. A very very informative book! It certainly isn't too late to switch to a homebirth, and you could continue to see your OB for backup if that would make you more comfortable in the event of a transfer (just don't mention it to your OB). I do have one friend who had a positive hospital experience despite high blood pressure. Good luck with making the choice you're most comfortable with! I think that is the key...you'll do best where you feel best <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I have had two what I would consider positive hospital births. I birthed with CNMs here at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland. They have labor tubs, you can get birth balls and great labor support. I had a nurse with me for my entire labor who was very supportive, my midwife was also there for the entire labor with both my girls. I think the key is to not have crazy expectations about how it "will be." Everyone I know who said I "will" do this, this way was disappointed. Labor is intense. Also, you don't know how you will react until you are there. I had the greatest labor with my second. I went in to see the midwife I was 4cm, by the time I checked in I was 8cm and in an hour and a half I had a baby in my arms. It was an incredible birth. We roomed in with both are girls and the lactation support was amazing. I was really pleased with my birth experiences. Although after my first I would avoid pitocin and induction all together. Totally different labor on pitocin. No fun at all (I had ruptured membranes for about 14 hours when they started pitocin, but still I had a fine vaginal delivery. The labor was just much more painful.
 

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I have no first hand experience, but I wanted to chime in with something my birthing class instructors mentioned (and I've heard elsewhere). They said that your experience in the hospital can be VERY influenced by the personality of the nurses who are assigned to you. In any hospital, the L&D nurses are probably going to run the gamut from by-the-book, medically-minded, pro-intervention to those who support a more natural experience/non-intervention. If you find you have ended up with a nurse whose personality doesn't mesh well with your own, my instructors recommended that you or your DP (or doula) explain the situation to the charge nurse in a non-confrontational way. Go to her and say something like, "We are interested in having a natural birth, but it seems like Nurse X is not entirely on board with our birthing philosophy. Is there someone else on duty who might be more compatible with our needs?" Chances are that Nurse X is not super happy working with AP families, anyway, but that some other nurse would be thrilled to work with you. It doesn't hurt to ask (as long as you are polite), and you may end up with a much more pleasant experience. Or so my instructors said <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Best of luck with your hospital birth!
 

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My first birth was in a hospital with an OB. I did everything naturally, but not having a doula on top of having an OB caused some things to go badly (episiotomy, "mandatory" IV, etc).<br><br>
My second birth was in a different, smaller hospital with a midwife. Still no doula, though. It was a planned waterbirth, but the water part didn't happen because of the timeline. I labored as long as I felt comfortable at home with the 45 min drive to deal with. Once at the hospital, I had about 20 min of initial electronic monitoring, and then was free of it for the rest of my short labor. I did not have even so much as a hep lock this time. After some monitoring and a bathroom break, the midwife checked me, and I was at a 5. She brushed up against my bulging waters and accidentally broke the sac. She apologized profusely, it was obviously an accident. Contractions really picked up after that, and it quickly became difficult for me to work through them. After another bathroom break, I became terribly indecisive and had no idea what I wanted to do. The tub wasn't ready, and I answered "I don't know" to so many questions and prompts from my midwife that she finally just made a decision for me and had me go hands-and-knees on the bed. It's not a position I would have really picked for myself, it feels awkward to me. But it worked just fine. I stayed there for the rest of my labor. Contractions came fast and hard, and the nurse who attended the birth was nothing but helpful as far as I remember. DS was born just over an hour after we had arrived at the hospital. Really, aside from not getting the use of the tub, it was a fairly good birth for me. Even if I did feel a bit shell-shocked by how fast it went once we were there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> It was the stay <i>afterwards</i> that I really hated. We refused to take DS to the nursery, the midwife assured us that they could have someone come to us if we stuck to our guns. We had to wait almost 2 hours, in the middle of the night, with me desperately wanting sleep, for someone to come and do the newborn schpiel so we could be moved to a postpartum recovery room. We were all pretty uncomfortable because of that. And the nurse who came from the nursery was totally <i>looking</i> for something to be wrong with him, so she could take him away, I think. Kept going on and on about a rattle in his breathing. 2nd opinions confirmed she was nuts. She also gave us incorrect information (directly conflicting with paperwork she had JUST handed us) about intact care, and when I tried correcting her, she was completely gruff about it and insisted she was right. *rolls eyes* But finally we moved to our room and tried to get some rest. Only to be interrupted 20 million times, usually just after nodding off, for stupid reasons likes vitals, or meal choices, or mopping the floors, whatever. Maddening!! I should have expected it, it was the same for our 1st hospital birth, but still no less maddening when all you want to do is rest and have some privacy! And I'll agree with the PP who complained about having to jump through hoops to be discharged. We didn't have to take any classes, but all the things that "have" to be done before you and baby can both be discharged are incredible. We told them upfront that we wanted to leave ASAP, in less than 24 hours if at all possible. We reminded them. We nagged them to get things done faster. And it still took a good 24 hours to get out of there. With a LOT of waiting around for people to come and do their thing. And of course we got a lot of lectures from personnel about our choices, most especially the Vitamin K injection. I finally gave into it just because I couldn't remember my reasons we were declining it, and my pediatrician was also fighting against me, over the phone (I was LIVID that they called my pediatrician after they failed to persuade me the first time - tattle much???). Otherwise it was okay - the rest of the time they allowed us rooming in with no questions asked, my midwife acted as lactation consultant, the nurses treated me fairly well as I developed some nasty hemorrhoids, and so on.<br><br>
So for the smoothest possible hospital experience, I would definitely plan on either having a midwife or doula in attendance, or both. I would also plan on making sure you and your child's doctor are on the same page - if there's anything you plan on refusing at the hospital, you can then say, "My pediatrician and I agree on this, so stop asking"...instead of having twice as many people teaming up against you. Plan on having no true rest while you stay at the hospital, it just goes with the territory. But the faster you can be discharged, the faster you can go home to get some <i>real</i> rest.
 

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I had a very positive hospital experience. We live in a rural community, though, and our hospital sees natural birth, and crunchy people refusing intervention all the time.<br><br>
Things that I think helped were:<br><br>
1. having a doula<br><br>
2. staying home until I was in transition (we live in a small town and the drive is always only 8 minutes to the hospital--never any traffic)<br><br>
I wouldn't suggest waiting until transition to leave if you live further away from the hospital. I would suggest waiting until active labor. Make sure that you have folks in your labor support group who are assertive, and will be able to remind hospital staff of your wishes.<br>
--K
 

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With my first, I showed up, the nurse read my chart, asked if I wanted to be asked about drugs later on in the delivery and when I said no, no one ever mentioned drugs again. It was great, no restrictions to the bed, no unnecessary checks, my doc did perineal massage to help avoid tearing, everyone assumed I was bf. All in all fantastic.<br><br>
My second was not as good but through no fault of the hospital staff, my pre-e started to spiral so it was an induction the day I hit 37 weeks. Pitocin is the devil but the staff still respected my no drugs request although at one point I did ask (too late to get anything though). I wasn't thrilled about the fetal monitoring as it tied me more to the bed but they still helped me move around a bit. My ds had lung issues so had to go to the NICU but even there, the nursing staff was fantastic, worked hard to help us bf, gave me a place to sleep once I was discharged.<br><br>
My advice is to go in thinking it will go well, talk to the nurses when you get there about your choices, and get a doula to advocate for you.
 
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