• Tue, Nov 13 2012

Why I’ll Never Have Another Hospital Birth

hospital birthBefore I had my daughter, I didn’t have a vision of how the birth would go. I didn’t know how much pain to expect or how long it would take until it was time to push, but there was one thing I was pretty sure of — that how I chose to labor would be left up to me. Birthing a child is the most primal thing on the planet and barring any complications, I would do it with as little intervention as possible. That’s how nature intended and I didn’t feel the need to be comfortably numb during something so earth-shattering. Then, I stepped through the hospital doors on a cold January night and found out that these days, they do it a little differently than I imagined.

On the night before my baby’s birth, we arrived at a popular Baltimore hospital around 10:30. Since my water had broken at home, I was instructed by the on-call doctor to come right into the hospital. I wasn’t in any pain and though I was told I was having contractions, I couldn’t feel them yet. At that moment, I was actually excited for them to begin. I could handle it. I was ready.

Suddenly, everything changed. I stood up to go to the bathroom and the nurse asked what I was doing. I have to pee, I told her. The nurse politely asked me, no, told me, that I needed to get in the bed and if I had to pee, it would be in the bedpan.

“Even number two?” I joked.

“Bedpan.”  Whoa, slow down. We just met.

I was confused. Though my gynecologist had chuckled a bit when I asked about making a birth plan (oh, silly me for wanting to have some choice in the matter), she failed to mention that I would be bound to the bed after my water broke, or that I would only be allowed to um, poop, in a bedpan.

I was stunned. Laying back down, I knew this was not the best position for pain management and often slows labor down immensely. So why was I being told to do this, after everything I’d read warning against staying put? The only answer I received was that it was “hospital policy.” It seemed a rather important hospital policy to neglect mentioning through eight months of prenatal visits and in-depth discussions with one’s doctor, but even more confusing was that no one could tell me why.

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  • Natalie

    Wow. Reading these comments from start to finish is really sad… And kind of scary. I’ve never seen women so intolerant and disrespectful of others opinions and beliefs. And really what does it matter. You want to go all natural and give birth at home or in a birth center? Great! You feel safer in a hospital and have your heart set on an epidural? Go for it! When is it another person’s place to tell a woman how and where they should have the most amazing and personal experience of their lives? It’s just crazy! At the end of the day, no matter how great your “facts” and “statistics” are, you all sound pretty ridiculous. I’m not trying to start another argument. I’m simply stating the fact, would you really be arguing like this to another woman’s face? I personally had an amazing birth experience at a birth center with a very qualified CNM. I ended up having an episiotomy, which I was comfortable with at the time and trusted my midwife, and she did a great job suturing. I was very proud that I did it all natural. At the same time, I never talked about giving birth at a birth center much because I don’t like hearing reactions such as these. It was MY decision and if others have an opinion about it then they weren’t invited to my birth. Haha. But if a woman wants to go to the hospital, whether she feels safer there or thinks she may want pain medication, who are you to tell her she’s wrong? This whole debate is silly. Women have the option to choose to birth wherever and however they choose which is great. Lets not start attacking others for their decision.

  • Feminised

    Sue these arseholes for birth rape. It’s disgusting.
    I had a bad hospital experience and four lovely homebirths after that. I am not prepared to sacrifice my well being for that of my foetus, which is not classed as a human or baby until after it has been born.
    Birth is natural, so is death.