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.