22.12.2013

Having a baby hospital

In case you forgot, my husband had gone out to start the car so we could head to the hospital.
At this point I was completely naked on the bathroom floor holding the baby with about five EMT gentlemen and one woman all in the bathroom with me.
Then they loaded me onto the stretcher (they made me, I didn’t want to!) and we took an ambulance ride to the hospital. We got to the hospital - I was having small contractions just like I had for the previous four weeks. My current hospital is Cedars-Sinai, also known by LA locals as Beverly Hills’ celebrity C-Section factory. I was nervous about homebirth until I realized that a good midwife is not out to make birth history, but is looking out for the best interest of mama and baby. One thing to remember is that while something can go wrong either way, and resus can go badly in hospital as well, the interventions that are used routinely in hospitals are often the cause of babies needing to be resuscitated. If you do decide to labor at a hospital or just want it checked out as a back to home or birth center delivery go and talk with some of the staff on the floor. When giving birth all the home and natural birth books say that the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and safe in your birthing environment, after thinking long and hard, I decided that I would feel safest and most secure in the hospital where I would have access to medical care if something went wrong. I felt so much peace realizing the cord had not prolapsed and knowing the ambulance crew would soon be there in case baby had any issues. The only way I knew I was having another contraction was because I’d feel my body bear down and push. Fortunately the hospital bags were in our car, which reminded my husband the car was still running! Both baby and I were given the thumbs up from the doctors, and we finally got to really start nursing and having unlimited skin to skin time. I had a planned home birth for my baby girl, after my oldest son was born by c-section, and his brother born VBAC with a midwife in the hospital. Steve's parents brought our kids to visit and each of Steve's 5 siblings that live here came to visit and get their newborn baby snuggles.
Although nothing quite prepares you for the reality of bringing baby #4 home and I was second guessing that decision after being home for just a few hours! Several people I know claimed their baby would not have survived home birth, and I know of someone who lost her baby after failed resuscitation. She's currently obsessed with taking ridiculous pics of her hilariously photogenic baby Vida on Instagram.


Things may have gone differently if they hadn’t started out in the hospital to begin with. The pain I could of handled at home, but the fact that I could have done harm to my son had I not been in a hospital I couldn’t handle. Many of the problems that arise in hospital births are due to hospital interventions that would never happen at home. My daughter was a text book pregnancy and has been a textbook baby but our delivery was anything but. I had what I remember to be five total pushing contractions- the first two where the amniotic sac bulged out, two more contractions during which I felt the baby’s head crowning but not yet coming out (I did feel the ring of fire, but all you can do is hang on for the ride at that point), and then a final contraction during which the water broke and the entire baby came out at once.
I wanted to nurse and do immediate skin to skin, and since baby was fine and I was fine, they agreed- although not for nearly as long as I wanted. I knew my midwife well and I live close to the hospital so I knew if things started to go wrong help wasn’t far away. I wanted to do it this way because I didn’t like the sterile feeling of the hospitals and because I felt that I in particular would have a difficult time standing up to the hospital personnel if they started pushing for interventions. Furthermore, even if you are in a hospital, it takes some time to prepare the OR for an emergency- if you live within several minutes of a hospital, they can prep the room while you are in transit.
I too had a baby with a hand by her face, extensive tearing and a requirement for immediate surgery post birth. Laboring at home and finishing with a natural delivery at a hospital is a very appealing to me.
It was all very noninvasive, and the moderate amount of chaos associated with the ambulance situation was worth it to me for the peace of mind they brought with their ability to handle emergencies, should baby or myself have had any.
I have often thought that the empowering feeling of having babies at home is why I ended up with four beautiful babies. Birth is NOT about fighting against the system, its about providing an environment of support for mama and baby to be born into this world.
A big part of my choice to have a midwife was to have my choices respected and by my birth I knew them both so well I could trust my baby and my life to them. The truth is that, statistically-speaking, a home birth is far safer for low-risk women than a hospital birth. I did not go to a hospital because I did my research, I knew the risks, and my midwives were confident to stand by me during that time. It was just me, my body, and my baby doing our thing, and it was amazingly peaceful and powerful and calm.


My Dr talked me into going to the hospital for the birth promising me my list of conditions would be met.
I am not advocating for staying away from the hospital, if you want something and the current location is NOT that…pick a different location.
I felt safer (at least as safe as you can feel knowing that in the near future you are going to push an entire human being out of your body) with my doctor in a hospital. I was booked for a birthing centre but when my midwife came to my home to see how I was progressing she moved me to the major birthing hospital in our area. Had I been at home, after calling 911, waiting for an ambulance, transit to the hospital and being rushed to an OR time would have far exceeded the 7 minutes it took for me to be rushed literally down the hall to a waiting OR. I started planning out all the awesome things we were going to do to get my mind off the baby. The doctor came in and broke my water and within an hour and a half and one contraction push later, we had a baby.
Alive, & healthy Mom and baby is always number one and there are some things (like tranfusions, operating rooms and high level nicu) that can only be done in a hospital setting.
Going to the hospital did start a cascade of intervention that I had hoped to avoid i ncluding not be but two epidurals ( the first failed), forceps, and the episiotomy they used to prevent tearing did not prevent a fourth degree tear. We started with a walk around the neighborhood and on the final stretch of the walk we got the call from the hospital to come in. I am sure there are some wonderful Birth Centers (they are required to be located within 30 min of a hospital). My eighth and ninth were born at the hospital only because they were 7 weeks early and 4 weeks early. As soon as Steve saw him (and all his beautiful dark hair) he said, "He looks like a big baby - bigger than our other kids." They let me hold him for a while before taking him to weigh and examine him and he felt heavier than the other kids. She was very apologetic about what ended up occurring but I will always be grateful that she listened to her thirty years of experience and took me to the hospital. We went from having one doctor in the room to about 10 nurses and a doctor standing over me.
I really loved the staff there though, besides having a rough delivery, the nurses and doctors were awesome.



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