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I was there with both the midwives and a doula, and I think for me that was part of it. The OB I started that pregnancy with was NOT natural childbirth friendly. I got there w/ my water broken and 3-4cm. I labored for 18 hours start to finish. I spent time in the showers and loved it. I was supposed to be on the monitors for 15 minutes an hour but it was actually much longer than that. They needed a 15 minutes straight stretch / hour but DS wouldn't cooperate and STAY on the monitors. The wireless telemetry monitors they have ARE waterproof, so if you can use those you can go pretty much anywhere! There's also the jacuzzi tub which they'll let you use until your water breaks.
You want to make SURE you and your OB are on the same page. Definitely make a birth plan that your ob signs off on and puts in your chart. Usually this means they scan it into the computer and when you get to the birth center they have it BUT take a copy of your own. Include the use of the shower even if your water is broken! Some of the nurses may try to keep you from doing that even tho there is no reason, but if your OB approves it they don't have much to say.
Kassie21:I have not taken the tour I guess I should. My OB says its my choice with whatever I want to do, she likes drugs because she had then but it's your own choice. I am just worried that the nurses are going to try and sway my decision, but my husband is on the same page as I am (even though he thinks I'm crazy). I'm glad he is going to be there to have my back. I'm glad that the monitor is waterproof and I can use te shower/tub. I am going to try and labor as much as possible at home. We are only about 7-10 mins away from Magee so I'm gonna try my best.
I would definitely take a tour. My husband and I also took the lamaze class through Magee (we did the weekend intensive that lasted 2 Saturdays and a tour was included). Our instructor was Judy Jones and she is fantastic. She went over all of the options as far as medication and natural childbirth, but did warn us that most women do want drugs and so the nursing staff is used to that so they may ask you about it or say something like oh you look like you are in pain are you sure you don't want anything? Not because they are trying to force you, but just because that is what is normal around there. Again, I have no experience with this yet, only know what I have been told.
I will warn you, they sent anesthesia in to make me aware of my options. I listened to them for a minute, then simply told them I didn't need them please go. The OB's on call decided w/o meeting me I wasn't going to be able to birth naturally and tried to send them back in. My midwives intercepted and told them no way was she going to tell me I couldn't do it. I did it! The best thing I think you can do is surround yourself w/ people who believe both in you, and in the process of natural child birth.
Have you considered hiring a doula? A good doula is only going to help you achieve your goal of natural childbirth.I would strongly recommend mine if you're looking for one. I'd be happy to give you her name and contact info.
Also, My second pregnancy was a scheduled C-section for a breech twin A, so I did have an epidural for that one. If I were to get pregnant again I would fight tooth and nail for another natural childbirth. Most people thought I was afraid of the epidural and that was why I wanted to go naturally. I've had people ask me why? after telling them that, they've said well you already had the epi... you know it was no big deal. Yeah well... it was to me.
You CAN do this.
I had a natural birth with my first at Magee and it was, unfortunately, not the best experience. My OB had signed off on my birth plan and was fine with all my requests (not to offer an epidural at all, only have a hep-lock, instead of full IV, etc.). When I arrived at the hospital, with 1 minute contractions that were 3 minutes apart, I was found to only be 4 cm dilated. They said they would let me stay because my contractions were regular...let me stay in a triage room. A triage room where I stayed for my entire labor. My husband kept requesting to have a doctor come check me and was constantly inquiring as to when we would be able to move to a LDR. The nurses kept saying I was a first time mom, going naturally and they would only check me every 4 hours. As far as the room, they were trying to find one that would accommodate a "natural birth."
Thankfully, a sympathetic nurse who was supportive of natural birth intervened and called a doctor to come in, telling them my heart rate and the baby's was fluctuating (not true, but got a doctor in). The doctor found me to be fully dilated, to which I croaked out, "I need to push!!" She agreed and I was wheeled on a gurney through the halls to a LDR. My water broke on the way and my husband and I were the only ones to notice. We pointed it out and they were glad we noticed, since there was meconium in the waters. We reached the room, my husband and a nurse lifted me over to the delivery bed and 9 minutes later, my beautiful, healthy daughter was born.
The nurse who helped us told us that if I had wanted an epidural, I would have been in a LDR almost immediately.
I'm now 36 weeks pregnant with my second and will not return to Magee for this one. Hopefully St. Clair will be a better experience this time!
I just gave birth at Magee last month - not naturally. However, my water broke with no impending labor so I had to be induced. I think it all depends on your doctor/midwife. I used the midwives and some are better than others. The one I saw in triage wanted to try everything possible before Pitocin, but the shift changed. The next midwife was Pitocin happy. By the time the next shift started, I had another good midwife, but I had been on Pitocin for 8 hours and not making any progress...
First, I would consider switching to the midwives. Then, be very adamant about what you want. I really wish I would have been a little more demanding of what I wanted.
Also, there is a shower in every room, but only 2 rooms have a jacuzzi. They have birthing balls available and telemetry monitoring as well.