Preparations for Birth (or why I chose hospital over home this time)

I’ve now completed 30 weeks of this pregnancy.  As I complete these last 8-10 or so weeks I’m starting to think more towards the actual birth and preparing myself for it.

For awhile I was kind of avoiding thinking about it too much- at least in comparison to last time.  I wasn’t sure if it was sort of natural to do that since the birth experience isn’t a complete unknown like it was before (although obviously every birth is different) or it was because I’m having a hospital birth this time and in some ways that is a little hard to deal with having previously had a planned home birth.

I had wanted to have a home birth this time too, and really, there is no reason why I couldn’t have gone down that path.  I wasn’t risked out by the midwife I talked to this time and once I found out that my former midwife had un-retired, I know I could have gone back to her too, even though it would have meant leaving the doctor I had already started seeing.  It was something I really thought and prayed about though, and I couldn’t shake my gut feeling that this time the doctor/hospital option was the route to go.

While I still feel 100% sure that a midwife and home birth was the right option for us last time, I didn’t feel so sure about that this time.  One of the big factors was stress.  I think it is important to minimize stress during pregnancy and this time I thought the mw/hb route would add to my stress rather than ease it.

For starters, my midwife options were at least 45 minutes away.  That wasn’t big deal last time, especially when we were able to do evening appointments so I never had to make the drive alone and we didn’t have to worry about taking off work.  The logistics were a little different this time.  The one midwife didn’t really do evening appointments and so it would have meant lots of time off work for me and probably for M too because I really did not like that drive and besides, he likes to come to my prenatal appointments too.  Then there is the issue of E- he would have been welcome at the appointments, but I want to focus on my health and the baby at my prenatal appointments, not worry about my 2-year-old.   Also, evening appointments really wouldn’t have out very well because he would have been out past bedtime and fallen asleep in the car too early or something.

The other stress thing- and this maybe sounds silly because it wasn’t such an issue last time- was that I didn’t want to go through my whole pregnancy worried that I was going to develop some complication that would risk me out.  I think it wasn’t an issue last time because I had no real reason to worry about anything.  I’ve had some problems with blood pressure here and there since then and so that was a concern for me now.

Last time I really didn’t know anything about any of the OBs in town, and since we had just moved here I didn’t know anyone here yet to ask for recommendations.  Well this time I did know who I could go see that would be most likely to help support the type of pregnancy and birth I wanted.  I have to say that so far I am very pleased.  One of the things I loved was when I came out of my first prenatal appointment the receptionist handed me a pregnancy book compliments of the office and said that my doctor says to throw away What to Expect While You’re Expecting if I owned it.  They aren’t in a hurry to label pregnancies as “high risk.”   I know that my doctor has a reputation for IMMEDIATELY placing the baby with mom after delivery (barring any emergency of course).   Perhaps as important of all, I will get the postpartum and breastfeeding support I need after birth from this office.  That is one thing I felt was a little lacking with my experience last time.

This is also working out a lot better for prenatal appointments too!  I’m able to schedule them in the early afternoon, so I just leave work a little early.  My mom is already watching E so I don’t have to make any special arrangements, and most of the time I’m able to schedule them on Tuesday afternoons when M’s schedule is flexible so he can meet me there.  Did I mention that it is a 5-10 minute drive?  More like 5 when I’m coming from work.

So I’m very happy so far with my prenatal care; however, the hospital still gives me some concerns.

What it boils down to is that when I labored and birthed in my own home I had a certain level of control that cannot have in the hospital.  I knew who was going to be present, I was in my own familiar space, I was completely free to move around as I wanted.

Now I’ve alleviated some of my concerns by doing a tour of our hospital maternity ward.  Now I’ve seed the LDR rooms and the postpartum rooms so I have a visual idea of where I’ll be.  I don’t know who all will be in and out while I’m there, but I’ve at least met some of the nurses who were very nice.  Also I keep reminding myself that everyone I’ve ever dealt with there has been very nice and I haven’t had a bad experience with them.  My friends who have given birth there have been happy with their experiences.  I’ve talked to my doctor about some of these things too and I’ve had some reassurance about some of it.  I still have to hope I test negative for GBS though, because if I don’t I really need to be on antibiotics for 4 hours prior to delivery, and that is going to put me in the hospital for longer and definitely be hooked up to an IV which is going to limit my ability to move.

But all that said, and I do think I needed to get it out there, I’m finally ready to start thinking about birth and preparing mentally for it.  I’m thinking of things that helped last time.  It was nice to see how the hospital bed could be manipulated to resemble the birth chair I used last time!

I’ve been doing prenatal yoga for awhile, I’m starting to drink the pregnancy tea now.  What I would really like are some good natural birth stories that take place in hospitals.  I’ve got tons of home birth stories, but they just remind me of what I won’t be doing this time. What I really need are stories that do take place in the hospital with positive feelings and outcomes.  If you know of any sources, please let me know!  (Especially if they involve an easy second stage of labor after having a rough second stage in a previous birth!)

1 Comment

  1. You can google chat me later if you want more info, but I had a hospital birth and loved it. I was in Switzerland, so it was a bit different, but seriously I would recommend it to anyone. I was induced (due to a placenta that was starting to calcify). They said that if we induced I could have a normal delivery, whereas if we waited I would be at risk for a C-section. Got first induction pill at 4:30, and started pacing the hospital floors. I had a holter thing on my wrist (quite painful), but that meant that if they needed an emergency IV the line was already in, but I was not on an IV yet. I felt the first contractions around 8:30, my water brok at 9:30 and then stuff got crazy fast. I could do whatever I wanted. I ate some dinner and walked around. They had to monitor me every 2 hours, so I just had to lay still for 15 min to make sure she was fine. Once my water broke and the contractions started though, I was basically in bed. They needed to monitor her full time. At first I was thinking OMG this is exactly what I did not want, but honestly walking was making me tired, I already ate dinner, so being able to sit straddling a pillow in bed was fine. I had also wanted to avoid and epidural. My big goddess mama birth plan did not involve one, but I got one around midnight. I was tired, I had major convulsions, and was on the verge of puking every 10 sec. Since this was my first birth I was thinking to myself, this could go on for another 20 hours and I need to rest. It turned out to not be as scary as I thought it would be. I have a tinge of regret about it, but I know that it was the best decision at the time. She was born at 4:23 the next morning after 30 min of pushing. They turned the epidural off when I started pushing, so that helped.
    During the whole process (except for the 2 people who gave me my epidural) I only had one person plus the midwife with me. My mom and DH were not allowed to be in at the same time, so they switched off. It was very calm. No people running in and out. I could page the midwife when I wanted, but she really just stayed away for the most part. The OB came in at the end to do my two stitches and that was it.

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