So, I have had three unmedicated hospital births that were nearly hands off. I saw the same physicians assistant that has a pretty decent bedside manner for all three. I never delivered with "my" OB. 2 babies were caught by on call docs and one by the nurses. My experiences have been positive for the most part. I've gotten to the point were I am very clear and firm about my wishes, and hospital staff seem cooperate fairly easily. After DD3's birth in June of 2011, I swore I would have the next one at home. My biggest reasons being that I HATE traveling to the hospital during transition and I crave a more holistic approach to care.
Now I'm not so sure. I have a really small home. There is no room for a tub. (I've never labored in water, but I really want to) It's mostly chaos around the house with 3 under 6. I love being alone to bond overnight in the hospital with my new babies. My particular hospital has a very baby friendly attitude and I've never had an issue with delayed bathing, no shots, cosleeping immediately, etc. I was basically just checked on, but mostly left alone. They also have an amazing whole foods cafe that does room service. :) I don't want to have to clean up the mess of birthing. I don't want to have to worry about house guests and what is in the fridge, and if all of the towels are dirty, etc.
I am lucky in that my options are wide open here in AZ.
1. I can birth at home with a CNM. (hubby is not terribly keen on this because of the responsibility he feels he will shoulder, but he would defer to my decision)
2. There are a few birth centers here that may be partially covered by my insurance.
3. I can birth at one or two other hospitals that have midwife privileges. Reviews for these are good and bad as far as I have gathered so far. I feel a little afraid of being pulled down the path of intervention at a hospital I'm not familiar with.
4. I can birth at the hospital where I had the other three with a natural birth friendly OB. (Have a few recs from friends)
I am overwhelmed by my options I think. I would love to go with a midwife, but not sure a homebirth is for me. Oh, forgot to mention that I was allowed to have my older two in the room with me for my last birth. They were so calm (and so was I) that the nurses never mentioned it. The on call OB did say something when she ran in at the last second. She asked if all of these people were staying and I said yes. I was already pushing baby out, so she just kept her mouth shut. I'm not sure if I could get away with this again. I'm sure I was over the number of "allowed" people in the room. This is kinda important to me, as they really want to be present.
Sorry this post is all over the place! I really need to get care figured out so I don't miss out on a spot at a good place! Ugh! What would you do? Or what are you doing? Or what have you done in the past ;)