Long ago, before we were trying to have a baby, I read two articles on natural childbirth, written by two of my favorite bloggers. Their words really resonated with me and I thought, "I believe my body was designed for this. If I get the chance to have a baby some day, natural birth makes perfect sense to me."
(Quick disclaimer: I am not writing this to prove any points or to pass any judgement. I'm no expert on this subject. I believe parents should be able to do what they think is best for themselves and their baby. But, I do feel strongly about the choices I have made so far. And this is my blog, so I can write what I choose. :))
Anyway, the first post, written by a nurse, explains why the author chose to have a home birth with her son. She talks about how labor & delivery is the "money-maker" of hospitals. She shares her own experience birthing naturally and how much freedom and flexibility she had during labor. I wanted that, too.
The second post, written by a mom of two children (both born without medication), basically just challenges women to be educated: to know their options, to ask questions, to think through common interventions, and to use natural "labor aids" to help you in the process of giving birth. I didn't want to be pushed around or bullied into anything; her suggestions hooked me.
When we got pregnant, I started talking to Joel about my understanding of natural childbirth, my reading about midwifery, my desire to question what was considered "normal" in terms of hospital birth, etc. We watched the documentary, "The Business of Being Born" and continued to discuss the subject. Joel agreed to check out a local birth center (run by two midwives) after we went to the first scheduled appointment with my OB.
I think I went into that OB appointment already convinced I wanted to continue care elsewhere. However, three small annoyances sealed the deal:
1. The nurse who checked me in was adamant about estimating the baby's due date based on my last period. I really didn't want to do that because I had been tracking my cycle and knew that date wouldn't be accurate based on the typical 28-day calendar used by doctor's offices. Plus, it would have put me two weeks ahead of schedule and could have resulted in a way-too-early induction of labor.
2. The OB, who I've been seeing for GYN care for at least three years, asked if I was still taking blood pressure medicine... "Really, lady? I've never once been on blood pressure medicine."
3. Because the office is large, they told me they'd try to have me meet with all 6 of their doctors because there was no guarantee who'd be on call when I went into labor. So potentially I could be in labor and delivering my first child at this hospital with a caregiver I'd never.even.met. No thanks.
After that, I went to to one more appointment there and it sucked. Two days later we visited a local birth center and asked a million questions before taking a tour and deciding to continue care there.
At this point, unless something changes and the pregnancy becomes high risk, we'll meet with a midwife for all regular prenatal appointments from now on. Our baby will be born at a birth center 12 minutes from our home. So.freaking.excited.
P.S. If you're interested in the subject, I suggest reading this post and then checking out some more posts about home birth and natural living. Look for the post about her recent VBAC... this lady rocks the whole birthing thang!
P.S.S. A short, semi-humorous post on why another of my fav bloggers chose to give birth with a midwife.