I’m having a midwife. For my hospital birth.

January 27, 2012

I wasn’t going to write this post quite yet. At 5 1/2 weeks it seems a little early to blog on how you plan on delivering your child 8ish months from now.

But with Twitter inquiries, questions from friends and family, and the fact that I had my first appointment yesterday; I’ve come to realize it’s something almost everyone wants to know when you get pregnant.

Where and how will you have the baby?

With Bella, we lived in a small town. The nearest hospital was 30 minutes away, I was high risk, we had a family doctor. I had her in a hospital where my wishes were respected. I liked my doctor, birth, and loved (most of) being in the hospital. 

Moving here meant more choices. El Paso is home to one of the largest midwife schools in the nation, as well as a barrage of birthing centers.

But I decided that I was comfortable, felt safe, and most important – wanted – a hospital birth again. Only with a midwife this time.

We found a great hospital close to us that has birthing suites, private rooms, tubs, lactation consultants, and liberal visiting/birth attendant options. And it is the only hospital that offers a choice to have a CNM (Certified Nursing Midwife) instead of an OBGYN.

When most people hear midwife, they assume a natural birth in somewhere other than a hospital. Because otherwise, what’s the point in having one?

I chose to go with a midwife who works at our hospital because I want a “more” natural birth. Does this mean a natural birth? Not necessarily. I believe, for me, the way to have a successful birth and regret free postpartum period is to be mentally and physically as prepared as I can for all types of birth situations. This time I want to be prepare myself better to handle a natural birth, but I’m also ready to have an epidural again if I change my mind, and a c-section if I need to.

I want a healthy child. That is all. That is my focus during this pregnancy. Whatever that means in 8 months.

I chose a midwife so I could have a more holistic, personal approach to my overall care. I chose a midwife so that I know if she looks at me and says, “We have to do a c-section” I’ll have absolute confidence that we both did everything we could until there was no other choice. I chose a midwife so that when I say, “I want my child to only breastfeed, cosleep with me, and wait on being washed” she will back me up, and I will not have to fight for my right to have the kind of birth and few days after I want with my child.

Are there OBGYN’s that do this? Yes. Mine with Bella did. But so far I haven’t found any here, and I know it’s more likely with a midwife.

This may be one of the only posts I write on birth until the baby is born. I don’t want to focus on it on here. I’m excited to talk about the midwife and my visits and the hospital, but I know many people have strong feelings one way or the other on birth choices and my blog isn’t going to be about that. I’m sharing a decision because I’ve been asked.

Sam and I have talked extensively about what he and I feel the most comfortable with, and a hospital with a midwife seems to suit us perfectly. I’m so excited about it – I really am. I’m thankful it’s an option for us. That is the great part about this whole thing, you get to chose what works best for you.

I can’t wait to share the experience and journey of these next 8 months on here as I watch this baby grow and prepare my body as it does and is able to do an amazing thing – give life. No matter how it happens to do that.

36 Comments

  • Becky

    February 1, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Hi! I am moving to El Paso and I just found out I am pregnant. I am curious which hospital you chose. I want a natural birth but I would like to go to the hospital. Also will tricare cover everything? I am an Army wife too.

  • Kim

    January 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    EXCELLENT. So incredibly well said!!

  • Eileen @ Bringing Up Bronwyn

    January 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I had a high risk birth at a hospital with a midwife. The hospital did NOT want the midwife to attend since I had pre-eclampsia, but she fought for me. I had a traumatic birth experience, but not because of the midwife, my own body let me down for that. I can say with an OB I doubt things would have ended up “as well” as they would did. Great compromise to make sure any risks are managed, but still get the most option and choice out of a birth.

  • MomEinstein

    January 28, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I loved everything about my last birth except the OB. This time around I will also be having a hospital birth with a midwife and I am very excited about it. I think it’s a good approach for me to have the best chance at a med-free birth again and be happy with the whole experience. Awesome that you’re going for that too!

  • Janelle

    January 28, 2012 at 4:43 am

    I think what you are choosing is fairly common around here – sounds like you’ve left your options open. Options are everything in childbirth!

  • Ruth Hill

    January 28, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I’m going to jump in here. I had a home birth with a midwife, and I am so glad I did. There were a few concerns, but I did it. and very few people I know can say that they birthed at home! and that it was planned

    Good for you. I am sure all will go well. Blessings!

  • Lucy

    January 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Good luck, mama! I think your decision sounds calculated and perfect for you. I also had a high-ish risk first birth (marginal placenta previa up until a few weeks before delivery) and so I chose to do it in a hospital. But I wished my hospital had allowed me a midwife instead of an OB. In the end, my OB didn’t even deliver my baby, another one did. And I did do it without medication, which is what I wanted to do. I did, however, choose a naturopathic pediatrician and I am so glad I did on so many levels — she is pro co-sleeping, delayed vaccines, extended breastfeeding, the whole shebang. Anyways. Good for you.

  • Katrina @ Hix in the Stix ~ Army Edition

    January 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    My daughter was born with a CNM at home. My son was born with a CNM at the hospital. I loved both experiences and there were pros and cons to both. But I had two exceptionally great birthing experiences (overall) and can’t complain. A couple friends of mine had horrific experiences with an OBGYN at the same hospital that I had my son at which totally reaffirmed my decision to go with a midwife. With the way the hospital worked that I went to it was actually a team of midwives and I just got whoever was on duty that night but they were all great and had the same general attitude towards birthing so it worked out…One of them even said that she’d helped a gal give birth while the gal was sitting on the toilet! lol – I also had an awesome nurse who made everything go smoothly…she cared about what birthing technique I used and actually took the time to read through my whole birth plan!

    Have you thought about or looked into having a water birth? I don’t know if they would allow it there but I did it with Trenton and it was awesome!!!

    I hope your whole experience was as great as mine 🙂 Praying for ya!!

  • Anne-Marie

    January 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Okay, I was not mad about you getting pregnant so darn fast, but you SHOULD feel guilty about THIS. Birthing centers?! Plural? I love 10 minutes from the Yale Midwifery School, and we don’t even have *one* birthing center, despite five years of promises from Yale New Haven Hospital. (You should not feel guilty. I am not serious.)

    I’m not even pregnant yet, and I already talked to my lady parts doc about the local midwives. She totally agrees that they are the best. (She doesn’t deliver babies.) Also, she says that midwives help with anxiety because they focus on what is normal and don’t talk so much about every possible thing that could go wrong. Yay, midwives!

  • The Mrs

    January 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I delivered my first two babies in hospital with our midwife Sarah, and am doing the same in a month with my next one. My most treasured memories are of those few hours after the birth, with the baby in my or my my husband’s arms, and the dimmed lights and quiet, with our midwife working quietly in the background doing whatever it was that needed doing…Our birth experiences were un-dramatic and amazing, and I’m looking forward to the next one with excitement and gratefulness that we’ve been able to do that.

  • Amber @ Backwards Life

    January 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    This is the reason we’re using a midwife team in a hospital. I want a natural birth, but I’m a VBAC. I realize that something may go wrong, but my team will advocate for me because their philosophy is the same as mine. Like you, I wanted a more natural approach to my overall care (and having to be high risk at the same time is tough) but I know that they aren’t going to jump the gun on anything unnecessary. I’m hopeful, and the end is near!

  • Tabetha Smelser

    January 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    “I can’t wait to share the experience and journey of these next 8 months on here as I watch this baby grow and prepare my body as it does and is able to do an amazing thing – give life. No matter how it happens to do that.” My favorite part of this WHOLE thing!!! 😀

  • Jennifer H.

    January 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    All five of my children were delivered at home with a CNM, which is legal where I live. I loved every experience and she was fantastic. My deliveries were so fast I wouldn’t have made it to a hospital if I tried (around an hour and a half). You are making the best decision for you, and that’s great. Many women just hand themselves over to the medical community and don’t realize they can affect their own course regarding childbirth.

    1. Diana

      January 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      Ok, I was in labor 20 hours with Bella. I am jealous. 🙂

      1. Jennifer H.

        January 28, 2012 at 6:48 am

        Diana, truly my heart goes out to you, as I cannot imagine it! I have several friends who endured long labors as well, and I know it must take some special strength to accomplish that! Be encouraged, your next labor will likely be much shorter. And, congtratulations!

      2. Jen

        January 30, 2012 at 8:04 am

        If it helpz with Mason my labor was 15 hours from start to fiish. However with Brighton it was 5, and Ashland was 4 so theres hope for you! 🙂

  • Teresa

    January 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I am fortunate to have an OB/midwife team. I see a different one out of five at every visit, so that I know them all when the baby is ready to come out. I never know which one will be on call. For my first, I had an awesome OBGYN, she knew I wasn’t taking pain meds or gettin a c-sect and she totally respected that. The second time, ALL of my docs/midwives were unavailable and I had a neighboring midwife arrive. She was great too, no different from my first birthing experience. This time, I have faith that no matter who I get, they will do just fine. Also, the hospital I go to has an amazing birth center and I am so lucky that they take my measly cheapo insurance!!

    1. Diana

      January 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      This is like me! My CNM is practicing with 4 other OBGYN’s and this makes me feel very comfortable.

  • Misty Pratt

    January 27, 2012 at 11:58 am

    That’s great! I’m very pro-midwifery (of course), and for all the reasons you just mentioned. Having a midwife does NOT mean you can’t have an epidural. But it does mean that you will generally be well supported, listened to, and treated with compassion. Yes, some OBs will do this too, but most are just too busy to give you a lot of time and options.

    1. Diana

      January 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      I agree completely. And most of the OBGYN’s here are swamped to the max. Like 2 month waits to get in, etc. Crazy.

  • Suzanne

    January 27, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Is she a certified nurse-midwife? I think when people imagine “midwives” they’re picturing an old lady boiling water and tearing sheets for a homebirth when many midwives now work in conjunction with OB-GYNs. In a lot of places CNMs are legally allowed to provide the same care as an OB would, only they often do it with a gentler and more “natural” approach.

    My OB group uses CNMs interchangeably with the regular doctors for all routine care, which I loved. They were a lot less likely to be rushing off to perform a c-section or deliver a baby when I came in for appointments and they took the time to answer my questions. I had one at the hospital for my labors (unfortunately my babies don’t like being born during daylight hours when the midwives would be there) and I’d highly recommend it.

    1. Diana

      January 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Yes, the one I’m seeing is a CNM and works in a practice with 4 other OBGYN’s. I’m really glad you had a good experience with this type of care – it makes me feel even more comfortable.

  • Caitlin MidAtlantic

    January 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I happen to be sticking with my OB/GYN from last time, BUT I love the idea of a midwife at a hospital. It’s actually an option for me (that I’m too lazy to choose). I like that you have the option of a natural birth… with all the nurses, anesthesiologists, and surgeons right there just in case.

    1. Diana

      January 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      It cracks me up that you are just like, “I’m too lazy to choose.” LOL. If we hadn’t moved and I hadn’t ended up in November with the OBGYN from hell I would have stayed too. But I was determined to be treated like a human being again. I think no matter what you choose, that’s one of the most important parts of all this. Regardless of who you go with.
      And like you too, I love the medical stuff being right there.

  • Heather Nix

    January 27, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I love your thoughts on they way you want to have the birth of your baby! I’m in the same spot as you and I feel exactly the same way!! I love following your blog. You are an amazing, strong woman!

    1. Diana

      January 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Oh Heather – thank you! I loved reading this.

  • Misty @ The Family Math

    January 27, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I think you have a great outlook! I had an MD, but she was about as close as I could get to a midwife. In Alabama you can’t have a birth attended solely by a midwife, so I was glad to have a doctor who was so attuned to my wishes and needs.

    I think you will have a great birth experience!

    1. Diana

      January 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      I’ve found that many states won’t allow this, and that’s too bad. But my last Dr was also just like a midwife in the attention/personal care. Plus she was about as crunchy as it got. This time I didn’t get so lucky which was why I ended up switching.

  • Good Girl Gone Green

    January 27, 2012 at 7:37 am

    I loved my midwife! She was CNM as well! I felt the same way, if I needed a c-section or any intervention I felt that she would be more open and like you said had tried everything else prior. I trusted! I wish I could have her again when the day comes for #2 but I have a feeling we will not be going back to WIchita 🙁

    1. Diana

      January 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      I’d be interested to know where you are what options you have. I was beyond surprised they had midwives at hospitals here – I never expected that.

  • Elyssa M

    January 27, 2012 at 7:30 am

    I wanted to do a hospital birth with a midwife, but it’s not legal where I live. I would have to drive 1 1/2 hours to get to a hospital that does this. Um… no.

    I think you get the best of both worlds. The access to medical procedures like an epidural or a C-section, but the flexibility and naturalness of a midwife.

    1. Diana

      January 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      That’s how I see it too, best of both worlds. We are thankful our insurance (that has a tendency to be very particular) will cover this for us.

  • Jen

    January 27, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Having options is sooo important, afterall you have grown this baby, shouldnt you be able to decide. Love it!

  • Samantha

    January 27, 2012 at 7:29 am

    LOVE this: “No matter how it happens to do that.” Amen.

  • Kelly

    January 27, 2012 at 7:20 am

    I had a midwife, in the hospital, when my son was born (18 months ago now) and it was GREAT! I hope yours go as smooth as mine!

    1. Diana

      January 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks! I am so glad to see so much positive feedback about this type of birth choice.

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