The most courageous, no-turning-back choice?
I am going to be straight up with you.
If you choose to give birth at a hospital, then there are certain items that come with that ticket.
Too often I hear women say they want the freedom to move around during labor. In all seriousness, they tell me this is the most important thing to them. Then, the choices they make, or don’t make, do not support their desires. As in, the environment in which women choose to labor and deliver may not line up with their expectations and desires to move around.
Yes, disappointment usually happens when expectations are not met.
I understand the desire to want to be free to move around during labor and not be connected to any wires. Heck, I would lose my shit if I was tied down. However, the environment in which you choose to labor and deliver influences your freedom.
If you choose to give birth at the hospital, then you have purchased that ticket to that show and there are certain things that accompany this ticket. For instance, if I were to purchase a ticket to Coachella, I know that it will be full of Generation Z (post millennials) zombies addicted to their iPhone and paying more attention to SnapChat than to the singer in front of them. So, I do not purchase that ticket to Coachella.
Depending on the hospital or birth center, these certain things that are usually non-negotiables include a hep-lock and an external fetal monitoring device. A saline lock (sometimes called a “hep-lock” for historic reasons), is an intravenous (IV) catheter that is threaded into a peripheral vein, flushed with saline, and then capped off for later use. This way you are not hooked up to an IV pole, but the nurses have easy access in case you need something injected into your vein later. The continuous fetal monitoring device will be on the outside of you and held in place via velcro (that you have to continuously adjust). If you can do intermittent fetal monitoring, then the nurse or midwife will use a device with a little megaphone looking thing to listen to baby every so often. Yes, you can freely move around once the hep-lock is secured and taped down. However, you may have a few limitations such as distance you can travel and shower/bath. Same with the fetal monitoring system.
Are you getting it?
I’m sure your doctor, midwife, or nurse would love to let you roam around and check-in as you wished, but that’s just not the case when you are under someone else’s roof or on someone else’s turf. Your healthcare provider has got to play by the rules of the hospital or birth center that they have chosen to perform.
What to do?
Decision time. If moving around means the world to you, then this should definitely be a factor when deciding healthcare provider and where to deliver. During pregnancy, you will have to make some courageous, no-turning-back choices. Maybe this is one of those choices for you. Figure out what is important to you and then prepare for labor. You’ve got this, mama!