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Anyone have a natural birth at a hospital, despite being "high risk"?

Forum: Natural Childbirth


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May 12th, 2008, 11:31 PM
JoannaO's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Village, Ohio
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Hi everyone! I'm new here. No idea why I didn't find this board before! But I'm glad I stumbled across it today.

Anyway, I'm almost 31 weeks, due on July 17th. This pregnancy is my first and it was unplanned. My husband and I talked about having kids. But we didn't think it would be happening so soon. That said, I had never spent any time at all thinking about what kind of birth I wanted to have or any of that. But the second I found out I was pregnant I knew that I wanted a natural childbirth, to cloth diaper, etc. It was kind of weird. I didn't even have to think about it.

I really would have loved to have a home birth w/ a midwife or a birth at a birthing center. But for various reasons, this isn't possible. And I do have to admit that for a first birth, I'm okay with having to deliver at a hospital.

But the closer I get to my due date, the more I am doubting that I'll get my wish of a natural birth. I'm no pushover. So I'm not going to just give into what any doctor wants unless there is a legitimate reason and that reason relates directly to my health or the health of the baby. I do really like my OB and I trust her. But, she also works with two other OBs, one which is okay and the other which I hate. Any of the three could be the one that's there for the birth. It all depends on who is available and all that, should I actually be able to go into labor naturally.

A little background on me is that I have pre-existing high blood pressure. I've had it for a few years and it's been controlled by medication. When I got pregnant they switched me to a safer medication to control it, then recently added a second medication. But it's still doing well. I have about a zillion doctors, one of which is a specialist for this. She's been having me do 24-hour urine tests, once a month, for basically the whole pregnancy. These were fine. But the last two I did (one a month ago and one two weeks ago) showed that I was spilling protein into my urine. So, of course, the fear of developing pre-eclampsia is now there. My numbers weren't horrible, though. So my OB and the specialist are not too concerned at this point. And I have not shown any other signs of pre-eclampsia, which is great. I'll be doing another 24-hour urine test this weekend. So hopefully my protein levels have remained stable and not shot up any more.

As if this wasn't bad enough, they also diagnosed me with gestational diabetes. I honestly think this is a BS diagnosis. Sure, I failed the 1-hour and 3-hour tests. But I barely failed them. Every test needs to have a cutoff and rules. But with the way that these tests are performed and the way that they're inconsistently administered, I have very little reason to think that I actually have GD when all other signs point to no. Plenty of people have said things to me along the lines of, "I just think you're in denial about this! You do have GD if you failed the test, but you might never show any signs of it!" Ummm, how does that make any sense? To me, that's like someone having a non-cancerous tumor being told that it could still be cancerous, even when all the tests have told them that it was not. With the GD diagnosis, I think it's just a case of the doctors and insurance companies covering their butts. I can appreciate erring on the side of caution. But I think that an incorrect diagnosis does nothing but create problems if it's never corrected. I have not changed my diet at all and my numbers have been fine.

Again, my OB doesn't seem too concerned about the GD diagnosis. She's ordered the A1C for me, once a month. But she knows my numbers are fine and just wants me to keep doing glucose checks. The dietitian I had to see wasn't even too concerned and didn't bother to schedule a follow up appointment. She said she'd just call to check in with me and that I should call if I had any problems. But, of course, the diagnosis remains in my file. And should some other OB be the one to deliver the baby, they might very well see that diagnosis and try pushing for an induction or c-section. The day I was told about the diagnosis I had to see the jerk doctor and he immediately told me how huge my uterus was, supposedly measuring a full 4 weeks ahead, while measuring fundal height. How funny, then, that at the past two visits with my regular OB she has measured and not freaked or even mentioned that I was measuring large. I think that the jerk doctor obviously had been biased by the diagnosis. And that doesn't bode well if I ever have to encounter him again.

So I guess this is all a long way of asking anyone here if they've had similar "problems" during their pregnancies, but were still able to go on and have a natural birth? Like I said, I know that if my health or that of the baby is at risk I will have to give in and be induced or have a c-section. And I can live with that decision if it's for the best. But I really hope that my body will continue to behave and not get any worse with all the stuff that's going on with it. It seems like getting a natural birth, period, is difficult these days, even with a perfectly healthy pregnancy. But I'm sure there must be someone out there that was able to get it, despite all of their complications!
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May 13th, 2008, 05:52 AM
Mirandabelle's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm afraid I can't help with past experience, as this is bub #1 and I am normal or low-risk, but I wish you the best of luck and hope you can acheive the birth you want!

Probably the best advice I have been given re OBs wanting to intervene during labour is the BRAN rule. If you can try and go through the steps when the Dr suggests an intervention it may help you achieve the natural birth you want.

Benefits - What are the benefits of what you want to do?

Risks - What risk am I/the baby in that makes this necessary?

Alternatives - Are there any alternatives (ie if the baby is stuck and they are suggesting forceps, changing your position)

Now - Do we have to make the decision immediately? Can we see if the situation changes or improves in 10 minutes, an hour etc?

(Also known as the BRAIN rule, I for intuition. What do you as the birthing woman feel in your heart is right for you and your child?)

Good luck and congratulations!

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May 13th, 2008, 08:39 AM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: south eastern Mass
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Hi, congrats and welcome!!

I had my daughter at a hospital med free. I was very low risk, but I had been having tons of protein in my urine for the last few months. The midwife office I went to never told me anything I could do to prevent pre-e, but my Doula did. My advice to you is to load up on protein. I ate it until I thought it was going to start coming out my ears. I still had protein in my urine, but it went from scary high to trace, and never got any worse.

The best thing you can do is educate yourself. Read the thinking women's guide to a better birth and Ina May's guide to childbirth to start with. The Bradley Method book is fantastic as well. Figure out what you do and do not want for your birth, put it in writing, talk to your office. Put yourself in charge of your birth and feel them out to see how on board they are with that. Sometimes they get pi ssy, sometimes they see someone who has done their research and they respect that. For example, you have the right to refuse episiotomy and to request they let you tear naturally if that is the way nature goes. If you don't say anything, you very well could end up with one. It makes things go faster but it is very hard to heal from, and some women feel it for the rest of their lives.

You may want to consider another doctor, it's up to you, but it's never too late to switch and find someone that matches you better. Also, can you request to have the GD test redone?

you may also want to look into a Doula. I'm not sure if you know anything about them but they are fantastic.

hope you stick around here!
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May 13th, 2008, 11:44 AM
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I just wanted to say, that aside from getting IV fluid, I had a completely natural childbirth in a hospital. It was a vaginal birth after 2 c-sections (VBA2C). So, I was considered "high risk". It is totally, and completely possible. Good luck!
Wendy, Mom to
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May 14th, 2008, 07:32 AM
1shortmomma's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I am high risk due to type 1 diabetes and also Pre-term labor. I had all 4 in hospitals. 3 natural med-free...1 with stadol and then Pitocin later 9after the Stadol wore off). I really wish that I hadn't given in on the one that was not med-free.
I think the best thing is just to let the nurses know in advance that you want to have a natural birth. Maybe even make a sign ahead of time saying something like - Med-Free birth in progress please do not offer drugs.
I wouldn't put natural birth because we've discussed earlier on this board that many Dr's and also many people think vaginal when you say natural....they don't think med-free.
Just stand up for yourself and remember they can't MAKE you do anything and they can't kick you out of the hospital. Also....they will see you, deliver you, and send you on your way and probably not remember you a week down the road. You on the other hand will remember your birthing experience for the rest of your life so make sure it is something you are comfortable with.
~ Renee ~

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May 14th, 2008, 10:31 AM
proudmom3's Avatar Wait for it....
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I gave birth to a frank breech baby...i dont know if that is consider high risk to you guys.....BUT it was to my OB. lol
I'm a Mommy, Wifey & a MeMe

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May 14th, 2008, 12:54 PM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Certainly no reason you cant have a natural vaginal birth with high BP.

As for the protein spilling in your urine, considering you have preexisting high BP, it could just be a diet thing. Check out www.blueribbonbaby.org & follow the diet as strictly as possible, putting as much emphasis on the protein requirements (75 - 100 grams of protein per DAY).

THat should take care of that


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May 14th, 2008, 01:36 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: south eastern Mass
Posts: 13,088
thanks for the resource LaLa!
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