The Other Side of the Glass
- 01-04-2011, 09:00 PM #9Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
Sorry to hear that about the hospital policy. If you are determined you should be able to insist on this. I recently read a book "Birth" about the history of birthing. When births first moved into hospitals in many places fathers were not allowed into the room. Parents had to fight this, sometimes with extreme measures such as women hand cuffing themselves to their husbands. You should not need to go that far but if you and your husband are determined you will be able to get him in or to birth where he can be.
For me the desire to stay close to my husband was so strong that it made me all the more determined to stay home and not go into a public hospital at the risk of being separated. Yes it was in HK, not planned that way but we stayed home.
- 01-05-2011, 02:17 PM #10Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2009
Papaya, it's very interesting that you gave birth at home. I think that must be pretty rare here in Hong Kong but as you said you hadn't planned to do it that way. Did you or the baby have any complications afterward that required hospitalization?
My philosophy about birth when it comes to me is that the goal for me is to remain as calm and low-stress as possible in order to go through labor most efficiently. To me, I don't feel that it should be necessary for me to have to start an all-out war (handcuffs etc.) at the hospital while I'm in labor.
The problem with the public hospital is that it's not a "client-centered" environment. Maybe it can't be due to the number of cases they see and under the circumstances they see them. So, it's not as if you have a nice consultation with the doctors and nurses you know will be present at your birth beforehand (I'm talking, weeks beforehand so you can really discuss goals and expectations--not just handing them a slip of paper as you enter the hospital) and that you can guarantee that they are on the same page as you as far as your birth wishes go. It's impossible to have that reassurance. All you get is an overview of hospital policy and that is what guides the actual behavior of whoever the staff members at your birth happen to be. Some may truly be on board with your own birth philosophy but there are no guarantees. Luck of the draw. Who you get is who you get.
So, when it comes to labor time, I think it is absolutely not conducive to a natural labor to have to "fight" with the hospital staff to make sure your husband is in the room with you. Or even to have to "fight" them on any issue. Labor is not the time or place to go to battle--that's too much stress for a laboring mother and affects breathing and focus. I certainly don't want to bring that sort of stress and negativity into play during my birth--not good for me or the goal I'm trying to accomplish.
Also, another thing I found out the other day was that when you're in labor, you're actually laboring in a room with at least another woman. To me, that's just bizarre. Again, I believe it's important to keep a tranquil atmosphere and I don't know if I would be able to do that with the interference of another woman's groans and other noises while she is giving birth. When I was in labor with my son I was very sensitive to noise and light and I think it would also just not be conducive to be listening to someone going through their own process while I'm trying to focus and go through mine. I guess if you're one of these ladies who only spends an hour or two in the labor ward and then goes to delivery right away it might not make a difference. All I can think of is my 2-day long experience in labor. I would have spent 40 hours in the labor ward (had I been in HK) and 3 or less in delivery. But, had I been in HK the pressure to have a c-section (although it would have been 100% unnecessary) would have been overwhelming. I didn't have that type of pressure at the hospital I was at, thankfully.
Also, I found the hospital policy video very interesting as all the women in labor were just lying there in the bed, flat on their backs. That also does not work for me. I had an extremely long and painful labor and it would have been even more painful and longer if I had just been lying in the bed. Being able to walk, squat, lean and sit in a hot bath were the keys to getting me through it.
As far as giving birth at home. I have mentioned this to my husband but he is totally not for it as with the birth of my son, I hemorrhaged afterward and did need medical attention. So, I am definitely one of those people who sees the real practical need for access to medical equipment in case of an emergency and that's why I would choose to give birth in a hospital. But, having said that, I know from my previous experience that it is possible to have the "best of both worlds" even in a hospital setting. Most hospitals where I'm from design their labor and birth wards as birthing suits. This means that each room is designed with things like a bathtub for soaking in hot water, access to birthing bars to grip while in birth, birthing balls as well as a "homey" atmosphere (rocking chair in the corner, TV, stereo, wood paneling on the walls, peaceful decor) to aid in that feeling of being in a familiar environment. You labor and give birth in the same room.
And I wholeheartedly believe that the things like attitude of staff and environment of where you're giving birth have a huge psychological impact on birthing experiences (or can). And when it comes to dealing with birthing pain naturally, I think it's probably 80%+ a mental thing (mind over matter--having a coping system) so in my case I can not really stress enough the importance of environment to the birthing experience.“Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”
~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)
Mother of Two
JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK
- 01-05-2011, 08:31 PM #11Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
I agree with you completly on the need to stay calm during labour. Yes it would be counter-productive to set up a fight. I guess it is probably wiser to try to stay as zen as possible and accept what is put to you - just that this is not my nature and I would find that increadibly hard so not something I can recommend as such. Perhaps your husband can do more of defensive work. I don't have any experience of birthing in hospitals but from everything I have heard about it is something I am very concerned about.
I agree with you that a home birth would not be a good idea in your case. We were very lucky not to have any issues and did not need to go in to hospital. Our doula/midwife arrived after the birth and could handle everything allowing us to stay home.
While I completly belive in homebirths I do see that in HK it is not as straight forward and low-risk as in other places, so if you have a reason expect a complication it is not the best option.
From your posts I can tell that you have done a lot of preparation and research on birth and that you are committed to the birth that you want. With this preparation and your experience you are in the best position possible to get the birth you want. Sending you good wishes. Please let us know how you get on.
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