Labor and Delivery Hospital Visit
Meeting with the dark side...
After my issues with the birth class, all defenses were up as I went in for my hospital tour and visit. I had a busy, busy day planned. First I had my tour, then my weekly check-up, followed by a meeting with the anesthesiologist, and wrapping up with a baby shower at the hubby's work...whew! The tour went much better than anticipated. Instead of the judging attitude of my former childbirth class, I was greeted with nurses who understood the desire for a natural childbirth, and many who had one themselves. I was also pleased with the accommodations overall. The birth rooms are spacious and have tubs with jets! They are also flexible with positions and offer things like seat bars and encourage you to bring a ball. The hospital rooms you go to after you deliver do leave something to be desired, but I'll make due.
My weekly check-up went great, and my doctor ok'd my preferences on not being hooked up to an IV and receiving only intermittent fetal heart monitoring. This is the area I have met the most resistance with. Both my mother and sister cannot understand why I wouldn't want constant fetal monitoring. More on that later.
My last appointment of the day was the most surprising. My anesthesiologist actually recommended that I try for a natural birth! What a shock. I have mild scoliosis, but the bend is precisely where they poke you. The doctor said that they "should" be able to get it in and that it would "probably be fine," but she said that if I can get through a natural, it would be better. "Should" and "probably" aren't good enough of me, so now I am more motivated than ever to deliver without pain relief!
To Monitor or Not?
For the most part, my family and friends are very supportive of my wishes to deliver naturally. I get the feeling, however, that they are being supportive with the belief that, ultimately, I will deliver with an epidural as they all did. I am a little on the girly side, so they don't think I can handle the pain. What they don't know is that nothing motivates me more than proving people wrong!
Anyway, for the most part, reactions to all my hippie mommy ways have been positive, that is until I mentioned fetal monitoring. This is the one area people look at you and are like "why wouldn't you have your baby monitored?" One nurse at my OB's actually said "but it's for the baby!" In my mind, my baby and I are arriving healthy. We have both had nothing but good reports and except for a small stomach bug, my pregnancy has been healthy. I don't see the point of going into my birth experience a healthy individual and then getting strapped to a bed and treated like my baby and I are sick...that's just me. I will admit though, the reactions of others, including my mother and sister, have gotten in my head a little. Am I making the right choice on fetal monitoring? Am I being selfish by putting my wish to be mobile during my labor above the well-being of my little fetus?
Even though the tour made me feel better overall about the sad fact I must deliver in a hospital setting, it did raise many questions.
1. What's with these eye drops? I want the real story. Online you can mostly only find bias rantings about how they evil or medical advice that makes them seem innocuous.
2. Nesting room: the nesting rooms are bigger and allow the baby to be with you at all times. Your baby can also be with you at all times in the regular rooms, it's just more cramped. The difference is that you only have the option to send baby to the nursery if you are in the regular rooms. If you nest, baby has to stay with you. I can't decide which to choose. On the one hand, I bet the baby will stay with me anyway, on the other, if I do need baby removed, then that means I REALLY need them removed...hmmmm...tough one.
3. I keep reading that you to breast feed your baby right after birth, but is it really that easy? Do I really want my first meeting with little baby to be filled with the possible frustrations of breast feeding? How important is this? Is this a MUST, or just a nice thing to do? I like the idea of spending to time with my baby right after it's (sorry, the sex is a surprise...don't be offended) born, so I am for sure asking for the staff to hold off on weighing and bathing the baby, but how essential is the immediate breast feed?
Labor Kit...how sweet!