Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My hope and wish list for this delivery

This post contains some physiological details, so I expect the gentleman or two reading this blog might wish to skip it.

I'm very excited (though a bit nervous, I have to admit) to think that the baby may be arriving any day now (or not for another couple of weeks – we just aren't sure). I'm already past my "official" due date but I don't think much of it because we knew from the start we're "late". Anyway… first and foremost I'm praying for safety and health in labor and delivery, which is of course what matters most. However there are also other things I'm wishing and hoping for, such as…

A shorter labor, or otherwise more rest during labor. Last time, labor lasted through a night, a day, and another night until I had the baby in the morning – unsurprisingly, we got very little sleep in between. Labor started very intensively (contractions five minutes apart), but stalled when we arrived at the hospital and I began to be constantly poked and prodded. I can't even count the number of cervical examinations they very matter-of-factly put me through, in the few hours I remained there (thank goodness my waters weren't broken at that point, otherwise risk of infection would exponentially increase!). I was feeling very uncomfortable and unsafe, and I do not believe it's a coincidence I simply stopped progressing at that point. Thinking back I know we came too early, but I thank God for allowing us to go to that hospital early enough to still have time to leave, get some rest, and find another hospital, and not at a point when we'd be stuck there for better or worse.

Anyway, this time I hope to stay home, where I'm most comfortable, until things truly kick in. I believe this time I know my body better and will (hopefully!) be able to discern when it is truly time to go. I do know second-time labors tend to be shorter so it's something to keep in mind. Anyway I hope to be not as exhausted as I was after my first birth, so that I can…

Insist on the right to remain with my baby. I know all you home-birthers out there  will say this is one of the reasons you choose to have your babies at home. What a relief it is when you don't have to face someone trying to whisk your baby away shortly after delivery for "urgent" check-ups and clean-ups, and when you don't have to make a "special" request to be "allowed" to keep your baby with you through the night! Last time I was so exhausted that everything seemed as though in a haze, and I permitted my baby to be taken away from me when it was night. What a grave mistake it was. I was promised I would be waken up to nurse, and that was a big dirty lie. My baby and I were cheated of our right to exclusively nurse. She had her cues ignored in that blindingly bright nursery full of screaming babies, and eventually had a bottle of formula shoved down her tiny mouth.

Over a year and a half has passed, my baby since has successfully nursed for 15 months, weaned, and is now a healthy and energetic toddler, yet the blatant lying and ignorance of our explicit wishes by the nursery staff, the precious first night when it was so, so very important my baby would remain by my side and in close reach of a warm breast, and that one ounce of formula my child had in her life, still gnaw at my heart and make me feel I will have to fight against the system for such a simple and natural thing as holding my baby close. It seems like the most irrational thing in the world.

With a hospital, there is no such thing as an "ideal" experience. The nursery was awful but that problem was resolved as soon as I got up in the morning and insisted that from now on I will have my baby by my side at all times. The labor and delivery staff, however, was fantastic, both during the time I delivered my baby and when I went in for my check-ups not long ago – which is the thing that matters most. I hope I won't be disappointed. After I have the baby in my arms, I feel as though I can handle anything – including rude nurses and the unfamiliar hospital atmosphere, especially as I'm hoping for…

An early discharge. Last time, I spent three nights in the hospital, and the third night was definitely an overdo. I was more than ready to go home after the second night, only it so happened it was Shabbat. And remember, it was after an exhausting labor.  The Shabbat atmosphere was wonderful, the food was delicious, and it was fun to talk to other Moms in Mommy Boot Camp, but I still longed to go home. This time, provided baby and I are well, I hope and pray to be home again sooner, especially as now I will have a little girl waiting for her Mommy to be back.      

42 comments:

Holly said...

Hi Anna. I was curious, are fathers present in the delivery room or are they allowed to stay overnight with you in the hospital?

Amanda said...

Ahhhhh yes, I remember my hospital birth well :shudder:. I'll be praying for a wonderful birth experience and an easy labour :)

blessings,
Amanda

Mrs. Anna T said...

Holly, my husband can be in the delivery room with me but there's no place for him to stay at the hospital. Thankfully his parents live only a short walk from our hospital of choice so it shouldn't be a problem even during Shabbat.

Elizabeth R said...

Dear Anna,

I am praying that you will have the peaceful, healthy delivery you so desire for you and your little one. I can't wait for the story and pictures.

Elizabeth

P.S. I had written and was about to post the above, but... Is it offensive for me as a Christian friend to pray for you? Here in the US, people praying for the needs of friends is common even those who practice another religion and the one prayed for usually appreciates the caring thought behind it. It just so happens that I do not have any real life friends who are Jewish, so I do not know. I love your blog (which has been a great encouragement to me) and would not wish to hurt or offend you in any way.

Rose said...

Hello my dear Anna, thinking of you and Mr T and Shira. Take care dear girl.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Dear Elizabeth,

It is said, "My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples" (Isaiah 56:3) :o) Not just Jews.

Stealth Jew said...

A hospital birth can be ideal.

In Canada vaginal births get 24 hours, and c-sections stay for three days.

Stacey said...

How exciting it all is! I'm sure there will be many of us who read about your life in Israel, thinking and praying for you at this time. I hope your hopes and prayers are granted, especially all the things you are hoping for your hospital stay, but MOST especially for a healthy baby and healthy mom. Blessings to you!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Stealth Jew,

Allow me to rephrase myself: in *Israel*, a hospital experience is never ideal. Though I refer to mine as pretty good, which is a lot more than many women can say.

Miss Kelsye said...

Even though a short labor and delivery is preferred and seems like a slice of heaven, a medium (around 8-12 hours) is preferred for you and your precious baby. If your labor and the delivery is fast your baby may have a problem with what we call spitting. Normally the birth canal squishes all of the excess mucus that lines the baby's lungs out during labor. The baby is able to breath better and the chance of having to use the suction tube is reduced. When he baby shoots out, no squashing happens and they form bubbles from the mucus that is affecting their breathing. A medium labor also helps you tremendously. Your, uh, "bottom" will have time to stretch and become more elastic and chances of tearing and having a epsi. are reduced and the recovery is better. To keep energy up during labor try to eat a little bit of protein every couple of hours. Make sure you do this at home b/c the hospital will not let you eat:) Make sure you stay hydrated and try to drink something that has electrolytes in it. Remember if you drink lots, you will pee lots. Try to go to the bathroom 1-2 hours to keep your full bladder from acting like a pillow and making your birth canal smaller. If you don't want to be hooked up to all kinds of machinery and Iv's ask your doc. if you can possibly go without them. I don't know about Israel but the U.S. will let you have a Hep-lock put in your arm so that you are free to move around and If you insist they will take off the fetal monitor after 2 contractions where the baby's heart beat is stable. They will come and put it on you for 3 min. every 2 hours:)

Will be praying for a safe delivery for you and for a healthy precious baby:)

Kelsye

kate said...

You said "I do know second-time labors tend to be shorter" LOL.

no, in fact you do not know if this is true for yourself yet.

Trust me, I speak from experience,(although not as much as some) I've had 3 babies in 3 years and each labor has been longer than the previous (all natural no pain meds etc..).

Since you have only given birth once you do not know how your body will respond to labor. It could be much shorter or much longer. There are no "knowns" when it comes to a first second or even third labors. It is different for every woman, each time. There are patterns and that is it.

I could have a fluke labor and have it go very quickly, but since I have a history of long grueling labors, I expect that it will probably always happens this way - probably.

I am not trying to burst your bubble of hope - you probably will have a shorter labor just because of the extenuating circumstances experienced with the last labor - I am simply trying to say that I hoped on that "known fact" and it has never been true for me!

I pray it will be true for you!!!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Kelsye,

If I have a 12-hour-long labor, that's about twice shorter than last time around, which would be great. :o) I would actually prefer a labor that lasts a few hours and allows us to make last-minute arrangements before we leave, to a very quick labor that catches me unawares and leads to an unexpected home birth. But of course it's all in the Lord's hands.

I think that around here, I could eat in the hospital if I wanted to. I asked them during the tour we took several weeks before I gave birth and the head midwife said no problem, just didn't recommend anything heavy during labor. As it was, by the time I went into delivery room I didn't feel as though I could keep anything down anyway so I only drank. However no one said anything about not eating and if I had brought snacks with me I expect no one would notice because I was mostly left alone. :)

I wasn't hooked to anything except they asked me to do a fetal monitor every couple of hours.

Kate,

When I said "tend", I meant a general trend in second-time Moms vs. first-time Moms. Of course it's impossible to predict what will happen to every individual woman.

Anonymous said...

"She had her cues ignored in that blindingly bright nursery full of screaming babies, and eventually had a bottle of formula shoved down her tiny mouth. Over a year and a half has passed, my baby since has successfully nursed for 15 months, weaned, and is now a healthy and energetic toddler, yet the blatant lying and ignorance of our explicit wishes by the nursery staff, the precious first night when it was so, so very important my baby would remain by my side and in close reach of a warm breast, and that one ounce of formula my child had in her life, still gnaw at my heart and make me feel I will have to fight against the system for such a simple and natural thing as holding my baby close."

My dear young lady, if this is the worst thing you have nagging at your conscience, you're doing very well indeed. Your child was treated in the way of thousands of healthy children, and you were let to get some rest. Notwithstanding that the hospital should have tried to accommodate you--and I believe they should have done--your child was _not_ subject to some dreadful abuse. She was simply cleaned up, examined, and fed.

Lisa said...

Hi Anna,

I will be thinking of you and hoping that your labor goes smoothly and more peacefully than your last.

-Lisa

Sylvia said...

Anna,

Please don't beat yourself up too much over the formula. Yes, it happened and now you know what to do. Your post the other day made me very sad and made me want to hug you. You will do your best, I am sure.
Just give yourself a little grace. The same grace you extend to others like me who have not made your life choices but yet find something in common with you which I do not find in so many other places with women who made choices like you.

I shall be praying for peace in your heart and for a safe delivery.

{hugs}
Sylivia

Star said...

I wish you a safe and short delivery. Can't wait to know what you have and what you call him/her?
My first grandchild is due in 8 weeks time so they will be much the same age as they go through life.
Take care.
Blessings, Star

Lena Michalev said...

Anna, I wish you best of luck! I hope you have a safe and healthy delivery! Keep us posted.

Sarah said...

I still find the idea of a nursery very odd. At the hospital where I had both mine (in Australia), the nursery was for babies waiting for their mums to come out of surgery, or those who were sick. Babies stay in mum's room unless she expessly asks for the nurses to look after it for a while - if for example she's had an extremely long labour and just. needs. some. sleep. Or like the woman who was down the hall from me and couldn't walk without a frame after her c-section. And in those cases, the baby stays at the nurses station, not the nursery.

Hilde said...

I hope and pray for a healthy, peaceful delivery for you and your baby. I had my children in two different hospitals more than 20 years ago, and even then, it was the usual thing to keep the babies with their mothers all the time. And you had to ask for pain killers. Especially the midwives were wonderful. Nowadays, the hospitals advertise all the posssibilities they offer for deliveries - water births etc. Maybe this is because there are so few babies born in Germany, so the hospitals try to get as many deliveries as possible.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

Have you considered a home birth or giving birth in a pool of warm water? I mention it because it sounds like you are looking for a gentler experience. I hope all goes well and wish you the best.

Sincerely,
Sarah

Mrs. V. said...

I had hospital births with both of my children ~ now 12 & 13 years old ~ and I so regret not having a homebirth experience. I don't know if I will ever have another child, but I do know that if I do I plan to not give birth in a hospital.

I hope everything works out for you in the ways that you feel are best. Blessings to you and your family! ~**~**~**

Mrs. Anna T said...

Anon,

If you call it rest when an anxious mother is separated from her new babe for the night and wakes up every hour because her hormonal cues tell her she NEEDS her baby to be with her, just as much as baby needs mother, then I suppose our definitions of rest are a tad different.

Newborn children should NOT be separated from their mothers unless there is a very grave reason.

Sarah,

Yes, we did consider the option of a home birth, but it's a) very expensive, and b) we live too far from a hospital to risk it.

sarah said...

Anna,

I had a long talk with my Dr. before the birth of my second child. I told her how I wanted my birth to play out, and when the time came both my Doc and the hospital staff were completely encouraging and accepting of my desires. I ended up "catching" my daughter myself...the Dr. and nurses just stood by. I also did kangaroo care right away with my daughter for about 3 hours. The nursery staff left us alone until I was able to get up and help clean her up myself. Also...my baby did spend her first night in the nursery, but the nurses faithfully brought her back to me every 3 hours to nurse. I think you really have to make your wishes known....otherwise......you get thrown into the "birthing factory". We also left the hospital at the 24 hour mark.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Sarah,

How wonderful that you had a Dr. who was willing to have a long talk and not just throw a couple of quick, irritated phrases/commands about what you "must" do now. I'm so happy you had a good birth experience.

During/after my first delivery, we did make our wishes known and everybody were fantastically supportive except that nurse in the nursery who gave my daughter formula DESPITE the breastfeeding-only sticker (which had a P.S. saying "AT NIGHT TOO", for dummies like her), AND despite me coming to talk to her about it when I came to leave my baby. She promised I would be waken up to nurse, and she lied. I take is as a real stab in the back, and will never rest again with a precious babe of mine out of my sight.

Mrs. Anna T said...

And if I might just add, it was totally pointless to take my child away "so I could rest". She was so peaceful those first few days, I think being born was hard work for her too and she needed rest as much as I did! All she did was nurse and sleep. If the mother wants to nurse on cue it makes absolutely no sense to schlep to the nursery every time instead of picking baby up and nursing as needed.

Miss Kelsye said...

wow, Your birthing experience sounds much better that the ones in the U.S. At the last birth I observed. The nurses were very manipulative and were acting like she was stupid. Even after saying no to Demerol they waited until she was asleep and put the Demerol shot in her Iv. When I asked about it the nurse was very rude and said that it was none of my business and then she finally said that she needed some pain meds to help the contractions work better. Which is totally a lie and expected me( a educated midwife) to believe it. Then they would only allow her off of the fetal monitor for 3o min. on/ 30 off. When the machine wasn't even working properly. They wouldn't let her get up and move around so her labor stalled and they gave her pitocin with out permission. She had the baby 3 hours later and they immediately took it from her and she didn't get to see him for 3 hours after he was born. Then they made her go through 2 bags of pit after she had the baby with the Iv infiltrated so the useless fluid was running down her arm and soaking her bed. It sounds like Israel is better to have a baby in than the U.S., to me:)

Mrs. Anna T said...

Miss Kelsye, I gave birth in a religious hospital so perhaps this has something to do with it being better. No wonder I'm going back there. :)

Anonymous said...

"I was promised I would be waken up to nurse, and that was a big dirty lie."

I got the impression from this that you had, in fact, slept, Anna.

"Morethnrubies1" said...

My only advice...Trust your Instincts during Labor! They are given to you for a reason! I just had my 3rd (last week in fact) A homebirth, and my hubby and midwives nearly missed it because I was using logic--I had only been in labor 9 hours (previous were 32 and 26) and the contractions were Still 10 mins apart. LOL!!! Thankfully my emotions finally took over and I called everyone and told them to come NOW. They made it just as I was ready to push.

Trust yourself, let how you are feeling guide the labor and the decision to go in to the hospital.

I will be praying for you, may you have a blessed birth!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Anon, yes, I did indeed sleep - very fretfully and waking up every hour because not having my baby near me kept me so anxious. Every time I told myself, "go back to sleep, surely they would have woken you up if there had been need to."

No way I'm going to trust them this time.

Leah Brand-Burks said...

Anna, this is exactly what happened for me on my second delivery! All three of your wishes happened for me with my second, and my first was NO picnic either! So here's praying they all come true for you.

Lena said...

Anna I wish you a good and short labour and may all your wishes in how you want to have your baby handled be met. Every birth is unique, and each baby is different. I loved to compare and learn from each birth I experienced. Good luck to you! :)

Elizabeth R said...

Anna,

Then I shall carry on praying for you and your precious little one. I look forward to photos and a name!

Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Beginning to wonder if you are in labor... Thinking of you!

Y. said...

Hello Anna

I to wish you a wonderfull birthing experience and a healthy, thriving baby.

You will be in my toughts and prayers!

Mommie Lynda said...

I hope you have a much better birth experience this time around. I'll keep checking here to see when your little one finally arrives. I'm excited for you! I have a few more weeks left before I'll be in the hospital giving birth.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I cannot understand your fear of formula! I do not think it is a big disaster if your baby got a bottle of formula. So many babies are fed by formula and I do not think that they really have great psychological or physical damages.
I have been an orphan kid for the first 6 months of my life, brought up by formula by my adopting parents and I think all the faults and shortcomings I have are not linked to the grave disturbed start into my life being fed by formula.
Sorry, this has nothing to do with health care but it has developed into something like ideology! Be relaxed, a little bottle of formula wont do any harm to you or your precious kid.

Kate said...

No post in a few days, so I'm left wondering....do you have a baby in your arms? Looking forward to a post about it, soon. :)

CappuccinoLife said...

Anna, I'm sorry you are getting snark about your feelings from your last birth.

So often "natural birthers" are told "Don't judge, don't judge!" lol. Odd, that, since we are often on the recieving end of judgement.

Your wishes were not respected, and that without good medical reason. You weren't comfortable, your baby was kept from you when you wanted her. I'd say you have good reason to want to avoid that this time around. I wish you the best for your labor and delivery!

åslaug abigail said...

I know you stop by my blog from time to time to check on the visa... Well, this is a good time to check!

Hoping your birth turns out perfect to you, your husband and your baby. I don't think it was right that they took your babe away and told you they'd let you nurse if she needed it and then didn't. No matter whether you fell asleep or not.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you don't have a good choice of hospitals. I am in the U.S. and pregnant with my second child. I see a midwife and am hoping to have a water birth in the hospital. The nursery is only for newborns who may need medications or right after a c-section. And formula must be requested. When my daughter was born (at the same hospital) and was a little too drowsy to nurse properly, the nurse brought a breast pump in for me to use. She never left my side. And we were home within a day.

So a hospital experience can be good..although I realize it can vary.

But this is a hospital that is a shining example in our area and hopefully one day all U.S. hospitals and beyond will be more like this one.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Anon (and it WOULD surely help if you identified yourself by some screen name or at least initials, because there were several anonymous comments on this post... just saying),

The argument of "many babies drank formula and grew up just fine" doesn't hold ground. Many babies were born by C-section and still came out of them fine. It doesn't mean C-sections don't carry risks, and it doesn't mean we shouldn't fight to lower the rate of *unnecessary* C-sections. We must strive to do what's best, not what's "fine".

Breast milk is no doubt the BEST nutrition for a baby, and formula a source of allergens to which a newborn baby should not be exposed if there is a choice. In my case there was no medical justification to push formula, as I was perfectly capable of breastfeeding. It was done for the convenience of the staff, which overruled the optimal choices for me and baby - and when convenience of medical staff is held in higher regard than patients' health, I can't swallow that, sorry.

Furthermore, even without getting into all the breast-formula debate, to exclusively breastfeed was MY choice as a parent, and it was unjustly and *dishonestly* ignored. There was no justification for that, period.