Tuesday, August 04, 2009

So I was all gung ho for a birthing center birth

I've read the books, I've seen the documentaries, I've talked to many a mama. And in some ways, the non-hospital, no-chance-of-meds, earthy labor experience was just what I wanted. I wholeheartedly believe my body was made to do this, that birth has become overmedicalized, that birthing centers often offer a more nurturing and satisfying labor experience. So I made my appointment, made the announcement I was doing it, and that was that.

But then? I don't know. I didn't cancel my appointment yesterday with my lady doctor and afterward I remembered I liked her ways - especially because she admitted to eating sushi, hot dogs, and turkey sammies during her pregnancy. Then she reminded me (oops pregnancy amnesia!) about the cervical issue I had surgery on awhile back that we'll need to watch closely to ensure the baby stays up in there toward the end. Should be absolutely fine, but I'm going to need extra ultrasounds and a little extra care to be sure everything stays cozy and closed till it's time to push. Sort of moves me out of the no-risk pregnancy category the birthing centers prefer. Low risk? Yes. No risk? Not really.

Oh and then I remembered - much more noticeable now that I'm out of breath as soon as I climb out of bed - that the doctor's office is a three minute walk from my home. Not a twenty minute drive, like the birthing center...a THREE MINUTE WALK. Not five! Not four! THREE. I could stumble out in my bathrobe if I wanted.

And lastly, while I am fully, totally behind the birthing center concept, I also need to be honest about who I am. And who is that? A basically insane, neurotic, obsessive compulsive worrier who will fixate for the next 6 months on all the things that could go wrong last minute if I'm not at a hospital. It's just the truth. And since I think the whole point of the birthing center is to feel more relaxed...

And so! Onward ho with a hospital birth. I'm going to try my damndest to do it natural, to make it as un-sterile (in the psychological sense - I'd like it sterile in the germy sense, thanks) as possible, and to keep any and all IVs out of my arm. But most importantly, to get this little critter buddy robot friend out safe and sound.


  1. Anonymous9:55 PM

    You prolly have arrangements but, here's my 2 cents. I had Bowie at St. Luke's. They are amazing. One of the country's lowest rates of C-sections and lowest rates of episiotomies and a very low rate of administering Pitocin. And they don't pressure you to induce. PLUS, they were the coolest folk on the planet during my whole ordeal. Even though I'm sure they do that like 10 times a day, they treated me like I was all that mattered. I was going to go au naturel, b/c my mom admitted at the last minute that she did for all three of us, but I went into labor in the middle of the night and without an epidural I'd have gone 50 hours without sleep. It all wore off towards the end, so I had the whole MEGA PAIN experience. At St. Luke's you basically call all the shots. I loved that. Hospital birth with a lot of freedom.

    Shew. That was a long comment :)

  2. hey, that was me btw.

  3. oh, yes please! love the sound of that, beth.

    looked up st luke's and it's a cpmc campus which is great b/c - my doc's office is affiliated with cpmc. so do i just get to, like, choose my campus? how's that worky?! :)

  4. Aw! You are going to be such a good mama! Congratulations on making this decision based on what feels best for you and your babes! The whole thing has to be super exciting!

  5. Well, I was going there from day 1, but from what I understand, you can see whatever doc you want, and register to birth at St. Luke's. I'm not sure what the situation is if you want your doc to be there for the birth, you'll have to talk to them. I would think if it is CPMC, it will all be cool. The doc who delivered Bowie was actually from UCSF, filling in for the afternoon.

  6. I am definitely interested in a birthing center thingie, if I ever have children. After watching most of the Business of Being Born, I was like, HEY, it DOES seem overmedicalized and too scary when your body was MADE to do this. But I still haven't made up my mind on whether or not I could handle it yet.

    But I think you're being very smart. As I always say/think, if you're going to worry about it THAT much, then don't worry about it in the first place. I want my Ams and her little one safe and sound and in one piece, please!

    Will write you back, soon!


  7. I don't blame you one bit.

    I love the idea of some day using a birthing center and having my friend (midwife/nurse practitioner) help me have my baby...

    ...but chances are I'm gonna change my mind and ask for the drugs.

    We'll see.

  8. oh garsh oh garsh oh garsh.

    some days i think i'm going to give birth in the middle of my living room floor. some days i'm like "HOSPITAL BIRTH + EPIDURAL WOULD BE JUST FINE" and other days i want something in between.

    unfortunately, my anxiety bar is set higher than a lot of other people (that's what my counselor likes to say instead of "YOU. ARE. CRAZY. SAUCE.") and, i, too worry about worrying too much.

    you know, no matter what you choose - chances are you're going to have a safe, normal, happy birthday that produces a healthy infant. i think the main thing is that you empowered yourself through education & made your choice, and that's really what is so important to begin with - to get involved with the process & know what the hell is going on.

    :) lovez.

  9. birthday? what?

  10. Cindy C8:16 PM

    Clay was going to be a "natural, no pain medicine" birth. Didn't work out that way, but look how great he turned out despite drugs during delivery. :)Of course,they wouldn't let me see him until his "cone head" dissipated. (This was at the height of Saturday Night Live and Conehead episodes.) Also, because you have confidence in your doctor, decisions will be easier to make.


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