After being in the military system for 80% of my life and dealing with medical care through them just as long, I am starting to learn a new way of life. CHOICE!
I have choices and the ability to say no to the things I don’t want to happen and more importantly hold that caregiver responsible for anything that may happen. I have personal responsibility for myself, my body and my baby. Now I have a voice in the matter. Military healthcare was good, if you made it good. You could see any doctor you wanted but it required a referral and jumping through a few hoops, so most people settle for the system. I don’t have any horror stories to tell about military medicine but I know that there were a few things that could have happened sooner without as much pausing for this test or that. But that is all changing. Like I said… I have choices.
Last week we made a huge choice, a personal choice and one that fit both Daddy O and I just right. We met with a group of Midwives at a Birthing Center in the city an hour away from our tiny town. I had been milling over how I want the birth of our first child to go, whether I would go all natural or take meds. The more I read about it the more I knew what the right choice was for my body and this baby. Plus the encouragement from Daddy O to trust that my body was meant to handle all of this, and that I am a strong person lead us down the road to seeking out a birthing center.
On first impression we felt comfortable. The midwife that came to great us, Kristin, was very nice, pleasant and friendly with a great laugh. Talkative right away and lately that has been the way I like most people. She gave us a tour of the actual birthing suites, which were little apartments equipped with a full kitchen and large jet bath in the bathroom. The birthing room was set up like a resort bedroom, wicker furniture, large queen bed and comfort in every corner. After the tour we were seated in an exam room and the midwife explained their process. From hour-long exams (incase you have 30 minutes worth of questions) to how they proceed if an emergency arrises. That hour-long appointment was a good surprise to me based on my latest military appointment which was all of 15 minutes performed by a speed talking Nurse Practitioner.
Daddy O had great questions, mainly concern over the cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck. He only had images of the movie versions and horror stories of cords and blue babies. The Midwife explained the process and how common (very, 1 in 4) it was for a cord to be wrapped 1, 2, or 5 times around their little necks. She reassured him that the babies are always ok, that breathing while being birthed is still through the cord not the neck and they simply slip the cord over the neck and baby is fine. He was relieved and quickly became the Daddy O we know, making everyone laugh and saying if needed he could perform a C-section, if he isn’t passed out in the corner. Never a dull moment with my Daddy O.
The main questions I had were more about space and timing. Would I be able to use the bath and if it felt right have a water birth even if that wasn’t in my plan? Would I be able to walk around, squat, kneel, be on all fours and have real food as snacks instead of just ice? All answers were yes. YES! I would be encouraged to do what my body asked for and given the freedom with little interruption to do just as I needed.
We left the Center happy, comfortable and without fear. I hadn’t realized until we left that I was nervous to give birth not because of the pain but because I was afraid of the hospital and not being able to do what my body needed in order to give birth. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be heard or taken seriously. Not that there aren’t good hospitals and doctors out there, but I felt my odds of having a better experience and wanting to do it again would be with midwives.Did you use a Birthing Center, have a home birth or go to a Hospital? Did you have a choice in the matter and what would you have chosen? If you are in eastern Washington and in need of a birthing center and great midwives here is their Facebook Fanpage and website.