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I don't know what to do right now. I was planning my birth with 2 midwives at a small hospital 20 min from my house. Since my last birth was 2 hours long, I wanted a good hospital that was close and had a highway to get there. The next one is about the same distance, but with a gazillion stop lights. The small hospital claims to be more natural friendly with birth balls, squat bars, etc.
The bad things it says are "Special birthing beds. They can be moved and modified without disturbing the mom-to-be. That means each woman will be able to labor in a position that’s comfortable for her and effective for delivery."
The positives are:
“Storkbytes” technology. This special technology allows nurses to monitor
both mother and baby from outside the room without lots of wires and gear. That means a family will have fewer disruptions as they prepare for birth and women can walk the halls if they’d like without being tethered to equipment.
Support for mom. We’ll help each woman deliver however she wants to. If she wants an epidural, we’re ready to do that. If she’d like to deliver without medication, we’re able to help with that process, too.
But I hate that the women's center is PART of the hospital. I really appreciate when they are their own separate building. They don't have a NICU, but they aren't too far from a hospital that does. Personally, I think a more natural friendly hospital will have less need of a NICU if they don't intervene so badly.
The other hospital says this:
"Labor & Delivery can facilitate a full range of delivery options, from low-risk natural to the highest risk. Everything is built on the idea of letting you choose the kind of delivery you want. Whether it's laboring in the tub, walking, or anything else, we try to follow your wishes as much as possible."
Both hospitals are part of the same network and say that they have a section on managing pain and say the staff will come in and ask you to rate your pain from 0-10. Every woman experiences the pain of labor and delivery differently. Many factors affect the pain you may feel. These factors include the size and position of the baby, the strength of the contractions, and your own pain tolerance. The first step in managing your pain is to learn about your options and make a tentative plan. But stay flexible. The course of a baby’s birth can be unpredictable. You may change your mind as labor progresses. Labor often hurts more than you anticipate. Changing your mind about pain relief is not a sign of weakness. Some women find that pain-relieving medication helps them feel more in control and less tired during childbirth. Doctors sometimes suggest pain medication to help labor progress or if complications arise.
At least they list the pain management options and some of the pros and cons. But still. They actually don't feel natural friendly to me. I am going to tour both hospitals. I really wish my insurance would cover the free standing birth center! I don't know, more and more I don't want to do the hospital thing, but didn't feel good about doing the homebirth and maybe it was just the midwife I saw. She had a lot of good things, but not what I was expecting. Anyway, I just hate hospital atmospheres.
Married 7 years to my wonderful Dh
That storkbytes tech and the bed thing would seem a negative to me. Because it's a dead give away IMO that they are going to want you continuously monitored and that not many women push in anything except the lithotomy position. Honestly with a two hour labor I'd be interviewing more homebirth midwives. It doesn't sound to me like you have a good hospital option or that you will need any of their "help"
My daughter is perfect, but her birth was not. If you or someone you love is struggling to cope with a traumatic childbirth experience, please visit http://www.solaceformothers.org/
I work in a hospital and I hate the hospital atomsphere! I don't have any other option, but to do a hospital birth and they both don't sound that bad.
The good thing is I know the L&D staff and most of them aren't drug pushers, while some really are. And my doc is fine with me doing it naturally!
Keep your eyes and ears open and I do think you should dig deeper into homebirth. I know it sucks that insurance won't cover it, but if its what you really want and it will ultimately make you the happiest and therefore an easier labor I would still do it.
Amelia: Wife to Ryan, Mama to Harleigh, with a boy on the way
The only reason I see storkbytes as a positive is that often midwives won't care if they get good readings or not. They had that technology in my last hospital so I wore it in the tub which actually didn't bug me and it cut out all the time and my midwife didn't care. She just said "eh they want you to wear so I have you wear it, even though I know its going to cut out the whole time". So I guess as long as they don't care then I am fine with it. But the beds bug me because I do NOT and will NOT stay in that bed!
Married 7 years to my wonderful Dh
I would definitely take a tour. I think hospitals like to present themselves as being NCB-friendly, but that all goes out the window when you get there in labor. The wording on that sounds ambiguous enough that I wouldn't trust it at face value. If it were me, I would ask a lot of annoying questions on the tour. I think it's better to find out before than to be polite and get screwed when you don't have another option, kwim?