Between my two pregnancies, I have seen 4 different OBGYN’s and 1 midwife. It has been a journey for us to come to the conclusion as to why we are opting for a home birth. So I wanted to share the good and bad of what as brought us here. I’ll compare my different experiences so you can see why we have come to this point.
First off, I want to clarify that I do not have preexisting conditions or risks that would necessitate a hospital birth. Also, I am “just” a mom. I’m not giving any one medical advice but I do think my experience is representative of many. My last two blogs described my labor experience (terrible), postpartum experience (awesome), and now I will compare my OB care.
OB #1: Local Medical Group OB
I was a VERY nervous first time pregnant mom. I was obsessive about research, and every little thing. Working with kids with traumatic births will do that to you. I had to wait a considerable amount of time for my first appointment because they were overwhelmed with patients. When I saw my OB for the first time, he basically rushed through his checklist of things to tell me, and seemed eager to wrap up our appointment. He basically told me, not to eat fish, go for walks, and eat my veggies. When I showed him my supplements that I wanted him to look at, he didn’t even look at the products or ingredients. He just told me not to take any. When I went in for my initial ultrasound, my husband was not allowed to be present. I was treated so coldly and after those two appointments, I did everything I could to switch to another facility.
OB #2 & #3: Well Respected Hospital OB’s
I switched to a local hospital that has a great reputation for patient care. This hospital also has a renown NICU, which was important to me being the freaked out 1st time mom that I was. I could give a standing ovation to prenatal care I received there. I had one OB for my first baby, and another OB for my second baby and they were both WONDERFUL. They never seemed to be in a rush. They answered all my questions. They looked at the ingredients in my supplements and gave me their honest feedback. They gave me their advice based on their medical model (TDAPP, Flu shot, inducing at 41 weeks, aspirin, advanced maternal testing), and if I declined anything, they were respectful and caring. I LOVED my care with both of these doctors.
OB #4: Local OB office
I should clarify that in my 3 appointments I didn’t actually meet the OB. I did everything with a Nurse Practitioner, which is odd because I feel like I should know the person that is going to be standing at my vagina helping to catch my baby, but that is another story. I had to (unwillingly) switch to this office because of an insurance change. The office was beautiful. They gal was fine, but she seemed appalled and almost rude whenever I asked anything that questioned their standard procedures. When I told her that I didn’t want to be induced and would not be getting an epidural, she was nearly outraged at the thought! When I questioned the necessity of monthly ultrasounds because of “probably normal” urine build up (non-life treatening and even if it was an issue they would have to wait until the baby was born) she told me I had to do them so they could record when it resolved. Sooooo, I had to go in not because there was a concern for my baby, but so they could have record of it. Um, no thanks.
The midwife I choose is one of the pioneers of midwifery in CA. She actually was part of making it legal in this state! She has been practicing for 30 years, and has delivered 1100 babies. I know many women that raved about her from their personal experiences in having a home birth. She has a cozy office in her home. When we schedule our appointments, she makes sure that it accommodates both my schedule and my husbands. The office is filled with toys so my toddler loves going. She has a wall full off books and videos that she encourages us to check out. The appointments are one hour long. We ask her anything and everything. She takes her time and explains it all! She puts all of the power and control in our hands as the parents. She presents fair information whenever we have concerns. During my exam, I lay on a bed and Sophia climbs up next to me and snuggles with me. She is allowed to “measure” my tummy and even use the doppler to hear the heart beat. This is where she first began to show signs that she understood there was a baby inside of me. It is incredibly special for us as a family. At my last appointment, she helped me feel the baby’s position- the baby’s head, and back. Pretty amazing. Her care is above and beyond what I have experienced. It truly is beautiful.