I realized last night just how far I've come in the last 6 1/2 years after attending the hospital tour. Because of moving and insurance, each of my kids will be delivered at a different hospital. I remembered back to our first hospital visit, and thinking one of the women on the tour was crazy because she was talking about visiting different hospitals before deciding which one to go with. I think she was having her 3rd or 4th child. At the time, I thought "A hospital is a hospital -- who cares?"
After last night, I totally understand her now! Unfortunately, because of doctor privileges, insurance issues, and my desire for another VBAC -- I can't choose a different hospital. I would like to, however. So many things that were said during the tour bothered me. DH doesn't quite understand what my problem is -- he kept saying "Well, you had that the last 2 times.", but the point is that I know better this time -- and I want better for my experience this time!
When the tour nurse started talking about getting hooked up to an IV almost immediately, and started pulling out all the different monitors, etc., I flashed back to C's birth and began wondering how much of that intervention caused his emergency c-section. She asked about epidurals, and when the young girls all said they'd be having one, she said that she thought anyone who wouldn't get one was crazy. Later on, I did mention my hope to avoid an epidural, and wasn't the IV necessary only with an epidural? She replied that my doctor "liked to tell her patients that . . . " which I thought was extremely rude. She followed it up with "If you insist on not having an IV, we really encourage a hep lock." I could just envision all the intervention that most of the births at this hospital must entail.
And, then I heard that the other 3 women on the tour were all planning on inductions by 38 weeks at the latest. No reason other than "convenience" and that was the way their doctor did things. They were all pleased as punch.
The nurse did confirm that there was currently only one other doctor with privileges at their hospital who would allow his patients to VBAC, and that was usually only if they were his patient for their c-section. So, I am grateful that my doctor will allow me to attempt a VBAC, even though it means she is required to be at the hospital throughout my labor and delivery. She said it was law at first, but then changed the word to "standards." Because it is NOT a law, but a requirement of so many hospitals and insurance companies these days. A ridiculous requirement if you ask me, but what do doctors care, since they earn so much more on a c-section vs. a vaginal delivery? C's delivery was over $35K. N's delivery was just under $7K. Even with N's subsequent stay in the NICU the total cost of delivery and his hospital stay didn't reach $15K.
OH, and at one point the nurse (with 32 years experience!) said that the reason food was not allowed during labor was because the digestive system shut down. UGH. The digestive system does not shut down. They want your stomach empty in case you need emergency surgery. DH says it was probably just easier for her to explain it that way - but why lie?
I'm glad we did the hospital tour when we did, so I have plenty of time to process the experience before I go into labor. I am actually grateful that my doctor has to be there the entire time, because I know she is NOT an interventionist-type and she can help keep the nurses from driving me crazy. I want a healthy baby at the end of this trip, and will do what I need to do to make it happen.
Oh, and say a prayer that my 3 hour glucose test results come back normal. I am off tomorrow to take that test.