Sunday, November 6, 2011

Preparing for a Hospital Birth

With Little Bird, I felt extremely confident in my ability to have the birth I wanted.  It would be just a few people, all people I knew.  We’d be at home, where I felt safe and in control.  I’d know where everything was, have access to my comforts, and work through whatever pains labor brought on.

Now, I’m packing a hospital bag, filling out paperwork to “preregister” for my epidural, and trying to think positively.

A natural birth for me and my Little Tree are not nearly as likely.  First, I’ll be in a hospital, so the access to medication and interventions is much more ready.  Second, Little Tree is not a “healthy” baby so any minor hiccup could escalate to c-section – things that you might not worry about with a “normal” kid.

So I am preparing myself to be okay with whatever happens.  My birth plan is simple.  I would like to forgo any medication or intervention that is not required for my son’s safety or my own.  However, I have had to be strong in so many other ways for my son, that should I decide that the pains of labor are not something I am capable of handling this round, I’m going to ask for the epidural and be okay with that. 

Without an epidural, I can go see my son in the NICU and possibly even be present for some of his testing.  With an epidural or any other pain medications, I have to wait until I completely regain feeling in my legs to go see him.  With a c-section – my recovery has to take a higher priority and it could be a few days before I get to see him, depending on how the surgery goes.

So I’m going in hoping for the best, but accepting that I’d rather have an epidural, or Pitocin, or whatever other things they might throw at me than a c-section.


  1. I hate how hospitals have made it almost impossible to have a natural birth these days... It's always so tempting for them to revert back to medication and surgery to save themselves some time. I was finally moved into my delivery room about 2 hours after checking in during labor with Jake, and not even an hour later (at 3cms still) they started to threaten me with pitocin. Low and behold, within the next hour I went from 3 to a 10 WITHOUT the meds...

    I had an epidural and still had complete control over my legs.. It just felt like my legs were a little tingly. I was able to walk right after birth, but of course they don't allow you to do that without a nurse by your side. I don't know if it had anything to do with me getting the shot so late though... I don't think they expected me to be fully dilated. Anyway, you will definitely make the best decision when the time comes! You're a pro at this labor stuff now! I know things never happen ideally, but you always know how to make the best of any situation! <3

  2. Both births I went in without any expectations for the reasons you just stated. Even with a "healthy" baby, anything can change at the drop of a pin and doctors and nurses almost always err on the side of caution (that's putting it nicely). If you say you aren't going to have surgery or whatever else you don't want, that's probably what will happen. Hoping for the best and knowing what possibly can happen is probably the best way to go into any birth but particularly a hospital birth. I will still hope you can get as much as you'd like out of your birth. You deserve that and so much more.

    What about a wheelchair after birth? I understand if you have surgery, they'll want you in bed for a few hours, but why won't they let Matt take you to see Rowan if you sit in a wheelchair? That seems ridiculous to me.

  3. With experience with both pitocin/epi birth and a c-section, the c-section sucked. However, in the end healthy mom and healthy baby is most important. I never thought I'd have a c-section, so I never prepared myself for one. I think that is the most important thing. I am healing well physically from the surgery, but mentally I am far from it.
    With the epi birth, I was up and walking within 20 minutes after delivery. However it had also worn off 2 hours before. So if you do opt for the epi, I suggest asking them to turn it off when you begin pushing, one so that it can begin to wear off so you can get up sooner, and two so you can push more effictively.
    After my c-section, they allowed me to go see Will around 11pm in a wheelchair, and he was born at 5:52pm, so 5 hours. I got to walk down and see him at 3am for the first time, and touch him then. And at 7am I was finally allowed to hold him for the first time. And advice if you do end up with a c-section not under general, make friends with the anesthesologist. Without her, I would not have gotten any pictures of Will right after he was born. And those pictures were the only images of Will I had of him until 11pm.