Thursday, August 1, 2013

Remembering the Good

I just found this in my Draft Folder.

It was the beginning of a post in which I was outlining the positives of my hospital birth as I was trying to come to terms with it all and let go of some of the anger.

Since today is the day that I went into the hospital for my induction last year I thought it might be appropriate to share it now.

As a reminder for everyone, I was planning a homebirth right up until 38 weeks at which point a routine prenatal appointment on a Monday turned into an induction in the hospital on Wednesday for preclampsia and a baby in my arms by early Friday morning.

Not what I had planned.

I spent a lot of time being pissed.

You can read about it here and here and here if you'd like.

It took me awhile to not feel anger about the hospital birth and I still mourn the loss of the homebirth experience...hopefully with the next one we can remedy that.

But I realize I never REALLY told you all about what a great hospital I gave birth in and how they worked their asses off to give me the experience I was looking for as much as they possibly could.

Remember this?  Where I discussed why I was having a homebirth?  Well...I got to do the vast majority of the things that I outlined in this post.

So, here goes...the good of my birth at a hospital.

  • I hear lots of stories about women being pressured to hurry their labor along (as though we have control over that) but no one on the hospital staff put any pressure on me to get the baby out in a timely manner.  My labor lasted 29 hours, every moment of it in the hospital and by the time we finally had the baby they were SWAMPED, so I'm SURE they needed the room, but not once did I ever feel like I was on an assembly line and that I needed to hurry up and get the baby out so the room could go to the next laboring mother.  I was the laboring mother and it was my room until the baby came.  Period.  My water had also broken early in labor but this did not bother anyone and was still no reason for them to pressure me into pitocin/epidural/C-section etc. to speed up labor.
  • Cervical checks were few and far between.  I think over the course of the whole labor I was checked 3 times.  They were very conscious of the fact that my water had broken and they wanted to keep the possibility of an infection to a minimum.  I was checked in the very beginning to confirm I was only 1cm dilated,  checked when I started "bearing down" unwillingly so that they could confirm whether it was time to push or not and then once again after I had the pitocin, epidural and my nap because the screen was showing what looked like contractions conducive to being fully dilated.  All important checks that would have been done if I was at home...except the first one, that one was to decide how to induce me as they prefer you're 3cm dilated before they start pitocin...there would have been no reason to check me in the beginning at home.  But I'm glad this check was done and I'm glad I wasn't given pitocin right off the bat.
  • Before the induction took place the anesthesiologist came in and told me about my pain management options including the epidural but then NO ONE EVER OFFERED PAIN MEDS EVER AGAIN.  If you've ever been in labor that is KEY to doing it without drugs.  Regardless of your resolve when you are not in labor if someone asks you in the middle of a contraction if you'd like drugs you're very very likely to scream YES, JUST GIVE ME THE DRUGS!  But if no one offers and you've made up your mind to do it without them it is MUCH MUCH EASIER to stay the course if the drugs are never offered.  I had to come to the conclusion by myself that I wanted the epidural so I could sleep at the very end.  It was my decision alone, there was no pressure and it wasn't even offered, I had to ask for it.
  • On that same note, I remember rather distinctly at HOUR 19 when I was having some rather excruciating back labor that suddenly I WANTED THE EPIDURAL and everyone and I mean EVERYONE in the room encouraged me to keep going and not have the epidural.  When I checked into that hospital I just KNEW that nurses were going to try to get me to have that epidural and so I was SHOCKED that the nurse on duty was part of my cheering squad encouraging me to keep going without the drugs.
  • There was no restrictions on what I could and could not do.  I ate, I drank, I took a shower, I took a bath.  I spent very little time in the bed, in fact ending up in the bed for a cervical check proved to be my downfall and why I asked for the epidural in the end because I was falling asleep between contractions in the bed!  
  • I did not have to wear a hospital gown (I HATE hospital gowns!) and spent the whole time either in my own clothes or naked.  This might seem silly to some, but it was important for me to not be wearing a hospital gown, I hate them that much.
  • They treated my midwife with the utmost respect and she was basically my spokesperson.  They did not bother me when I was in labor, they directed all comments and questions to my midwife and let her talk things over with me and then accepted her response as mine.  THIS WAS AMAZING to not be bothered with medical jargon while you're trying to get a baby out because IT'S REALLY HARD TO THINK STRAIGHT.  My midwife would lay things out for me in layman terms and offer her advice and then answered any questions I had, always pausing for a contraction, which the Dr.'s DID NOT DO, twice I remember asking a Dr. or anesthesiologist or nurse or somebody to please not talk to me while I was in the middle of a contraction...midwife always paused to help me through the contraction.  
  • Once the baby was out they let us delay the cord clamping.  Which is NOT hospital policy but we had discussed it before the induction and they were on board.  They actually asked my midwife when it was ok to cut it.  That's right they asked my midwife for advice!
  • They also asked me if I wanted my placenta.  I WAS going to keep my placenta and make placenta pills and placenta art.  But since my placenta was the reason I was having an induction in a hospital at 38 weeks I had no desire to keep would have just been a reminder that IT was the reason for the failed homebirth.  But cool that they offered to let me keep it.
  • The baby was put directly on my chest and left there.  It was HOURS later before they came back to weigh/measure and do the thorough newborn checkup.  I laid there with my boob \ out and the baby right next to it and we took a little nap.  When the baby left to go to the nursery, Dom was with him the whole time and they were back within an hour.  The ENTIRE time I was in the hospital this was the only time the baby was not with me.
  • Hospitals don't run out of hot water.  I was in the shower for HOURS trying to keep the back labor at bay, had we been at home I would not have been able to do this!
All in all my hospital birth was not a bad experience and other than the fact that I did not get to go into labor on my was pretty close to getting to experience all I wanted to experience.

I can't believe that was a whole year ago and that Baby Jett is about to turn I have to quit calling him Baby Jett now and start calling him Toddler Jett???


  1. this was so good to read!! I'm glad there were quite a few positives.. the hot water being a big one!! I wasn't offered drugs either.. I had to ask for them and it took me forever (or what felt like forever) because i don't have the highest pain threshold so I kept asking Neal if I was being a wuss or not. Haha! It was nice to not be pushed them. The only thing they kinda "pushed" was Pitocin and I know next time to tell them no. I want the labor to go how it wants to go and not "sped up." the only positive to that was that my labor WAS really short..
    I was offered my placenta too and I said no.. but next time I am taking it and making pills out of it. I thought the first time this was way too crunchy granola for me, but I struggled with post-partum really bad and I know they are supposed to help with that. Sooo many things I feel like I'll do different if and when there is a next time!

  2. Wow! I cannot believe he is nearly 1!! He'll always be baby Jett.

    I wondered what happened to your placenta art plans.

    Thank you for sharing! I also had a change of plans as I was induced with an overdue baby. I so wanted to spontaneously go into labor and experience natural childbirth and had studied my hypnobabies all pregnancy long. The nurses encouraged me to do natural pain coping methods as long as I could with the pitocin, but the pitocin was brutal and I too asked for an epidural in the end.

    And surprisingly.. I LOVED my hospital experience, and might even plan to get an epidural earlier next time (if there is a next time). I was so surprised and pleased about the way I ended up feeling about my experience. And I did get to experience labor pains (artificially induced), I'm just missing the feeling of pushing the baby out, which would have been really amazing.

  3. Thanks for sharing! I can't believe out babies are already so stinking close to ONE!

  4. I love that you're able to find so many positives in this! Its a great attitude to have! Also I'm so glad you had such an awesome hospital experience! Congrats baby Jett on becoming a big boy!

  5. This was a pretty awesome post. I'm hoping and praying we get to do the home birth experience this time around, but if not, I'm coming back to read this post agaiN!!