I’m feeling a lot of fear and anxiety about the birth of this baby, but maybe not in the way you’d expect.
I’m good at childbirth. I may suck at pregnancy, but I’m good at childbirth.
That said, I am not loving my hospital options here. My doctor only delivers at two hospitals, both of which are part of the public county hospital system. I will say that both are classed as Baby Friendly hospitals which is a huge deal and really great. But I have major concerns about both. Here are the concerns I have with both places:
This is where I went for my HG hospitalizations. Anyone remember how awesome my experiences were there? No one? That’s right. Because it sucked.
- This is an old hospital. It’s gritty. It feels very… what’s the word… institutional. I’m sure it’s very clean, but it just looks really grimy from being old.
- They have you labor in one room and deliver in another room. That’s right ladies. When you hit transition, they make you move. I cannot imagine the chaos of changing rooms during transition. This just seems like a terrible idea and a terrible policy. My doctor said they might be able to make an exception for me since we have no need for things like warming tables and the like, but I’m not sure how comfortable I am with a “might be able to.” This is a major deal-breaker.
- Fathers aren’t allowed to spend the night. My husband might not be able to do this anyway because of the Grasshopper, but the idea of being stuck in there for 3 days by myself just makes me feel edgy and trapped.
- I had pretty bad experiences at this hospital. Just walking into it is enough to send my stress levels up. The woman I shared a room with leaving blood all over the toilet seats, and the mentally ill man walking outside my door and shouting all night and freaking me out that he would come into my room, and the L&D nurse who left me in the wheelchair and repeatedly told me and anyone she ran into that I shouldn’t be in L&D despite what my doctor had said, and the OBGYN not bothering to see me at all, and the evil vital signs lady who kept making my IV sticks bleed with the blood pressure cuff, and the OBGYN who smiled and said that if I feel persistent nausea and vomiting to come back in (idiot), etc, etc, etc…
- Very restrictive for visitors under the age of 13. The Grasshopper could come visit us but only for certain hours. 3 days separated from my family. Cut off from them when I want to be with them the most.
- No showers in the rooms. You have to walk down the hall to the shower behind the nurses station. That means if I want to sit under the hot water while I’m in labor and labor in the shower, I wouldn’t be able to do it.
- Only two rooms. What if they’re full?
- No visitors under the age of 13 allowed. That bothers me in a major, major way. I would be completely cut off from my family during one of the most important times for us all.
- It’s in the next town over. It’s not a long drive, but it is a drive.
- I’m not a fan of several of my doctor’s partners. I only actively dislike one of them, but I think having him walk into the room to catch the baby would send me over the edge.
- My doctor isn’t always on call. I’m not sure what percentage of her babies she delivers, but if she’s not on call, it would be a major, major stressor. The last thing I want to deal with is more stress. That week when all hell was breaking loose with the HG, she was not reachable. At all.
- They don’t let you eat in labor. I need to eat all the time! If I can’t eat I have to get hooked up to an IV with a glucose solution. I am really, really averse to IVs and needle sticks at this point. Like heart racing, hands shaking averse to it.
- No tubs. Anywhere.
- General nervousness about the whole thing.
This is my last baby. Of course, it goes without saying that the ultimate goal is a healthy baby and a healthy mommy. That’s a major no brainer if you ask me. So why can’t birth be a pleasurable experience for me? It was a good experience last time, but like I said in my hypnobirthing post, I want to be an active participant here. I have absolutely no regrets about the Grasshopper’s birth. I just want something different this time around. I want a water birth. I want to do this on my own. I want this last time to be a positive and gentle experience. I’ve had such a crappy pregnancy. I just want to have a positive, respectful birth.
Home birth is absolutely not an option here, but there are some lovely-looking birth centers here in town. My husband is dismissing the idea out of hand. It’s just so far outside his concept of normal. I just want to find a way to help him understand why I might view that as a viable option. The hospitals here aren’t like the awesome one we delivered at in St. Louis. Would switching to midwife care after the HG be like a huge “Eff You” to my doctor? “Hi there. You get to do all the awful stuff without the little bonus prize at the end.”
I hope I can find a way to make peace with all of this.