Family: Meet the Midwives

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to tour the hospital where the baby will be born, and also attend a Q&A session with the midwifery group that we’ve been seeing. The group is very similar to our care in Tucson while I was pregnant with Liv. There are multiple midwives in the practice, and you may or may not have met with the midwife who will be at your birth, though they all share similar beliefs. Some people prefer to have the continuity of seeing the same midwife for their appointments, and others (like me), try to see as many midwives as possible to increase the chance that a stranger will not be in the room delivering your child. (<— being silly. I highly trust all of them, even the ones I have yet to meet.)

Being there set my mind at ease. Since I’m quite a planner, I like to have a vision in my mind of how things might go and possible scenarios for every situation. If I’ve never been to the locale, it’s hard for me to imagine the events, and I drive myself crazy thinking about the what-ifs. Now that I have the scenery in place, and a lot of my questions were answered in the session, I feel a lot better about the unknown, even though I know the end result will be nothing like my “plans.”

Some of the things that made me happy to hear:

-It’s a “baby friendly” hospital, which means that they keep the baby with the family until you’re discharged, unless there’s an emergency. I LOVED that Liv was in our room from the second she was born until we left for home, and was planning on asking if we could do that with baby #2. Turns out I won’t have to ask; baby stays with the parents for all testing, their first bath, etc. unless they need additional care in the NICU.

-Episitomies are not standard at our hospital, with the midwives and with the physicians. It’s a very last-resort type thing (if they need to get the baby out quickly). Otherwise, they do preventative measures to reduce tearing and let things happen as they will. The espisitomy rate is 3%. 3%!!!! HALLELUJAH.

-The c-section rate is also very low. The national average is around 32%, and at the hospital, it’s about 14%. With the midwives, it’s even less that that (I think they said 4%). 

-The hospital allows water therapy (tubs and showers), and also provides alternative methods of pain relief. They’re one of the few hospitals to use nitrous oxide (laughing gas!) for pain relief during childbirth. While this is common is other countries (Canada, the UK, Australia), it’s not especially prevalent in the US. It’s something I researched during my last pregnancy, as it does not affect the baby. It’s nice to know that it’s an option! (There’s an article here that explains more if you’d like to check it out.)

All in all, I’m definitely still a little scared at the realization that once again the baby does indeed need to come out eventually, but it was comforting to see the environment where we’ll be. That is, if labor on the freeway doesn’t happen. haha.

Also, this makes it all seem very, very real. It’s exciting. <3

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  1. Cassie Vaughn says:

    I’m very jealous reading about places that are much more baby friendly than my hospital. But I think I’ve found a happy medium that I can be comfortable with and my hospital/doctor can be comfortable with. 🙂

  2. We had our daughter in a baby friendly hospital. They kept her in there for all the testing and we helped out with the first bath. But they did take her to the nursery so we could get some sleep, it was a long day and night and brought her back in when it was time to nurse her. The nurses made us feel really good and not at all guilty about our decision. They said they weren’t going to be there when we took her home the next night so to take full advantage. I’m so glad they did, because neither of us slept our first night at home. Seeing as how we’ve done this before, we’ll try to keep baby #2 with us as much as possible in the hospital.

  3. That sounds awesome! I was worried about many of the same things with baby #1. My OB was a single person practice so while I saw him at every appt, he was not on call when I went into labor and a complete stranger delivered my daughter. After that, I knew it wasn’t really a big deal (the nurses made so much more of a difference for me)…which was great because my Dr wasn’t on call for baby #2 either! I was also so worried about any interventions for baby #1 since I desperately wanted a natural delivery. I ended up being drug free, but did need an episiotomy. I don’t know why I was so scared about it (the stuff I was reading I’m sure) because it totally wasn’t the horrible thing I was imagining. I ended up with one the second time too (same cut) as baby #2 was in a serious hurry to come out (total labor was ~4hrs). Anyway, I hope your labor is how you imagine it, but I know if it isn’t it can be just as magical.

  4. As a student midwife/nurse practitioner, you are literally describing my dream hospital. Congratulations on the very fun step of meeting your birth team, and on finding such a wonderful place to deliver!

  5. That hospital sounds wonderful! I love how much time they give you with the baby!

  6. Sounds like a great hospital. I had laughing gas (I’m in Canada) but by that point I was so desperate for relief, I couldn’t take deep enough breaths to get it in. Ha.

  7. It sounds like you might be giving birth in the hospital and with the midwife group that we had (I won’t say the name in case you want to keep it private). We didn’t end up getting to use the birthing suites with the tubs bc my labor turned high-risk, but aside from that, it was a really great experience. Love those midwives!

  8. I actually did not realize the national average for c-sections was so high! That is incredible. This was really informative, and I love getting to know about pregnancy through your blog, Gina. 🙂

  9. Our hospital sounds really similar to yours! California for the win 😉 I’m glad to hear that you have a good experience and liked all of the midwives you met, too. The more appointments we have with our midwife, the more thankful I am we’re going this route, and that feeling of trust is priceless!

  10. That’s awesome! Our hospital at Fort Stewart actually has a c-section rate of only 18% which is surprisingly great for a military hospital. It’s been interesting seeing the “other side” working in OB right now 🙂

  11. Leanne l says:

    I loved the gas during my labor (I’m in Canada). I gave birth 5 weeks ago, and other than the gas, went drug free, but the gas really did help. Not so much with the pain (it still hurt like a mother lol) but just helps “relax” you.

  12. Christine says:

    I’m so jealous you have nitrous oxide available! I’m due in just over 3 weeks and my hospital in New Hampshire had been offering nitrous, but recent testing showed that the delivery system wasn’t working well enough and they discontinued it until they have a new system in place. I just found this out a few weeks ago and I was so incredibly bummed. I loved the idea of managing my own pain relief, staying mobile, and not resorting to huge needles. Hopefully my hospital will get a new system if and when I’m ready for number two!

  13. Melissa L says:

    I used nitrous oxide for my daughter’s delivery and loved the option (here in New England)! It was just enough to take the edge off my didn’t make me feel like i wasn’t in control! Best thing is that it can be started or stopped at any time 🙂 Best of luck!!!!

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