Great Hospital Birth Experiences

by Birth Without Fear on November 14, 2011

What I love about this, is I can share it on my Blog and with the BWF Community, which is predominately natural birth oriented, and this mama and her births will NOT get torn apart. She will still have support. It hasn’t been easy to build and keep a community of women and the topic of birth compassionate and supportive, but it’s been worth it. Leah was kind enough to share her story , while not ‘all natural’, they were hers and her babies experiences. They were empowering in their own right and should be celebrated like any other. Thank you Leah! ~Mrs. BWF

My Two Hospital Births

I don’t expect this to be posted as a powerful, natural birth, but I just felt that my story was special enough to share with someone too. With my first birth, I was very uneducated, and did not research much about birth at all. The only “birth plan” I had was to get my baby out safely so that I could love on him and see his little eyes blinking up at his mommy.

I had a scheduled induction 3 days after my due date, because I was “over due.” The plan was to get cervadil, spend the night in the hospital, break my water the next morning, then start potocin. Well, I got to hospital about 8 and did all the check-in process, then they check me (I was 1cm) and inserted cervadil. About 30 minutes after cervadil, I started having major “cramps.” I thought, boy am I a wussy. This is going to be a looonnngg night if I am already hurting this bad. I did not know what to expect and how I should be feeling.

I was pretty embarrassed to have to call in the nurse, but I did to try to figure  out what was going on. She said she had been watching my contractions on the monitor, and they were very intense. She they removed the cervadil, because my body was ready! I was amazed, but was still planning on a long night.

About an hour later, I was having SEVERE contractions. I love watching my birth video and seeing how I moaned and rubbed my face through every contraction. That was my “zone.” Around 2 am I was very tensed up and shaking immensely with every contraction and feeling very strong pressure. I was losing control…little did I know I was starting transition.

I asked the nurse to check me and I was 3 cm so I asked for the epidural, as I was sitting on edge on bed waiting for an epidural to get started and I was feeling very STRONG pressure. I told the nurse I needed to push, and she said, “Oh honey, that is just because you are sitting on your bottom.” I said, “No, I really have to push. Like, my body is doing it all on its own!”

So she checked my once again and I was complete! Of course the doctor was not there, because it was the middle of the night (what are they paid for again?!), so she made me wait to push for 15 minutes while we waited for the doctor. That was the worst part of the whole labor. My body was wanting to push so bad and I was actually fighting it. (Silly me!)

Finally the doctor came in, and I pushed for about 10 minutes. I loved looking in the mirror seeing him come down little by little, and feeling his hair while he was between worlds, then I had the best moment of my life… I met my precious son face-to-face.

My second birth was very different, yet similar, because it also was hospital birth, induced (due to IUGR), lasted about 4 hours. I pushed for 6 minutes then got to pull my baby girl out on my own and bring her to my chest. Ahhhhhh…..

With all that being said, I want to speak out for all the hospital birth moms. I am NOT my any means embarrassed of my hospital, “unnatural” birth. It was -for me- the best experience I could have EVER asked for and I could not imagine it being any better. I am not against home birth in the least, but personally a hospital birth is my choice. I LOVE hearing my precious baby’s heartbeats every second that I am in labor and having contractions. I LOVE knowing that I can be in the operating room within minutes if an emergency arrives. I feel as though I did not lose any special experience by birthing in a hospital. The only thing that matters to me is when I see my precious baby’s face, and we look into each others eyes… I could be in a ditch or on a yacht or in the air, and it would make no difference in the world as long as we are both safe and healthy.

I am proud of my birthing experiences. It was so surreal and perfect, the doctors and nurses were great (thank the Lord I had good people surrounding me) and I don’t regret any of it. Even the two days after the birth, I loved being in a hospital with awesome staff keeping an eye on me and my baby. No one was intrusive, no one took my baby without my permission, and no one touched me without my permission.

I truly felt that the nursery staff sincerely CARED about my little bundle of joy. When they would bring her to me after her bath, seeing them hold and swaddle her, and bounce her until she was in my arms. Maybe I am 1 in a million for having such an awesome hospital experience, but I just wanted to let everyone know it is not always traumatic.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea November 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

I’m glad you are content with your experiences Mama. That is very important. I mean that with all my heart. Thank you for sharing your story. <3

One of the things that was awful for me, was being forced to wait for the doctor for 22 minutes (yeah that 2mins counts) before I could push, so he could get his paycheck. My baby's head was forcefully held in, while the nurse repeatedly told/yelled at me to "STOP PUSHING!!! YOU HAVE TO WAIT!!!" I wish I had the nerve in that moment to have physically MOVED that woman away from me. She is one of the reasons I wont birth in a hospital again unless it's a life and death situation.

And the thing that makes me sad after the fact is all the Mamas who find things like that normal…and feel it's just how it is. No offense, please don't take that the wrong way…it's just how I feel. When you said,

" Of course the doctor was not there, because it was the middle of the night (what are they paid for again?!), so she made me wait to push for 15 minutes while we waited for the doctor. That was the worst part of the whole labor. My body was wanting to push so bad and I was actually fighting it. (Silly me!)"

That breaks my heart, because I understand that, all too well. It just affected me differently than it did you.

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Sarah November 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Wow, I’m not the only one who had the experience of the baby’s head being held in and the “stop pushing” being shouted at them! That being said, my sil just had an amazing natural hospital birth experience, it was everything she wanted.

Leah, thank you for sharing your story! I’m glad you had the experience you can look back on with joy!

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Patti January 31, 2012 at 8:47 am

I also have had three great hospital births with a staff dedicated to providing me the most natural experience possible in that environment. I had to wait to push once, but no one expected me to go 45 min after an 11 hour labor the first time!
My 4th birth was in a new city, new doctor, not a staff dedicated to natural birth so I am glad my husband and I had the other three under our belt. It was still a pretty good experience since I labored mostly at home where I knew I would be allowed to move about. However, for this past birth, my husband had to tell the nurses to deliver the baby and stop waiting for the doctor. I was at the stage where pushing was spontaneous and involuntary. It still turned out ok, and I joked with my OB that he owed me a refund. He was there to deliver the placenta so we named it after him :) I will be at the same place with this birth and have already discussed a back up plan to the hospital notifying him so he has time to make it there!

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Lynz November 14, 2011 at 11:38 am

What a sweet family! You look like you had a wonderful experience, and I agree with you whole-heartedly. Hospital births can be amazing and wonderful, too!

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Marissa November 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I had awesome hospital birth experiences too! We are lucky to have a fantastic nurse midwifery program at our local hospital. I water birthed my first, had a precipitous birth with my second, and am now attending doula clients at that hospital birth center. Thanks for sharing!

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Katie November 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this. I think it is so wonderful that this can be shared here without judgement or argument over home vs. hospital. It sounds as though when it comes down to it you had the birth experience you did truly want. You felt safe in that space and I think that is the most important part of it all.

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Kelly November 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I am getting ready to birth in a hospital sometime in the next week or so and was really encouraged by your stories. I live in a small town where there are no midwives or other options, so every positive hospital story I hear is music to my ears :)

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Amy November 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I had a wonderful hospital birth, as well! I had excellent nurses that helped me through contractions, my midwife was there as soon as she knew I was in labor, and we were treated so well. My birth plan was carried out without me having to even say a word, and everyone was so encouraging. The nurses even helped me with nursing my daughter, who was not too keen on latching. I loved every second of it!

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Anna November 14, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Thank you soooo much for posting this!! I have had two hospital births, the first not so good, but the second sooo empowering for me (with induction, an epidural, awesome doctor and awesome nurses). I felt so good, so high off this awesome birth – and that was what was important! Thank you so much for offering ALL kinds of supportive birth posts BWF!!

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Rachel H. November 14, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I had a wonderful med-free hospital birth with my son, who will be two yrs old tomorrow! I had a doula, too, but all she did was help me through my contractions and pushing. She never had to advocate for me. I had never met the doctor who happened to be on call that night, but she was wonderful. She checked on me regularly and told me she’d be there as soon as I was complete and the nurses called her in. The nurses let me push when I felt like it for the 10 or 15 minutes it took for the doctor to come in. Everyone was very respectful of my body and my birth plan and explained everything that was happening. I am a pretty anxious person, so having a monitor strapped to me and being able to hear my baby’s strong heartbeat helped me feel calm and relax my body so I could concentrate on getting through my contractions and moving my baby down and out. After I gave birth to him, they put him on my chest immediately, but he was having trouble breathing to they took him away to suction him and give him some oxygen. The doctor warned me before she examined me and let me know I needed a couple stitches after the placenta was delivered. One of the nurses gently massaged my belly for a few minutes and I delivered my placenta. By then, my baby was pink and breathing well, so they brought him back to me and I held him while I got my stitches and one of the nurses gave me, my husband, my mom and my doula a “tour” of my placenta. From the way they handled things, you’d think this hospital was used to seeing natural births all the time, but two of the nurses told me they’d never even seen a birth without an epidural, and they were really excited to be there at my son’s birth and see what it was like. It was a wonderful birth experience, and while I think homebirth is amazing and the best choice for some women, I’m just too anxious about not being in the hospital if something bad were to happen (like my baby not breathing!). I’m planning another med-free hospital birth for my next baby, who is due in March.

The ONLY thing I could complain about was the night shift nurses coming in and waking me in the middle of the night to check on me and the baby. I know they’re just doing their jobs, but that part was rough. At least I had a private room.

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Lynn November 15, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Thank you for this post! I feel that we who choose hospital births get attacked too much. This could be just my experience, but I’ve had so many women on the birthing sites say very nasty things. Unfortunately people do have bad experiences on both sides. I know people will say nasty things about home births also. I loved this:

” The only thing that matters to me is when I see my precious baby’s face, and we look into each others eyes… I could be in a ditch or on a yacht or in the air, and it would make no difference in the world as long as we are both safe and healthy.”

I think a lot of people lose site of that when it comes to these discussions. Thanks again so much!

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Crowmama November 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm

As Penny Simkin found in her research:
…wherever a woman is, (home, hosp., birth cen.)…
…no matter what type of birth, (medicated, or not, induced, cesarean,)…
…if she and the baby are healthy…
…AND, (big AND,) she is RESPECTED….

…then it is remembered as a good birth.

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magreen November 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I know that there are people who take the word “natural” very serious. But I for one, feel that a mom who labors without pain meds gets “natural” props. You did a great job listening to yourself! I’m so glad you have such positive feelings and peace about your birth experiences.

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Shanna November 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I had a similar experience with the birth of my first, I was induced at 37 weeks due to pre-eclampsia. Within the first hour I had a hiccup and my uterus clamped down on my little guy pushing him into his cord and dipping his hr to 58. Immediately the room was full of staff they gave me a shot to stop my labor and the OB was able to move him without breaking my water (I tested + for strep and hadn’t had the full dosage of penicillin) At that time I was so grateful that I was in a place that knew what to do and do it quickly. Even though the Anesthesiologist was trying to push me into getting an epidural in case a c-section was needed I refused and had my nurse politely kick him out of my room for good (he was pushy and kinda creepy about it, plus he looked creepy too). It took hours for my contractions to start again with the pitocin having it bumped up to 13 before it all hit me at once like a Cafe Rio burrito after you have finished it all and then realized it was half a burrito to much.
The contractions were so intense and my nurse commented on how they were twice as strong as contractions normally are in hard labor for most who go into labor on their own. So I caved due to exhaustion and needing some sleep before It comes time to push for an epidural. Luckily there was a shift change so creepy dude wasn’t the one doing it. Right after they broke my water to help get me dilated because I was only at a 4, as well as turn the pitocin off because I was contracting on my own. an hour later I was complete and ready to push, my Dr. was also unavailable, however, they were expecting it to take 2 hours for him to naturally descend before crowning and encouraged me to push little pushes if needed.
Well about ten minutes after this they had reached my Dr and he was on his way and was 15 minutes out. In the meantime they decided to show my husband how to hold my leg and have me do a practice push and to everyone’s surprise but mine he was crowning. So they asked if I wanted to wait for my Dr or to deliver him now. I opted for pushing and so the resident delivered my son, it was her first delivery she had done unassisted. After he made his appearance earthside I was able to hold him skin to skin and BF right away.
It was such an amazing experience for myself and for my husband. I was encouraged to keep him in the room and they did all the tests and what not that they do in the room with me. Hospital births can be a great experience if you know what you want and make sure you voice those to the medical staff and if you don’t like how they are behaving you can request to have them removed from your labor/birthing experience. I can’t wait to have my second in a few years I am officially addicted to giving birth as crazy as it sounds.

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Sarah November 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I really enjoyed this story. I also had an AMAZING hospital birth. Granted, I did have a midwife and was VERY educated going in, but it was still a hospital birth. And it was lovely.

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Johanna November 26, 2011 at 4:16 am

Thanks for posting this. I’m a doula and aspiring midwife, and always assumed that I would have a homebirth until I developed HELLP during my first pregnancy and my daughter was born sleeping at 26 weeks. Because of this, I’ll be delivering in the hospital the next time around (though hoping for a homebirth at some point) and it’s great to hear about positive hospital experiences. I know that I’m more prepared than lots of moms because of my self-education and experience as a doula, so I will certainly advocate for the birth I want. Everyone has the right to choose their birth, including where they birth, and women who choose hospital birth are no less deserving of the power of their experiences than moms who choose to deliver at home.

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erica December 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm

thank you Crowmama for reminding us of Penny Simkin!

i labored at home, arrived at the hospital fully dilated, pushed for 2 hours with a midwife, nurse, doula, mother, and husband in attendance, received oxygen for the final 3 pushes, and felt respected the entire time. it was a wonderful birth.

honestly, i’m more anxious and frightened about possibly having a home birth in a foreign place (Canada) even though my pregnancy is healthy. it’s the UNKNOWN that causes more fear and uncertainty for me than whether or not the birth will be “natural” or “unnatural.”

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BeccaBee January 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Thank you for posting this. I too had a hospital birth, though due to some complications had a C Section, and even despite this had a wonderful experience, with some excellent doctors and nurses. After my son was born he left my side only 1 time, with my permission. And i truly believe without having been at the hospital, with the minitors to alert us that my sons heart rate kept dropping, it could have resulted in tragedy. And this was after a near perfect pregnancy, that complications arose during what should have been an uncomplicated birth. However i didnt walk into giving birth with any expectations other than having a healthy baby and getting him out safely. Personally, I will have all of my children at my hospital. Because at the very least i dont believe home births are safe for me. I personally think being where they are prepared for emergencies, is best. Because even if i dont need the intervention, id rather have it there just in case. Instead of having to wait precious minutes in an emergency situation. But thats just me. I am naturally kind of anxious, so for me the more prepared for worst case, the better.
I dont judge anyone on their decisions, you have every right to your opinions, etc. All of my opinions are what i feel is best for me.

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danielle January 30, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I had a hospital birth and it was a good experiance. I was allowed to labor the way I wanted. They followed MY birth plan and werecthere there as MY support. My labor start early morning after water breaking. And I labor 25 hours. 3.5 of it pushing. Darn that pelvis bone! When she finally got through with only a small tear for mama it was worth every hour. I too choose a hospital birth and am glad I live in a state and area that allows me to choose how I want it done. Good job to all the mamas where ever you may birth

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Shoshanah January 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I had an amazing hospital birth experience with my VBAC. My midwife, my two doulas, and my husband supported me through the rather quick labor (thanks to a bit of pit) after 2 days of PROM. It was without any other intervention or medication, and was a beautiful and healing experience.

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Erica W January 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Wow, thank you for sharing! I have had 1 hospital birth, 2 home, & planning another home one. While I **thought** my hospital birth was fine at the time (because it was my 1st, so I didn’t know otherwise), I realized all of the dangerous things they did & exposed me & my baby to. So sad & scary!

I can’t even imagine being told to HOLD MY BABY IN or STOP PUSHING?!?! For the nurse to make you wait for the doctor, is CRAZY!! The nurses forget they are supposed to be highly trained & they CAN catch a baby too… eeeks!!

For Andrea, w/the moron nurse who forcefully held your baby in, I gasped when I read that comment from you… so it was SAFE, in that idiot nurse’s eyes to forcefully push a baby IN, rather than for her to suck it up & catch the baby for the MIA doctor?!?!?

WOW, I do not blame you one bit for going home after that!! That was beyond dangerous for her to do that… which I am sure you know… I was JOKING w/my MW & said we’d push the baby back in, if need be, & I got scolded about how DANGEROUS that would be… I explained I would NEVER do that & that I was JUST joking… apparently she wanted to make sure I knew to NEVER do that & not to joke about it either… which I knew!

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