January 2015 Moms

Birth experience

My husband and I found an amazing birth center in our new town. Our old town is only 3 hours. I'm totally bummed because I found out that our insurance doesn't cover any birth centers or midwives. Our old city and our insurance were best friends and almost all birth center accepted it. I DO NOT want to have my first child in a hospital. I want to be in control of my birth experience with love and support of my husband, family and midwife.
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Re: Birth experience

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  • It's fine to go in with a birth plan.  Just be open-minded to the fact that things might not go how you want them to and a hospital visit might happen.

    I had a lot of control over my birth experience at the hospital where I delivered DD.
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  • I am with YaMrWhite, I had a great experience at the hospital and did everything I wanted on my terms. I think if you find a doctor you are comfortable with and you talk about your wants beforehand, you should be fine. It is ok to see 3 different doctors before you choose one.


    Understand that no matter where you give birth there are things that are out of our control. It is important to have a doctor that you are comfortable with and you feel is doing what is best for you and baby. I have complete confidence in my doctor to do what is safest for baby and me.
    This, exactly.

    I hope you can find a way to make the birthing center work, but just because you give birth in a hospital does not automatically mean your doctor will strong arm you into interventions you don't want.

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  • YaMrWhite said:
    I'm sorry your insurance doesn't cover what you want. FWIW, I had DD in a hospital and was in control of my birth experience too. I got everything I wanted and nothing I didn't. 
    I agree with all of this, my doctor and I talked about everything I wanted and I was never pushed one way or another. I think there are a lot of stories floating around about evil hospitals are but I know several people who have birthed naturally at a hospital. 
  • @YaMrWhite and @ICarriedAWatermelon...was it more you talking to your doctor about your wants beforehand, your birth plan, or you just advocating for yourself the day of delivery that led you to "getting what you want." 

    I know plans change all of the time, but I also have friends who had "perfect" hospital births without interventions or anything they didn't want.  Some have said that no one looked at their birth plans and they were just very adamant (or had someone in the room advocating for them) the day they went into labor.  Just curious how it worked out for you?


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  • How important is having a birth plan in writing? If you have an idea of how you want the birth to go, is this good enough or is it helpful to have it in writing? And do people actually read these? I'm thinking like l&d nurses. Do they even have time?
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  • I gave birth naturally at a hospital and I felt my son and I both received great care before, during, and after delivery.

    A lot of hospitals do understand how important it is for you to have a voice and do try to do the best they can with giving you the care to ensure the health of you and baby.

    Have you tried taking a tour of any of the maternity floors in your local hospital/s? It could give you a different idea of what's offered and what's to be expected, although things usually don't go as planned.

    Good luck!
  • @YaMrWhite and @ICarriedAWatermelon...was it more you talking to your doctor about your wants beforehand, your birth plan, or you just advocating for yourself the day of delivery that led you to "getting what you want." 

    I know plans change all of the time, but I also have friends who had "perfect" hospital births without interventions or anything they didn't want.  Some have said that no one looked at their birth plans and they were just very adamant (or had someone in the room advocating for them) the day they went into labor.  Just curious how it worked out for you?

    My dr has a print out that I filled out with all my "wishes" on it. When it was go time and I got to the hospital the nurses asked me at every step of the way "now do you want this or do you want that" before making any decisions. In the event that something went wrong and I couldn't speak for myself, my husband had a copy of our birth plan just in case (but at that time, any plan would be out the window anyway haha). I must just have a really great hospital. They also made sure to ask me before doing ANYTHING.
    Stephanie Ella ~ 6/15/2012
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  • YaMrWhiteYaMrWhite member
    edited July 2014
    amiej1227 said:
    How important is having a birth plan in writing? If you have an idea of how you want the birth to go, is this good enough or is it helpful to have it in writing? And do people actually read these? I'm thinking like l&d nurses. Do they even have time?
    My hospital has a white board in every L&D room where they write down specifics like epidural/no epidural, prefers very little intervention if possible, etc
    Stephanie Ella ~ 6/15/2012
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  • hospitals are not the enemy.  i'd love a birth center birth too, but it's just not happening.  do your research on OBs and the hospitals at which they deliver and find which ones align the most with your values.

    i had DS in a hospital and i didn't have a damn thing i didn't ask for.
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  • Quick semi-on topic question. My family once told me that once you go into labor, the baby is the one that determines what's going to happen. True or false?

    Clarifying: Like, if the baby can decide he/she doesn't want to come out and takes a nap, then sometimes, the doctor has to step in to get the little one out?

    This question could possibly not make any sense, I'm sleepy.
    Is this a joke?
  • StargirlbStargirlb member
    edited July 2014
    The baby is not willfully crawling out of the birth canal, no. 
  • Stargirlb said:

    So sorry :(


    This is why I love canada... our health system covers either an OB or a midwife for everybody, and midwives can birth at home or in hospitals. Homebirths with midwives in canada are safer than hospital births. (equally safe for babies, with better maternal outcomes.)  ALL our stats are better than America's. I loved my homebirth experiences. I hope you can figure out a way to get the kind of experience you want, whether it is at home, birth center, or hospital!
    You can get all of this in America too. Including great midwives who do home births or hospital births with great outcomes.
    America has a really great health care system too.


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  • Quick semi-on topic question. My family once told me that once you go into labor, the baby is the one that determines what's going to happen. True or false?


    Clarifying: Like, if the baby can decide he/she doesn't want to come out and takes a nap, then sometimes, the doctor has to step in to get the little one out?

    This question could possibly not make any sense, I'm sleepy.
    Take a nap? What do you mean? LOL
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  • @ICarriedAWatermelon‌ yeah, I was just wondering if it's even worth writing it down. I'm flexible I would like to do it as little intervention as possible but not knowing what's going to happen I'm not going to be one of those that will be like but it's not in the plan and refuse it.
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  • I just told my Dr what I wanted when we would discuss the birth experience.
    She may have put it in the notes because When I got to the hospital they knew what I was wishing for. They made it all happen for me and had a great labor and delivery.
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  • In Canada here..my hospital was great. Very pro skin on skin & breastfeeding. They had no nursery because they feel LO should be with the parents, so LO was with me at all times. Didn't leave my side (unless hubby was with him). Nursing staff was super supportive. I had a great experience in a hospital.
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  • In a hospital no one can force an epidural on you or anything like that. You are still a human who can make choices about your own care. The doctor suggested I have pitocin just minutes after I agreed to have her break my water. I requested that we wait and my nurses and doctor supported me. My contractions picked back up and I delivered about two hours later.

    If it makes you feel better you could have a doula with you to help you advocate and support you, but hospitals aren't big meanies who will handcuff and you and shove an epidural through your spine or something.
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  • StargirlbStargirlb member
    edited July 2014
    the process is physiological, and the baby is part of the system (in that your hormones/body/process are affecting the baby, and if something where to go physically wrong with the baby during birth that can affect your own body as well, and vice versa.) But the baby does not "take a nap" and stop labor by doing so, no. Four of the major hormonal systems are active during birth. (involves oxytocin, prolactin, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.)   We cannot control these things overtly in a directly willful sense, but through our environments we can influence them. Feeling comfortable and remaining relaxed is important, as opposed to being in fight or flight mode.  Oxytocin is from the pituitary gland, and releases in pulses and stimulates contractions. It continues after birth to birth the placenta. Baby is also producing oxytocin. It has been shown to be important in bonding/breastfeeding as well, and both those actions can also stimulate it. 
    The fight or flight hormones are adrenaline and noradrenaline, collectively called catecholemines(sp?) ... in situations of high stress/anxiety/hunger/fear, hormones are secreted from the adrenal gland and can inhibit oxytocin production, and even oxygen/blood flow to the baby. High levels of these hormones are associated with longer/stalled labour and irregular fetal heartbeat. This is not what you want in labor, obviously. In nature, this system would serve to divert resources to the mother's other vital muscles so she can flee the dangerous situation. 

    super interestingly, noradrenaline also plays a role we call "instinctive mothering" and caring for the babies after birth. 

    Prolactin levels increase towards the end of pregnancy, and peak at the end of birth. Hormonally, milk production can begin after the placenta is delivered. I've heard that suckling can help trigger the placenta to deliver, might be because of the oxytocin that the nursing stimulates production of, helping the uterus continue to contract. These contractions can continue into early breastfeeding, helping the uterus return to normal size. 
  • StargirlbStargirlb member
    edited July 2014
    pitocin is synthetic oxytocin, and is used to stimulate/speed up labor. This is not exactly like your body naturally producing it-- if too much is delivered the contractions can be much more intense, or much closer together. too little and nothing will happen. You can sometimes even get a shitload and nothing will happen except painful contractions. Overstimulation in this manner can also cause abnormal fetal heart rates by depriving the baby of blood/oxygen, cause fetal distress, and tends to be more likely therefore to lead to a c-section. Synthetic oxytocin does not cross the blood brain barrier so it will not replace the role of natural oxytocin in the brain. (associated bonding behaviors.) It CAN interfere with the role of natural oxytocin, and it has been shown that those administered pitocin are at a higher risk of post-birth bleeding. 

    the epidural can limit the mother's natural hormone release. This can be helpful if you are producing excessive fight or flight hormones and just need to relax, but also potentially negative. Many women receiving pitocin especially will opt for it for relief
  • @ICarriedAWatermelon‌ and @LaBellaVida‌ i love you guys and your responses ;)
  • StargirlbStargirlb member
    edited July 2014
    Ahhh canada.... little else but a cool Oxytocin cocktail up here in socialist utopia :P
  • give me a break, lol. just a little break.

    Yes, there are reasons it's used of course. To stimulate labour if it won't start, or if it stalls and baby is at risk. It can be used to avoid c-section which is often preferable to at least attempt. 
  • StargirlbStargirlb member
    edited July 2014
    I'm a bit obsessed with hormones if you can't tell. So freaking amazing how much our body does and is capable of, and how all these systems interact in ways we really don't even come close to understanding. Soooooo cool. I would love to study it professionally in another lifetime.
  • amiej1227 said:
    How important is having a birth plan in writing? If you have an idea of how you want the birth to go, is this good enough or is it helpful to have it in writing? And do people actually read these? I'm thinking like l&d nurses. Do they even have time?
    I think it's important for everyone to understand this point: NO ONE can do ANYTHING to do you without your consent.

    Also, what people have said earlier... you can write down whatever you want, but you have absolutely no idea what is actually going to happen, and you need to be flexible based on your needs and the needs of the baby.
    Like @ICarriedAWatermelon, I went in as prepared as possible with Hypnobirthing classes under my belt and a great birth plan. It doesn't always go as you would hope, regardless of where you are or who you are with.

    That said, I think we all have to learn whatever lesson is there to be learned (different for everyone) the first time through. Do what feels right so far as writing a plan and paying OOP for a birth center or whatever. Just try not to get so caught up in your perfect birth experience image that you can't emotionally handle it if things don't go your way.

    I know it's cliche and some people get mad and defensive when it's said, but getting baby out with both him or her and you safe and healthy is top priority.
    image
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  • that's so awesome @MrsDigger10

    Its not about an epidural being 'good' or 'bad'.  It performs a particular function (well, multiple ones,) and if we can understand what that is, and what systems it can influence, (such as helping to limit the fight or flight reaction for a bit which can be triggered by fear/anxiety) then we can understand the ways in which we can prevent this from happening in the first place. Environment for instance. Some women feel more comfortable birthing in a dimly lit room. I am one of them.  Who is in that room might matter. Maybe you feel anxious/self conscious in front of the medical team. etc etc etc. Animals who birth in captivity face many of these same issues, and often need human assistance in captive births because the rate of complications can be high when they are experiencing stress in their environment. 
  • Regarding the nursery, I am SO grateful I am not delivering at a baby friendly hospital. That way if I'm exhausted after surgery I can send her to the nursery so I can sleep to help me recover.
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  • FWIW, where I worked in L&D, most of the patients with birth plans ended up getting a c section. They were usually very rigid plans with no room for minor interventions which could prevent the need for major ones later.

    My goal is to labor as naturally as possible. I really do not want to have a c section, but in a life or death situation I will have one.
  • thompnia said:
    FWIW, where I worked in L&D, most of the patients with birth plans ended up getting a c section. They were usually very rigid plans with no room for minor interventions which could prevent the need for major ones later. My goal is to labor as naturally as possible. I really do not want to have a c section, but in a life or death situation I will have one.
    Strange how that happened in a hospital setting but it does not (statistically,) in a home setting. Many homebirthers do a birth plan of some sort and yet the c-section rate is lower compared to the general low-risk population. Wondering what factors could account for the difference.  Were they they high risk?
  • My only actual birth plan the first time around was to get my baby out safe and sound ... everything else was on the table for consideration dependent on what went down during labor.  That will be my birth plan this time too.

    I had a good experience with my OB and hospital.. My OB was very patient with me even though I know she was nervous about baby's repeated HR deceleration and was a hair away from sending me to emergency C-section... she worked with me and we got him out vaginally just in time though ... her and the nurses were all very supportive and coached me through it and I never felt like anything was forced on me or that anyone was insensitive towards me.  Even if it did have to go to C-section that would have been fine because all I cared about was getting the baby out safe.

    I just can't imagine setting myself up for possible disappointment by having such a rigid plan.... these things in life are SO hard to plan.  Sure, you can have your preferences and it's not usually hard to make those preferences known even just verbally once you're admitted (or if you want to write them down, feel free).... but keep your mind open.  Hope for the best, but stay flexible.

    Cat leg goes crazy and beats itself in the face

    image  image


  • Regarding the nursery, I am SO grateful I am not delivering at a baby friendly hospital. That way if I'm exhausted after surgery I can send her to the nursery so I can sleep to help me recover.

    There was not a nursery at my hospital (and I'm delivering at the same one this time). It had its pluses and minuses. When baby was born, baby was MINE to care for. This was a blessing, but it was exhausting. But then again, it's the reality of a newborn. I think I slept about 4 hours in the almost 72 hours I was in the hospital (about a third of that was laboring).


    I said I wouldn't use our nursery in the hospital but I so did. I took the help bc I was falling asleep holding her and it was making me nervous. My husband was asleep too so I figured it would be safer if I let them take her so I could get a few hours of sleep.
    Stephanie Ella ~ 6/15/2012
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  • Regarding the nursery, I am SO grateful I am not delivering at a baby friendly hospital. That way if I'm exhausted after surgery I can send her to the nursery so I can sleep to help me recover.
    There was not a nursery at my hospital (and I'm delivering at the same one this time). It had its pluses and minuses. When baby was born, baby was MINE to care for. This was a blessing, but it was exhausting. But then again, it's the reality of a newborn. I think I slept about 4 hours in the almost 72 hours I was in the hospital (about a third of that was laboring).
    Did your hospital allow you to sleep with the baby in bed with you? Around here they do not. (not that it would be very safe/comfortable in that tiny/high up hospital bed anyways!)

    At home I never missed much sleep because we bedshared from day one, and I could sleep with my top off and let the baby suckle through the night without me having to get up. I stayed in bed with the baby for most of the first 3 days with my second. 


  • I found I'd wake up constantly whenever she WASN'T sleeping beside me. We tried the basinet for a bit first time around. I would wake up like every hour and frantically look in to make sure she wasn't dead. I found I get much better sleep when the body is next to me. Still a light enough sleeper that on some level I always felt "aware"... baby rooting around for the nipple, etc.

  • FWIW, a lot of women end up at the hospital with a C-section when they started at the birth center. I shouldn't say a lot, but I know three and that seems like a lot. I certainly think THAT's a pretty horrible birth experience. Interview ob'sand midwives that do hospital births. You are always in control if you choose to be.

    LOUD NOISES!

    K- born 7/5/2011

    G- born 6/24/2013

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  • Hell, I had to repeatedly ASK for my epidural. (Also less than ideal, but I understand my doctor's reluctance. I was not. progressing. despite my water breaking on its own and several hours hooked to a breast pump followed by a pitocin drip. It's not standard to give an epidural at 1cm, but as soon as I got it... I was ready to push a short while later. That's what I alluded to above when I say I think some failures to progress can be mental - due to mom needing to relax


    with dd, I stalled at like8 or 9 because I was terrified of pushing and my midwife (at the hospital) talked to me about it and had me take a shower to relax and then about 5 mintues later I was pushing, it was mental.

    LOUD NOISES!

    K- born 7/5/2011

    G- born 6/24/2013

    image







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