Saturday, May 24, 2008

Birthing Wars: Part II


My original birth plan was to birth with a Clinical Nursing Midwife. A nursing midwife goes through nursing school and typically/traditionally births (catches) in hospital. I really liked my midwife but didn't love the idea of birthing in a hospital. Like I said in part I, it's not that I feel hospitals are "bad", they're just not as conducive for the experience I was looking for. So after 2 of my 3 appointments canceled last minute (not for birthing babies either) and my midwife's assistant being fairly aloof and not returning phone calls I started to feel insecure and unsafe about the path I was currently on. The search began.

My friend Eden pointed me towards another new mom who loved her midwife and birthed in a birthing center. I had heard of birthing centers not too long ago and was intrigued at this middle-of-the-road option between a hospital and a home birth but dismissed the idea because my midwife didn't feel they were very safe nor could she birth there. (I'm learning in the whole CNM and CPM arena, it's a very us vs. them deal). This other mother used a Certified Professional Midwife*. A CPM goes through Midwifery school and has an intensive apprenticeship followed by taking an 8 hour licensing exam. Jake and I decided to meet with a couple CPM's to compare and contrast and get a feel for the one that felt right.

I met with one in the morning but she mostly did home births and typically didn't birth in birthing center. Though I am interested in birthing at home, for our family and our first baby, Jake and I thought a birthing center was a good starting point. She seemed great but there were a few concerns we had such as her quick dismissal of birthing in a birthing center and biases towards things such as vaccinations and things. I have my opinions as well, but because of my "client-centered" training for my profession, being supported in an informed choice big deal to me. I like to be informed, educated and empowered to make the choices right for me. The second one met with Jake and me in our home for an hour and a half answering all of our questions and concerns. She really struck a chord with me when I asked, "What is the difference, as you see it, between a birthing center, birthing suites and home birth?" She said, "You don't want me to discuss a hospital? I think it's important to talk about a hospital as well because it's not a bad option just different so let's talk about them all...then you decide." Halleluia! When it came to vaccinations she gave me material from an anti-source, a pro-source and a source that provided the pro's and con's of them all and a schedule. She eased Jake's concern of driving 40 minutes to get to a birthing center rather than dismissing it. I was elated! She was definitely the one for us.

So in a nutshell I will tell you my new birthing plan:

Natural Birth: Jake and I are going to learn the skills of Birthing from Within and Hypnobirthing to provide ourselves with a variety of tools and methods being we don't know what we are getting into. Hypnobirthing is a husband-coaching approach and Birthing from Within is not. Both offer complimentary tools so why not?

Birthing Center/Birthing Suite: I copied this from BellaNatal, our birthing center, because they explain this really well. Like a hospital or birthing center, BellaNatal Birthing Suites is a facility specifically designed to support the process of childbirth. But unlike a hospital or birthing center, at BellaNatal the care is separated from the facility in which that care occurs. This means your chosen provider is 100% responsible for your delivery and care. Why is that so great? Because this is the person you want to be responsible for you! This is the person you have chosen, the person you know and who knows you. Many women are surprised when they go to a hospital for their delivery and they don’t see their doctor until the last few minutes. Most care in a hospital is provided by nursing staff you’ve never met before. At BellaNatal, your provider will attend you for your entire labor.
We believe in the ability of healthy women to safely give birth in the setting of their choice, and we want to provide the most comfortable, supportive, and safe setting possible. We believe any facility in which women give birth should be flexible and accommodating to the needs of the mothers and babies who use it. We believe you and your care provider should make decisions regarding your care, not the facility. We believe normal healthy birth should not be expensive, and we have adopted a strategy to keep costs as low as possible.

Certified Professional Midwife: Cathy Larson! She can't deliver in a hospital but can do home or birthing center and actually apprenticed under the owner/founder of BellaNatal and my sister's current midwife! Small world, had no idea until making the connection later.

All of the other stuff such as wanting to be able to rub in the "white stuff" after birth (packed with vitamin K and other good stuff!!), not have my baby taken away, etc. are also part of my plan.

Another important thing to note, in the state of Utah you have to be deemed a "low-risk"pregnancy in order to deliver outside of a hospital. If issues arise, which they can be spotted early on, not as Hollywood would have us believe, you are transferred.--@DP


aimee heff said...

Amen to client-centered therapy/birthing/homebuying/parenting etc.

Glad you are happy. I think it is going to be a great experience for you both.

Kim said...

So glad you ended up switching your plan, you definitely need to be 100% comfortable and everything sounds perfect! Good for you guys! I know of a good hypnobirthing class if you haven't found one yet . . .I don't think you start them until at least 30 weeks though?? Oh and I would love to read the material you got on vaccinations! I still haven't found any good sources.

Eden said...

Awesome! Congratulations, again! I have an interesting vaccination book if you are interested.

Mama Hypno said...

Education is the key to welcoming your baby the way you wish to! Congratulations on finding HypnoBirthing®--Have you started classes yet? Make sure your practitioner is listed at HypnoBirthing Institute's official website of current practitioners. BTW, I read Birthing Within for my second birth and liked some points in it. Henci Goer's The Thinking Women's Guide to Birth is a GREAT book--really explains all the tests they want you to take. If you'd like you're welcome to check out my website to read stories from my moms & dads about their experience with HypnoBirthing besides my own [one birth center, one home birth]. All the best and have a Happy Birthing Day!

Sycamore Girl said...

I smiled the WHOLE way through this post! You are going to have an incredible experience with Cathy- I almost want to get prego again NOW just so I can keep seeing her. She truely is amazing. And how cool that your sis has found her as well!
About HypnoBirthing- someone above mentioned starting the class when you are 30 no no. Do it sooner than later. The longer you have to learn the skills and practice, the better! I dont know if I told you or not, but I took the class with my hubby from Hypno Therapist Jolene Sheilds. She was great!
We still havent talked to each other yet!...I'll try calling you again soon.

You go Birthing Warrior!

Candace said...

Kristin, I am so so proud of you. We don't talk often enough (eh hem, answer your phone sometime) but I am so proud you are choosing this. I would love to talk to you more and more about this! I loved the Birthing From Within book. We could also talk about vaccinations and you know, everything else natural parenting related.

Rebecca Simmons said...


You may want to check out the latest from Feministing. Your sis may be interested as well. Birthing Wars it has been for centuries.

Anonymous said...

I feel there is some good in hospitals, although with my first pregnancy I was not all that convinced there was. I will share with you why. My pregnancy was a very healthy one. No bumps in the road. No issues spotted early on. My birth was natural but in a hospital. I had all the internal monitors attached to monitor my baby girl's heart beat. And it was regular and never changed. But she came out after 18 hours of labor, and she was not breathing. They rushed her to NICU and put her on machines. dozens of little tubes all over and in her little body body. While this was not the environment or outcome I would have ever wanted, it did something for my baby. And it gave me peace in knowing that everything that could have been done for my little girl, was being done.
When they did the MRI and told me that she had little to zero brain activity due to lack of oxygen during birth (cord was wrapped around her neck), they took this little girl off machines and told me she would live only minutes. But due to all those big ugly machines and those little tubes making my baby's heart strong, (and I think a lot of prayers), my baby lived 19 days. 19 baths. 19 sleepless nights holding her, wondering how long we would get the privilege to do so. While I agree that hospitals are not the prettiest and most calming environment, I have to say they gave my baby 19 more days than she would have had. And more importantly, as I wept with empty arms and engorged breasts for a baby that was no longer there, I felt somewhat comforted in knowing that had done everything possible to help my baby live.
I don't write this to scare you, but to give you the other point of view. I have had a beautiful little boy since then, and everything turned out wonderfully. But I must say, I got the closest room the the NICU as possible!!