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Two steps forward, four steps back

01/15/2013

Belle

On Saturday I went to an informal meeting at our local natural birthing resource – Bab.y Mo.on.

I’ve been going to yoga classes at Ba.by Mo.on for quite a while now, first with their infertility classes and now with their prenatal classes. I was always knew that this was where I wanted to go to prepare for my natural childbirth experience – should it ever come.

Fast forward two years and I’m 15 weeks pregnant and still freaked out. While at my prenatal yoga class (hiding in the back because I still feel like a fraud) the instructor mentioned the informal workshop coming up the following week that would introduce us to the classes they offer, give us an opportunity to sign up for classes and answer a lot of our questions about area hospitals, practitioners and doulas. “Fantastic,” I thought. “This will confirm that I’m doing everything right, I’ve chosen the proper hospital and I’m seeing a great midwife!”

HA! Turns out I have no idea what is going on. It also turns out that my hesitance to sign up for Hypno Babies earlier has now made it impossible – all classes are full until April when we have extensive travel and showers planned. I had to fight back tears as I watched my dream of learning Hypno Babies in a classroom setting fade and be replaced by horus of home study and trying to convince the Professor that he must participate.

Fine, let’s turn my focus to something I am certain I’m doing well.

“What red flags would you say to watch for with your practitioner? I’ve had some less-then-stellar medical care in the past and am wondering if those red flags are the same with a midwife or OB.”

The FIRST thing they said that is a MAJOR red flag is if you go into your first prenatal appointment ready to talk birth – like I did – and your practitioner says, “There is plenty of time for that. Let’s focus on the present instead.” – which she did. If this happens, you and your uterus should take your business elsewhere.

What? Really? The group leader pointed out that while you can still change practitioners late in the game, it is not advised. You need to know upfront what your practitioner’s stance is on things like natural childbirth, episiotomies, birthing positions, etc. A dodge of this  question is your No. 1 red flag.

Crap.

“What hospitals would you say have the highest c-section rates in the area?” I asked.

Cent.ral Bapt.ist.

Shit. Really? That is where I was planning to deliver. The leader explained that while CB might have the best birthing tubs in the area, they are consistently the quickest to intervene and have, hands down, the highest c-section rate.

I just stared and felt completely defeated. What the hell what happening? Was I REALLY this unprepared?

Another woman asked what hospitals offer the best and worst breast feeding support. You know what was the worst? You got it, Cen.tral Bap.tist. Holy shit, y’all. I know that the size of the ta-tas have no bearing on the success of breast feeding, however, after all the garbage we went through to get pregnant I feel like I should prepare for breast feeding to also be a struggle. This means I want to be in the place with the best support.

Now on the brink of complete collapse, I timidly raised my hand yet again and asked what hospital would they say outperforms all others? What they said pushed me over the edge and my eyes began to well up with tears. UK hospital is the leader in natural childbirth in our area. What? You mean the hospital that has given me HORRIBLE care in the recent past? The place where a looming rheumatology appointment sends me into a depressive stupor 7 days before I even see the doctor? The place where my retna specialist responded to my Trisomy 15 miscarriage by saying, “Bet you are glad that happened! You sure dodged a bullet!” WHAT?

I did not believe these people. At. All.

So yesterday I spent some time digging around looking for a few doulas in my area to interview (evidently I’m also late to the draw for this one, too) I emailed three and all responded within two hours.  The first response was lukewarm and left me uncertain she was worth meeting with. The second was encouraging and I quickly responded to set up a time to meet. The third, however, was outstanding. She wrote a long email back answering all my questions about providers, c-section rates, breast feeding support, natural childbirth options, etc. And you know what she said?

The same damn thing I learned on Saturday at Bab.y Mo.on. Cen.tral Bap.tist is the worst and UK is the leader.

This morning I responded to all three doulas and am in the process of setting up two interviews. I’m also waiting on a call back from UK to have a consultation and see what my gut reaction is. I’m so very fearful that I’ll end up in another rheumatology situation,  though. You know, that situation where they swear I’m dying from some yet unidentified but most certainly dreadful autoimmune disease and proceed to scare the shit out of me every time I have a checkup (for the record, I have a rheumatology checkup tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. and I am NOT super happy about it).

So back to Square One I go to again search for a provider and hospital.

I am also terribly afraid of getting tangled up in the cascade of medical interventions during birth. Unlike many of my fertile friends, I don’t get to re-do my birth experience with a second child. This little Chicken is it for me and I want, more then anything, for his or her entrance into this world to be perfect, peaceful and, preferably, not to require the use of a vacuum or worse!

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37 Comments

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  1. January 15, 2013

    I delivered in the hospital with the highest intervention rate and c section rate in town. I was worried too. But because I had my doula and knew what I wanted and my options, I made all my own decisions. I think the high c sections and interventions happen more to unprepared, because when the option is presented they don’t know to ask about other options. I think if UK makes you uncomfortable, go with your gut – and bring your doula.

    • January 16, 2013

      That makes a lot of sense and is something for me to seriously consider. We are meeting with a doula this weekend to chat about things and hopefully will have more direction then. I’m encouraged to know other women delivered at hospitals with high c section rates yet were able to keep their natural birth plans. Did you have doctors and nurses try to force intervention up on you during your delivery or were they genuinely supportive of your choices?

      • January 16, 2013

        I did unfortunately end up with interventions, but only when I wanted them. I had in my birth plan for them not to offer and they never did. It was only after laboring all night and 21 hours of contractions when I finally asked for the epidural. And I agreed to the forceps after 2.5 hours of pushing but I never once felt pressured. They never suggested the epidural, and when I said no to the pitocin and forceps they just said ok and they’d check progress again a few hours later. I didn’t get my natural birth but every decision was made by me, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

  2. Ginny #
    January 15, 2013

    Wow, so sorry you’re having to re-visit this issue………………being from the Lex. area; but not having had a baby all I can mention is that I’d always presumed that CB was THE baby hospital here; while UK was slightly sub-standard in many areas of care…………………this info is only word of mouth type info, though. I have had a ruptured ectopic emergency surgery at CB over 10 years ago and they treated me with compassion and excellent care. I’ve never been to UK for any care of any type, on purpose I’ve just avoided going there due to the negative impression I’ve been given over my years here. Just don’t know what to say except that I admire your resolve to do things as naturally as possible when giving birth.

    • January 16, 2013

      I felt the same way! I guess UK has made GREAT strides in the past few years to improve their birthing facility and even received funding to get baby friendly status. I am impressed, but will not be convinced until I meet with a practitioner and take a tour. I can say I have had excellent emergency care at both CB and Uk.

  3. January 15, 2013

    Statistics aren’t everything. If it’s not 100%, and I know it can’t possibly be, some have had awesome experiences at CB and some (you) have had horrific ones at UK.

    Consent is everything. Unless you’re unable to provide it, they can’t assume it. Thoroughly read your informed consents and don’t sign if there’s any doubt.

    I have every confidence that you’ll make the decision that’s right for you.

    • January 16, 2013

      Consent IS important. The challenge is that I cave under pressure and get unnecessarily freaked out when pressured by medical practitioners. I think this is where having a doula will really help me – they can give me the options that a doctor might not.

      • January 20, 2013

        I can’t argue that; I’m the same way. I have faith in you for this, though.

  4. January 15, 2013

    I don’t remember your whole experience with UK but have you met with their Obstetrics/Midwives? Their rheumatology department might be horrible while their Obstetrics unit might be great. I say try to go into it with an open mind and don’t let past experience in other areas of the hospital sway you. If they have the lowest C-section rate, it’s worth it to give them a try.

    • January 16, 2013

      I actually went to their OB dept. when we first started down the IF road and my care was horrible. My shellfish allergy was over looked and then my peanut allergy was completely missed despite it being written in big bold text on all my documentation. The doctor gave me prometrium, which is in peanut oil. Let’s just say that I have never had an itch quite like it! The UK Rheumatology dept. is very poorly run, too. That said, you are completely correct in that one dept might not be like the other. The dept. I was told is superior to OB is the Department of Family and Community Medicine. They are hte section that is very pro natural birth, breast feeding, etc. I look forward to my consult and will be sure to update on what I learn.

  5. SRB #
    January 15, 2013

    Deeeeep breathes, Belle. This is all information you can use to your advantage! I am *very* encouraged about the two doula responses and the meet-ups. VERY. Research shows that birthing with a doula leads to fewer overall interventions, better BFing support (esp. if she does postpartum services), and a more positively-rated birth experience by the mother and her partner. And like Jesica said above, UK might have an *awesome* OB unit, though I can understand how hard it will be to overcome the feeling the other units have left you with. It is NEVER too late to be an advocate for yourself – you know this! You have already taken positive steps with this info and looked into doulas. YOU GO GIRL (and yes, I can totally pull that off!).

    Fear is the hardest thing to work with in pregnancy and childbirth, especially with the avalanche of IF/loss piled on top of it. You may have read recently that I did not have a great birthing experience with #1. With #2, I have been doing to Hypnobabies home study program, and it has been a revelation (especially the “Fear Clearing” sessions). You *can* make the time for it – 30 minutes per day to just *be* with yourself and the Chicken. (And honestly, the Professor only needs to get in the game towards the end, and he will *want* to then, with all the excitement finally catching up to him what with the big belly in his face and all!). I do the HB sessions every night, and listen to the affirmations while I am cooking dinner. The effect of the program has been unquantifiable in helping me to manage my anxiety and be at peace with whatever this birthing experience brings (including transfer to the hospital). It has also helped me to advocate for birthing attendants that I feel comfortable with and trust and I believe that will make a difference. In short, if you are interested in HB, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the home study program and would be happy to talk to you about it any time. 🙂

  6. January 15, 2013

    Oh my gosh, how stressful! But like a few people are saying here, I truly believe you have to go with your gut — a higher rate of C-sections doesn’t necessarily mean the OBs are desperate to cut into you. And honestly, it might signal that they’re being cautious and extra-careful when they encounter problems during a natural birth. It really could mean anything, so I wouldn’t dismiss CB right away. Same goes for your midwife — she seems really nice and qualified, so maybe just raise your questions again about the birthing stuff and say you’d really feel better if you talked about it now, and I’m SURE she’ll be happy to. Trust your instincts, not gossip and rumours.

  7. jak #
    January 15, 2013

    i seriously, seriously, apologize in advance for this hugely long comment that should be an email, but i have been researching this for years even before i started trying to get knocked up, because friends were having too many c-sections and i thought it was strange given their health and young age.

    you can get the c-section statistics for yourself, although some states are less forth-coming than others. my ob’s hospital is ~40% c-section. so i packed up and left her. they asked me why, i told them, “the c-section rate is unjustifiably high.” period. my state average is ~30%. 10% higher than the state average? wtf?

    i used to do med research at [literally] the top hospital in the nation, but all my colleagues who had their babies there were spiraled into c-sections through a series of cascading interventions that slowed down labor so much that c-sections seemed unavoidable given the setting (a hospital). and some of these women were indeed, mentally prepared for natural birth (seriously). the best place to have spinal cord surgery, immunological care, cancer treatment, risky open heart surgery, is NOT always the best place to give birth. the same holds true for the converse. the best places for routine care (which labor SHOULD BE) are not always the best places for complicated issues like IF, immunology, oncology, etc.

    read ina may’s book on childbirth. go do it. right now. (and while your at it, you will see that missing you hyno babies class is not the end of the world at all – a good birth teacher will incorporate many methods, all methods, that are useful).

    then think about this: once you enter a hospital in labor and are admitted, you are on their clock. because you are now their insurance risk. when hospitals calculate “incidents” for malpractice, they lump together the wrong-limb-amputations and the oops-i-left-a-surgical-tool-in-you’s with the birth incidents/”mistakes”. so, if they can get the birth mistakes down to as absolutely low as possible, it will lower their overall incident rate, on which their malpractice insurance is based. sure, the stats can be picked apart and the birth incidents can be looked at separately, but overall for the institution’s risk burden calculation, they ultimately look at a total number (you can figure this out by looking at the health management literature indexed in PubMed).

    so, in order to drive down TOTAL incidents/accidents, ob’s are pressured to maximize their control over situations and minimize possible “problems”. c-sections are not a problem for docs to perform. the c-section is the single most frequently performed surgery in the US. c-sections are effectively “safe”. they are simple and routine. although they are hard for you and your baby (bonding and recovery) and carry a small risk of infection and complication. but, they are very “safe” from an institutional perspective. they are safe for the docs. so, by opting to choose c-section when anything seems to be going slightly not according to hospital plan, doctors believe they are avoiding risk of birthing incidents.

    BUT! they are at a point of diminishing returns. the c-section rate is increasing as the benefits are no longer realized. they are not saving babies and mums in trouble anymore. they are simply applying an uncomfortable intervention in situations where it is not really needed because they are covering their asses and trying to drive down that total incidents number. this is proven by the lack in a drop in infant mortality and maternal mortality, but an increase in c-section rates at the same time. so what are they accomplishing? nothing. and it’s at your expense. according to the WHO (and i think CDC?) the necessary c-section rate should be no more than 10-15%. hospitals are routinely at 20, 30, 40% with some even higher. this should tell you that 5, 10, 30% of c-sections are not really necessary. they simply occur because docs are too rushed and untrained in healthy normal labor to tell the difference between when an intervention is really needed and when it is not.

    for this reason, i am going with a midwifery practice. it’s basically a house. with tubs, and an inflatable birthing pool. they have a 12% c-section rate (these women get transferred to the closest hospital). their 12% rate mysteriously falls right in the range between 10-15% that the WHO says is really necessary or justifiable. if things get complicated, i can be transported to the hospital, where my midwife will accompany me, and where she or he has a good working relationship with the staff and is respected as a medical professional.

    sorry for the rant. i’ve just been reading about this for years, including the medical literature. i hope you find an advocate/midwife and a place where you are happy and comfortable and where your nerves and the pressures around you will not slow down your labor. don’t get too hung up on the hyn.obabies class thing. you will find something that works for you and professor husband:)

    • January 16, 2013

      “the best place to have spinal cord surgery, immunological care, cancer treatment, risky open heart surgery, is NOT always the best place to give birth. the same holds true for the converse.” This is exactly what the Professor pointed out. Our local paper also ran a shockingly timely piece two days ago which I just saw: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/01/14/2475469/ky-voices-doctors-often-push-for.html

      • jak #
        January 16, 2013

        awesome, thanks for posting the link! she makes some very good points – especially about “failure to wait” and induction. same stats effectively that are in ina may’s book – induction dramatically increases the risk of c-section.

        i agree with your response above regarding how when you are in the thick of things, it might not be hard for a doc to manipulate you into thinking you are failing (thus further slowing labor!) and accepting risky interventions that you dont need. i know i would cave. that’s why i’m avoiding the hospital. but my mom gave birth 4x naturally in a hospital, one was a VBAC even, so it is possible. but you do really have to be steadfast and supported by your professor and your doula:) now, if you can just tell me how to convince my DIY husband that a doula is a good idea…..???

        • January 16, 2013

          Hahahahaha! Tell the husband the doula is for HIM so he can feel less pressure and enjoy the miracle of his child being born 🙂 The Professor is all for it knowing that he is not the best advocate when ti comes to lady parts and that his main concern is a healthy, happy baby and a healthy happy wife.

  8. January 15, 2013

    Belle, I’m right with you here…The C section rate at my hospital is 30% which STILL feels incredibly high to me, considering birthing centers have rates of about 5-8%. I have been doing a lot of research on how I would like my birth to play out, and have found two books to be very helpful in educating me: Birthing From Within and The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth. From all that I have read, you have a MUCH better chance of avoiding intervention at the hospital if you labor at home for as long as you can. A doula can make this a lot more manageable. You also have a LOT more rights as a patient than I was giving myself credit for. For example, some hospitals will require continuous electronic fetal monitoring which has been shown not only to raise C Section rates, but does very very little to actually prevent a problem if it were to happen. You have a right to request that you do not have this (sometimes, the hospital will require permission from your doctor). Sometimes, a hospital will have high C Section rates because they handle many more high risk births (if they have a Level 3 NICU, for example) or twin births. My advice before you switch practitioners is to go on a hospital tour. Hubs and I just went on one at the hospital that our Ob practices out of, and it put a lot of our fears to rest. Go to the tour armed with a list of questions–it was shocking to me how many people were just touring the facilities, and not asking the harder questions of the staff.

    • January 15, 2013

      Birthing centers don’t typically have higher-risk NICU’s and don’t take on the highest risk OB patients when it’s delivery time. Those patients are sent to the hospitals with the higher C-section rates where their babies can be delivered in emergency situations. Don’t let the numbers scare you at face value. The high rates to be scared of are higher rates at smaller hospitals where emergency situations are not sent.

      • January 15, 2013

        I should have read this entire comment before I commented. Sorry, Sunny 🙂

        I get pretty fired up about this after being laid into by my SIL about my c-section that she felt was “optional” (severly breech baby) but ended up being 100% necessary (very short cord meant no possible version or safe natural birth).

        • J. F. #
          January 17, 2013

          My first kid was born at a freestanding birth center full of very experiences, patchouli-scented CNMs who were into acupuncture- and who DID NOT TAKE breech births. Because they are very risky, and complications can swiftly be very dangerous. High risk, nice to meet you, go to an OB now. So… your SIL is, ah… ill-informed.

  9. January 15, 2013

    I don’t think you’re near as behind as you think you are. Remember, you are just hearing the opinion of one place (the yoga place) and their opinions are just that – opinions. When it comes to c-section rates, you need to think about the size and type of hospital it is. Is it a hospital that takes high-risk patients? Is it a hospital with a better NICU? Those types of hospitals will ALWAYS have higher c-section rates because they’re taking on the more difficult cases.

    You want a doula, and having one will take away a lot of the pressure to employ interventions during birth. That’s what a doula is for, right? To be your advocate. I would go with the hospital that makes you feel the most comfortable, and let your doula advocate with/for you.

    As for the advice (again – just their opinion) that an OB dismissing your childbirth questions early on – I don’t believe that for a minute. Your OB knows your history and may simply be wanting to keep your focus on getting to a viable stage for you. She/he may be more focused on keeping you comfortable with the here and now, until you’ve reached a comfortable spot where you can then delve into something else. AND – I think it’s important for YOU to decide on your own what you want without getting the opinion of an OB. Do you want to be medicated? Do you want a doula? Do you want a midwife assisting? Do you want a birth plan written out? These are things that you want to decide for yourself first, without their opinions on the matters.

    Also remember that your primary OB is likely not the person who will deliver your baby. If you have a natural birth, you will get whoever is on call that night (this terrifies me) so what YOUR OB thinks, is not necessarily what will be thought by your attending OB.

    YOU are in control of your own birth. You, the Prof., and your doula will guide the birth process. Unless there is an emergency situation, you have loving people advocating for you. I just wouldn’t worry about the hospital or the OB too much. Maybe I’m crazy (and yes, I have a stellar OB who believes 100% in mother-guided childbirth decisions), but I think you’re going to be just fine with the people you’ve selected. You’re comfortable with them, right? That’s what matters.

  10. Kenyas mama #
    January 15, 2013

    OH my gosh, I had to switch to a regular keyboard to be able to type my message to you – although it looks like you have a lot to read already on this topic. A) I’ll agree that it is a red flag that she said we’ll talk about the birth later. I had one meeting with an MD who said she didn’t understand why women hired Doulas because it was a waste of money with perfectly good hospital staff around to support me in my birth. (GONE!) B) I hope you find comfort in this, but I had a completely natural delivery in a hospital with a 40 per cent c-section rate. FORTY PERCENT!

    I interviewed the MD there and this was his response: Hospitals don’t have C-section Rates. People have C-section Rates. I am 50/50 on his answer. He basically said if you get a woman who wants to be induced because she wants her family to schedule their time in town and who refuses to push, and who doesn’t want to risk damaging nether regions and who might come from a more privileged background, people who have a higher incidence of having multiples because they can afford IVF in certain demographic areas, there is nothing you can do as a medical professional except help her get her experience or treat the type of patient you get. I give him the Benefit of the doubt that that MAY account for 20 per cent of that 40, IF THAT.

    That answer didn’t sell me as much as him answering my other list of questions, but the doula I chose had a 10 percent c-section rate and was WELL respected at the hospital with the 40 percent rate. She, and two other doulas had very good things to say about the MD I chose to work with. Hopefully your Doula can help you choose your MD. It has worked out very well for me down here.

    15 weeks is still relatively early to switch, so I’m hopeful that UK’s OB/GYN department gives you more comfort. At least in the city I live in, hospital reputation for “dealing” with unmedicated mothers goes a LONG way. You guys don’t want to be bullied by nurses who just want to sit in the hallway and watch a monitoring strip instead of assist with positioning and help you in and out of the tub because you chose to do it “differently” – certainly not while you’re having contractions on top of one another and while the Professor is stupefied at the situation he has found himself in. I have a copy of The Thinking Women’s Guide to Giving Birth. I highly recommend it. Just know that you can do a lot to prepare your brain and your body for a Natural Birth before you get to the birthing part.

    I know the Doula is not a MEDICAL Professional, but she will be yours and the Professor’s GREATEST asset throughout this whole process. Boat said he would NEVER have another baby (like he does the “having”) without a doula.

    • January 16, 2013

      Oh, having a doula is not an option in my opinion! We are not certain where we will be come delivery time, though. I will be booking a doula here and one in our No. 1 choice to move to and hope that all will work out and we’ll be in one of the two places come the end of June! I might give you a call this weekend after we interview our first doula to chat.

  11. Kenyas mama #
    January 15, 2013

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595013/

    read results only if you don’t have much time.

  12. January 15, 2013

    I switched docs around 22 weeks b/c I wasn’t happy with my current OB. I went on a ‘Meet the Doc’ frenzy, visiting midwives & OBs to find the right fit. And I am SO glad I did, even that late in the game, b/c giving birth is such an intimate experience- you want to feel like the people there on that amazing day are totally on your team and people that care about you. When I found my new OB it meant delivering at a different hospital, too. I believe my wonderful OB was the sole reason I was able to give birth vaginally when all my ultrasounds swore up and down it couldn’t happen due to my fibroid. Now is definitely the time to do all your research, create a birth plan, & surround yourself with an exception team. If you do that, you can be more present & relaxed on your babe’s birthday. And if you totally, fully trust your caregiver, if your labor shifts in a way that was not planned for whatever reason, you will be more comfortable going with their advice- you don’t want to be having to make those decisions in the middle of laboring. I’ll be sending good vibes toward that right caregiver coming to you! Finding a great doula is definitely the way to start. : )

  13. January 15, 2013

    The hospital where I am set up to birth right now also has a 30% C section rate, unfortunately this is normal across hospitals in the US. And get this, you have no clue which doctor will be delivering the baby because they all rotate, so I have met a new OB for every appointment I have had for months! Also one of the OBs I met told me that the nurses at this hospital are superstitious about birth plans! Ahhh what the hell, right? I wrote about that in my blog, I was so upset! That doctor was so mean, and if I have to deliver with her, it will really suck.

    I am trying to switch hospitals and care. I had an interview with a midwife last week, but they only do home births and my husband is against having a home birth, and I have to admit it scares me a little too.In the beginning I heard good things at the hospital I am at right now, but now all I hear are bad things and even the midwife strongly cautioned me to get out of there!

    But, I actually changed hospital care in the end of my last pregnancy because we moved from San Francisco to Castro Valley, the east bay area in CA, and I didn’t deliver my baby with any doctor or nurse that I had ever met before. And you know what? I actually gave birth according to my birth plan, drug free! I had the best nurse, Heather, who I could not have done it without. So finding new care and a new hospital is not the end of the world, you can still have the birth you want, especially if you really prepare your husband and your doula for all of your birthing wishes and needs.

    My husband claims he read my book Husband Coached Childbirth by Dr. Bradley, but when we got to the hospital I was so mad at him, he didn’t know what the hell he was doing! I quizzed him last night and he was clueless again, so we will be practicing relaxation and coping techniques. We also went to many birthing classes, my husband didn’t retain a damn thing! But he took over for Heather and did exactly what she was doing to help me, and everything went so much better for us together after that, and we went into our own little world. So don’t be too disappointed about the Hypno Babies birthing classes, maybe you can take them online or find an alternative?

    No matter where you end up birthing, your husband and doula will be your advocates. They will be knowledgeable and prepared to spot unnecessary interventions. You can labor at home for as long as possible. Have you found out yet if your hospital choices have time frames or limits on how long you can labor before they will intervene? You also know that you won’t accept pitocin for any reason during labor, and you will not get the epidural. These are the things I will be focusing on, especially if I must end up staying with the supposedly superstitious hospital and that horrible OB.

    I hope things work out on this birthing issue for us both! I know it is stressful and scary, and the fact that it will most likely be your only birth experience must make it more so. But I am sure you will have a great birth and it will all come together soon :).

    As far as breastfeeding goes, do not get it into your head that you will have problems! The truth is that it is not easy. It can be very painful, but you just take it one day at a time. You must have confidence in yourself and in your baby to birth and breastfeed. Fear is your enemy, especially in these departments. I do not claim to be fearless, I stayed in the hospital and extra day because I was not sure if my baby was latching properly and I was nervous to take her home. But the lactation consultants at the hospital really helped me and gave me the confidence I needed to just take it day by day. YOU CAN DO IT! You will not encounter any problems that women before you have not overcome as long as you keep at it and do not give up!

  14. January 15, 2013

    Okay, I can see how a session like that would throw you into a tailspin. After everything you’ve been through, news like this would be hard for anyone to hear.

    So, I think when you meet with the doulas, you should bring this up. Point out the fact that you’ve heard CB has higher c-section rates than UK and ask their opinion. But also bring up your experience with UK. See what they say. It’s a great interview question AND it may help you as you go forward with the decision process.

    Regarding everything else: breathe. Like SRB said, you are not behind. You’re just not on everyone else’s schedule. Hypno babies is still an option. Hell, I think this could be a great idea of an online home-study group! Whatever you decide to do, remember you have time. Yes, there are waiting lists. Yes there are schedules. But I also believe a lot of this gives the false impression that we can plan everything all the way down to exactly how our babies will be born. And I blame this mentality for the sadness and depression that follows when things don’t go exactly as planned.

    Hang in there lady. You’ve just hit a couple of bumps in the road. But I know you’ve got this and everything will be okay.

  15. Cammy #
    January 15, 2013

    Hey Belle. I just read yesterday the article talking about CB and UK and the C-section rate and was shocked. I am going to stick with CB, but really be prepared with a birthing plan and talk extensively with my OB. I am going Thursday to my appointment and plan to talk with them about this very subject. I am calling this week to sign up for the natural birthing classes. I believe that as long as I am prepared and aware of this issue at CB, I an advoacte and get what I want in the end. I am 24 weeks and I don’t want to start over now. I think I have waited too long for a DOULA, but if I had one that would give me even more confidence to move forward with CB and my current OB. So might call around tomorrow. I will be curious to know who you choose as your new provideder…let me know when you find one and good luck!!

    • Cammy #
      January 15, 2013

      I should have read this before hitting reply! Please disregard any spelling errors. 😉

      • January 16, 2013

        Ha! Always, I had not seen the piece in the HL but just searched and found it. Shocking! I’ll meet with folks at UK and bring my list of interrogation to my next CB appointment and see what my gut tells me is best. I’ll keep you posted!

  16. January 15, 2013

    Argh, argh, argh. Just when you think it’s safe to relax… it isn’t.

    Sorry to hear about the complicated process of sorting out who/what/when/where and why w/ your birth. I would love to do a home birth but every bone in my body tells me I’ll be at a hospital and if that’s the case, I guess I should start learning more about my area, ASAP. So thank you for sharing your experiences at 15 weeks.

    Here’s to hoping you find a warm, caring, smart and accomplished doula who gets you and the professor, listens to you both and makes you feel comfortable and safe.

  17. January 15, 2013

    Coming from a nurse who works in a hospital with the highest rate of C sections in my area, there is a lot more to it than “they are quicker to offer a c-section”. I am not familiar with your area, but speaking for my hospital, yes it may have the highest rate of CS. But it also has the highest rate of high risk moms who are more likely to have a CS no matter where they deliver. It also has the highest rate of multiples who are more likely to have a CS no matter where they deliver. And there is a reason that they have so many of those moms there: because it’s the best place to deliver in the off chance that something doesn’t go quite to plan. Like everything, there are pros and cons to both sides, but I wouldn’t choose to deliver anywhere else. Especially if you have a doula or another advocate, go with your gut.

  18. jak #
    January 16, 2013

    just checking back in to read more comments. gotta say, this post has generated an awesome conversation!! lots to learn, and lots of great points of view from insiders and otherwise. way to go belle, for being so damn thought-provoking!! another reason i am thankful you didnt permanently close down scrambled eggs when you were getting jerk comments;)

    • January 16, 2013

      I know, right?! I had SO MUCH to tell the Professor last night. It think it was one of the few times he wished I did not blog 🙂 I love having information and input from women across the world, though. It makes decisions easier and makes for much more informed mamas-to-be. Thanks again for all your input, too. It was a major talking point yesterday 🙂

      • jak #
        January 16, 2013

        i’m totally printing out this entry and the comments and giving it to the next friend of mine that announces a pregnancy!

  19. January 16, 2013

    I’m sorry you are going through this, but now you can make sure you are comfortable with everything. The hospital may have a reputation, but as long as you have a good plan that everyone knows and a trustworthy midwife, doula and Dr. that will back you up. I would talk to your OBGYN asap and go over all your worries and plan and see what she says. If she is not on board then move on.

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