So I just got back from my first consultation with a midwife at the birthing center. I had read a lot about it on their webpage, so I kinda knew what to expect, but it was still a much different experience than visiting an obstetrician. I loved it.
As I wrote in a previous post, we induced with Evelyne, and it was a heavily medicated birth. After watching The Business of Being Born, Clay and I decided to pursue a natural birth for this baby. I did a bit of Google-ing and discovered that a very well established and reputable midwife practice and birthing center are less than a mile from our new house here in Kirkland. (as well as practically next-door to the hospital) So, at 20 weeks pregnant, tonight we met with a midwife and learned more about what they do.
It was just so great. So so so great. We met in one of the birthing rooms, which is basically just a nicely decorated bedroom with a huge bathtub and couches. It was such a relaxed and comfortable environment. They have a family room where people can hang-out while you labor if you don’t want them in the room. It had a tv, couches, and a ton of toys for the kids. So we dragged a few toys into the birthing room and let Evelyne go to town while we talked.
I was very impressed with the statistics she gave me regarding my chances of having to be transferred to a hospital, having a complication, or receiving an episiotomy. Clay and I both actually teared-up and I started crying a little bit when she was talking about what the experience would look like and how it would be different from what I had in the hospital. Specifically, she was saying how they wait until the umbilical cord stops pulsing before cutting it since it gives the baby much more oxygen and a gentler entry into the world. (she said it’s usually cut so early because the doctor needs to hand-off the baby to the nurses for a check-up, not because of any health reason for the baby.) She said that never would my baby be removed from me. Clay could catch the baby as it comes-out, and I can reach down and pull it up onto my chest where it will stay until I’m ready to pass it to the midwife. They’ll do the exact same check-up on the baby that happens in the hospital, but they will lay the baby on the bed next to me to do it.
I got to hold Evelyne for about 5 seconds before she was removed to the little plastic bed across the room where they cleaned her up. She wasn’t making any noise and I couldn’t see her because of the crowd around her. It took about 10 minutes before I could hold her, and it felt like a lifetime. She was fine, but I was expecting to hear a cry and kept worrying that something was wrong because I couldn’t see or hear her. So I started crying a little bit tonight when the midwife was telling me that I’M the parent and get to be the one to hold my baby when it’s being checked-out and cleaned-off and no one will try to take it away. Clay and I both just had such a strong feeling that that’s how it’s meant to be and we’re so excited about pursuing this type of birth. I have a feeling it’s going to be an adventure!
I have my first official prenatal appointment with them next week, so I’ll keep y’all upated!