I'm planning on giving birth in a hospital 45 minutes away from our home. I'd like to stay at home for as long as possible during my labor, but I probably won't be able to stay home as long as I'd like because the drive will be so long.

So I'm trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I will probably have to labor for quite a while in the hospital. My husband and I are hoping and prepping for a natural birth and the idea of being in the hospital for a while scares me a little...so much that we even thought about getting a hotel room somewhere very close to the hospital and checking in when I go into labor!

I hear so many negative hospital birth stories. Does anyone have any positive ones? By 'positive' I don't necessarily mean that nothing went wrong...just that baby was healthy and mother was happy with her birth experience.

Stories like this will be very helpful to me right now! Thanks! :)

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I am in a similar situation. I did not have insurance before becoming pregnant, so I am on Medicaid, which has greatly reduced my options for birthing. We do not have any birthing centers close to me and from the research I have done, homebirths and midwives are apparently not legal in Kentucky (apparently it is illegal for someone to be a midwife without being certified but there are no certification programs in Kentucky. I am still doing research on this). So, I will be having a hospital birth as well. I am in the process of finding the right doula for me which is difficult given my financial situation, but I have hope that I will find her! I plan on taking lamaze classes because they are the most affordable labor classes I can find. I am just trying to be as prepared and informed as possible so that I may have the best chance for a medical-intervention-free labor and delivery in February. It has made me feel much better hearing some of these wonderful hospital birth stories! Thank you!
Hey! Just wanted to tell you about Hypnobabies. I used it with my son and it was awesome. The best part, as I was in the same $$ boat, is the course is home study. I found mine on ebay for like $50. Just thought you might be interested :^)
Hi Sara. I too had a great experience at a hospital birthcenter. It's totally possible! The advice that others gave you is great! Good luck with everything, and have faith in yourself most of all.
My 2nd daughter was an attempted VBAC.
I labored at home with the help of my husband and my awesome doula!
When I finally was dilated enough to stay at the hospital (I had made the choice to go home the day before) the nurses and midwives were so awesome.
All of wishes were respected and my birth was my way (with the exception of the monitoring) until we had major decels, even then the MW and nurses were supportive and respectful of the choices my husband and I made about the next steps of our journey.
In the end I ended up with another c-section (and a healthy mom and baby) but I am so glad I had such awesome care providers. There are care providers who truly care. So don't give up, just be educated and informed and take your tour and try to get a feel for the staff.
Fortunately, I have doula'd in the hospital I gave birth in so I knew how awesome the staff was going into my care and birth.
I left the hospital after giving birth to my 2nd daughter with my head held high and my heart so very full.
My doula, nurses and midwives that cared for me played a key role in our experience. I really feel like being informed and confident is the key to coming out on the other side with your head held high, vaginal birth or c-section.
After my 1st daughter I didn't want to go through the trauma of birth again but after my 2nd daughter I am ready for another and she is only 3 months old :)
I have gathered over 200 positive birth stories, quite a number of them are hospital births!
http://www.pregnancybirthandbabies.com/enjoyable_births.htm Each link has a brief synopsis of the story so you can see if it is a hospital one, first time mom, etc.

You can see my birth video of my hospital birth at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA7Y_DnC_kA

I had two fabulous hospital births. We have extremely supportive midwives and I found the hospital staff to be quite accommodating. With my first I labored all night and arrived at the hospital 7 cm dilated. I labored in the tub for a few hours--baby was posterior, so I had a lot of back labor. My husband assisted me--and everyone just left us to do our own thing. The midwife read a book on the couch nearby--the nurse popped in now and again to offer us juice. It was awesome. When I was ready to push I wanted to remain on my hands and knees. They broke the bed down so that I could push on the bed on hands and knees. 40 minutes of pushing and our little one was here!

After the birth they were just as great. We put her to my breast right away, let the cord pulse until it was finished before cutting it. They gave us a couple of hours just to hang out as a family. My nurse was fantastic about helping me get cleaned up--whatever mom says! =)

We had such an amazing birth, we returned for our second--and again, everyone was fabulous. They followed our birth plan to a "T". I think it's just important to be educated--and have someone there to advocate for you. Good luck!! It will be magical!
I had all my babies naturally in a hospital and had a great experience with all three. I also work as a labor and delivery nurse in the hospital. My advice would be to know what you want in labor, and don't be afraid to speak your mind. Even though you do live 45 minutes away, I would definately try to stay home as long as possible. Hospitals can be great, but not for mom's in early labor because as soon as you come in, hospital policy will put some restrictions on you, such as what you can eat and having to monitor the baby (which can restrict your ability to be up and moving.) I have seen many mom's have wonderful natural bith experiences in the hospital and if you have your heart set on it, you will do it. Just follow your body! It knows exactly what to do!
My second baby was born naturally in the hospital. Gratefully, there is a natural birth friendly hospital close to where I live where the staff are all just awesome and very supportive and they allowed pretty much anything - only being checked for dialation when you come in and when you want push, no attached fetal heart monitoring or IV, freedom to walk, eat, etc. I went in very late - like walking in ready to push late and I had NO idea I was that far along. I think it would have been a better experience to go in a little early. That way you have time to get comfortable and make your hospital room YOURS so you feel less intimidated by the space. I also wanted a water birth but there wasn't time to set up the pool. I had a great midwife but since I had so little time to prepare for the pushing part, or get comfortable in the room, I found myself falling back into my former ways i.e. - someone tell me what to do here! If I had been more comfortable I think I would have been able to listen to my body better and not feel like I was on someone else's turf. Over all it went great, but it was WAY crazier at the end then it needed to be. So going early isn't a bad thing. Just make sure your doctor/midwife is behind you, and have someone there to advocate for you. Anyway, after the birth was awesome. I was able to pull him to my chest, skin to skin. The cord was cut when it stopped pulsing, he was left in the room with me and they did all the required stuff - vita K, eye drops (both required by law here) right in the room. He was swaddled up and handed right back to us. It was really wonderful.
A great resource for me was a book that is a collection of birth stories written by the mothers themselves. I believe each mother was planning for a natural labor, but the stories are broken into sections from unplanned c-section to unassisted at home births. What it did for me was very clearly illustrate how different each brith can be, and also how important it is to just believe in yourself. It is very positive and I highly recommend it! And best of luck.

Here is the title:
"Adventures in Natural Childbirth: Tales From Women on the Joys, Fears, Pleasures, and Pains of Giving Birth Naturally" edited by Janet Schwegel , foreward by Pam England
My last birth at a hospital was a wonderful VBAC. The hospital offered tubs, volunteer doulas (of which I am one), flexibility in labor and birthing positions. The one thing that I did that I feel truly made a huge difference (even with the relaxed atmosphere at the hospital I was at) was finding a doula to come to my home and labor with me there, then transition to the hospital with me. I was scared of another c-section, so I stayed home as long as I could (15 hours), but when I got to the hospital I was not far along. When my labor slowed, with my water being broken for 20+ hours, they began to push for some interventions. If I did not have her there to remind me of what had been working, things to try, reminding me that I could do it, I am not sure that I would have been able to stand up for myself, and I am sure that it would not have been so enjoyable. She also worked with the staff to relay my requests, so that I did not need to work as hard to advocate for myself. Even if you think you can not afford a doula, there are many out there still working on their certification that work on a sliding scale or even for free.
I have had 4 hospital births, my most recent was by far the most positive. I did much research and decided to be more empowered this time and made some important decisions. First, left my OB and chose a Midwife. I hired a Doula and read tons of information about natural birth. After 3 OB deliveries I can not stress enough how much better of an experience I had with a Midwife. The entire pregnancy to the birth was so much more personal. My Doula was awesome and together with my midwife and Husband got me through a tough pitocin induction without any pain medication. A hospital birth can be just as great of an experience IF you do your homework, surround yourself with people who understand and respect your wishes and write a detailed birth plan for the hospital staff for the day of your delivery. My experience was 100% positive!! Best wishes to you!



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