3 Hospital Births and 2 at a Birth Center

I’ve now had 3 births in 3 different hospitals and 2 birth center births both in the same birth center.

As I really thought about the different experiences I have come to dislike the hospital experiences in contrast to my 2 birth center ones.

We had to go the hospital to get Ephraims 2nd PKU this week and he screamed!   He has never cried like.  I was so angry!  Kaye did his first PKU in the motel the day after he was born.  She did it while he was breast feeding and used a gentle poke to poke him.  He never even cried.

I will never have a baby in a hospital again, baring any emergency.  If we have another one I’m not going to go to prenatal visits at the clinic.  I will see a midwife or no one.  Of course I appreciate doctors for the rare instances when they are necessary, but not for the general, routine, wonderful, life changing, beautiful experience of a natural birth.

Here are my birth stories:

1 – Virginia

I woke up at 2 A.M. with a contraction and I knew I was in labor.  I was surprised to find out what a contraction was.  Who knew?  I didn’t tell Jeremy until 6:00 A.M. He felt bad I hadn’t told him, of course he wanted to be a part of it!  I thought I was doing him a favor by letting him sleep.  My water broke right after I told him.  He wanted to get to the hospital but I wanted to wait at home as long as possible.  I dreaded the idea of hours at the hospital in labor.  I had determined to go without an epideral for fear of a spinal tap or other complications.

If you look closely you can see her squished nose.

I insisted on showering and blow drying my hair. We went to the hospital at 7:00 A.M. and had to check in through the Emergency room.  They made me sit in a wheel chair because my water had broken.  That was frustrating.  They put us in a room with a small bathroom that only had a shower.  The nurse told me that it was too bad they gave me that room because I was the only one going natural and they put me in the only room without a tub.

I was Strep B positive so they had to hook up an IV.  The nurse who did it didn’t do it correctly and I was getting only the medication without it diluted.  It burned so terribly!  I told Jeremy and insisted that he get a nurse.  He left and came back alone.  They told him I was just being a wimp.  I told him to get a nurse now or I was going to rip it out of my arm.  He left and insisted on a nurse looking at it this time.  After the nurse saw the IV she said that it must hurt and that it had been done wrong.  She remedied the problem and left.

They wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything, ice only and we had to stay in our little room.

When we first arrived at the hospital I was dilated to 5 cm.  The next time they checked I was at 7 cm.   I still hadn’t seen Laura Hansen, CNM.  She came into the room maybe around 9 A.M. She talked small talk for a moment and then asked if they had happened to check me yet.  Yeah, the last time they check I was 7 cm.    Her face changed immediately, she was very surprised.  Looking back how could they have so poorly organized this thing?  No one communicated with anyone else. Why hadn’t they called her that morning, when I arrived at the hospital, to let her know I was there?  Or had they and she really just didn’t care?  I can’t believe that.

She left the room immediately.  By the time she came back in her delivery gear I was in the shower and already bearing down.

The next morning Jeremy was wondering why his shoulders were so soar?  He hadn’t done anything.  Then he remembered how hard I had squeezed them the day before.  I’m sorry!  He was perfectly wonderful through the entire experience and I can’t imagine going through it without him!

Laura Hansen wanted me on the bed.  I slowly walked from the shower to a small wooden rocking chair in between the shower and the bed and sat down.  She was nervous.  She really wanted me on the bed but I told her she was just going to have to wait until I could.  She tried to be patient.  After the contraction I got on the bed.

Little Virginia was 6 lbs 7 oz and 19 1/2 inches tall born at 9:58 A.M. Her nose was mushed to the side of her face and her ears plastered to the back of her head.

Virginia in her blessing dress

At first Laura thought I just had a tiny rip but as she started stitching me up she realized my insides were torn so terribly she didn’t dare stitch me herself and got a doctor in to do the job.  The doctor worked on me for an hour until she had all the sutures completed. I was just glad she hadn’t done an episiotomy.  I had told her every visit for months that I really didn’t want her to give me one!  Even though the Dr. was angry with her for it I was glad she had done as I had asked.  She later told me that another gal had ripped badly inside and she had given her an episiotomy but it didn’t seem to make a difference.  I figured so. Thank you for honoring my wishes Laura.  I’m so glad I didn’t have a Dr. there for the delivery!

The first time I went to the bathroom I fainted and they had to use smelling salts and drag me back to bed. On the plus side I was informed that all the nurses were referring to me as “Superwomen”.

Looking back I’m extremely disappointed with the hospital and their staff.  What a lousy experience.  Now that I’ve had 2 incredible one’s at a birth center I just can’t go back to being treated that way again.

2 – Asa

Asa 2 years old

Asa – My Sweet Boy!

I went into labor at noon.  We had been told to go to the hospital immediately because labor would probably be quicker this time.  So we down the hill, the hospital was at the bottom of the hill we lived on.  We sat in the waiting room because they didn’t have a labor room available.  They checked us in around 2:00 P.M.  Jeremy’s parents came soon after to watch Virginia.  This time D’Ann Moon was informed I was there and she came.  (We were at a different hospital.) D’Ann had family in town and did not want to be there.  But she tried to be patient.  She wanted to break my water at 6:00 P.M. but I wanted an entirely natural experience.  We waited 2 hours and then she was insistent that we break it.  I had been at 6 cm  with no dilation for hours.  So, we broke it.

I was given more freedom this time to walk about and was even allowed to eat if I wanted to.

They had a tub in a very small room.  It was more like a closet.  They let me sit in it for a while but as I got close to pushing they made me get out. They said it is against state law.  No bath tub deliveries.  How was I ever going to achieve my dream of delivering in a tub?

Asa was born at 9:35 P.M.  He was 7 lbs. 9 oz. and he wad 19 1/2 inches tall.

3 – Sherrad

Laurie Hansen, Sherrad, Lana

This time the first labor contractions were at 1:00 A.M.  I told Jeremy right away.  We decided to go ahead and get Virginia and Asa up and head to the hospital.  We lived 1 1/2 hours from the hospital.  We were traveling to a farther hospital because it was the closest one who had a CNM, Laurie Hanson.  She said that people traveled from as far as 2 hours away to see her.  She was competent and very straight forward.  We really appreciated that approach.  We moved 1 month before we had Sherrad and Laurie wasn’t sure she was going to accept us because of her full schedule.  But, she did and she was glad as were we.

Cary and Brenda Blake family playing Santa Claus.

We arrived at the hospital at 3:00 A.M. and later found out that they would have sent us back home except that we lived so far away and it was December 24.  They put is in a room to sleep and then other than occasional checks on my vital signs they left us alone.  As morning drew nearer they let us know that Laurie has a traditional Christmas Eve morning breakfast with her family and since I wasn’t progressing very quickly she would be in when she was done.  This gave us plenty of time to call my niece, Jordan Blake to come and help out.  She had talked of possibly wanting to become a midwife and so I thought it would be a good opportunity for her to see a birth and we needed help with our two children.  Laurie came around 11:00 A.M. and Jordan came about the same time.  Laurie got right to work, she broke my water and then prepared for birth.

Sherrad was born at 1:10 P.M. He was 6 lbs. 9 oz. and 19 1/2 inches tall.  No one let Jordan know soon enough and so they didn’t make it into the room in time.  She hung out with us for the afternoon because her parents were at their traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Thank you Jordan for giving us your Christmas Eve that year.  Their entire family came back the following morning, making the 1 1/2 drive, to be Santa Clause for our 3 children.  What a Christmas!

Our children with their wild hair (I’d forgotten a brush amongst other things when we left our home early Christmas Eve morning) had a blast opening their many presents.

4 – Jasper

Before we moved to Alaska I searched on line for midwives and birthing options.  After arriving we didn’t have a children for over 3 years.  When we did get pregnant I knew I wanted to go to the Birth Center in Juneau Alaska.  At that time they had 3 midwives, they now have 5 midwives and are growing rapidly.  Kaye Kanne, CDM is the reason for the whole thing.  She has headed 2 birth center projects in Juneau and is now expanding to offering prenatal care clinics to outlying areas.  Currently a pregnant women will see a doctor in her town and then travel to Juneau for delivery.  Kaye wants to travel to these communities monthly offering her services to clients throughout the pregnancy.  She currently does this for Haines, but will hopefully be expanding to other towns.

We did not see a doctor for the last 3 months of pregnancy because we lived remote and were unable to coordinate with the local medical center.  But, Wrangell, the town we’d moved from was more than happy to work with us.  So, we traveled back to Wrangell to see a doctor and then to be referred to Juneau.

We were in Juneau 4 weeks before we finally had Jasper.  The day we had him we went to an appointment with Kaye and I was 5 cm, 80% effaced.  We then went to the hospital for an ultrasound.  They usually do this at 41 weeks to make sure the baby is okay.  The ultrasound tech did a 2 minutes ultrasound and then declared there was only 2 cm of fluid.  The hospital wants to take over at that point, to induce.  We went back to Kaye and she said we could break the water.  She instructed us to go get our stuff and to eat a meal high in carbs.  We did and were back at the birth center by 5:00 P.M. Kaye broke the water, we called Corle, the doula to help out with the children, and we were quickly in labor.  There was a lot of fluid by the way (of course).

I was 6 cm at 5:00 P.M. She checked again at 8:50 I was at 8 cm. We had Jasper at 9:59 P.M.  The spent the entire time in the birthing room.  The kids had a blast with Corle and they were able to make in the room for the birth.  It was a very peaceful, quiet wonderful experience.  Kaye allowed us the freedom to do as we pleased, to make the experience what we wanted.  We could move about, come and go, eat and drink and were even encouraged to, have our children there and apart of the experience.  The lights were down low, candles lit, soft music in the back ground.  Everything was very comfortable and inviting and relaxing.

I’m so sold on Birth Centers and Midwives that I am even thinking I wouldn’t mind having one at home.  I very much prefer the comforts of the birth center though and will forever be a proponent of them and midwives.

5 – Ephraim

My previous post is all about him.

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