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new here, and ?: NCB in a hospital... possible?! (sorry, long post)

Forum: Natural Childbirth


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November 9th, 2010, 07:23 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,057
Hi ladies,
I've been lurking some on this board and as my pregnancy starts to feel a lot more real to me, I'm starting to become concerned with my childbirth setup. See, I'm from Hippieville, CA - land of homebirth midwives, deeply spiritual acid flashbacks during labor, placentophagy, you name it - and ever since I started thinking about being a mom, I wanted that type of birth. I have read Ina May Gaskin's Spiritual Midwifery cover-to-cover 3 times and LOVE IT.

Now, I happen to live in Mississippi. Land of anti-midwife, anti-homebirth, the belly of the beast. I can't find any midwives (even CNMs), doulas, placenta encapsulators, or birth centers within a 3 hour driving radius of where I live. The only option I can think of for a true dream natural birth would be to actually drive to the Farm in Tennessee (it's like a 6 hr drive from here).

To further complicate matters, I had a very dangerous ectopic pregnancy rupture earlier this year. I lost a fallopian tube and almost died from internal bleeding. Since I was at risk of another ectopic but really wanted to get pregnant again right away, I found an OBGYN who deals with high risk cases, does surgeries of all kinds, and has fancy ultrasound machines in the office, who would be perfect to help me catch another ectopic very early and save my remaining tube. I have to drive for 1 hour to see him since I live in a small town and he's in the big city. He has been treating me this whole pregnancy - I went in as soon as I got my BFP to get checked out for another ectopic.

I actually LOVE my OB. He's a very nice man who has empathy and understanding and puts you at ease. He deals with normal pregnancies too, he's not high-risk only. Once we determined the pregnancy was not ectopic, he totally relaxed about how much monitoring I needed. He hasn't pushed extra testing on me (like the NT scan) at all. We've really been on the same wavelength this whole time so far. He has given me literature promoting breast-feeding and informed me he attends births at this women's hospital near his office. No birthing tubs obviously, but it's a smallish and attentive type facility that tries to be "women friendly" by Mississippi standards, and is DEFINITELY breast-feeding friendly. I'm convinced it's the best hospital and he's (at least one of) the best doctors I could hope to find in this part of the country. This is where I will give birth if I don't make a big (BIG) effort, like travel out of state, to find another situation.

So here's my question: Am I completely nuts to think that I could have a drug-free, natural birth at a hospital like that? My current (vague) plan is to go through as much first stage labor as possible at home, get in there when it's too late for drugs, then hope for the best in terms of getting immediate skin-to-skin and initiation of breastfeeding, rooming-in with baby, and getting my placenta back so I can powderize it at home. Does this sound reasonable? What do you guys think??? I mean, they go to such pains to promote how breastfeeding-friendly they are, it can't be that bad, right? Or am I totally naive?

And sorry, for my first baby and so soon after the trauma of my ectopic, I'm not trusting enough to do an unassisted birth at home. Although I love reading birth stories about it and think it's totally cool.

Well if you made it this far, I'd like to give you a medal!!! Any and all opinions very welcome!!!!! TIA!

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November 9th, 2010, 09:00 PM
MaggieLizer's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loo-uh-vull, KY
Posts: 5,655
It's definitely possible. I live in Kentucky and it sounds similar to where you are in terms of birth options (or lack thereof). I delivered at a big hospital that was a little more NCB friendly than I thought they would be and I was able to have a drug free birth, although there were things I wish had gone a little differently.

It sounds like you're pretty well informed about what you need/want to do already so I think the main thing for you is probably just going to be preparation and persistence and not backing down when faced with an obstacle. I would just try to make sure your doctor is on board with all of your requests, make sure you go over your birth and newborn care preferences and request a NCB friendly nurse, things like that. I'm guessing the thing you might have the hardest time with would be getting your placenta - that might require a good amount of effort.

But to answer your question, I definitely think it is possible, even if it might not be easy or ideal.
Michele - wife to Jason and mommy to Vincent (7/12/10) and Maggie (4/16/14)

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November 9th, 2010, 09:55 PM
ChicaChels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: I'm a husker girl :)
Posts: 16,336
if your mind is made up, you can totally do it mind over matter girl!

Maverick Jude
December 9, 2013
5:20PM 8lb3oz 20.5"
Hospital water birth
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November 10th, 2010, 07:39 AM
Crafty Mama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,062
I'm attempting a NCB in the hospital, but I have a CNM. I had the same midwife with DD, but she was gone to a conference when I went into labor (made it for pushing), and I had the on call OB. I knew all of my MW's expectations and I knew what she allowed and didn't allow, so it was a little bit of a disappointment to get an OB, who was ordering the nurses to do everything that I didn't want. Definitely ask your OB what he will and won't let you do. Does he expect his patients to hook up to an IV as soon as they check in? Will he allow you to go without it to a certain point? What about eating and drinking? Find out what his policies are, and what the hospitals policies are, so you can get an idea of what you're up against.
Also, I don't think the hospital would have any problem with you rooming in, especially with it being a breastfeeding friendly hospital. Where I delivered was very BF friendly, and they said they rarely get babies in the nursery anymore. I like it this way, I know the baby won't be slipped anything. She was never out of my sight except once, and they took her while I was sleeping.
When it comes to the skin to skin contact, I'd definitely remind them before you start pushing. I found that my birth plan wasn't much good. My MW had me type it up to keep in my file, but not a single nurse looked at it. I know my MW probably skimmed over it, but you never know. I'd hate for me to push the baby out, and for them to cut the cord and take her away to clean her up before I even realized what was going on. I know that tends to be routine with a lot of births I hear about. If you don't plan on cutting the cord immediately, then they can't really take the baby away right away anyway. But definitely remind them before it's too late.
As for the placenta encapsulation, there's a girl on here and in my DDC who is planning on this. I believe she ended up switching hospitals because the one she was planning to go to didn't allow you to take your placenta home. Even then though, they told her she needed to find a funeral home to pick it up for her. So look into it sooner than later! Btw, her name on here is passthehay, I'm sure she's lurking somewhere. She might know a little more about it.

Thank you, AlexAiden Mommy for my awesome siggy!

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November 10th, 2010, 08:34 AM
Posts: n/a
I have had 2 drug free hospital births. It's totally doable. Just make sure your doctor is on board with everything you want and make sure you have someone who can advocate for you at the hospital (if you don't have a doula, make sure your DH or a friend or family member will advocate for you). Have a birth plan and make sure all your nurses get it.
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November 10th, 2010, 08:38 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,057
Thank you SO MUCH ladies for the great advice!!!! I think that this will work out okay in the hospital, but I'm going to have to be selective about what I ask for... I hear what you said about birth plans, Crafty Mama, and I've heard that before too, that they just won't look at it. But I can ask for just a few key things while I'm actually there, that I've discussed in advance with my doctor.

I think I'll give up on the placenta. Sad but oh well. They will definitely think it's super freaky so I think that will be a concession worth making.

I will definitely DEMAND to eat and drink at will if I am laboring more than a couple hours there... I'm sure I'll be able to get that, because I have food-induced hypoglycemia and I'll need it to keep my blood sugar up. It's a medical necessity!!! And if I get my doc to go along with this in advance, it can be on his orders!

And before I start pushing, I will remind my doctor to wait on cutting the cord if possible and do skin-to-skin, just wait a few minutes before taking the baby away for getting cleaned up and checked out. I don't think that's much to ask. And it won't be the end of the world if I don't get it, as long as I get the baby back relatively quickly for BFing.

I don't mind having a IV lock on as long as the tubes aren't actually attached unless/until it is necessary in an emergency. And I don't mind being intubated if necessary in an emergency - that should take care of the eating issue. I plan to ask about fetal monitoring protocol too and make sure they don't do the continuous monitors but just do intermittent checks by a nurse.

I think as long as I keep communicating with my doctor, and he makes it there to be the delivery OB, it should be okay. I do trust him and feel very lucky to have found a kind OB. Ultimately I'll be happy as long as I'm breastfeeding a healthy baby eventually.

Thanks again ladies, I feel a lot better and my thoughts are a lot more clear on this! I've many months to fine-tune as well!!!

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November 10th, 2010, 09:49 AM
Caelen's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Hurley, WI
Posts: 8,572
I think the most important thing for you to do is have open communication with your doctor. Tell him what you want before you go into labor (like a birth plan) and guage his reaction. I'm sure that they'll help you out with most of if not all of what you're wanting!

I believe most places promote immediate skin to skin contact and a quick start to breastfeeding. I did birth in a birth center, but it was connected to a hospital and I think "birth center" as it's title was a total sham. They did hand my son to me immediately, though we did have some hang ups with breastfeeding.

Just be assertive, be insistant. This is your body, your baby. As long as there is no emergency, you should be able to go your way.

As for birth plan.. sounds goofy.. but make copies and hand them to people when they come in your room. They can't ignore it if you're there saying "read it!" Highlight the important stuff. Coach your significant other or whoever else might be there with you to be your biggest advocate.

You can ask them to delay quite a bit of the procedures after birth so you can breastfeed too.
‎"That which offends you only weakens you. Being offended creates the same destructive energy that offended you in the first place- so transcend your ego and stay in peace."

Stay at home mom to two:
Jacob 03/17/2009
Benjamin 03/18/2011
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November 10th, 2010, 09:54 AM
alicenwonderland's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 14,022
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Its definatley possible. I did it! (well almost) I made it to complete and pushing all natural. It was after and hour of pushing and getting nowhere that i asked for a shot of nubain. But i wasn't pushed to do anything i didn't want. I pushed for two more hours and then had a vaccum delivery, but it was my choice. They gave me the option of laboring longer, i was just too tired.

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