15 August 2008

How to have an intervention-free hospital birth

Homebirth propagandists' warnings notwithstanding, it can be done. I've done it four times. What you do is, when the nurses come at you with a needle or a plastic bag full of evil or a pair of scissors or a beeping gizmo, you tell them no. And then they can't do it, because if they do, you can sue them. See? Easy.

Now, you do have to be ready to tell them no. You might have to tell them more than once, because nurses are used to the standard interventions and it makes them nervous not to do them. Your husband should also be prepared to tell them no because once you're in it hard core you start getting confused. But if you tell them no, they won't do it. Remember, you pay them. If they start acting up, fire them (more likely, they'll leave on their own and send in someone more accommodating). The first time is the hardest. After you've done it a few times, nurses are cooler about letting you do it your way.

D.A.R.E. to keep moms off drugs

Our first time, the nurses all thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses because I wouldn't let them hook me up to anything. But they can think whatever they want. Just push out the baby with whatever personal flair you find necessary to get the job done and be on your way. They'll be impressed, and wonder why Lutherans don't allow pitocin. :D

I would be a good candidate for homebirth if I lived in a state that allowed it, and if I lived close enough to a hospital that we could get there in time for them to save me or the baby in case of an emergency. But I don't and I don't, so it's not an option for us because I will not take the risk of not having help for our baby (I'm pretty sure I'd be fine by this point). Hospitals are all there are in these parts, and if that's the case for you, and you don't want to get poked, take a lesson from Nancy Reagan and Just Say No.


Kelly said...

Very true - some friends of ours that planned a homebirth with the same practice we are using wound up being transferred to the local hospital. The staff finally did respect their wishes about wanting to do things as naturally as possible. The closer I get to 42 weeks, the more I freak out about possibly having to go. To stick a giant needle in my back you have to catch me first. Hehe...religious exemption for pitocin... : )

Blogversary said...

I have had a natural drug free birth and one with pitocin and epi;

I can say with experience that natural is far better, but you do have to have a game plan if you are in hospital. And, the nurses probably won't believe you can do natural even though you plan to and even have a doula (I did).

I wish I would have told the nurses to turn the pitocin off when my body started kicking into labor with my second birth; becaus I could have done the rest without the epi. Hindsight.

MooreMama said...

aaah. Can I just say "maybe"? Even my husband (who knows my pain tolerance is about one level above Nil) doesn't think that I can do it without an epi or whatever. My current birth plan is:
- I don't want my water broken. I figure it'll have to break sometime. Babies aren't born like kittens, all encased, right?
- If I can do it without drugs, that's cool. If I can't, I know that they are available and will ask for them.
- I don't want to be hooked up to an IV "just because". I'm fine with the hep-lock or whatever, just in case, but I would like to drink my own fluids and walk around, thankyouverymuch. As for the catheter - fuggeddaboudit. I've been potty trained for going on 30 years, now.

My Dr told me to stay at home as long as I can stand it for "best results" ie lowest hospital intervention. My husband said that if I stay too long and he has to deliver our daughter, well, it can't be THAT much different than delivering a calf. ;)

Tom Rook said...

Good for you for not drugging your baby when their stress and oxygen levels are are the lowest (hopefully) they will ever be.

My wife gave birth to three LARGE babies (I am 6'-6") without so much as an aspirin, she was in agony, but her desire not to brain damage the babies during birth have paid off (so far...25 years).

One thing of which I am certain ...if my daughter had been born in a hospital, instead of in a midwifery with two experienced midwifes (In Dallas, Texas), my daughter would have died in childbirth, or worse, as she was tangled up with the umbilical cord, etc.

They put my wife in a "doggie" position and that made all the difference. I was there and saw it. ($800, total).

When my daughter was born, she let out one "wah", and was looking around. When I started singing, she recognized the tune, and my voice and turned to find me after being born for one minute.

I used to sing to my wife's abdomen, and my daughter, before she was born.

The doctors often do what is easier for them...not what is good for you or the baby.

It is easier for them to pump you full of blood, drugs, and whatever else.

So many people are refusing blood, nowadays, that they are relieved if you are one of Jehovah's Witnesses, as they know you will sign a paper to release them from liability, and never get sued.

remember....Blood is an organ transplant and is very dangerous.

Anyway, your courage is a fine example.


utahrainbow said...

I have birthed four babies aul natural, as they say. And I would not trade it for anything. Barring anything unusual it is usually much more effective and quick than with an epidural. The nurses ARE always impressed, which I feel a bit sheepish about because it is something that almost happens TO me rather than me being some kind of wonder woman.

BUT, I wonder, how about AFTER birth?

THAT is when I say, drugs, please. The afterpains with #2-4 were pretty bad, and I definitely appreciated being able to relax while nursing, rather than experience intense labor-like pain all over again. Also pitocin was a blessing directly after birth to prevent too much hemorraging, which tends to happen to me. Perhaps the two are related, but I do not feel as though they were unnecessary intervention. Just thankful for some of the blessings of modern medicine.

Rebekah said...

Kelly, I've had two successful inductions for overdue babies just by having my water broken and a little walking and patience, so don't panic yet!

Blogversary, let's talk location one of these days, hey?

Mooremama,that's exactly how I felt on Baby 1. We made it, but if I hadn't I wouldn't have felt like a personal failure (nor should anyone else who ends up needing help. Yay for low maternal mortality.) I let them put in a lock for everyone's peace of mind (minus the time they didn't get a chance before Baby 2 made his hurried escape), and let them pump in what they wanted once the wee ones were disconnected.

Hi, Tom. Tell your wife we think she's tough. :)

Utahrainbow, I'm on the same page as to drugs postpartum. Pitocin has kept me from hemorrhaging after the fact every time (my apologies to those offended, but immediate nursing wasn't enough). And OTC painkillers have gotten me through the afterpains on every baby since my first.

Reb. Mary said...

Mooremama: Strange to say, babies actually can come out all encased. Rare, but true: my SIL assisted at a birth where the midwife had to break the water AFTER the baby was born. No harm done.

MooreMama said...

reb. mary - REALLY? Now THAT would be cool.... but don't think that I'm so anti-intervention that I wouldn't let a nurse or someone (anyone?) else take care of all that for me....

ps - I finally decided to give this blogging thing a try (as opposed to just reading...) come check it out.