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getting what I want in hospital

(18 Posts)
starlover Tue 18-Jan-05 15:03:40

Ok, well I will be having a hospital birth when I eventually go into labour (due 25th) but how do I make sure I get what I want?????
I am not the best person at speaking up for myself, and neither is DP unfortunately.
I don't want to end up on my back on a bed having loads of stuff done to me that I don't want.
I kind of haev a birth plan written, but am aware that perhaps not much attention will be paid to it.
This is my first child so I have no experience of this whatsoever, all I know is what I have read in books and what other people have told me.
I'm scared of being out of control. I am more than likely to agree to whatever they say regardless of whether it is what I actually want.
How easy is it to get what you want in hospital?
Do they follow a set routine unless you say otherwise????
That sounds stupid, but I mean for example...
will they ask me if I want to be on the bed, or squatting, or get in the bath or whatever... or will they just put me in a bed unless I say I wanna do something different?
I realise that I have to go with the flow and take it as it comes, but I feel that if I am given choices throughout then I am more likely to say what I want, whereas if it's a case of doing it their way unless I speak up then it's gonna end up being their way!

argh, I don't even know if any of that actually makes sense!
help me!

amynnixmum Tue 18-Jan-05 15:09:35

I think it is important that your DP knows exactly what you do and do not want. First time round for me I was so tired and in so much pain i wasn't capable of rational thought or asking for anything that wasn't offered. If DP is a bit shy then maybe he could keep a copy of the birthplan on him so he can just pass it over to the midwife whenever he feels things are not going as you would like. Most hospitals will try and do what you want but obviously if there is a problem they will do whatever is best for you and your baby. Also sometimes small things get in the way - I wanted a waterbirth with both of mine but couldn't have one as all the pools were in use

aloha Tue 18-Jan-05 15:11:52

Maybe a doula might help you?

bundle Tue 18-Jan-05 15:18:03

i think you have to write a flexible birth plan, eg i wrote on mine "if an episiotomy is required, I would like that decision to be taken by myself and an experienced midwife"; " I do not want pethidine under any circumstances, for other pain relief I will initiate any request for eg an epidural" (which I did). find out as much as you can about eg c/sections - I ended up with a section both times, saving mine and my babies' lives and although you definitely don't feel "in control" if helps if you understand why they do certain things and the order in which they happen eg set an agreed limit on length of labour before any interventions, how long push for, etc. most places will actively encourage you to be mobile during labour unless there's a good reason for eg monitoring, and even that doesn't have to be constant.

horseshoe Tue 18-Jan-05 15:18:38

Yes I agree with amynnixmum. I had a birth plan that said I wanted only gas and air and would consider pethadine if I felt I needed it.....However after one shot I was completely high and was accepting anything they wanted to pump into me and I completely lost control. At the time I was dead against an epidural. In hindsight I think I should of asked for an epidural before considering pethadine and so it is important to find out what you want in ways of drugs and they do different things to different people.

It's hard for you and so you really need someone there who is upfront enough to say "No she doesn't want this" DH is a bit timid so I'm taking my sister if I manage another one. She will scare the pants off of any midwife

horseshoe Tue 18-Jan-05 15:20:58

Bundle....goes to show how misinformed I was at the time...I didn't even talk about those sort of options...good advice

(must make mental note)

bakedpotato Tue 18-Jan-05 15:23:26

starlover, i think a birthplan can be useful for getting you (and your DP: tell him he's really going to need to step up to the plate for this one) to focus on what you want/really don't want.

as aloha says, if DP truly won't be much use, then maybe you do need someone who can act as a sort of advocate.

have you had any contact with the midwifery team who will deliver the baby? have you talked through issues like hospital policy on birth positions/drugs/waterbirths etc with them? these are the sort of questions we asked on our hospital tour first time around. it was useful. most hospitals offer these regularly. (my hosp has them once a week)

However you may find that in the end, if the MW is nice and communicative, you just hand over the responsibility to her and it's quite a relief. i found it useful to think: OK, i'm the novice here, the midwife has been through it loads of times, thank goodness someone knows what they're doing.

fwiw, my top tip for birth is: don't get too hung up on specifics if you can help it. i don't know anyone who had the birth they'd planned for. if you keep an open mind you are more likely to have a positive experience, i think.

starlover Tue 18-Jan-05 15:42:41

thank you all for your replies... very helpful.

I am going to sit down and try and make a good birthplan and then run through it with dp tonight when he gets in.
I am also going to phone the hospital now and arrange to go for a tour of the unit.
I haven't had any contact with the midwives at the hospital, only my community midwife at our surgery.

starlover Tue 18-Jan-05 16:03:59

well, that was handy.
rang the hospital on the number given in the booklet for arranging a tour.
it was engaged for ages, then it was picked up and i got hung up on!
tried again and got through to an answerphone which said that they are only open til half four... IT'S ONLY JUST GONE 4!!!
message then went on to say not to leave a message on the answerphone but to call the delivery suite if it's urgent.

blah

amynnixmum Tue 18-Jan-05 16:08:56

Will your community midwife be at the birth?

bakedpotato Tue 18-Jan-05 16:08:57

sods. i'd try the delivery suite anyway, explain what's happened. do it before 4.30, too. they may try to make you feel bad for calling -- well, too bad.

starlover Tue 18-Jan-05 16:11:29

I don't think my midwife will be at the birth, it's just whoever is on duty when you get there.
I'm going to try ringing again tomorrow morning I think, they do tours on a monday or wednesday evening so hopefully I will be able to go tomorrow night!

bonym Wed 19-Jan-05 10:50:19

Starlover, don't want to worry you but I really think it depends on the individual hospital. I gave birth at Chelsea & Westminster 7 years ago and didn't get the birth I wanted. They put me in a delivery suite with a pool as I had planned a water birth, but at no point did they offer me the opportunity to get in (I was in too much pain by the time I got there to be capable of asking for myself). I was made to lie on my backon the bed (agony) and strapped to a monitor so couldn't get in a more comfortable position. By the time my community midwife had arrived I was in so much distress I'd begged for (and got) an epidural - something which I'd hoped to avoid. This time around I've opted for a home birth as I feel this is the only way to keep some control, and I will know the midwife who attends me. On the positive side, I have couple of friends who have given birth in hospital and been allowed to be active and have had no pain relief other than gas and air.

Angeliz Wed 19-Jan-05 10:56:14

starlover, could your mam, best friend,sister not go in too if your dp feels nervous to speak up? I had my mam and dp and they both knew what i wanted. Mind you my dp is not backwards in coming forwards and his opinion is ususally heard
Also, don't be down hearted that your birthplan won't be followed. Mine was followed and when they had to do something i hadn't wanted, it was explained to me. Obvioulsy you have to be open minded as you don't know what's gonna happen on the day but really they were great explaining everything that was going on to us.
I didn't get the same midwife for the birth as i'd had through my pregnancy, mind you i saw loads, so your birthplan has to be really clear.

I do think you need someone who'll speak up for you at that time, but also try to be confident with your choices and remember, it's your birth++++++++++
Hope it all goes great+++++++++

strawberry Wed 19-Jan-05 11:02:08

I think you need your dp to take charge and to understand why you want or don't want certain things. I did not have the birth I had hoped for and remember the MW making comments about baby and mother's safety which puts a lot of pressure on partners to go with what the hosp say. For example, the mw wanted to break my waters on arrival in hosp (I was 3cm) and I said no and there was a bit of a row. Some hosps want to intervene all the time but others are more supportive of 'choice'. Try to find out what your hosp is like from other mums. Good luck

starlover Wed 19-Jan-05 11:06:58

ok, have spoken to the hospital today... no spaces left to go tonight so am having to wait til next monday... let's hope baby doesn't make an appearance before then! LOL
I am writing down a list of questions to ask them when I am there. any suggestions for important things i should ask are more than welcome!

bonym... that's just what I want to avoid, sorry you had to go through that. Trying to get myself organised now so that all runs as smoothly as possible

angeliz... i never thought about taking 2 people with me, I had just figured you had one person with you and that was that!

Angeliz Wed 19-Jan-05 11:19:11

No . (Though 2 is the limit not that you'd want more! I watched this Birth on T.V and ALL her family were their- dad partner Aunties.and all at the bottom end )

starlover Wed 19-Jan-05 12:38:56

ewwwwww... I don't even like dp looking at my bits, let alone various medical staff and family members!
Why anyone would wanna watch it is beyond me!

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