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no IV? 
20th-Jan-2014 08:09 am [natural childbirth]
Hi everyone! I'm new here. I used livejournal/this community years ago when I was pregnant with my son and it helped me so much. I'm pregnant again now - and I DON'T want to have a similar birth situation that I had with him. Honestly, I'd prefer to have a midwife but they're essentially illegal here. With that said, I want to talk to my ob/gyn about what I want the birth to be like. It makes me scared because he(along with all other doctors here) doesn't accept written birth plans. I'd REALLY prefer not to have an IV and to be able to move around as I chose... but I'm afraid he's going to tell me that's not possible or the hospital doesn't allow it. What options do I have if he says that?
20th-Jan-2014 02:16 pm (UTC)

Are you in the United States?
You can compromise-- have an IV port/site on your arm with no IV attached. I did this for my second labor and it was not intrusive or bothersome. But then if an emergency happens or you are getting dehydrated, they can easily attach an IV to it. This is a really common way to do it for hospital labors/births.

You also have the option of just refusing to let the nurse put it in. Be firm and say no, and they can't physically force you against your will. I have a friend who did this because she wanted to make it harder for them to do interventions.They might be upset about that choice if yours but it is your choice to make.
20th-Jan-2014 02:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
I am in the United States - Alabama. The doctor I'm seeing and the hospital I plan to go to is in Georgia, though. I've found a few midwives there, but they don't seem much different than ob/gyns and they won't take my Alabama insurance. I jokingly told my boyfriend I'm just going to do this all myself... and I probably would if we weren't renting right now.

I never even thought about having it there but it not being attached being an option. I'd be perfectly okay with that. I'm just so scared if I let them do ONE thing, it will escalate. An IV would be a reason for them not to let me move around, you know?
20th-Jan-2014 02:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's why some people want to avoid even the arm port. However, I did it for my second since my second was a VBAC and it did turn out to be not a big deal in my case. The doctors/midwives tend to like it because they know if there's an emergency they can just attach an IV. Sometimes a compromise let's them relax rather than escalating things. However, it's totally up to you...

Also, you can avoid going to the hospital until you're so far into labor that you don't really care if you're in bed the whole time. I did that both times. I was really nervous about a hospital birth because I wanted my freedom, but I just did allt he moving around parts of labor at home and went to the hospital when it was getting too intense. Head to the hospital when you know it's about the last 15 minutes you'd be capable of walking to your car to get to the hospital.
20th-Jan-2014 02:42 pm (UTC)
With my second, I labored at home for about 12 hours, then went to the hospital for about 5 hours of labor....12 hours of doing things the way I wanted! LOL

20th-Jan-2014 02:18 pm (UTC)
Also even if the doctor doesn't "accept" written birth plans, you can make a written list of your preferences for your partner to have and your partner can help advocate for those things. It can be a tool for your partner even if the doctor refuses to look at it.
20th-Jan-2014 02:27 pm (UTC)
I've done this and I've been talking to him about it constantly. He says he'll do whatever it takes to make them follow everything I've written/discussed with him; he forgets things easily, though. I'm afraid he's not enough like me in that if they start telling him why their way is better, he'll forget what I've told him/the research I've shown him and give in. lol.
20th-Jan-2014 02:37 pm (UTC)
That's why the printed list is important...though you may want to prioritize it to "top 5" things he should keep in mind. Also use headers/subject lines, bullet points, or whatever would make it easier for him to take a quick glance at it.

Can you afford a doula? They would remember since it's their job to ;)
20th-Jan-2014 02:58 pm (UTC)
I know this is asking a lot, but you've been incredibly helpful so far and I really have no one else to talk to about this.
Would you mind looking over the plan I've typed up and telling me how I could make it easier for him? I've tried to reduce it to what I should tell the doctor about now, but it's hard because everything seems important.

I don't know why I haven't thought about looking for a doula yet! I definitely need to look into that. Thanks!
20th-Jan-2014 03:47 pm (UTC)
Sure. I just sent you a private message with my email address.
20th-Jan-2014 03:28 pm (UTC)
I also didn't want an IV. I was told I had to at least have a saline lock because I was at risk of needing a blood transfusion and they may need quick access. The saline lock is put in place but not used unless needed. I could walk around and they did not need to use it.

I would do a birth plan anyways, and bring it with you when you go to the hospital. Show the L&D nurses - they may be receptive to it, and they provide a great portion of your care.
20th-Jan-2014 04:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks!! I'd be okay with that. Is this something I should even mention to the doctor beforehand or just tell them when I get to the hospital?

I have a birth plan already made up - mostly for my boyfriend and me to use. I'll definitely print it off and take it to the hospital though. I just hope it doesn't make everyone unfriendly toward us.
20th-Jan-2014 03:52 pm (UTC)
I'm not in the US, but you should research your rights. Here, most women don't know theirs, but can say no to any intervention. I would be surprised if it's not the same for you.
20th-Jan-2014 03:57 pm (UTC)
You can not consent to an IV. Its not likely that they'll hold you down and force you, however, they might get adversarial after that.

Have you considered hiring a doula?

The whole written birth plan isn't really.... effective either, it tends to make an adversarial relationship right off the bat. However, there's a difference between my CNM's in the hospital who looked at my panicked 5 page "birth plan" and said " we do none of these things you don't consent to unless you need them and we'll talk about them before we do them, its not a "YOU WILL HAVE THIS" situation" and Not "allowing" birth plans... you may have a fight on your hands. (i didn't vis a vis the IV, I have a severe needle phobia and they knew well ahead of time that I didn't even consent to a saline lock)
20th-Jan-2014 04:23 pm (UTC)
I'm looking at doula's now. I see websites for a few. I'll have to talk to the boyfriend about the pricing and such.

I hate that birth plans are looked at that way! I didn't have one with my son, and I remember a nurse complaining to another nurse(in my room) that "another woman came in with a birth plan*eye rolls.*" I really want a better experience this time - I'd absolutely love if I lived in a place where birthing centers and midwives were common - or really an option at all. This doctor has been willing to talk and tell me things. I didn't have that before. At the same time, I know I haven't talked about the important birth issues with him yet. It makes me very nervous. One of the first papers I signed was stating I understand the fact they don't accept written birth plans. I considered changing doctors because of that(coupled with the fact he has me labeled as having complications solely because I'm overweight) but when I looked into it, it seems the same for every doctor here.

I don't want to have to fight, but this is about my baby and me, you know? =/
20th-Jan-2014 05:19 pm (UTC)
OMG they have you labeled as "high risk" because you're heavy?

That's SUPER not cool.
20th-Jan-2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah :/
He said it allows for my insurance to cover more that I might need. He also wanted me to get an early glucose test(which I did and it came back negative) and he still wants me to get another one, which I really don't see the point of.
20th-Jan-2014 09:18 pm (UTC)
I would try to interview midwives, at least nurse midwives. Some are more like midwives than others. And plan on staying home as long as possible. Have you read Birthing from Within? Or anything by Ina May Gaskin? I'd recommend it.

I had a planned home birth with a CPM in Maine. I waited too long before asking her to come, and ended up birthing alone (fun, really), but I tore and appreciated having someone on hand to stitch me up and check the baby (my daughter didn't figure out nursing until we met with a La Leche League Leader when she was a month old).

Good luck and seconding the hire a doula recommendation.
21st-Jan-2014 01:55 am (UTC)
Hi! I read the comments so I won't add about the iv, I just wanted to say that when you interview doulas, make sure you ask if they will advocate FOR you - if that's what you're seeking in a doula. A doula most commonly will not - they support you and remind you of your wishes but they will not intervene or talk to the doctor directly for you.
21st-Jan-2014 08:05 pm (UTC)
I think having a written plan is a good idea since in the heat of the moment you and you'll partner may forget. A written plan doesn't make the situation adversarial especially if you make it clear these are our wishes and we're flexible. And if the plan works with the limits of the hospital policies. So it's important to ask lots of questions. I'd also find a hospital that is more accommodating to your wishes. The plan should also be short and specific.

I agree with finding a Doula that will advocate as well as take care of you if you're concerned about you and your partner forgetting and/or you just want that extra advocate. W/ my 1st, my Doula didn't advocate. W/ my 2nd, the Doula did. It makes a difference.

I had a VBAC w/ 2nd and due to my particular circumstances, I decided to do a home birth w/ the plan to transfer to the hospital if nec. We wound up transferring because I'd been laboring for over 24 hours and was exhausted. There was a concern that I wouldn't be able to push. I had terrible back labor that had me exhausted in every way. By the time I got to the hospital, I was fully dilated. 20 minutes after I arrived, my daughter was born. So my advice is to labor at home as long as possible w/ someone that can determine how far along you are. Determine a head of time about when you think it'd be a good idea to transfer.
22nd-Jan-2014 05:34 pm (UTC)
the best advice to someone who has to give birth with careproviders who don't support her birth wishes is SHOW UP AS LATE IN LABOR AS POSSIBLE. i'm serious, if you show up pushing, they won't have time to do all their medical crap to you.
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