Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I believe that choice is important in life. I never like to feel like I have no options, but that is exactly how I was starting to feel about having this new baby. As we worked through the "options" they were whittled down to none and I started feeling panic about having no alternatives to what I was seeing as a negative situation.

Now, to clarify, I am really starting to find peace with the birth that we are planning now, but that doesn't mean that it is ideal or exactly what I want. What I wanted was to have this specific practice of midwives assist us with a home birth. I wanted to give birth in my own house with my daughter close by and my husband to catch the baby. When this group was already booked and wasn't able to accept us as clients I started looking at alternatives. I knew that the last thing I wanted was to give birth in the same hospital, in the room that looked just the same as where I gave birth before. I was sure that I wouldn't be able to relax and deliver in that environment.

We considered traveling to another, more mother-friendly hospital. The nearest ones are about 2 hours away in several directions, so the chances of giving birth on the side of the road are higher. Also, if the whole point of having the baby in the hospital is so that the NICU is there in case something goes wrong, none of the other hospitals have NICU's, so the baby would have to be transported to the hospital here anyway. That scenario would mean that the baby was in one hospital and I would be in another, several hours away. Also, Smug-Baby would be hours away and less able to visit and be part of things. So, traveling to a better hospital that would let me labor in the tub or whatever, isn't really a good option.

We considered using another midwife, but Smug-Hub was so uneasy about the whole idea of a home birth at all, that trying to get him to interview and get comfortable with another midwife wasn't really going to happen. He was really only comfortable giving it a shot because the team we wanted consisted of a midwife with over 30 years of experience and a midwife who had worked in the hospital and was a nurse for 15 years. It was the perfect combination of experience and medical training that helped him feel like this might be doable. So, hiring another midwife and having a home birth wasn't going to be a good option either.

Once we determined that a home birth wasn't going to happen, I felt really lost. My doctor had told us that he and his partner was sharing doctors with another practice so that would mean that the doctor who would deliver my baby would be any one of 14 doctors and would be whomever happened to be on call. I talked to him about my fears and my need to build a repore of trust with the person who would be assisting me in the delivery, but while he was sympathetic and understanding, he wasn't willing to be on call for me. I talked to other mothers and the leader at the La Lache League meeting, along with a couple of midwives about any other doctors in the area who would actually commit to being MY doctor but none exist.

All the doctors are moving to these large practices with lots of doctors on staff and while I understand that this allows for them to have a life and not be awake every night of the month delivering babies, it is just horrible for patient care. No one seems to give a shit about the patient! It doesn't matter to these doctors that a laboring woman needs to feel safe and protected and to have a bond of trust with the people that are going to help her deliver the baby, they just want to have some time off.

The doctor that we used with Smug-Baby was wonderful! He had an amazing bedside manner and he committed to his patients and was on-call for them. He has moved to another hospital that is about 45 minutes away from my house and this hospital has a really terrible reputation besides, again, not having a NICU. I think that he was hoping to change all that and I wish him luck, but it isn't a good place to have a baby at this time. Not to mention, things went to shit at the end of Smug-Baby's delivery and I need to create something as different as possible and thinking that I could trust this doctor not to make, what I believe to be, mistakes again is just crazy! So, there really isn't a point to changing the doctor that I have now. There isn't anyone else who would treat me any better in my  area, so why bother?

The hospital we are going to use (given the lack of viable options elsewhere) doesn't allow laboring or delivery in a pool or tub. Water was very soothing to me when I was in labor before and I expect that it will be again, so I really wanted to give birth in the water. That isn't an option in my area, but just two hours away, there is a hospital that will let you labor in the birthing pool, but you have to get out to push. Another hospital about two hours away will not only let you labor in the birthing pool, you can deliver there and they even encourage you to reach down and bring your baby up to your chest yourself - like deliver your own baby! How can things be so different, just a few hours down the road?!?!? The hospital that I am stuck with claims to be state of the art and the best technology around, yadda, yadda, yadda, and yet a little town down the way has better patient care??

It is really frustrating to see all the options whittled away until you are left with a doctor that probably won't be helping with the delivery and a hospital that doesn't allow a laboring woman to labor where/how she feels most comfortable.

All that being said, I really did have a good labor with Smug-Baby and I have no complaints about the nurses who attended me during the labor. I also feel like this baby is going to come super fast, because there isn't any blockage within me to cause him/her issues. I probably wouldn't even have time to get a birthing pool set up!! A midwife and family friend has offered to act as Doula for me at the hospital and I feel a lot of trust in her. She will be providing me with that level of prenatal care that I need and the doctor will not do for me. She will be meeting with Smug-Hub and I monthly to get to know the baby, to work with us on creating a birth plan and bonding with Smug-Hub so that they can work together to create that peaceful, trusting environment that I will need to labor effectively.

Whomever the doctor happens to be who comes to help with the delivery will be a professional and we already have discussed that Smug-Hub will take him or her aside and explain the fears and triggers that I will be struggling with during labor. I really do believe that doctors and nurses want to help and aren't in the back room thinking up ways to make labor and delivery harder or more uncomfortable and if we can go in there with an open attitude and maybe some home-baked chocolate chip cookies, then we will be met with good people who want to help bring our baby into the world our way.

I still wish there were better options though...

1 comment:

  1. Aw talk about being weighed down with decisions. I'm sorry. I hope it all settles soon and you get to have most of what you wanted after all.