Decisions, Baby! Installment 1

8 Dec

How should I get this baby out of me?

Seems like it should be pretty straight-forward, right? Oh no, not for the Indecisive Momma.

Once we got past the giddiness of the news that I was growing a human it was time to get down to business and find a care provider. I had had a falling out with my OBGYN a couple of years before (she prescribed me Clomid the day I told her I’d stopped taking birth control because we were thinking of trying for a baby) and I hadn’t found a replacement yet.

I’d never given childbirth that much thought before, I assumed I’d have a regular old hospital birth, just like everyone else I knew. Then one of my good friends delivered her baby with the assistance of a midwife in a local birth center and I was intrigued. She delivered her perfect, healthy baby and four hours later was picking up Chick-fil-a on her way home with her bundle of joy. Anything that ends in Chick-fil-a seems like a pretty good deal to me.

But really, my decision wasn’t that easy. I knew that I wanted a vaginal birth if at all possible, and I knew that my local hospital cesarean rates were kind of high. Nationally, the rates sit at about one-third of all births, which I think is just ridiculous. This belief was reinforced the closer I got to my due date and I repeatedly had strangers tell me their birth stories and they all seemed to end with “they said the baby was too big and I needed a c-section.” Then many told me their babies ended up being only 6 or 7 pounds. But I digress…

I initially decided that a hospital setting would be good, but only with a provider who was supportive of natural childbirth. I found Dr. Stafford, a family physician who also offered obstetrics and was rumored to let you deliver in whatever position you fancy. I saw Dr, Stafford for my first few prenatal visits and he was fabulous. Even better, once he delivers the baby, he’s your pediatrician and family doctor – a one-stop-shop who knows your whole family! Unfortunately, he didn’t accept my crappy insurance, so we were left looking for another alternative that would work within our budget and give us a good chance at a natural birth. Since I was lucky enough to have a fabulous, low-risk pregnancy, we decided to go with a midwife.

Let me tell you a little something about midwifery care…these ladies know what’s up. The care I received was far above and beyond any physician I’d ever been to. Each of my prenatal visits were so relaxed and informative. Each time I had at least half an hour to ask questions and just talk about my pregnancy. They assigned reading, recommended classes, and kept me on top of my diet and exercise to make sure I stayed in the low-risk category and was in tip-top shape for natural birth. And thanks to their advice (some of which I’ll share in a later post), I maintained a healthy weight gain, low blood pressure and had no swelling. Now, my feet normally look like little sausages stuffed in my sandals in the summertime, and I was 9 months pregnant in August in South Carolina with no swelling. THAT is a freaking miracle. Of course, my midwife was incredible during my actual birth (a long story for another post) and provided exceptional postpartum care in my home. Really couldn’t ask for more!

Me: Decisively Pregnant

Me. August. 40 weeks pregnant. Miraculously un-swollen.

Indecisive Momma’s advice for getting a baby out: decide what you value most and find a care provider that shares your values. Don’t be afraid to look into less traditional options. Ask a lot of questions, learn about the childbirth process and don’t be afraid to make changes no matter how far along you are. A great birth experience is worth the preparation!

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