I'm currently 14 weeks pregnant with our first child. My husband and I have been doing the best we can to find all the information available on delivering our baby. We are assuming and hoping for a normal birth without any complications because I will be 31 when I give birth and because I'm fairly healthy/fit. The great thing about living in the Portland area is that we are able to have a choice on how our baby is delivered. We would like a natural birth (water birth is preferred), and I would especially like to avoid a hospital if my birth is considered low-risk. We are not considering having a home birth. We are hoping to find a balance between natural birthing care and modern medicine and thought a birthing centre (that happened to be right across from the hospital) would be a good balance.
We have just recently visited the Andaluz Waterbirth Centre in Portland as we're currently trying to confirm our prenatal care (currently seeing an OB who will not see us if we do not birth in a hospital). I found two incredibly bad and worrisome reviews about the birthing centre online (on Yelp, but google reviews seem positive) that has made me worry about the quality of care I would receive -- mostly that the midwives were late in insisting on intervention (hospital transferral) and that made any complications worse. This is making me worry about signing up with Andaluz, and I am wondering if anyone can share their own experiences about the centre so that I can get a better idea of the quality of care I could be receiving for my delivery. I also plan on emailing the centre after the long weekend to see if they can explain the negative reviews and give a detailed explanation of their policy/complication-intervention-needed plans. But, as always, hearing from other people would be great.
We are also going to be touring OHSU's birthing facility as they offer a water birthing option and wanted to hear from anyone who may have delivered there. I'd like to know if I'd have intervention drugs forced upon me, or if it'd be a more of a birthing centre experience (natural) in a hospital setting.
We are also thinking about St. Vincent's, but our OB has mentioned it is more of a "conventional" birthing hospital with the usual average 30% c-section rate. This makes my husband and me cringe a little, but this is where our OB delivers.
Lastly, I am wondering if anyone has an OB recommendation. We are looking for someone who understands our desire for modern medicine care so that we can make sure the baby is doing well in the pregnancy stage but would be willing to let us give birth with a midwife (and only be a back-up should there be any complications).
TL;DR version -
What experiences have you (or someone close to you have) had with Andaluz Waterbirth Centre in Portland? Not just with prenatal and postnatal care, but the actual delivery. If you had a complication or difficult birth, did you feel they handled that situation appropriately? How did they handle it?
What experiences have you (or someone close to you have) had at the birthing facilities at OHSU and/or St. Vincent's?
Can you recommend an OB who can balance a patient's wish for modern medicine care and natural child-birthing delivery preferences?
We're situated in Hillsboro, so anything in the NE is going to be too far for us in terms of distance. We would definitely like to try and stay on the west side.
Thank you for any information you can provide. As you can imagine, we're fighting off the first-time-pregnancy jitters so being well-informed about our choices will help a ton.