Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Midwife v. Doctor

Well the birth center tour went pretty well yesterday. It is a fairly new facility and they have 10 rooms, 4 of which are brand spanking new with a nice pull out couch for dad and a BIG jacuzzi tub you can sit in while you're in labor (you can't deliver in the tub though). I really liked the lady who was leading the tour. She is a lamaze coach and really in favor of natural birth, and she said they really try to accomodate whatever kind of birth you want to have. She said stuff like, "channelling your mother's powerful natural birth," and "sacred experience" and "wisdom of your own body." You can have the lights dimmed, and they have birthing balls and the tubs, and you don't have to lay on your back to deliver the baby. She also said they are big on keeping the baby with mom and dad for the first couple hours after the birth instead of whisking it away for tests and stuff. Overall I think it would be a good experience. BUT - they don't have ANY midwives. And the doctors all have their own protocols so it's up to each of them how they like to do things.

The midwives at Tripler are certified nurse midwives. Midwife means "with women" and it's a more hands-on experience. The midwives spend more time with you and do more teaching and coaching than doctors. With the midwives, you call them at home if you have a question. For the doctors, you have to call the clinic and talk to the answering machine. Women have been having quite a few healthy babies for many thousands of years, and in many other cultures it is typical to go through pregnancy and birth with a midwife instead of a doctor. In America there seems to be a culture of fear and we are so reliant on drugs and machines in our healthcare that the whole experience is medicalized. Pregnancy and birth are normal parts of women's lives. We are having babies, it's not a disease! It's not like surgeons and doctors won't be available if something goes wrong. I'll be in a hospital. And if it's not a normal pregnancy (something is wrong with me or baby) then we won't be able to see the midwives (hospital policy). The doctor's main goal is getting the baby out alive/healthy. They don't necessarily care if you have "your ideal birth experience", or even a natural birth. I know it all depends on who you end up with, but in many cases, doctors are too quick to induce labor or go straight to a C-section. Midwives are experienced with coaching women through the process of labor and delivery. Since I am hoping for a natural birth, this seems more in line with the experience I want.

So I haven't made up my mind yet. I'm going to register us for a tour of the Tripler facilities, and I think I will have a better sense after my first appoitment with the midwife on Oct. 13.

As for pregnancy news... nothing has changed. I'm still feeling nauseated all day long, although thankfully I haven't been puking. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to throw up every day for weeks on end. Being nauseated is bad enough! I'm really super tired, and I have insomnia. It's awful! My stomach seems like it's starting to pooch out more every day. I wake up in the morning and it looks fairly normal, and then by the end of the day it's all poochy! All the books say you don't start to show until 3 or even 4 months, but I'm wondering if my uterus has already doubled in size and it's getting bigger all the time, how is that not displacing other stuff and making my stomach pooch out?! I can imagine it won't be long until I will need to buy some maternity clothes.

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