So I got our first ultrasound today and the baby's hearbeat is a-beatin'! Yay! Miscarriage risk just dropped waaay down for an old fogey mom like me!
If only I could get over the fact that where I live my desire to have the best of both a home birth setting/labor and the security of an OR and an OB ready to intervene (if necessary) just really doesn't exist in my area...
The OB today admitted to me that this was a problem in the US. And "justified" it by saying that obstetrics and the relevant care providers are "territorial".
Given that midwives' strengths are in non-intervention labor and that OBs' strengths are in acute traumatic care/surgery, why is it so rare to have the two working side by side?
And why is it so difficult to conceive of a hospital with a separate home-y wing for birth to keep the superbugs and other germs out?
And, can someone here really make the case for why a hep-lock is necessary for a low-risk birth if you're already in a hospital delivering? I mean, if it took even 5 minutes to get an IV in you after you knew it was necessary, would it be life and death?!
Ok. Enough. Just had to get those off my chest. Back to looking for a new OB...
"To see a world in a grain of sand,<br />And a heaven in a wild flower,<br />Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,<br />And eternity in an hour." - William Blake
Call all the local hospitals and see if they have an Alternative Birthing Center. It might not be totally homey, but it's better than nothing! OR at least ask if they have midwives with delivering privileges... UCSF has both and I'm looking into their facilities.
Congrats on the little one!
"A goal without a plan is just a wish." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
WHEN I HAD BOTH MY SONS, I HAD NO IV, NO CONTINUOUS MONITOR, NO EPIDURAL, AND KEPT THEM WITH ME 24 HOURS PER DAY (THEY DID NOT GO TO THE NURSERY). AND, THEY WERE BOTH BORN IN A TERTIARY CARE HOSPITAL WITH NICU A FEW STEPS AWAY. I JUST TOLD MY OB WHAT I WANTED. ACTUALLY, THE SECOND TIME AROUND, MY SON'S HEART RATE DROPPED TO 60 AND DID NOT COME UP SO I HAD A CODE WHITE DELIVERY, ALMOST A GENERAL ANESTHESIA STAT C-SECTION! THANKFULLY, HE DID FINE OR I WOULD HAVE FELT VERY GUILTY FOR HAVING REFUSED THE MEDICAL MONITORING DURING LABOR!!! IF I GOT PREGNANT AGAIN, I WOULD GO IN NICE AND EARLY, GET MY EPIDURAL AND IV, AND OPT FOR CONTINUOUS MONITORING. IF YOU GET AN EPIDURAL YOU PRETTY MUCH HAVE TO GET THE IV AND MONITOR. AFTER WHAT I WENT THROUGH THE SECOND TIME I WOULD DEFINITELY GET THE EPIDURAL!
I remember my immense relief at seeing that little flicker each time with my babies!!
There are some academic centers with midwives who deliver (with all the high tech backup) so look at your closest one.
As an obstetrician, please take my thoughts as biased on the following...
there is so much blood and body fluid exposure in labor and delivery rooms so I can't imagine there being how difficult it would be to get that stuff really cleaned from any cozy surfaces. I shudder to think of the exposure you might see from bugs in a carpeted room or a reused waterbirth tub. You could bring your own soft sheets and blankets to help maybe soften a hospital room.
And YES get your heplock!! Picture this, your very happy low-risk placenta suddenly detaches in labor. Your baby's heartrate drops and it's oxygen supply is cut off. You, in the meantime, begin to bleed at the rate that blood flows through your uterine arteries 500cc per minute (this is audible bleeding and if you have ever heard it you never want to hear it again.) Let's say it takes 5 minutes to get an IV (that's optimistic considering you are quickly getting volume depleted AND we have to explain what we are doing while we are doing it to a very frightened pt and family), you have lost 2.5 liters of blood in that 5 minutes. That is nearing half of your blood volume!! The time used to get your IV in is precious time that is taken away from getting your oxygen-deprived baby out! I would sacrifice ANY discomfort whatsoever to help my baby not suffer from potential brain damage. I know this situation is rare, but not rare enough that I have not seen it about once per year in my 13 years. I do NOT want to debate medical interventions in labor - I respect deeply others' wishes for a certain experience and am grateful there are providers for everyone. The example is not meant to scare. Just inform you why we insist on our heplock! I wish you one of the most beautiful moments of your life as I am sure it will be!!