September 09, 2008,
M.P. asks from Chicago, IL on September 07, 2008
Birthing Experiences at Lutheran General Hospital?
Everyone I know has told me to get an epidural, and many of these woman have had both natural labor and epidural and know first hand and are able to rationally compare them.
However, I hate medication and am so freaked out by all the bad epidural experiences I've read on mamasource.
I talked to my o.b. and she said that at the hospital where I'm delivering, Lutheran in Park Ridge, there's a 98% epidural rate and this is a high-risk hospital, one of the best in the country, and here I shouldn't worry about any problems. I guess that does make sense; at a high-risk hospital they do more of these things, making some 60 deliveries a day, and they should know what they're doing. I've noticed a difference even in when they draw blood from me-- I can't feel it like I can at my regular doctor's office. These nurses seem to really know what they're doing.
Has anybody gone to Lutheran General for their delivery? What was your experience?
A.M. answers from Chicago on September 08, 2008
I didn't deliver at Lutheran but I did go in with some ambivalence to the epidural and decided to play it by ear. At a certain stage, pain relief seemed like a most welcome addition to the rest of the care and once it kicked in, boy was it fabulous. Everyone is different, but in my case, birthing turned out to be much better than I expected - maybe I had listened to too many scary nightmare experiences beforehand. you don't have to decide on whether to have the epidural until you are in labor, so you may want to give yourself the option. In my case, I had a lot of back surgery so I had to go for a consult beforehand and had to have an MRI to look at my spinal chord but I pressume with most others, you just discuss with your obstetrician. good luck.
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B.M. answers from Chicago on September 09, 2008
Hi M.. I gave birth at Lutheran General in Sept.2002 (emergency C-section) and May 2005 (scheduled c-section). I was SO SCARED in 2002, I had MANY of the same fears. Their anesthesiologists are awesome! You meet them ahead of time, they explain the procedure and give you tips on when and how to breathe to make it go as smooth as possible.
I looked forward to the epidural for my second delivery! I would never go without!
I'm sure you'll do fine. It really is a great place to have kids! Good Luck! -B.
M.H. answers from Chicago on September 08, 2008
I delivered both my babies there and had great delivery experiences.
I had an epidural my first time. I wasn't pressured into it, I knew I wasn't going to have a natural birth. I had to be given pitocin after my water broke and no labor came on. I had a great nurse who talked me through the whole thing and my fear of the pain was worse then the event. I ended up having an emergency c-section and a panic attack because of it ( I had been in L&D for almost 24 hours already) and everyone there was amazing through the whole thing.
My daughter was a scheduled c-section (due to the complications with my son) and again everyone in L&D and especially the anesthesiologist who did my block was awesome.
Lutherans L&D has an anesthesiologist on the floor at all times. So unless they are actively in with a c-section they are always right there to do it, answerer questions, adjust, etc.
V.M. answers from Chicago on September 08, 2008
You might want to go in with the idea that an epidural is an option, but try an unmedicated labor at first. There is often plenty of time in first births to opt for pain relief. My DH is an anesthesiologist, and he is very popular when he works OB (not at Lutheran). I knew from my preterm labor episodes (no epidurals when they don't want to deliver!) that the pain was unpleasant enough before delivery for me, and when it turned out that at my actual delivery (2 days before EDD) that it would be a good idea to move things along by breaking the amniotic sac and giving pitocin, I was grateful to have asked to receive the epidural *first*. Did not deliver at LG, but I'm pretty confident you can have a good experience there from what I've heard. Good luck!
J. answers from Chicago on September 08, 2008
Though I can not speak to a natural child birth, I did have a vaginal delivery w/epidural at Lutheran. It was a very positive experience for the most part. I was induced, so I had additional medications to induce birth. All the nurses were kind, knowledgeable and very comforting. They even laughed at my homicidal jokes. The only complaint I had was when it was time for the epidural; I was between shifts and the doctor came in to explain that he preferred that I waited 15 min. until the new shift started so that I could have the same doctor for the next 12 hours. I was in no mood to have a doctor politely tell me he wasn't going to give me relief and preferred that I waited. Fortunately, I went into labor soon after and didn't feel the pain of pushing as I was still on the first dose.
I wish you all the best luck w/your delivery. Try not to worry and the best advice that was given to me (by my sister) is try not to work against the pain, but with it and embrace the moment!
A.R. answers from Chicago on September 08, 2008
Just because Lutheran General Hospital has a 98% rate does not mean that they will strap you down and shove the catheter in your back without your consent. It makes sense that Lutheran General, being a high-risk hospital with several deliveries each day, would have higher rates of epidural, c-sections, etc. due to the nature of the patient that arrives in their L&D department.
This is your birthing experience, so your choice. If you don't want an epidural be very clear about it, have your spouse or partner also be clear about your wishes, and follow through with your decision. However, there should absolutely be no shame in changing your mind if you so desire. No one gets a medal because they 'did it better' and gave birth without drugs. It's your body, your pain threshhold, your choice!
J.C. answers from Chicago on September 09, 2008
I've had 2 children at Lutheran and they were fabulous! We're due w/ #3 on the 27th. I don't think you could go wrong with the epidural there. Those nurses are tremendous as well as the doctors! Good luck and Congrats!
J.W. answers from Chicago on September 07, 2008
No experience there, but my friend just emailed me this article about natural birth and bonding:
Have you taken any classess to help prepare for a natural birth? Hypnobirthing? Bradley? Make sure you have a clearly written birth plan that states your wishes. If you want a sample birth plan, feel free to email me or you can google it as well.
Best wishes to you. There is power in what the mind and body can do!
J. W. MPH
Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant