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September 13th, 2013 04:09 AM #1
Hospital Experience - Should I find a midwife or a doula?
We had a negative experience at the hospital with our first baby.
Commencing the long story:
My labour was very easy. My water broke (over the toilet) at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, and after a lot of walking around the hospital, a couple of morphine injections, and what felt like ages of waiting, Azula was born at 5:00PM about 6 pounds and totally healthy.
I am positive one of the nurses mis-measured my cervix because I was measured at 3cm at 11AM, and was apparently still only at 3cm (REALLY?) around 3:30PM when measured by a different nurse. That nurse actually advised me that first time moms usually take a really long time to dilate and suggested I go home and return at 8:30 that evening. I said I would rather stay at the hospital since my house was far away, so she said that was fine and gave me a shot of morphine. At 4:30 I told a different nurse "I feel like I need to push" and after I insisted she checked me and said "Oh yeah, you're fully dilated now" and they hustled me into the labouring room.
I only had to push for about 15 minutes to get Azula out, and then 1 big push 5 minutes later for the placenta. I had no need for an epidural, had no tearing, no complications at all. The Obstetrician and nurses were really surprised how fast and easy everything went (although, maybe they say that to all the new mothers?).
Azula and I were really high from the morphine for hours afterward. I barely remember anything from that evening. I know that a nurse came in to show us how to bathe the baby and to advise me the proper way to nurse the baby - but I don't remember any of it, and Azula was too drugged up to nurse anyway. I remember our immediate family coming to visit, but that is really fuzzy for me.
There were several mix-ups at the hospital regarding our room and care. We ended up staying in the (dirty) labour room until something like 10PM before finally someone transferred us up to OUR room. When we got to our room it was freezing cold because they had the A/C cranked really high, and when someone finally came to check on us they said Azula's temperature had dropped too low and that they would have to give her formula. I strongly wanted to breastfeed (I knew I could because I had already been leaking for months) but they wouldn't let me, they said I didn't have time / Azula was too weak to try. My husband gave them permission to formula feed her and then they whisked her away to the NNICU for the night (where I tearfully insisted on going down to breastfeed every couple of hours & told them they were not to give her formula again unless it was an emergency). I didn't sleep at all that first night, and I fully blame and resent the hospital and hospital staff for complicating after the fact what should have been (and was) a safe, natural, easy childbirth.
/End of long story.
So, I'm debating what to do for this pregnancy.
I do not want to deliver at that same hospital again. Do I want to have a regular hospital experience, just at a different hospital (there are plenty in my area to choose from)? Do I want to go to a different hospital and have a midwife and/or doula attend the delivery there? I think I would like a fully drug free delivery if possible.
What are your experiences? Have any of you felt like you were mistreated or misinformed at the hospital, or bullied or taken advantage of? Have any of you dealt with a midwife or a doula? How did having a midwife or doula change your childbirth experience?Azula Rosemary
1 July 2012
3 January 2014
September 13th, 2013 04:38 AM #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2013
I don't have a real answer for your questions, nor do I have a story about my own experience.
But I do highly recommend you watch a documentary called "The Business of Being Born".
It is on Netflix, if you have that. It is extremely enlightening on the subject of birthing experiences and what exactly is best for the baby and mother and what is just convenient for hospital staff.
I assume everyone wants to positively remember the birth of their children, and get the most from the experience since it is a beautiful one. For this reason my own personal opinions are that one should be able to shape their own birthing experience and be able to feel in control and content with the way things go. Obviously we should not have specific expectations, because things will not always go unplanned and you do not want the small things to be upsetting, but in general giving birth should be an empowering experience!
Good luck! I hope you find the answers you are looking for. The documentary is great.
Also, a note: My aunt is a midwife, and I believe that it is one of the most amazing jobs. They are amazing people. Definitely look into that!19 yr old name nerd, nanny & applied sciences undergrad
Long time favourites: Olive, Harriet, Ezra, Atlas & Hugo
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer -Albert Camus
September 13th, 2013 04:42 AM #5
Your post-natal care at that hospital makes me so angry! If her temperature was too low, probably the best thing for it would have been to do skin-to-skin with you to get it regulated. They also could have helped you to express some colostrum into a syringe to fed to her if they thought she was too drugged up to wake and nurse effectively, especially if they were concerned about blood sugar levels at that point!
Things are set up differently in NZ, and most women have a midwife in charge of their care. I'm not sure how common doula's are here, but I don't think they have a very high profile.
I think that having a midwife or doula would be beneficial, particularly since your previous experience has potentially made you distrustful of the staff whose job it is to care for you. Birth is also an overwhelming experience for the husband/partner, as well as you! And I think that having an advocate in the form of a midwife or doula would also take some of the pressure of dealing with hospital staff off your husband, and leave him free to support your immediate needs during labour and to enjoy the time afterward with both yourself and the new baby.
Hopefully a few people who have birthed in the US system, and used a midwife or doula will reply to this thread as well! I feel like my reply is really disjointed, I should probably have an early night!Leo Sebastian l Ronan Alexander
September 13th, 2013 05:10 AM #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2013
Well, a doula isn't in any way a medical professional. They're there to support you. If your husband is very nervous or you had a tough time with labor, you might want one, but I don't think a doula would solve your problem.
I have birth with a midwife and it was an excellent experience. I also had my daughter at a hospital with an extremely progressive maternity ward.
I did get stradol and something else for pain, which made me incredibly groggy and uncomfortable, and I don't remember a few hours of labor. BUT: I had been in labor for nearly 48 hours and hadn't slept, and by the time I delivered, the drugs had more than worn off. And my daughter had meconium in her fluid, and the drugs did help me relax to speed labor, so I have no regrets.Lillian Elizabeth 6.16.13
September 13th, 2013 12:47 PM #9
Silverr - I have seen that documentary actually! It is really good. We live in Vancouver Canada, by the way, so our health care system is national & different from the USA.
I have had a few friends deliver at our local hospital and all have had cesareans (in one case my friend wound up with a terrible infection after the surgery and 18 months later is still not fully healed, and in another case the doctor who 'made the cut' in my friend's abdomen actually cut the baby's forehead - she is fine but that is absolutely terrifying!) so I am leery about Hospital births to begin with. We picked the hospital we went to because I was afraid I would be bullied into a cesarean at the local hospital, and the one we went with is actually the hospital I was born in so I thought that would be kind of sweet. Anyway, we won't be going back there for this one after the treatment we had last time.
A doula is a labour coach. They are not medically licensed to deliver babies, they just help specifically with the mother labouring. My labour was so easy & natural last time that I don't expect a particularly difficult labour with this pregnancy either. Although, I might end up biting my tongue, since 2 out of 3 of my mom's deliveries had major complications.
I think I will try to find a midwife, if I can. Where I live they are not provided for you in the hospitals - If you insist on having one you need to find one independently & then you can arrange for your midwife to either deliver at home, or use a room in the hospital. Midwives are in very high demand here so if I want to find one I will need to start looking as soon as possible. My doctor is not against midwives but is very against home births and says the risks are too high - his main point is that if you deliver in a hospital full of specialists and specific equipment, and there are any complications, whoever/whatever you need can be there immediately. A few minutes can be life or death for a baby or a woman in labour. He has a whole rant about it, it is very convincing. Anyway, as much as I hate hospitals now I'm scared to deliver at home. I think finding a midwife and delivering at the local hospital would probably make me most comfortable - then we can have someone there who knows our needs and is really looking out for us.
Has anyone experienced delivery in a hospital assisted by a midwife? I would really like to know how it differs from being treated by a regular obstetrician. With a midwife was she there with you the whole time? Did she do all the measuring while you dilated and monitor all your contractions, or were you assisted mainly by nurses? Did she stay long after birth, or did she leave and come back to check up on you or what?
I am confident that I can have another natural vaginal delivery, especially if I go drug-free, and a huge concern for me is making sure I have proper postnatal care.
Last edited by katieydenberg; September 13th, 2013 at 12:53 PM.Azula Rosemary
1 July 2012
3 January 2014