Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Birth Choices Part 2

I blogged a few weeks ago about my need to research and carefully review my birth choices with each pregnancy. At the time, I had not yet settled on a birth setting and provider for my current pregnancy that I felt comfortable with. I interviewed several homebirth midwives and found one I liked, a CNM with lots of years of experience and a great reputation among mothers. Unfortunately, her usual back-up doctors practice at a hospital at the far north end of her delivery range, and I am at the far south end--further than I was comfortable going in an emergency. We live less than 3 miles from a hospital, but none of the OB's there are willing to provide backup for home birth midwives. I went back to my OB from my last two pregnancies, who I like very much. She was willing to be my back up if I chose a home delivery and agreed with me that I was probably as low risk for complications as anyone, but the hospitals she delivers at are still about 45 minutes away (which is part of why I didn't want to go back to her for this pregnancy-that, and the fact that she missed the births of both my last children).

I kept praying to know what birth situation would be best for me and my baby. I really wanted to feel right about choosing a home birth, but I didn't. And I knew I needed to feel confident going into labor. A friend mentioned that she had heard of one doctor who delivers at the local hospital who was more friendly towards natural childbirth, but she didn't know the name. I decided to take the maternity tour at the hospital and see what I could learn. At one point during the nurse's presentation, an OB walked into the room to steal a cookie and made a couple of comments. The minute I saw her, I thought "I like that doctor". During the tour of the unit, I asked lots of questions. At one point I asked about squatting bars and if any of the providers who deliver here did squatting deliveries--the nurse said "you just met Dr. W". Bingo! When everyone trooped back to the classroom I hung back and went to find Dr. W, who cheerfully agreed to talk to me for a few minutes. We talked for several minutes and my first impression was confirmed--I like this doctor. She told me her philosophy is that doctors should not intervene in labor and birth unless it is truly necessary, and she is very supportive of natural birth and of letting women labor and birth as they feel best. Of course working within a hospital environment still means some limitations, but having a provider who is supportive is a huge benefit. I suppose you can never really know in advance how a doctor will act at the actual birth, but I feel confident in trusting my instincts on this one. I feel like I've found the right provider and setting for this birth, and I'm not stressed about it any more.

6 comments:

Chambers said...

That's great! I agonized over the same thing with this last pregnancy because we had just moved. It's so great when you finally feel comfortable again with your choice of doctor. I hope yours is in town when you deliver. I'm 0 for 3 when it comes to that.

Paula said...

I haven't yet had a baby actually delivered by a doctor I knew either. Dr. D said she schedules two weeks off a year but should be there in June--I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Renee said...

How wonderful to have choices - glad you found someone you feel comfy with.

Maile said...

I'm so happy for you to have made a decision you feel comforable with. I am so grateful for intuition and the guidance of the Spirit to make these decisions. I felt so much better about the idea of labor once I settled on a health care situation I was comfortable with.

Rixa said...

I'm glad you found a doctor who you feel good about. Keep us posted about her.

C T said...

Not only do you not know in advance how the doctor will be at the actual birth, you don't even know if the doctor will be there. I went with a CNM this last time, but she wasn't the one "on call" from her practice and I ended up with an OB/GYN who didn't even bother coming to see me (even though she was resting somewhere in the hospital) while I labored. When it came time to push, the nurses told me to wait for the doctor and all I could think was "No way. I'm in pain. Whatever for? I don't know her!" Some other doctor whose name I don't know ran in and caught the baby. Best of luck!