I am seeing midwives from Pennsylvania Hospital, and am planning to deliver there. I do not like doctors, and simply do not go to them for the most part. I have incredbly high anxiety about medical issues.
I've only been in twice, but the two midwives I saw were TERRIFIC. They were gentle (I had never had an internal exam before; they did one the first time, and I can't IMAGINE having some of the doctors I've seen in the past do that); gave me tons of information, were very supportive, and explained everything; they gave me choices about a number of procedures, and discouraged me from having any of the unnecessary tests done (which I wouldn't have wanted anyway, but it was nice to hear them say that). I came away feeling 100% better about everything. I do still need to ask alot of questions, because I have only recently been reading more about birth and want to be sure that I will have the options at the hospital that I need. However, I also feel that anything-can-happen-anywhere: no guarantees that everything will go smoothly, no guarantees about who will be on-call, etc., and at some point I needed to stop making myself sick and relax a little bit.
I was very, very concerned about the 1 in 3 caesarean rate at the hospital however. While I want to do whatever it will take to keep my baby alive, having a c-section is about the worst fear I have (never had an operation or stiches for anything, other than dental work; for some reason I'm totally okay with any amount of extensive dental work); and having an epidural sounds pretty horrifying as well. I asked about the rate last appointment, and the midwife told me that for the midwives, the rate is more like 15% for a first baby, and after you have one vaginal birth, that goes way down. She also explained that because Pennsylvania Hospital has such a specialty in obstretrics, they see alot of high-risk mothers. Which makes sense to me, because I know people in the area with major problems who chose Pennsylvania for that reason.
I'm still a little nervous (been reading Ina May's book and wishing I could go to the Farm!), but I feel ALOT more positive than I did at the beginning.