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Am I being a princess?

(38 Posts)
moosepup Sat 17-Sep-11 21:14:09

Hi all!

I'm 32 weeks with my first, and with the help of tons of research and an interest in hypnobirthing I have been pretty philosophical about the prospect of the birth. What I want is quite simple: a water birth with minimal intervention, minimal pain relief, as calm and intimate experience as possible. I appreciate that any number of things can happen which could result in a completely different experience, and that's fine too as long as I feel that those choices are necessary and informed, etc.

However, myself and the fella skipped off for the tour of the maternity facilities at our chosen hospital (Lincoln County) today and I have been left feeling suddenly nervous and quite negative about the prospect.
First I learned that a water birth is highly unlikely due to resources at the hospital, and we are unable to take our own pool. Then we learned that not all of the delivery rooms have a bath or shower, so luck dictates whether I would be able to use water at all during labour. Then I was informed that I would remain in the delivery room for an hour after the baby arrives, at which point I will be shuffled off down onto the ward. Oh, and if I give birth between 9pm and 9am my OH will have to go home because he will not be allowed onto the ward with me. I thought we could get around this by opting for a private room, but soon discovered that for our £60 a night he is still not able to stay with me and there are no private facilities (ie it's still shared loos etc).

Essentially I got the impression that they are happy to give you the kind of birth you want AS LONG AS that is a "fill me full of drugs and pull the baby out of me" kind of birth. Which is of course fine for alot of mums, but precisely the opposite of what I am aiming at.

I fully appreciate that the place is full of highly trained and probably wonderful staff, and that I am enormously lucky to have such incredible medical facilities available to me. But this does not stop me suddenly feeling hideously anxious and out of control about the birth.

I suppose I'm just asking if I'm being daft, really?!

Thanks in advance...

MJHASLEFTTHEBUILDING Sat 17-Sep-11 21:15:23

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TheRealMBJ Sat 17-Sep-11 21:17:42

Are you low risk? You can still change your mind and ask for a home birth. Your midwife may not like it as she will have do do more paperwork shock but it is entirely within your rights.

The facilities in hospital are nowhere where they should be, unfortunately.

mumatron Sat 17-Sep-11 21:17:52

Home birth?

moosepup Sat 17-Sep-11 21:18:14

I'm thinking of it but it's pretty tricky because we live in the middle of nowhere and Lincoln is (apparently) the best maternity ward within 45 mins of us. I've looked at going farther afield (to Grimsby Maternity Hospital, which I've heard good things about) but the OH is slightly nervous about committing to a hospital which is an hour and a half away...

peterpan99 Sat 17-Sep-11 21:18:35

your not being a princess at all, its your birth and you should(within reason ) be able to deliver the way you want.
If the hospital is not what you want then i would also suggest going somewhere else, or home birth.

motherofsnortpigs Sat 17-Sep-11 21:20:37

Are you able to book a home birth? Then you can have a pool and your OH can stay (as he lives there...)

TheRealMBJ Sat 17-Sep-11 21:20:41

We are pretty rural too and our closest hospital at all is 45minutes away and my chosen is an hour. (We're in North Yorkshire) a home birth might be what you want really.

MJHASLEFTTHEBUILDING Sat 17-Sep-11 21:22:08

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Choufleur Sat 17-Sep-11 21:23:02

Any midwife led units near you? If you are low risk I would consider a home birth and hire a pool.

Tbh dh not being there wasn't that bad after having dh. I just went to sleep and woke up when ds did. Just wanted dh to come back early in the morning so we could all go home.

emsyj Sat 17-Sep-11 21:24:23

You could just go somewhere else, but I don't recommend going somewhere an hour and a half away, especially if you're doing Hypnobirthing. I did a Hypnobirthing course with a lovely and very experienced midwife and ended up having a very short (and comfortable) labour, that sadly ended with a crash section due to DD being in distress. The Hypnobirthing was IMO enormously useful as I never felt that I suffered unbearable pain and was calm throughout, I feel it really helped me - but you may end up being further along than you realise if you use the Hypno techniques and 1.5 hours is a long time to be in transit.

It's a shame that you can't have the sort of birth you'd hoped for (I wanted a water birth and was gutted when I found out that my local hospital only has inflatable pools and not the giant bath style ones - not sure what difference I thought it would make) but there are tons of things you can do to have a calm and positive experience even without water.

milkysmum Sat 17-Sep-11 21:25:15

Are there any midwife led unit's anywhere near you? bridge the gap between hospital and home birth nicely?

moosepup Sat 17-Sep-11 21:26:26

Wow, I wasn't expecting so many responses so quickly - thank you!

I originally wanted a home birth, but the fella was reluctant. Perhaps his arm may now be twisted after today's events so I might have another look at it.

Thanks for reassuring me that I'm not just being spoilt! I'm sure you know how it is - I spoke to a couple of people this afternoon about my worries and got what I'm sadly learning is often the standard response from people, ie numerous variations on the theme of "well, it's childbirth - it's going to be hellish whatever".

RedHotPokers Sat 17-Sep-11 21:27:08

I was all prepared to tell you were being a princess, but after reading your post I think you are being entirely reasonable.

I would at least go to see the other hospital, and explore as many other options as possible. Is there any kind of MW-led unit nearer to you?

The other option re. your DH staying, is for you to not stay in hospital overnight unless you really need to.

thisisyesterday Sat 17-Sep-11 21:27:27

it's absolutely normal for you to want the birth you want. it's incredibly important for a mother to feel at ease when she labours and in a place she wants to be

you are being unreasonable to expect the NHS to have the time and facilities to provide that for every single woman sadly. it just isn't possible

i would suggest if you feel very strongly that you look into the possibility of a birthing centre if yo have one near you? or a homebirth?

MJHASLEFTTHEBUILDING Sat 17-Sep-11 21:27:42

Message withdrawn

TheRealMBJ Sat 17-Sep-11 21:29:14

Unless you have a MLU near you, I am afraid that hb is probably your best bet. I don't think there are any hospital delivery suites or labour wards where there aren't shared facilities or birth pool rationing.

emsyj Sat 17-Sep-11 21:31:36

I wouldn't describe my birth experience as 'hellish' at all - and I had what would be categorised as a traumatic birth, it being a crash section (having reached full dilation). I was never in unbearable pain, I felt pretty calm the whole time and it wasn't frightening. I would do it again tomorrow and wouldn't be worried about the prospect of it. Please don't expect your birth to be hellish!

emsyj Sat 17-Sep-11 21:32:58

To be fair TheRealMBJ my local hospital has a big MLU with sufficient birth pools that nobody who wanted one has been unable to have one and the postnatal ward is all private rooms with en suite. However, it is a brand new unit that has only been open for about 18 months so it is far from typical - but they do exist.

TheRealMBJ Sat 17-Sep-11 21:35:28

DS's birth was far from hellish. It don't go as planned and I ended up with augmented labour and an epidural. The epidural failed after an hour and I pushed for 2 hours (exhausting) but I have never felt as powerful, capable or happy before or since.

TheRealMBJ Sat 17-Sep-11 21:36:35

Yes, but that it the MLU. Whilst it may be inside the hospital, it isn't strictly considered part of delivery suite/labour ward.

emsyj Sat 17-Sep-11 21:41:13

The private facilities are for everyone though postnatal - there are no shared facilities up there any more, no ward just rooms - bit lonely if I'm honest, esp when you're in there for quite a while as I was (for bf support, not medically necessary). I'm not sure what the distinction is for the pool facilities - if you're high risk and on a monitor then you wouldn't be able to use the pool anyway so it doesn't really make any difference what label you attach IMO - the pool facilities are very adequate and available to anyone who is considered medically suitable to use them.

moosepup Sat 17-Sep-11 21:45:08

That's really helpful and reassuring, thank you guys. I think I've been getting a bit bogged down lately by trying to maintain a positive outlook and feel excited about the birth whlist various women inflict their monstrous birth stories on me (including a complete stranger in a supermarket queue who literally cackled at the prospect of anyone giving birth without an epidural!).

Also I've managed to make it this far in my pregnancy without ever having seen the same midwife twice, so I think that I'm just feeling a bit let down in general and today was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I think you're right - home birthing must be revisited as an option. :-)

moosepup Sat 17-Sep-11 21:46:34

Also I need to move near to wherever emsyj is in time for the next baby!

TheRealMBJ Sat 17-Sep-11 21:47:30

Wow. That is pretty impressive.

The hospital in which I had DS, dealt with both low risk, MW-led care, births and high risk, consultant-led ones. There were some rooms with birthing pools and others with none and it depended entirely in the luck of the draw as to whether you got one.

E.g. If one had been available when I went in I would have been put in a room with a birthing pool but as my labour became more complicated, they would not have moved me at all. So although, I would not have been able to actually use the pool, it would have been 'blocked' IYSWIM. Post-natal was all shared facilities, despite the fact that I had a private room. In fact, I had to go further than anyone else for my bath/shower. They did however open a new MLU in the hospital about 6 months after DS was born. Nevertheless, I am having DD at a different hospital.

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