Decisions, Decisions.

Happy Tuesday!! 

So this post is a bit overdue, but last week I mentioned that I made the switch from doctor to midwife at 29 weeks, and holy cow, do I wish I had done it sooner!

Let me make one thing perfectly clear - I made the choice that was right for me. Would I recommend a midwife to all of you? Of course! Would I judge you for choosing a doctor instead? Of course not. I did what was best for me, and you should do what's best for you.

For those of you who are pregnant now, thinking about having kids soon, or are just curious, let me tell you why I chose to switch from a hospital and doctor to my midwife and birthing center.
1. Price. The cost for prenatal care, labor, and delivery with my midwife is $2800. This doesn't include lab work or the hospital stay, but is still significantly cheaper than my doctor was charging. Additionally, I spent $180 on a trans-vaginal ultrasound that my midwife never would have done. It wasn't even necessary when I got it, and it took a total of about 45 seconds. Most expensive 45 seconds of my life, that's for sure! Even better - my insurance will cover it (after deductible and co-insurance, of course).

2. Support and individualized care. My midwife has made an effort to get to know me and what I want. She spent an hour just talking to me and getting to know me at my first appointment, and encouraged me to ask questions about pregnancy, labor, and delivery. When I was with a doctor, I spent maybe an hour total with her in six appointments - questions weren't ever really encouraged, and it wasn't very personal.

My midwife will be with me for the entirety of my labor and delivery. She will not just show up to catch my baby. Because of this, I will not need as many vaginal exams. When the doctor isn't present, the nurses have to check how dilated you are, because that's all the doctor has to go off. Because my midwife will be by my side the entire time, it is very likely that she will not need to check me - she'll be able to monitor in other ways to help me know when to push. More importantly, she will be there to support me through the difficult (but rewarding!) process of giving birth.

3. Birthing options. This has more to do with going to a birthing center rather than a standard hospital. My "birthing center" is actually inside a hospital, which is pretty much a win-win (especially if things don't go perfectly). I want a natural water birth - the hospital I was originally going to give birth at does not allow water births, and has a 95% epidural rate. The nurses there are not as experienced with natural childbirth, and they tend to push the epidural. In addition to not wanting an epidural, I don't want to be induced (both epidurals and induction increase a person's chances of needing a c-section). If I didn't want a water birth, birthing centers offer lots of different options, and are much more flexible than hospitals.

4. It's less invasive. Like I said before - my midwife would not have done an unnecessary trans-vaginal ultrasound, she will not measure me at my weekly appointments (those start at 36 weeks), and she will not measure me during labor. As someone who doesn't exactly love showing my nether regions to the world, I really appreciate this approach.

5. She'll be there, no matter what. This is specific to my midwife, but if you can find a midwife like her, do it!! She will come as soon as I go into the hospital, even if she's not on call. Whether she's just finished a 12 hour shift, or just gone to bed at one in the morning, all I have to do is call and she will be there. Amazing, right?!

Moral of the story: I chose a midwife because I wanted someone who will support me and my choice to have a natural waterbirth. I wanted someone who would be open to alternative pain management methods, someone who doesn't push inducement, and someone who understands that this is my birth and my baby. 

30 comments:

Genna said...

You are so strong and I think so brave for choosing the path less traveled. I don't know if I could do it (because the planner in me would be freaking out), but if the center was in the hospital I would totally go for it! Thinking about you, Alyx!

Greta said...

Amen to all of this!

eef said...

Good for you, Alyx! Sounds like a great option!

I had a friend give birth last year---they basically forced a c-section on her by telling her that her pelvis was too small--after she'd been pushing for 20+ hours (they didn't notice this before?). Really, I think it was because it was then 5pm on a Friday and she hadn't given birth yet and the doctor wanted a weekend. =\

So good for you for making sure you get what is right for you and your baby!

jessicaelle said...

This is what my doctor was like in Arizona. Here where we are in New York, I'm not so lucky. I'm basically gearing up for war when it comes to delivery time because everyone here thinks it's not possible without an epidural. (At least that's the vibe I've gotten from the nurses) You're so lucky to have these options!

Georgina Castellucci said...

Honestly your choices do NOT surprise me as you are such an independent person who cares so deeply for others (your little baby is going to have the best/least stressful time popping out thanks to you.)
Even though I am not planning on getting pregnant any time soon, this information is SO appreciated for when the time comes. Thank you Alyx!

RadiantKristen said...

I am so happy for you... this is such an awesome decision that you made with the objective of giving yourself the labor you want to have. A 95% epidural rate frightens the crap out of me... epidurals in general are terrifying to me, much more so than actual labor and delivery!

I think all of your reasons for switching are sound and valid. Screw anyone who begs to differ with you!

Jenn D said...

My friends mom was a midwife and if I could have a woman like her by my side I would do it in a heartbeat!
Jenn
With Luck

vyxen said...

Awesome choice, Alyx! :) I'm going the route of midwifery as well (17-ish weeks along) and I could not love it more. (First pregnancy also.) The appointments are as long as they need to be and the ladies I work with (they are a partnership) are so wonderful, patient and encouraging of all of my questions (and there are MANY). It's so awesome!

Thank you for writing about midwives. They're hugely popular in my community, but I get the feeling that's not so in other places. It's nice to shine a light on a nifty option for pregnancy, labour, delivery and post-partum care. Have so much fun with your midwife and the remainder of your pregnancy! (Related sidenote: I haven't posted comments on them, but I LOVE your pregnancy series. It's so nice to read another first-timer's reaction to all of these crazy things that happen to you. I'm enjoying the heck out of it and it's awesome to know someone else is right there with me, rocking the same incredible experience. :) )

Breenah said...

I'm really glad I had the doctors and nurses that I did because they were great. Wesley is one of the best childcare hospitals in the country though, so I wasn't terribly surprised that they didn't push anything on me. I think it's awesome that there are still women (and men?) who go into midwifery so that every woman can have a delivery that's right for her and the baby and that's what's important.

FrugalFoodieMama said...

I switched to a midwife when I was about 34 weeks pregnant with my daughter. We had moved to a different state & I did love my OB but that wasn't an option anymore. I had always loved midwives, but was originally with an OB b/c I had issues with miscarriages in the first trimester.
We loved our midwife. I did end up getting an epidural even though she tried about 20 different other things before I finally broke down from the pain. But it was still wonderful. For most of my labor I was able to walk around, sit in the shower with a water massage, etc. When it was time for the actual birth, there were no harsh glaring medical lights. And my husband actually delivered our daughter and placed her on my chest (the midwife was right behind him the entire time just in case ;) ). It was a beautiful experience. Unless medically necessary, I wouldn't go to an OB again. <3

Simply Evani said...

I'm really curious to see how this process plays out for you! I've always said I wanted a midwife and water birth and Mom's who do the traditional doctor and hospital look at me ALL kinds of crazy. Keep doing you girlfriend and keep us posted, I really want to know how everything pans out once the little nugget is out!

Jules McMurray said...

I had a midwife with both of my children and loved her. Did I have a choice? No, our insurance only paid for midwifes. You only were able to have a doctor if you were high risk.

Looking back now, I would always go the route of a midwife. She was incredible, made me less of a basket case and made the delivery of both my kids awesome.

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Wow... I didn't know all of this. And it's sort of sad that a doctor gets paid so much when the doctor does so much less.

M. said...

It's super important to be comfortable with the people who will be with you during labor. I'm glad you've got such a great set-up! Can't wait for your baby love to get here!

meet.make.laugh. said...

This seems like a great choice! Good for you for making the jump! But holy crow, is having a baby in the States expensive! That blows my mind! ~Stephanie

Treasure Tromp said...

how exciting! I am fairly ignorant on birthing options so this was very interesting to read

Deidre said...

How lucky you are to have found such an awesome midwife and to have so many options near you! A 95% epidural rate is INSANE. I wonder how many people go in wanting a natural birth and then (for whatever reason) change their minds?

Kelly said...

Wow a natural water birth! Good for you Alyx!!!! It definitely sounds like the midwife was the right route for you, too :)

Brittany said...

I am so glad that you posted about this!! I have always been interested in the birthing process and why people choose doctor vs midwife. I am in no way thinking about having a baby but I still consider whether or not I'd want a midwife and my fave part about yours is that your birth will happen in a hospital still! Awesome.

Mia @ The Chronicles of Chaos said...

I saw a midwife with both of my pregnancies too! Loved her and her natural approach. The only downside was that she was part of a traditional OB/GYN practice, so if I didn't go into labor on the day she was on call (which I didn't with both pregnancies, boo!) I had to see whatever doctor was there. So that's totally awesome that she will be there for you no matter what! :)

So excited for you!

Sue said...

I love this. You're awesome for finding what works for you. Good luck!

Sue said...

I love this. You're awesome for finding what works for you. Good luck!

Kassi Mortensen said...

Wow! I am seriously impressed with all of the research you've put into this!! I have to be honest, I haven't even considered anything else other than plain ol' hospital and doctor birth. Not because I don't think I'd be interested... I just hadn't thought about it. Thanks for all this info!

Kym said...

This is a really interesting post, Alyx. As someone who's never really been interested in getting pregnant, I've never even really thought about the differences between a traditional ob/gyn and a midwife. But after hearing your insightful explanation, I might actually consider a midwife were the unthinkable to ever happen :)
It sounds like she's completely the right choice for you, and I especially love that her facility is in a hospital. It sounds like the best of both worlds!

Just out of curiosity - what happens if you go into labor and she's with another patient? I imagine that she schedules her clients with due dates rather far apart to avoid this, but what if one of them goes into early labor or something else that prevents her from being with you? What happens then? Does she have a back up? Just wondering...

Anyway, I hope all is going swimmingly!! Have a fantastic weekend!!!

xoxo
Kym

Emily said...

I'm so happy that you got a midwife. We are really pleased with ours as well. It's so comforting to know that the person on charge basically follows your lead. We're delivering in a hospital but with our midwife. I need to remember to ask about water births. I can't wait to read about your experience.

RACHEL TaoOfPoop said...

I was right in your shoes, Alyx. I switched at almost exactly the same time that you did, for many of the same reasons. We wanted a water birth but had meconium, but I'm still SO happy that we went with a midwife! Best of luck to you.

Elsha said...

I love you and want to be you! I told Joe that I think I want to do a natural birth and he gave me this look of intense pain!!! It's not like he's going to be the one in pain right:)

I think your reasons are awesome and amazing...and again, I want to be you


When Mine Became Ours

Miki {Becoming What I Always Was} said...

Very cool Alyx! Good luck!!

Rachel said...

We're not even expecting to have children in the near future, but my husband and I are already strongly leaning toward either a birthing center or a home birth over going to the hospital--there seem to be many advantages, for sure!

Emily Hampton said...

It sounds like you definitely made the right decision! Part of me wishes I would've gone the midwife route... although I completely trust my doctor, he doesn't have the best bedside manner. New follower, absolutely love your blog! Stopping by from runninglikeamother.com :)