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February 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm #1315Jeremy & Jacquelyn CarmanKeymaster
A friend of mine recently asked some specific questions about my experience at Qingdao Women and Infant's Hospital. Her clear questions were very helpful for me to organize my thoughts and I think will be helpful for others as well.
- Were you allowed to eat or drink while in labor?
Yes-they were practically shoving food down my throat-or at least it felt that way 🙂 They strongly believe you should keep your strength up. They fed me a full lunch (although I was not quite into the second phase yet) and the surprising thing was in the labor and delivery room they were encouraging me to eat chocolate (so pack some along!) I think they wanted me to have the sugar and caffeine for strength as I was really wearing out at the end. They also gave me a lot of water to drink, and maybe juice, but I can't remember.
- How far apart were your contractions when you went to the hospital?
My contractions started at 11:00PM but were immediately very regular, five minutes apart and 30-40 seconds long. So at 3:00AM they were less than 4 minutes apart and 1 minute long, so we headed to the hospital. Unfortunately I was only 1 cm dilated! Dr. Wang kinda looked at me, told me it would be awhile, and that she would be back later…my daughter wasn't born until 8:00 PM that night.
- Were you allowed to walk and move around as much as you wanted during labor?
For the most part. Definitely until I went to the labor room (we hung out in our room and outside it while we waited for me to progress). I would probably delay going to the labor room until you need to so you can just do what you want. My friend, mom, and I actually played Settlers of Catan while my husband napped. In the labor room the baby's face was pointed to my hip instead of my tailbone, so they had me laying in this REALLY uncomfortable position to get her to turn…for like an hour or more. It was really hard and my husband at one point just told them that they had to let me move around (which they did). However, she did end up turning the right way and was born face down so I guess they did the right thing. In the delivery room I didn't ask about different birthing positions, I was so tired laying on my back that I did what I wanted to do anyways. I don't remember being continually hooked up to any machines (they would bring the NST machine in to check on the baby, but it wasn't left on me continually so I could move around in between. I never had an IV, which I hear they sometimes do in the States.
- How much was your husband allowed to contribute to the labor and delivery?
My husband was able to be there and be a part for the whole thing. He was at my side pretty continually, in fact they even offered for him to get in the water tub with me (in his underwear since we hadn't brought his swimsuit!), but he declined and I was fine with that 🙂
- Did you use any pain medication? If so, was it at your request or something that you felt you were being encouraged to do?
I had no medication. Dr. Wang offered at one point for an epidural, but I turned her down, and it wasn't brought up again. I was very clear going in that I wanted to try to not have drugs. During transition I did ask for one, but they said it was too late, and indeed my daughter was born like a half hour later.
- Did you have any interventions to induce labor, speed contractions, or break you water?
The doctor did break my water because I was in such agony that I was begging her to do something…we didn't want to have any forceps, suction, or episiotomy, and they said they would only use them if they had to, which they didn't.
- Is there anything that you want to do different this time?
Not start labor at 11:00 PM! I was so tired… as far as the hospital though, I thought it was fine. I have heard others have had ranging experiences, but pretty much all have been positive. One person was upset the room they stayed in wasn't cleaner. I wasn't over impressed with Bellaire's translation, but they were very convenient for driving us back and forth to everything, and helping with the birth certificate afterwards.
- Did you use the birthing pool?
I did for labor but not delivery. It was wonderful!
- Do you know if they waited until the cord stopped pulsing to cut it?
I don't believe they waited. Even with a friend's baby, who couldn't breathe for meconium in his lungs, they cut it right away and took him to a table to suction his lungs. This does concern me a bit and I think I'll ask them about it this time.
- Do you or your husband remember what they did to the baby after it was born? For example: silver nitrate to the eyes, put directly on your chest, taken away from you and your husband for bathing and weighing, were you allowed to breast feed right away?
They did take the baby to a table to wipe her down and measure/weigh her, but it was very close to me and my husband went with her. I actually remember feeling a little abandoned as my husband and my mom went to be with the baby and I was left on the table with the midwife as my placenta came out (so painful!). However, I felt like a friend of mine had a different experience. I think she said something about getting to hold her baby right away, but I can't remember. It wasn't too long they took her, maybe just five or ten minutes, then they brought her to me and helped me nurse her. One interesting thing is that they didn't wash her until the next day. Some people find this gross, but I actually liked it, it felt more natural. I honestly don't know about the silver nitrate.
They keep you in the delivery room for two hours for observation and during this time you can hold and nurse the baby but they are all wrapped up. So it wasn't until I went back to my room and they left us that I was able to unwrap her and really look at her. Not a big deal, but I remember being anxious to just look her over, see her, count her fingers and toes. Like I said though, my husband was with her the whole time so I knew she was fine. And she never left the room from me the whole time.
- Were you allowed to eat or drink while in labor?
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