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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I am giving birth with a CNM at a hospital. Plan A is for a natural water birth.

I have talked with my MW about if I need fluids or other medications (GBS test is still out) and have decided I want a heplock rather than a regular IV so I can disconnect and have as active of a birth as possible even if I need some medications...

What is your experience with this? Has anyone done this successfully?

Rachel
 

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I haven't done this yet, but have discussed it w/ my OB/gyn and doula. I'll be having a hospital VBAC. I told my dr. I don't want an IV and won't concent to one. I don't want to be uncomfortable dragging a pole around the place trying to walk and let gravity do it's work. I also told him I'd do a home birth if I couldn't go all natural. Because he wants me as his patient (I've been w/ him for 7 years) and he wants me in a hospital, and of couse his paycheck. He's agreeing to my terms. He said I have to compromise. So I told him I have no problem with a hep-lock.

The next thing we'll be doing is having someone put a note on the door of my room for the nurses that says "please DO NOT offer me drugs". From that point out having a written birth plan that I'll give to the hospital 2 weeks prior to my due date as well as my dr. and having my doula there. I'm confident I'll get the birth I want. I'm building my support system to work for me.

best of luck,
Carina
 

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I had a heplock with GBS+. Basically, during the meds, I had the bag and pole, then once the bag emptied, I just had a couple inches of tubing sticking out of my arm. This was before the Pit--but that's a whole different story.

Personally, I didn't find the pole to be that big of a deal. I was still able to walk around and use the bathroom and whatever. It was sort of like walking through the airport with my luggage on wheels.

I probably wouldn't even have been willing to do the heplock if it weren't for the GBS+ except that I know I'm a tough stick. Even to get the heplock set took two L&D nurses and finally a phlebotomist from the lab.
 

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I'm not a heplock fan. I think the diff between a heplock and an IV is minimal:

1. A heplock is still a hole in your skin, which is a pathway for infection. Hospitals are dirty and germy and full of sick people.

2. Regardless of not having an IV pole and bag, it's still uncomfortable to have something in your arm.

3. It's yet another psychological "just in case" measure that bothers me. If you really NEED abx or anything, they can always do a stick then. By the logic of having a heplock or IV "just in case," we should ALL have heplocks 24/7 in our daily lives, "just in case" we get into a car accident or something and need abx or fluids. Why, I could get struck by lightning here on the computer...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
3. It's yet another psychological "just in case" measure that bothers me. If you really NEED abx or anything, they can always do a stick then. By the logic of having a heplock or IV "just in case," we should ALL have heplocks 24/7 in our daily lives, "just in case" we get into a car accident or something and need abx or fluids. Why, I could get struck by lightning here on the computer...[/QUOTE]

Well, I would only get one if I needed some form of medication -- I would never do it "just in case".

I am talking about "if" I needed antibiotics for GBS or something else -- I think I would rather have a heplock than a regular IV....

But thanks for the input!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by notjustmamie View Post
I had a heplock with GBS+. Basically, during the meds, I had the bag and pole, then once the bag emptied, I just had a couple inches of tubing sticking out of my arm.

<snip>

I probably wouldn't even have been willing to do the heplock if it weren't for the GBS+ except that I know I'm a tough stick. Even to get the heplock set took two L&D nurses and finally a phlebotomist from the lab.
I am NOT a difficult stick. Phlebotomists love my see-through skin and Anne Rice veins. ;-) I've never had a vein collapse.

When I was admitted for my son's birth, it took two different nurses to stick me. The back of the hand didn't work, so they went to the other side and finally got my wrist. It took about 15 minutes to get a vein they could stick properly. I was just so bloated and swollen with being pregnant and all, which made it much more difficult.

I also was GBS+, which pretty much made the heplock mandatory (I wasn't prepared to refuse abx at that point... I've come a long way, baby!) but as the quoted poster said, until the pitocin, I just had a little thingy attached to my wrist except when they were administering the abx (every 4 hours).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by YumaDoula View Post
I'm not a heplock fan. I think the diff between a heplock and an IV is minimal:

1. A heplock is still a hole in your skin, which is a pathway for infection. Hospitals are dirty and germy and full of sick people.

2. Regardless of not having an IV pole and bag, it's still uncomfortable to have something in your arm.

3. It's yet another psychological "just in case" measure that bothers me. If you really NEED abx or anything, they can always do a stick then. By the logic of having a heplock or IV "just in case," we should ALL have heplocks 24/7 in our daily lives, "just in case" we get into a car accident or something and need abx or fluids. Why, I could get struck by lightning here on the computer...

This is how I feel too. In my situation I would dread getting one. I had one for a non-birth related surgery (they left a helplocl in after the surgery). For me that heplock hurt more than the surgery and hurt for weeks. Depending on your birth plan, getting one in the arm is supposed to be less irratating and painful than one in the hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by ZoeyZoo View Post
This is how I feel too. In my situation I would dread getting one. I had one for a non-birth related surgery (they left a helplocl in after the surgery). For me that heplock hurt more than the surgery and hurt for weeks. Depending on your birth plan, getting one in the arm is supposed to be less irratating and painful than one in the hand.
So you can choose if they are in your arm or your hand?

That is good to know -- it makes perfect sense that if you need one, the arm would be far less painful and irritating.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tribalmax View Post
So you can choose if they are in your arm or your hand?

That is good to know -- it makes perfect sense that if you need one, the arm would be far less painful and irritating.
It may be less painful and irritating, but you won't know the difference since you'll have one or the other. My experience was the opposite.

I chose the back of my hand because it allowed much more freedom of movement and use once our babes were born (holding, nursing, dressing, changing, using the bathroom, brushing teeth, etc...). I have had them in the arm previously and found them to make my post-surgery activities much more difficult. I also chose my non-dominant hand for IV so I could hold and nurse without hindrance and to avoid the awkwardness of figuring out how to use the other hand for things I normally wouldn't. Of course, nursing takes care of that awkwardness pretty quickly, but for a first birth, I was glad to have unhindered use of my right hand; I did the same for c/s2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
It may be less painful and irritating, but you won't know the difference since you'll have one or the other. My experience was the opposite.

I chose the back of my hand because it allowed much more freedom of movement and use once our babes were born (holding, nursing, dressing, changing, using the bathroom, brushing teeth, etc...). I have had them in the arm previously and found them to make my post-surgery activities much more difficult. I also chose my non-dominant hand for IV so I could hold and nurse without hindrance and to avoid the awkwardness of figuring out how to use the other hand for things I normally wouldn't. Of course, nursing takes care of that awkwardness pretty quickly, but for a first birth, I was glad to have unhindered use of my right hand; I did the same for c/s2.
Interesting --

But if you don't have a csection, there is no need for them to be in place after the birth right?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tribalmax View Post
So you can choose if they are in your arm or your hand?

That is good to know -- it makes perfect sense that if you need one, the arm would be far less painful and irritating.
yes, we just asked the nurse when she came to place the IV to put it in my wrist instead.

Quote:
It may be less painful and irritating, but you won't know the difference since you'll have one or the other.
I've had both, wrist for labour, hand for surgeries, twice. Both surgery ones were placed with local and by an anaethesiologist (good stickers, those drug men!). The labour one was badly placed by a nurse without local, but once it was in it was better.

It is SO much better than one in your hand. it's not like a normal drip, where you're under for the surgery and they take it out soon after and you can avoid moving your fingers while it's in. You're in LABOUR! You want to be able to move your hands comfortably!

I'd be really interested to know how the wrist impeded your movement more than the hand, preggie.
 

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I'm compromising with a hep-lock as well. I tested positive for GBS and need the antibiotics. I'm hoping that the hospital staff don't take this inch I'm giving in and go a mile as far as pressuring me for other interventions. It makes me mad that I have to have one at all for the GBS but due to other circumstances in addition to the GBS, I don't have much choice.
 

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I wouldn't consent to a heplock for a normal, non GBS pregnancy. I agree with what Erika said, and I'd add that it's all part of that mentality that sees you as a pre-surgical patient the moment you walk into the hospital.
Jen
 

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If you get the heplock, and it is at all painful, ask for it to be moved. I toughed it out and had internal bruising that lasted for weeks in the crease between my hand and wrist. The entire time I was in the hospital I couldn't bend my wrist without being jabbed. Don't ask me why I didn't ask to have it moved... I was in a weird place.
:
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
I'd be really interested to know how the wrist impeded your movement more than the hand, preggie.
Mine wasn't in my wrist; it was half-way between my wrist and the crease at my elbow, on the inside of my arm. I've never had one right in my wrist. The hand one was stuck into the middle of the back of my hand and then the tube reversed toward my elbow and taped so it was out of my hand's way altogether. With the arm one (not a birth scenario), it was always being caught on something, tangling, and dropping toward whatever I was reaching (fun in the bathroom...
) and it was in my dominant arm so it was in the way a lot. The hand one was in my left and that reduced the amount of hindrance as well.

I did have 2 c/s's, so I don't know how it would affect labour to have one in during that time, and mine were in until the next day with cs1 and for just a few hours after cs2, and they were hooked up to the bag/pole drip, which is an obstacle all on it's own.

I too wouldn't have a just-in-case heplock either (I was told by an OB that I would 'have to' for my 'trial of labour' with ds3, which I outright refused right then. I dropped the OB and had a beautiful UC instead
)
 

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The one I had in my wrist wasn't on the inside of my wrist; it was behind my thumb, and just past where the wrist bends. It was mostly fairly out of the way, but it was on my dominant hand (they tried my right hand first, but my left side was less swollen), so it made eating a tiny bit cumbersome and I had the *real* fun when we consented to the c-section and I had to sign paperwork :-/.

They left it in literally until hours before I was discharged, three days after my son was born. Yep, I had it in from Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. until about 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Almost an entire WEEK! Apparently if I'd asked the day or two before, they would have taken it out... but I asked on the day my son was born, and they said no then, so I didn't ask again. It wasn't a big deal. I do still have a tiny scar from it though (which is why I can tell you EXACTLY where it was!)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
Mine wasn't in my wrist; it was half-way between my wrist and the crease at my elbow, on the inside of my arm.
eeek, that would be annoying.

My wrist one was on the thumb side of my wrist, back just far enough that moving my hand gave me no sensation whatsoever there, like Ironica's. But I'm always told I have great veins, and my doula said my wrist veins were like hosepipes before I go the drip, maybe yours are more tricky?

In my hand has always been the same as yours was - and every time I flexed any of my fingers on that hand I could feel the catheter move. So there's no way I could have moved that hand or grabbed tight to something, etc.
 

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My sil's was in her wrist and it was bothering her, so she asked the nurse to take it out and re-do it somewhere else. The nurse got REALLY huffy, kept telling her that it SHOULDN'T hurt, she (nurse) had done a good job putting it in and there should be no pain... seriously, this nurse was really pissed that my sil wanted it out and re-done.

How lovely to be told that something shouldn't hurt when it clearly did hurt.
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I used a birth center with CNMs and I had tested positive for GBS, so they wanted to do a heplock for the antibiotics. The m/w tried unsuccessfully on both of my [fore]arms to get it in. I was bruised for more than a week! My baby was fine without me having the antibiotics, and I sipped lemonade for fluids. Either the m/w was inept at putting in a heplock or I was a little dehydrated. Maybe a combination. Personally, I would definitely not try to get another heplock.
 
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