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I have to say I am very happy to have found this community! I myself have had 2 hospital births that were natural, and one birth center birth. Honestly I prefer the last one, but having heard so many horror stories I realize just how great an experience I had with my first two.

Now a little bit more about me...my name is Veronica Lacquement and I run Sacred Pathways Doula Services in the Portland Metro area of Oregon. I'm a very strong supported of natural birth and while I know the hospital is where a lot of people feel comfortable, having been there myself, I also know that out of hospital can be safe and usually have a much more pleasant experience.

So here I am! Bringing my experience, education and handy skills at research to this group. I am really looking forward to getting to know you all better. Oh! And since I bet there are likely to be some moms expecting here's a great handout I devised for a Childbirth Education class that I gave a presentation at. It's great for your partner/friends/family. You can go read it here: http://sacredpathwaysdoula.com/http:/sacredpathwaysdoula.com/ten-doula-tips-for-dads


Name/LJ name: Caitlin / rosemere_rat
Age: 22
Number of other children (if any), ages: 17 weeks pregnant
Other birth experiences: Only in my dreams ;o)
What you would like to learn from this community: I love reading stories, and I think this will help me!
A little about you: I live with my mom :O) I am engaged. I have 3 dogs. All of my friends either A: Had kids young and will not have anymore, or B: Wont have kids, EVER. So I need a lot of help here!

Reality birth TV

“Reality” Birth: Marketing Fear to Childbearing Women

Abstract: In this column, the authors examine the effect of “reality” television shows on expectant parents' fears of childbirth.

So if you want to have confidence in yourself, stay away from them thar reality birth shows, ladies. ;)

Scared of labor

Edited to add an intro:

Name/LJ name: niamh_bronwyn
Age: 27
Number of other children (if any), ages: None, this is my first and, the way this has gone, only
Other birth experiences: none
What you would like to learn from this community: How not to be scared. Someone in pregnant suggested I find my way here.
A little about you: This is my first pregnancy. I'm currently 33weeks 2 days. I've had Hyperemesis Gravidum (HG) since week 5.

First of all, I really want a completely natural, unmedicated (with one exception - Zofran) birth.

I've had HG my entire pregnancy and been on a PICC line for IV fluids & Zofran since December (I'm due in July). Now, as far as we can tell there is no real reason to think that this is going to get better and let me off the PICC in the next 7 weeks.

I want a natural labor/delivery. I am allergic/sensitive to about 1 out of every 3-5 medications doctors try me on so the fewer things we put in my system the better I think this will go. Not to mention all the great research that shows that interventions aren't good for generally healthy labor/delivery moms and babies.

Apart from HG, I've been very healthy. Even with HG (once we got it under control) I've gained 20 lbs. Baby is measuring right in the 50th percentile and moving great. My placenta is well placed and we have a "beautiful" 3 strand cord which lights up at every u/s. (We've had a few extra to check to make sure with the HG that baby is making good gains, and she is.)

Unfortunately, with being as sick as I have, I'm really scared that stuff will go wrong, or that (with a nice accessible PICC line) they'll try to give me things that I don't want.

I can't afford a Doula (and there don't seem to be student ones around here here=boondocks-nowhere). So, apart from setting up a really, really explicit birth plan and delaying going to the hospital until the last minute what can I do to try to make sure that I get the kind of birth that I want?

Safe. Healthy Baby. Naturally.

x-posted to pregnant


Name/LJ name: Starlite1980


Number of other children (if any), ages: One son 3 yrs and one daughter 20 months

Other birth experiences:

For my first birth I was induced a 3 days before my due date. I agreed to the induction because I wanted a certain Dr to deliver me. However, my labor took so long the Dr. I did not want ended up delivering my child. This birth experience was very traumatic for me. I was in labor 18 hrs before my son was born and came close to being forced into a c-section. The pain from the contractitons was so severe I had an epidural at 5 cm and by the time it came to start pushing I could only feel blinding pain, but no urge to push. I did not even know how to push effectively. My son ended up being vaccuum and forceps extracted and I had a first degree episiotamy.  I should also mention my nurse was a word that rhymes with "itch" and I was confined on my back hooked up to IVs for the whole labor. I felt like a prisoner.

For my second labor I was also induced, though I had hoped to avoid it. I am glad the induction happened though because my daughter was in distress and I believe this induction saved her life. I was a lot more vocal about my wishes this time around. I refused unecssary IVs, but I did allow them to a open a vein and cap it off.  I also tried different positions with my labor and was vocal about my comfort and wishes. I ended up having an epidural at almost 8 cm, and my daughrter was birthed soon after this.  My only big issue with this birth was the fact the nurses were telling me to quiet down, and tried to "shh" me because I was vocalizing my pain. How quiet was I supposed to be at 7cm with pitocin contractions that do not come in waves but are just "bam, bam, bam." 

What you would like to learn from this community: I would like to hear other womens birth stories and how they stand up for their rights in the hospital, which from my experiences can be bent on interventions.  I also hope to teach members of this have community to stand up for themselves. For instance, you do not have to put up with nurses who do not support or encourage you and you do not have to labor on your back.

A little about you: I am pregnant with my third child and had hoped to deliver at a birthing center, but will most likely have to deliver at the hosptial, because the birthing center is full for my Sept. due date.  I hope this time around to be able to forgo an epidural and go all the way naturally in this birth. I do not want to be induced this time around, because I think I will be able to handle the natural contractions better. I am GBS positive and  will have to have meds for this, but I hope this will be the only intervention.

Has this come up yet? I'd LOVE to hear what you guys think about this. I think it's amazing, and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it.

I can has baby?

After 7 hours of INDUCED labor (and let me tell you, I will not be doing Pitocin again), and one good hard push, James Robert Duncan II was born, weighing 8 lbs, 6 oz, measuring 20.5 inches and sporting soft brown curly hair.

Mom is exhausted, Baby is hungry! ;) His blood sugar was 61 one hour after birth and 30 minutes of breastfeeding. His hungry nature made his first latch a snap.

*hugs and love from us*

Patient rights in a hospital

So I've heard alot of folks say "you can refuse this procedure" in regards to hospital births. So I want to know what my legal rights and options are as a patient if I were to have a hospital birth.

For example, I've heard of women in labor being bullied into accepting a procedure because the doctor threatens to refuse treatment. Can they actually stop treatment? How do I deal with a doctor like that, what do I say?

Another example: A woman is 41.5 weeks along and is told that she has to be induced in three days. What are her options short of finding a homebirth midwife who allows post-dates or having a u/c? Similar example with being scheduled for a c-section with breech birth (which I'm told is illegal for hospitals to deliver vaginally in my state) or twins? Does the hospital HAVE to go along with her, or can they drop her?

I do not want this to turn into a war. I also do not want to be told to shop around, just stay away from hospitals and have a home birth, or to bring a doula with me. I'm not asking for help with a decision of where to have my baby. I really just want to know, preferably with credible sources, what my rights and options are so that I can best defend myself if I do decide to have a hospital birth and if it does go that way. I think it is important for every woman to know her rights no matter where she chooses to give birth.

X-posted to naturalbirth.

Just saying hi!

Name/LJ name: Maggie
Age: 28
Number of other children (if any), ages: nope...
Other birth experiences: None.  Had a miscarriage at 7w5d back in April -- but got pregnant again two cycles later!
What you would like to learn from this community: Mostly just to share experiences with other women who have had or are planning to have natural birth in a hospital. I'm optimistic, because my hospital has a good reputation for not being terribly interventionist, but I just have the fear that I'll be taken advantage of. I'm not scared of the labor process at all, but I am afraid my doctors (who I've had nothing but good experiences with so far) will suddenly go all intervention-happy at like 37 weeks and my head will spin off!
A little about you: Married for two years now, living in Madison, WI, having a girl, due April 1st! I risked out of my family practice because I'm on medication for bipolar disorder and have a history of borderline blood pressure. But I'm 21 weeks now and the ultrasound came back all clear for neural tube problems that my meds could have caused, and my blood pressure has actually been lower during my pregnancy than it's been since I was a kid. So I'm still seeing the perinatal residents at the hospital, but they don't seem to consider me high risk anymore. I really do like the care that I'm getting there, and I don't have any indication that they'll suddenly put pressure on me to induce, or that I'll randomly end up with an on-call doctor who is episiotomy-happy -- but I'm scared of it anyway. I honestly believe that my body was made to give birth to this child, and I'm not worried about the pain or anything. I just don't want to have to argue with my caregivers about this throughout my labor! I'm fairly certain that everything will be fine, but you just never know! So mostly, I'm just here looking for moral support.  Also, I have an anterior placenta, which I know can make back labor more likely, so I would love to hear anyone's experiences with that, including good positions and coping techniques and how to convince my husband not to run looking for narcotics for me when I'm going through a potentially nasty transition.  :)