Thursday, December 31, 2009

Birth Plan Fears

I had an OB appointment today.

Typical doctor’s visit – he was in and out in about 5 minutes. Everything is OK with the baby, and I passed the glucose test, which is good. I was going to ask a few birth plan related questions, but they were behind and I always feel like I’m wasting time or being a pain if I ask a bunch of things, then get ticked about it later because that’s what they’re there for and I’m certainly paying enough for it.

The two things I did double check was to see if they were usually good about “allowing” women to walk/move during labor, and if eating/drinking was allowed. I was told they let you drink, but limited the amount “to keep your stomach empty if you need surgery”, and that walking/moving was fine at first, but I “wouldn’t be able to later on when all the monitors and stuff were hooked up”. Mostly what I expected to hear, but not really what I want to hear. I am going to be trying to get a copy of the hospitals actual policies for labor & delivery, so that may help in planning.

I guess I was more optimistic early on, when the doctor did say he was supportive of natural childbirth and was more than willing to attend a waterbirth, but should have expected some backwardness when I found out I’d have to provide my own birth pool and things. I guess I’m afraid of getting to the hospital and the floor nurse saying that I can’t have the birth I planned because it conflicts with some policy or is inconvenient for them. I know I do have a right to refuse a lot of things, but it seems like a lot of women get tricked or manipulated into going against their own wishes during the birth process.

I’m also worried about my husband’s abilities as a support person. All the time he’s been saying he would not let anything happen I didn’t want, but when i was trying to explain some of my worries to him today, he walked out of the room and told me he needed to be away from me and “birth talk” because he couldn’t do anything, and that I needed to “wait and see what the hospital allowed” then re-write my plan. I tried to explain to him that the whole point is I need him to understand what I want and why, so he can support me, and so he doesn’t get manipulated by people telling him something is policy or “for my own good” to try to pressure me into interventions I don’t want.He just keeps saying with anything that’s done he’ll ask me if it’s what I really want, and not allow them to do anything I don’t want, but I don’t exactly know how coherent or rational I’ll be at that point.

Maybe it’s just first time mom jitters, but I am so afraid I’m going to end up with my mom and husband both taking the side of hospital staff and trying to push me into things I don’t want, and I am not sure if I can stand up to all of that during labor. I will have a doula, but I know it’s not her job to actually advocate for me, and I don’t want to put her in a position where it’s me & her against the staff and my family. I almost feel “safer” with a homebirth, but I have a feeling that would cause even more family friction and my mom would totally call CPS or try to have me committed if she heard about it.

It’s not like I’m even wanting that much, just freedom of movement/positioning, being allowed to drink and possibly eat so I have energy and don’t get dehydrated, and not having unnecessary drugs or interventions repeatedly offered or recommended.  When I worked at the prison hospital unit, inmates were allowed all the things, but they are routinely denied and looked at as unrealistic or demanding for mothers in labor, and I don’t understand that at all.
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