Some more thoughts on hospitals and birthing

I just want to say that I’m not trying to start an argument here, but I do have some more thoughts to process on this whole giving birth thing and this is my blog afterall…

There is a small part of me that thinks having birth like millions of other women do in a hospital is the way to go. I have after all heard of friends that have had extreme situations where they or the baby might have died had they not been at a hospital.

But I also know that birth is a natural process. Animals do it everyday without our help. So why can’t we cope with it? God designed our bodies to do this why don’t we trust Him and the bodies He has equipped us with?

And I know that having a baby at home sounds a little back-woodsy or primitive when you have all this sexy technology staring you in the face. This was made apparent to me at my last book club meeting when my friend admitted to our group that she had been born at her grandma’s house. The reactions on the faces of the rest of the girls were priceless.

Being comfortable and as relaxed as possible is an essential part of having a good birth experience. I know that I just don’t feel comfortable in hospitals and even in doctor’s offices. I wasn’t just nervous yesterday because I was handing my OB my birth plan. I was nervous because I was there in that cold steril room with crinkling paper underneath me and nothing to do but stare at all those freaky looking instruments.

This past weekend Stephen and I went to urgent care because he was experiencing some pain on the right side of his abdomen. We were there for about 2 hours while they ran labs and tried to figure out if he was having an appendicitus or kidney stones (everything was normal by the way). I got so nauseaus while we were there and kept having flashbacks of the HG trips to the ER. Just being there made me incredibly nervous and sick feeling. As soon as we walked out I felt totally fine.

Unfortunately, it just so happens that this is the same hospital that I have to give birth in. I know I’ll be in a different part of the hospital, but it’s still a hospital where I don’t feel comfortable and I’ll be nervous which could have a significant impact on the progress of my labor.

Plus there will be nurses and doctors coming in and out of my room which I know will make me uncomfortable too. When I was really sick and people would come over to visit I rarely threw up while they were here. Some internal nervous mechanism would keep me from the embarassment of puking in front of a friend, yet the moment they left I often found myself wretching uncontrollably.

While the IV thing shouldn’t be a big deal to me — and really after the amount of IVs I’ve had in the past few months, the actual IV itself doesn’t really bother me — I know that having one started significantly increases my chances of being administered Pitocin or other drugs when and if my labor doesn’t fit into the hospital’s timetable. My doctor can also calm my fears and agree with everything on my list, but I know just walking into a hospital significantly increases my chances of having medical intervention for my birth. Plus there is the chance that he won’t be the one attending my birth and he probably won’t be there all that much even if he does attend my birth. Really I will be the patient of a bunch of nurses that don’t know me and I have never met before.

Since writing my original post I’ve received a couple dozen or so birth stories from people in response to that post. It seemed like the overall theme of most of those stories was, “Oh yeah, I was like you, but then had to have this intervention and it really wasn’t that bad. Your focus should be on the birth of a healthy baby and not worrying about all this stuff.” Stories of epidurals, c-sections, and induced labor that I think are supposed to make me feel better and not worry so much about the interventions. The thing is though that they don’t make me feel better. I don’t care what someone says about how this intervention wasn’t that bad, it was still in my mind probably an unecessary one that probably wouldn’t have happened if the person had a home birth where that wasn’t really an option to begin with (except in the case of a true emergency which is like 1-2% of births).

And in case I’m starting to sound freaked out to you, rest assured I’m not freaked out. I’m just trying to process all of this stuff in my mind.

I don’t know, just despite everything a huge part of me knows I would feel a thousand times more comfortable in my big huge bathtub and in my own bedroom than I ever would in a hospital.


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