Now that I’ve entered third trimester (and had the return of the midnight leg cramps to welcome me), I’ve been starting to think a lot more about our labor & delivery. This will be a very different experience for us than labor & delivery was with Audrey simply because we will be in a completely different environment. We’ve chosen a birth center over a hospital for this birth for a lot of reasons, so I thought I’d share some insight into our choice.
First and foremost, I refused to give birth on post at Fort Belvoir. Every single interaction we have had with their clinic & hospital has been absolutely horrible and I didn’t want to have to deal with them on a regular basis for 9 months of pregnancy. Plus, an overcrowded military hospital doesn’t seem to be the most conducive place for a natural birth, does it? Because of this reason, we took me off the free version of Tricare and now I’m on the “you pay a little bit of money but can go off-base for care” version of it which allows us to choose where who we want to see for appointments and where we get to deliver.
We are a very pro-natural birth family, and what better place to have a baby than in a pro-natural birth environment? Honestly, I didn’t start out this way with Audrey. I didn’t really start out with any preconceived notions about any birthing method, actually, but after doing tons of research when I was pregnant, I became very very very pro-natural birth. The benefits to both mom & baby far outweigh the “extra” pain in my opinion. What’s funny is that Brian is just as pro-natural birth as I am. Sometimes I’ll catch him making comments to TV shows like, “well, what did you expect to happen when you got an epidural and/or had an unnecessary induction?!” It makes me so proud and lets me know that I have a very supportive partner in that regard. It’s so much easier to have a natural birth when you know your husband is as passionate about it as you are!
The birth center we are going to reminds me of a bed & breakfast (view the facility here). The rooms are huge and we will have access to a kitchen (yes! I will be allowed to eat!) & jacuzzi birthing tub. I also really like that the over-medicalization of birth won’t be present there like it is at hospitals. Plus, anyone that I want is allowed in the room (even Audrey if I wanted her there)…I don’t want anyone there besides Brian, the birth assistant and the midwife, but it’s nice to know that if for some reason, we can’t find a place for Audrey for an hour or two, she can be with us. It’s so family-friendly, and I appreciate that.
Even though we are happy at the prospect of delivering in the birth center, there are definitely some qualms that we (I) have regarding it. They are not huge concerns, but they are there nonetheless. One of the things that has really stuck out for me is that I have not seen the same midwife twice. I know that’s because they want me to meet all the midwives since who knows who will be on call when we have Caroline, but it’s a little bit frustrating to feel like I have to repeat myself every single appointment and to feel like I haven’t formed a bond with anyone. I’m sure that will also change as my appointment frequency goes up to biweekly & then weekly but as of now, I’m not really that thrilled by this aspect of the birth center. I formed such a great relationship w/ our doctor the first time around that I was sort of hoping it would be the same this time…and maybe it will, in time.
Another thing that we are a little hesitant about is that after Caroline is born, we will stay at the birth center for only a few hours before going home. I know that anything more than that isn’t necessary but I did really appreciate those 2 days in the hospital w/ Audrey because it allowed us all to rest! It was nice to have that one last chance for sleep before being sent out on our own with Audrey! This time I feel like that sleep would be even more crucial because we’ll have a crazy toddler AND a newborn.
Anyway, I’m starting to get really curious as to how this birth will go because (hopefully) there will be no induction and Caroline can come on her own timeline…but hopefully not while I’m at work since I’ll be working until she comes!