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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My first two births were in the hospital, and were 100% wonderful, beautiful, and positive! I think the key was that I was educated, knew what I wanted, and was able to relax and just do my thing. I had excellent supportive nurses and MY support team was great too. The entire staff was supportive of everything I asked for (immediate skin to skin, all checks on baby done while I was holding them, allowing us to be uninterrupted till baby had nursed and we had had bonding time etc)

There are a lot of bad experiences out there, and I'm sorry for the families who have endured them, but most hospitals and their staff, are open if you are kind in the way you present yourself.

I encourage my birth clients to visit the nurses before hand if possible, and to bring a nice gift basket for the nurse's station to the birth. This will personalize it for them, and help them to become advocates for your birth too. Another doula friend of mine had clients that went all out and made a scrapbook of their family that included their birth plan. It talked about their hobbies, educational backgrounds, hometowns etc, and the nurses that attended their births really wanted to give them their attention because they felt like it was important to the couple to know them too.

Try not to go in there with fear, but to be open and calm. Put out what you want to get back and you will have a great birth, no matter what happens! Good Luck!
4 of my 5 children were born in the hospital, and they were good experiences. Two were induced with pitocin and I had an epidural as well, and the other two (#3 & #4) were in the hospital with no pain medication. I feel that my support team was essential in the hospital, along with my birth plan. I discussed my birth plan with my doctor to make sure he was willing to work with my wishes, and I also checked with hospital policy to make sure the hospital would be able to follow my wishes as well. I also had a doula for both unmedicated births, and she was indispensable. The knowledge, confidence and calm she brought was wonderful. She helped communicate my wishes with the hospital staff, provided comfort measures and suggestions for me (coaching me on how to breathe was HUGE) and showed my husband how he could be involved and work with her in supporting me. It was very empowering and beautiful.

I would suggest being able to move about freely during labor. If they insist on putting in an IV, you can request a hep lock so it doesn't have to be connected to anything unless you need to be given medication or fluids. You can request intermittent monitoring rather than ongoing monitoring. If you do end up being hooked up to things, you can still walk and move about but you may need to take the IV pole or monitor with you where you go. I would also suggest laboring in the tub as much as they will allow. I found with my water birth that the water provided a substantial amount of pain relief, and was really comforting overall. Most hospitals will have a birth ball you can use, and a birth bar that can attach to the bed to allow you to squat and hold onto the bar. Check with your hospital to see what they have available. Also check on what they will allow you to eat, whether it's ice chips only or they'll let you have clear fluids. You may already know about these things, but they are some of the things I felt were helpful to me with my hospital births. If you need more resources for information about writing a birth plan and what to consider in your requests, Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn by Simkin, Whalley and Keppler is an excellent resource.

Bring a gift for the nursing staff, and that can help you get good care ;) I've heard of couples bringing a plate of brownies for the nurses, or some other treat. It never hurts to have them on your side.
I have had 2 hospital births so far. My second I decided to go natural. The hospital did respect my wishes and I was able to move around the room and change positions. THey did intermintly monitor the baby and I refused the IV. They did push a little bit about the IV but I stood my ground and they accpected my wish. I did not have a written birth plan, but I really think that would have helped. I was laready 5cm dialted when I was admitted so I was actually only in labor in the hospital for 4 hours. I ended up pushing for three hours. It was a positive expirence, but I wish I could have pushed in a diffrent postion other than flat on my back. Definalty ask for a squat bar, pushing in that position is helpful to bring the baby down. I had a vacumn assisted delivery and I think if I was squatting that would have helped. Having a doula can be a huge help for both you and your husband. They can be your advocate and support person. Good luck! I think every birth expirence is of course special because you are bringing your child into this world!
check out www.pregnancybirthandbabies.com

she has a collection of positive birth stories from moms with all different types of birth settings/plans. =))
Absolutely!!!! I live two minutes from a small hospital that has a birth center in it. As such, both midwives and OB's practice there. I had planned a home birth with my first son, but when I was fully dilated and my water had broken my little guy had some deep decel's into the 80-90 range. He stabilized quickly but every time I pushed it seemed to go down again. So my midwife made the call to transfer me up to my local hospital.

Mind you, I worked as an LNA at this hospital and had been in the birthing center for the births of my two brothers, some of my nephews and nieces and for some of my friends. So I felt fairly comfortable there, and with the idea of natural (I like to call it normal!) birth in a hospital. So when I got there, I was not disappointed, I was glad I'd hired somebody who was taking care of me and my new family so well.

I got an IV when I arrived and had some fluids cause I'd basically been throwing up the whole time I'd been in labor. The bed got adjusted so I was pretty close to sitting upright. I had monitors on, but I didn't care really. I'd accomplished full dilation, and the monitors didn't impede much. I turned over and pushed facing the bed a few times but I didn't like it too much. The OB came in and asked me, "are you tired?" and I must have looked at him like he was crazy. "uh, yeah I'm tired." Then I realized he was really asking me if I was "too tired", and I said something about how I could keep going.

It took me two + hours to push out my guy. But the OB listened to my midwife (who at this point assumed the role of a doula, since she didn't have hospital privileges) and I pushed with every other CTX which really helped resolved the heart rate issues. I did that until I couldn't stop myself from pushing, at which point he was born. My attitude was, I'm not going to stop, I'm not going to need that vacuum. Just support me and I can do it!

My room was filled with people, which to this day I find hilarious. I had a nice team of family at home, but when I moved to the hospital it became kind of ridiculous. So, I had my mom, and my dad (weird), my MIL and my two sisters in law, my husband, my midwife, her assistant midwife and her back-up midwife, my two close birthing center nurse friends, the OB, the two nurses from the hospital, oh and at the end, my father in law and two other girl friends came in because they thought I had had the baby. Yeah, that's 17 people. Imagine 17 people cheering you on and telling you how good you're doing every time you push. Not to mention I'm pretty sure they all would have stood up and supported me should the OB have tried any interventions that weren't necessary. It was awesome and kind of surreal.

As much as I had wanted a home birth, having my baby at the hospital was fine, even great. I've been thinking a lot about how we throw words like "natural" and "interventions" and "birth plan" around so much. I think we get lost in the clutter of what we want and don't want. I think the issue is, we want simple. And we cloud simple up too much. Just think about having your baby. You are having a baby, it's that simple. Surround yourself with people that can help you believe that when you get in the thick of it.

I hope that helps you. I guess, I just wanted you to know that even when things don't go according to plan, you can just jump from one stream to the next and go with the flow and it can be wonderful.
I had a wonderful birth experience and i too gave birth in a hospital. I labored at home for 3 long hard days with my husband and Doula right by my side. My son seemed to be stuck in pelvis a certain way and that's why I was in labor for so long. We went to the hospital twice thinking it was go time and both times I was 2 cm. I just said okay I'll go back home and work some more :) On the third day we had a Chiropractor come to our home and do some adjustments and sure enough within an hour our son had moved and was ready to see the world.

We got to the hospital and I had lost my mucous plug and was 5cm!!!!! We had a great birth plan and made it clear that no one even suggest drugs to me. We did Hypnobirthing and I KNOW that's what helped me through those tough days, it enabled me to remain so strong and confident. I had a wonderful L&D nurse(she too was a Hypnobirthing momma)she was so supportive and even when her shift was over and the next nurse came to take over she said "no, I'm staying with her". It was the middle of the night, the lights were off in my room, except a few battery operated candles, everyone was very quiet. I got in the tub and my "team" was right there with me. when my Doula, husband and nurse would speak to each other they would whisper, it was so amazing, so calm. No ONE and I repeat No ONE ever told me what to do , how to push, how to lay, how to breath( and I was a first time mom) They all trusted in me, my doctor, the nurse everyone!!! They let me do it because they knew I could.

My doc came in and said let me check you(which she rarely did per my request) and she said "you're fully dilated, push however you feel comfortable" So my body just did it all, I just laid on my side, asked my husband to lift up my leg and I said "this feels comfortable i want to push like this". My nurse was right by my side full of beautiful encouragement, my Doula and husband as well.

After 3 days and laboring at home I was able to have a beautiful drug free birth in a hospital. I really didn't feel like I was in a hospital except for those times they came to put the monitor on me( which we asked that they limit and they did) and after the birth when more lights came on and then things become a little more rushed but I think a lot of that was to hurry and weigh him check him out, etc. and then hurry and get him back to me so that I may nurse.

Now the rest of the hospital stay was different and because of that we will not be staying again unless mandatory. We stayed the 2 days because at the time we lived out here with no family and no real close friends and just wanted to have that extra support. Well the postpartum nurses were annoying and seemed to disrepect each other. They have to come and check you every hour or something, even when you're sleeping they came in and woke me up to check me.

I must say like Cherylyn we did bring food(healthy stuff for them to snack on and homemade brownies) for the L&D nurses but forgot about the postpartum nurses...maybe that's why we had a different experience...who knows.

Best of luck to you
It is possible to have a positive birth experience at the hospital. My water broke before I went into labor so that meant I had to go to the hospital, especially since I live 45 minutes away, per my midwife. My doula met us there. The night nurse that was there when we arrived was a bit of a pain. I didn't want an IV and had discussed this with my midwife before hand. The nurse ended up calling the MW to confirm this. There was some talk about the "P" word from this nurse, but I knew my body would get started. After all the initial monitoring I started walking the halls. By the time the MW got there at 7am I had already dilated past 5cm and was in steady labor. I labored in the shower on the birthing ball most of the time and after 12 hours of labor my son was born with no meds and no interventions except a small episiotomy which didn't hurt at all and healed quickly. I am a strong believer that if you have a great support group you can have your best birth anywhere.
thanks so much, everyone! these stories are great...and there are lots of great tips in them, too! i so appreciate it!
I had both my boys in a hospital. Both my boys were over 9lbs and I'm 5'4'' and 125lbs not pregnant. My first son born in 2006 via c-section. (I won't go into detail, typical "failure to progress" and I was told my baby was too big.) My first pregnancy I watched the baby drama shows on the science channels; I did not research birth.

My second pregnancy I knew I wanted to try for a VBAC. I started with ICAN........then followed with BOBB and Pregnant in America. It took 3 hospitals to get the VBAC I wanted. Including getting "dumped" at 39wks and 3days by one hospital. They wanted my to schedule a repeat b/c my baby was "too big on the ultrasound!" *roll eyes* I was told to "have a c/s or find a new care provider." So, I found a new care provider! :)-

My second son was born VBAC at 39 and 7days (no epidural, foreceps,episiotomy, tears...etc.) this past May. I did have some Stadol because I was exhausted and really tense.
Only 12 hours of labor and 1 hour of pushing; I pushed my 9lb 1/2 baby out on my own.

My VBAC was wonderful! Don't "Fear the Reaper" and ignore birth horror stories. When I hear mothers tell horror stories to 1st time moms; I always pipe in with my VBAC success story.

The things that helped me most in labor were: my birth team, birthball, touch/pressure, vocalization and my CD player with ocean waves and thunderstorm soundtracks. The nature sounds helped drown out the hustle and bustle of the hospital IMO.

The one thing I want you to remember is: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
I had a very positive hospital birth.
I woke up at 12:20am to use the restroom, after I got back in bed my water broke. My husband called our Dr and he said to stay at home as long as possible and then head to the hospital. We planned on laboring at home for a while but for some reason around 2:45am, I didn't feel comfortable staying home any longer. We headed to the hospital which was 5 minutes away. When we got there they we gave them our birth plan, we had practiced Hypnobirthing and planned a completely natural labor. I refused any type of intervention including IV. When they checked me I was 3.5cm and 90% effaced which sounds good except I'd already been that for 2 weeks. I figured I was going to be laboring all day at the hospital. After my required 1/2 hour of monitoring, I got up to walk around.
I was trying to find any position comfortable, the birth ball wasn't comfortable to me so I ended up leaning against the end of the bed swaying my hips when my water broke again. I asked the nurse and she checked and said I must have had a forebag (I'd never heard of this before). Then I decided to get into the shower where my husband helped me labor. After being in the shower for 20 minutes I got out and decided I needed to pee since I'd been drinking so much water, I sat down on the toliet and realized that this was a very comfortable position. I leaned back and got into a very relaxed state. I don't even remember having contractions I was so relaxed. A few minutes later I told my husband I had a lot of pressure, he pulled the emergency cord and the nurse came running in. She asked me to go to the bed so she could check me. She checked me and said "We're ready to have a baby." She immediately paged my Dr and the Dr on call in case my Dr didn't make it, I said "Oh I am waiting for my Dr."
My Dr arrived less than 7 minutes later and I was pushing. I spent all of 45 minutes from the moment I got into the shower to the moment I was pushing and I pushed for 40 minutes. My beautiful daughter was born at 6:01am. From my first water breaking until she was born was a little over 5 hours.
Everyone at the hospital was very supportive of my birth plan. It was the greatest, most empowering experience of my life.
I gave birth in a hospital and I had no problems being there for over 13 hours laboring. The Nurses were polite and otherwise, gave us the space we requested. There were no Doctors coming in and out pressuring for things (I had a Midwife). I was able to move around even with an IV (I was Group B Strep positive) and even use the shower (just slung the IV cord over the door) at my leisure. It was fine for me!
I'm so glad to read these stories!
My only real complaint about BoBB is that it left me feeling like if I had to give birth in a hospital, I would be doomed no matter what I said or did. There are many women who don't have the luxury of home birth or birth center options for whatever reason, and it's just as important (if not more so) for these women to feel empowered and educated as it is for everyone else.



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