Over the last few weeks I’ve really been rethinking a lot of the choices I’ve made during my previous two births. They were very different, and neither was what I wanted/want.
With Alaina I was entirely too trusting of doctors instead of my own body, which resulted in an almost 19 hour labor with both narcotic and epidural pain relief, pitocin, and a fever for which I had to be treated on IV antibiotics before I was allowed to go home. My body just wasn’t ready and as a first time mom you don’t know any better and assume the doctor knows what he’s talking about. I swore not to let that happen again
The philosophy of midwifery has always appealed to me. Pregnancy and childbirth is not an illness that needs to be treated, but a natural process that should be respected. It’s a normal healthy thing that a woman’s body was made to do. With Addison I knew right away I wanted to check into any midwives that were covered under our insurance. I could only find one group of midwives, and at first glance seemed perfect. In the long run they ended up not being much better than the OB group I left. They suggested an induction b/c of the gestational diabetes, and during my labor and delivery were only slightly more supportive than my previous doctors. It was a very busy night in the hospital so the midwife on call didn’t have much time to devote to being a support person as midwives usually are. Once again I caved and got the epidural only to find out not even 2 minutes later that I was completely dilated and ready to push. It was after this experience that I decided I couldn’t keep relying on professionals to arm me with the information that would be so helpful. I had to do more research and become as knowledgeable as I could for the next time around. Had I known what signs to look for for each stage of labor I would have known that the epidural wasn’t needed and it would be over soon. I can still feel the spot in my back where that epidural was placed.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant with Noah I knew I had to start right then making better choices so I could have a birth experience that was more positive. Granted, the outcome in both situations was a beautiful, healthy baby. The rest of the aftermath wasn’t nearly as positive. I think that each of my births contributed to my severe post partum depression after Addison and now that I am finally off of both of my medicines I want to have the best birth possible this time around. So, here are a few of the things I’ve done to help that happen.
Switching midwives. I have found the most amazing group of midwives. I hate that I didn’t find them 4 years ago, but I’m so thankful to have them now. They are supportive and really involve me in the decisions about my care. They also are wonderful to Alaina and Addi. I take the girls to every appointment with me now and it’s a fun memory for all three of us. They help find the heartbeat, measure my belly, and the midwives reassure them that their baby brother is growing bigger and stronger everyday. Alaina keeps telling me she’s ready for her brother to come “today!” It’s so fun to see them so excited.
Not delivering in a hospital. I discovered these midwives b/c I heard about the Birthing Center they built. I was a little leary about the idea of bringing my brand new baby home at only 6 hours old so I never even gave it a thought and just signed up for the hospital tour at Goshen Hospital. I had never been there before, and while I have heard great things about it I was completely not impressed. The rooms suck. Their birthing tubs are portable so they take over an hour to set up. and they won’t let you deliver in the water so if you are ready to push you have to get out of the tub. Oh yeah, and there’s the option of getting an epidural there 😛
I started thinking about why I had been so adamant about delivering in the hospital when none of my hospital experiences have been positive. I decided the Birthing Center was looking like the best option, because I think I’d give Steve a heart attack if I mentioned the words “home birth” to him. All of the things that I’d have to specifically request/fight for in a hospital, such as delayed cord cutting, immediate breastfeeding, no separating the baby from the mother, all routine checks/procedures done with the baby on my chest, etc. are standard procedures at the Birth Center so I don’t even feel like writing up a birth plan this time around is a necessity. Also, coming home and snuggling up in my own bed with all three of the kids and taking a shower in my own shower sound so appealing. Being able to give Noah his first bath at home, not having nurses whisk him away to do it in the nursery. Not having to worry about informing every nurse in sight that he is not to be circumsized b/c I’ve heard some horror stories about nurses just assuming it’s to be done. Just not having to stress about everything. I want to come home to my own house and doing things my way without nurses giving me crap about how often I’m feeding him, and how many wet diapers he’s had, and sleeping with him in my bed. I want the girls to meet their new brother and spend as much time as they want cuddling and loving on him in the privacy of their own home. Alaina was terrified of the hospital room when Addison was born, and I want this to be a fun, exciting time for them. Steve isn’t 100% on board yet, but I have no doubts that after our first class at the center next week his fears will be gone. I’ve been given the all clear by my midwife that I have no risk factors or reasons that I have to have a hospital birth.
Having a doula Um, sorta LOL A great friend of mine has agreed to be with me during Noah’s birth. While she isn’t an official doula I have all the trust in the world that she will be my advocate and help make sure what I want is done. She’s been through an extremely long labor with a doula and so I trust that when the time comes she’s going to be a huge help to me. I love my husband to pieces, but I need someone else there too. Also, the center is staffed with birthing assistants and of course the midwife as well.
The closer I get the more excited I am about my experience this time around. I feel like an active participant rather than just standing by while the “medical professionals” make all the decisions. Only 8 more weeks to go!