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