So I made the decision with pregnancy #2 to do it a little different… With our first daughter I did everything with an OB, gave birth in a hospital, I didn’t receive an epidural (because the nurses claimed I had “plenty of time” and wouldn’t let me get one, then she came an hour later…) but I did have IV pain meds (and let me tell you, they were horrendous. I absolutely hated them and never want to do that again). Although I wouldn’t have been able to give birth in a birth center with her because she came just a day shy of 36 weeks, I still wish I would have gone into things with more of a plan. But like most first time moms, I had no idea what to expect when it came to labor and the amount of pain that would be endured!
This time around, knowing quite well the amount of pain that goes with giving birth, I have made the decision to receive care from a midwife and to give birth in a birthing center. When I think about labor and having to go all natural I of course get nervous, but this is what our bodies were made to do, right? So our goal with this little girl is to keep her in until 37 weeks so I can have that birth center experience!
I had my first few appointments this week where I will be giving birth! [[If you are in the Twin Cities area, Health Foundations is quite amazing!]] I only toured one birth center, but it felt like an amazing fit and had everything I wanted (some “medical” things were still very important to me, such as the rhogam shot due to being RH- and all of the newborn blood tests, because I’m a freak when it comes to medical things and like to have the testing done).
Although I haven’t had a lot of appointments yet, I still have had to change my thinking a lot with this switch! For starters, there are only two birthing rooms at this birth center. That means they can only accommodate two births at one time. That also means if your appointment is during the time where two births happen to be taking place, you will be waiting a long time. I’m so used to the in and out of doctor’s offices. You show up early, get seen within 10 minutes and are sometimes even out before your original appointment time! Well, with a birth center things go a lot slower. The midwives and nurses take their time with you, they tend to the births before any appointments (obviously) and you may be waiting 30 minutes or more past your appointment time. So my lesson learned that day was to schedule my appointments early in the day so I don’t have to deal with rush hour driving home! I hate traffic and I hate driving in the city, so there will be a lot to get used to with this switch.
However, I am extremely excited for the benefits that come with birthing in a birth center. My labor was only 2 hours with my daughter, from the time my water broke at home to the time she was in my arms. I’m hoping for something similar this time around. Although the contractions are almost completely non-stop and back to back during a labor that fast, and the intensity is unimaginable, the 2 hours of labor is so much better than a long drawn out labor (in my opinion). So I am excited for that intervention-free laboring experience! I am excited for the use of a birthing tub, if that’s what I am feeling in the moment. I am excited for the option to have my daughter there if that’s what my husband and I decide to do. I am excited for more personalized care, where I actually get to build a relationship with those who will be caring for me and for my soon-to-be daughter. I am excited for the opportunity to use an intern doula. I think most of all, though, I am excited to go home 4-6 hours after birth! We spent 4 days in a hospital bed after my oldest daughter was born and I am happy to have the opportunity to spend my post-partum time in the comfort of my own home!
I’m not saying that these things aren’t available when birthing with an OB or in a hospital but this is what is right for my family and I, and I completely support any type of birth that someone else chooses to do.
Living in the large city that I live in and having 15+ providers in OB-GYN at my previous clinic, the comfort that is felt from going to a small birth center is a nice change! Although I haven’t gotten to experience much of the birth center yet, I am excited for the rest of this pregnancy and for a birthing experience that will hopefully be a lot more different and a whole lot more relaxing than with my oldest daughter.