Why I Would Choose a Hospital Birth Again and Again

by Katie on July 30, 2012

In full disclosure here are some things you should know about me before you read this post. These things explain my background and some of the childbirth choices I made.

  • I work for a physician membership organization and have a strong respect for doctors and their profession.
  • My dad is a family physician who delivered babies for years at a small rural hospital. He no longer delivers babies, but is still in practice.
  • I had an epidural with both Drake and Charlie. Loved it with Drake. Was too late to really do any good with Charlie. If we have a 3rd baby I plan on doing it without an epidural.
  • I did not really care if Drake was born via C-section or naturally.  I did very little research on either option and almost felt like a C-section would be easier. I really did care how Charlie was born. I had such an easy vaginal delivery and recovery, as well as a great experience with Drake that I very much wanted to do anything possible to prevent a C-Section with Charlie. So much so, that when they thought that he might be breech I was researching the heck out of the version procedure.
  • I don’t judge you if the choices you make or your opinions on this subject are different from mine. It is your body and your baby so it is your choice. These are just my thoughts and  opinions.

With all that out of the way, let’s get started shall we?

I keep running across stories and blog posts about woman who are planning a home birth or a birth in a birthing center, but I rarely read anything about why giving birth in a hospital can not only be enjoyable, empowering and even life-saving, so here is my story!

It seems that more and more women want to experience childbirth away from a hospital setting either in their home or at a birthing center. These woman all have their reasons for why they think this is the right choice- whether it be less interventions, a more respectful atmosphere, or being able to make more decisions in regards to how the baby is born to name just a few of the reasons.

It seems to me that hospitals have really been taking a hit lately on all the things they do wrong when a woman is giving birth. Many people think there are too many unnecessary interventions(true, but take a stand against them), the C-section rate is too high (I blame this both on doctors AND mothers) and women’s childbirth wishes are ignored. While all of these things can absolutely be true, I also see a huge benefit to having your baby in a hospital.

Both of my pregnancies were low risk. I never had high blood pressure or gestational diabetes or anything else that would raise any red flags. I was what the doctors would call a “textbook pregnancy.” I would have been the perfect candidate to have my babies either at a birthing center or at home. As I quickly found out, a perfect pregnancy can take a very unexpected turn for the worst without any warning.

Charlie’s birth was some of the scariest moments in my life. From his 5 minute heart decel (that would not have been noticed had I not been on fetal monitors and turned out to be a red flag on what was to come) to the massive amounts of meconium in my water to his umbilical cord being wrapped around his neck and probably the scariest thing of all his shoulder dystocia (one of the biggest obstetrical emergencies you can have).

I get tears in my eyes just thinking about what could have happened to him had we not been at the hospital. I’m so glad I never have to know the answer to that. It was SUCH a relief to me to know that I had every possible tool and professional to make sure that Charlie was born safely and healthy.  If I would have been at home (or maybe even a birth center) we would have been working against the clock to deliver him safely. There was not time to call an ambulance and take the 20 minute ride to the hospital. There was only time for the doctor to ask for the vacuum, that was right there, and use it in order for Charlie to make a quick and safe entrance.

For the record, Drake’s birth was uneventful, but after he was born, we found out that he had a true knot in his umbilical cord. A very serious and life threatening situation for babies in utero.

I realize that my story is rare and most deliveries are uneventful and normal. I realize that midwives are trained on how to handle different emergencies that arise during childbirth. I realize that bad things can happen even when you are in a hospital. I realize all of those things,  but I would still choice a hospital birth over again and again for myself and my babies.

Because of the care and necessary interventions I received in the hospital gave me the 2 greatest gifts I have ever received.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa August 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Your post caught my eye on BlogHer so I decided to have a read.

Like you I will always choose a hospital for future births.

My son Finley Arthur was born on 23rd March 2012. I was 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Prior to his birth, we had no idea of any major complications, so when my water broke at home, we were so excited as we went to the hospital.

My labour was long, and helped along with pitocin, but I made it to 10cm. After 2.5 hours of pushing, the professionals and I resigned ourselves that he was stuck. They could see his head but it wasn’t coming down any further.

I was prepared for a c section and my husband was there with me. Though I’d hoped to avoid having the surgery, I was excited that in a few minutes time I would finally be seeing my little man for the first time! But this was the beginning of the worst experience of my life.

He was born at 10pm exactly. After some time passed, he still wasn’t breathing and I began to panic and get upset. They did eventually resuscitate him, but he went for too long without oxygen. He was transferred shortly after I saw him to another hospital and into the NICU. I only saw him for maybe 2 minutes.

After that things got worse. I began to bleed and nearly lost my life to a severe post partum hemorrhage. I was stuck at the hospital I was in, where my son wasn’t for days.

The day before they managed to release me (sooner than I should have been, but they were rushing to try and get me to my baby), we were told he had passed away from a cardiac arrest. He was three days old.

I regret so much that I wasn’t with him, and often wonder if he was scared.

I love and miss him so much. He should be nearly 5 months old now.

So like you, I know the importance of quick intervention. We had very little sign that he was in distress. They still couldn’t save him.

I blog about my experience and write letters to him at http://dear-finley.blogspot.com/

Reply

2 sssmomma August 15, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Lisa-
I’m so very, very sorry to hear about your little Finley. My heart just broke for you reading your story. Thank you so much for sharing his story. I’m off to your blog to read more about your dear boy. Hugs to you.

Reply

3 Christine Ferguson August 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Lisa, I’m so sorry about what happened to you and your son. I’m in tears just reading about it. God bless you. <3

Reply

4 Kelly August 16, 2012 at 10:29 am

It never occurred to me to have anything *but* a hospital birth! Not only did my midwife not even do homebirths, I just couldn’t imagine having either of my babies at home. I also really liked being in the hospital for those 2 days afterwards where people brought me my meals and took care of me, since I am usually the one taking care of my family 🙂

Reply

5 sssmomma August 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Kelly-That is SO me! I LOVED being in the hospital after giving birth. It was almost like a vacation 🙂

Reply

6 Katie of Cabbage Ranch August 16, 2012 at 10:34 am

I totally agree with your post. I just can’t relate to choosing anything other than a hospital delivery; yes, birth is a natural process and can often be done successfully without interventions… but very often nature would dictate that not every baby or every mama makes it. So for me, it’s about doing everything I can to make sure we beat the odds. We had a fabulous experience with our first hospital birth and I look forward to another good one within the next few weeks.

Reply

7 sssmomma August 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Katie-Best of luck to you on the birth of your little one!

Reply

8 Katie of Cabbage Ranch November 5, 2012 at 8:56 am

I wanted to follow up to my earlier comment, as I gave birth to my son in September.  My seemingly normal labor took a drastic and very dangerous turn when my blood pressure suddenly tanked and the baby’s heart rate dropped.  He was born just minutes later via emergency c-section, where it was discovered my placenta detached- an extremely dangerous development for both mom and baby.  Thanks to the incredible hospital staff and the best of modern medicine, we were both fine.  Hospitals all the way!!!

Reply

9 Katie November 5, 2012 at 10:50 am

Hi Katie-
Thanks for checking back in. So happy everything turned out OK for both you and your son. You just never know what is going to happen. Glad that you were in a place that you could get care right away.

Reply

10 Jodi August 16, 2012 at 10:43 am

Lisa- So sorry for the loss of your baby boy…
My son was born in the hospital. If I had chosen a home birth, we both could have died. He was a big baby. 9lbs 14oz and my midwives guessed he would be about 8lbs.
I went into labor, endured without medications and began pushing around 6pm. My midwife got a doctor and they used the vacuum extraction device to get him out. They believed his shoulder to be broken and he needed to be put under the oxygen hood. He was born at 9:08 and whisked away before I got to see him. I also hemorrhaged.
Luckily, his shoulder wasn’t broken and he was brought into my room around midnight to nurse. After three days we was able to bring him home.
I truly believe that you never know what could happen and it is the safest place to deliver.

Reply

11 sssmomma August 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Jodi-Your story sounds very much like mine. Something can go wrong in the blink of an eye…so very scary!

Reply

12 Kathy August 16, 2012 at 10:44 am

This caught my eye from BlogHer, too.

To each her own is what I say. What is the right choice for one person might not be right for someone else. We all have to make the right choice for “us”. I had one child and I had him in a hospital and I never considered doing it any other way.

My son decided to take his own sweet time even though my body was pushing and pushing. I pushed for a total of 2 1/2 hours and was very close to having an emergency C-section because it was taking so long. I don’t know what would have happened if I’d tried giving birth at home.

I think it’s a sad observation on us as a society when you have to put a disclaimer on your own opinions as a protection from being flamed for a personal choice you made about where you gave birth to your children. 🙁

To Lisa: I’m so sorry for the loss of your son. 🙁

Reply

13 sssmomma August 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Thank you for you comment Kathy. I agree with everything you said. What is right for woman is not always right for the next.

Reply

14 Christine Ferguson August 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I also had a picture perfect pregnancy and hospital birth. I don’t regret birthing at the hospital at all. I agreed to an induction at 41 weeks pregnant. I got an epidural. I had an episiotomy. I felt safe and well taken care of. I know that I am very fortunate that I didn’t experience any complications and that a lot of my experience just comes down to luck, but if I ever have a second child I’ll most likely choose a hospital birth again. Actually, in my state I believe it’s illegal to have a planned home birth with a mid-wife (I looked into home birthing while I was pregnant and I swear I came across that somewhere…). I totally support home birth, drug-free childbirth, midwifery, etc. I have so much admiration for women who choose to do that. But I don’t regret the way I did things either.

Reply

15 sssmomma August 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Christine- I am very intrigued by home births and actually love watching documentaries and reading about them…but they are just not for me.

Reply

16 Medical procedure November 3, 2012 at 7:37 am

Hospital deliveries are more safe because we don’t know what  happen during delivery . if it is obstruct what to do in home . ( not only obstruction there are several complication )
some of advantages of hospital vaginal delivery 
1 . You feel confident 
2. Safe delivery 
3. Better pain relief

Reply

17 Brittany - Doula September 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm

You shouldn’t have to defend your decision. It is great that you had good experiences and that You AND your boys are healthy (after all, having a healthy baby isn’t the Only thing that matters; Mommas matter too). You made an informed choice and had the birth(s) you wanted and that is that. I had my son, 9lb7oz 21in. in the hospital. Labor was induced at 40wks 5days with pitocin, membranes were artificially ruptured, labored for 12hrs, received an epidural in the end, and also had an (undesired) episiotomy. At the time I wouldn’t have known anything other than hospital birth. But I had my second child in my home in the water. My labor started naturally at 41wks 2days, my membranes ruptured on their own as I was pushing in the water, after 12hrs of labor my 9lb8oz, 21in daughter was born with zero medical intervention and no tearing. I would choose a home birth again and again. However, I am a trained birth doula who supports women through hospital births all the time. I respect their wishes to give birth in hospitals and would never expect them to defend that choice. As long as people don’t criticize my choice to birth at home I won’t criticize anyone’s choice to birth in a hospital. Everyone’s birth is their own and should take place where They are comfortable with it taking place. They should be supported and respected and have the care that They desire. Anyone who has a problem with your choice(s) can choose differently for themselves when they have their own children.

Reply

18 Katie September 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Thanks so much for your comment Brittany. I am so happy that a home birth was the right choice for you. I think that is what is so cool about motherhood-we all have different stories and make different choice based on what is right for us. I’m so happy you stopped by!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: