I wrote this post a couple of months ago and I feel I must share my initial feelings about LBL's birth and desires to have a natural birth at a birth center before sharing Rivers' birth story.
I've mentioned a couple of times that we're planning to have a natural birth and I've promised to share how we came to that decision and what it means for Jus, me & LBL.
A few weeks before we decided to remove my birth control I was browsing netflix when I came upon Pregnant in America. I had heard about this documentary and thought it would be interesting to watch. Little did I know that it would influence my own desires for birth and help me see that a natural birth would be best for me. I let the movie float to the back of my mind until the second pink line showed up on the pregnancy test.
The morning after I got my positive pregnancy test I called my OB office to schedule my first prenatal appointment. I've been going to the same practice since I was 13, first to a Nurse Practitioner, then to an OB/GYN. I knew I would stay with this practice when I was pregnant but was unsure if I would stay with my OB/GYN or begin seeing a midwife.
While I was on the phone with the receptionist I mentioned that I was interested in the Birth Center attached to the practice. I didn't know if I would be a candidate for a birth at the Birth Center or if my OB/GYN delivered babies at the Birth Center but I knew I wanted more information. The receptionist scheduled me with a midwife and Jus & I got started reading What to Expect When You're Expecting, watched The Business of Being Born & rewatched Pregnant in America.
The more I thought about birth the more I knew that I would be able to have a natural birth. Yes, it is going to hurt but millions of women have gone before me and I was fully confident I could have a natural birth. I believe that the pain associated with labor is a different type of pain as it has the best ultimate result. I know that an unmedicated birth is best for babies as they are able to respond to the mother right away. Bonding and breastfeeding both happen easier with an unmedicated birth and having a natural birth will give LBL the best start in life possible.
We had a tour of the birth center, a building built like a home that has three rooms which each include a birthing tub. After discussing the plan with our families we knew this was the place for us. We could labor naturally, I could eat lightly and move around during labor, our families would wait in the "living room," and I could labor and birth in the tub. Jus & I are following the Bradley Method of natural, husband led childbirth.
Following the birth I will have an herbal bath and fresh bread with the baby and after 4-8 hours we will be released to go home. This worried me at first as I wasn't confident I could handle being at home with such a young baby but I love the fact that I'll be getting my support from our families rather than nurses that I didn't know.
There were a few downsides of the Birth Center. The biggest being that if a complication arose we'll have to be transferred to the hospital. The staff at the birth center was fully confident that a transfer needed to happen it would be safe. Normally when women or babies are transferred from the Birth Center they are done so by car, before the situation gets serious. If a dangerous situation arises an ambulance will be called but our midwives were sure to let us know they always err on the side of caution and if it looks like something serious is happening we will make the 5 minute trip to the hospital.
Additionally the birth center doesn't have any medicine so if labor stalls and pitocin is needed to speed up contractions we'll have to go to the hospital. This also means no epidural, which is fine by me as I have no interest in an epidural. Six years ago I had a staph bacteria infection (MRSA) in my spine that resulted in the fusion of two of my vertebrae and the thought of having a needle placed in my spine brought memories of that illness and fears of a potential complication. I have talked to my midwives about my concerns just in case I end up in the situation where I need a c section. The midwives consulted with the head of anesthesiology and he confirmed that I will be fine to have an epidural as my staph infection was in different part of my back.
Also, since we'll be going home so early after labor we'll have to go to a pediatrician for all shots, a potential circumcision, and routine tests. Since a newborns first appointment is usually two weeks after the birth this wasn't a big deal, we just need to schedule an additional hearing test and we'll be good to go.
Jus and I love that the Birth Center offers an option for a relaxed, natural birth and that we'll spend the birth of our child surrounded by those who love us. We're confident in the abilities of our midwives and have fallen in love with the Birth Center even more now that we've gone through our birthing classes there.