So I had my first child with Midwifery of Manhattan at the St. Luke's Roosevelt birthing center. I've just become pregnant a second time, and I would like to think about my options with providers asap because I know that midwives can book quickly in Manhattan (we live downtown).
My experience last time was fine, but not great, for a few reasons:
The requirements of the birth center drove me nuts: For example, the diabetes screening was awful, and there was no way to decline it and still give birth in the birth center, even though I offered to to finger stick tests after meals for a week instead (I have problems with low blood sugar, so a fast followed by a huge infusion of pure sugar, which I never consume normally precisely because it makes me feel sick, and then being forced to sit there for hours while my blood sugar bottoms out is really, really awful. The specialist who saw my results of the test thought there had been a mistake at the testing center because the numbers were so low, and it took me about a week to feel back to normal after the test.) Another issue was that they required me to do an ultrasound at 37 weeks and again at term because I am on thyroid supplementation for hypothyroidism, even though my thyroid blood tests had all been within normal range throughout the pregnancy (I asked the specialist point-blank if I was at any higher risk of problems since my numbers had always been within normal range, and he said no, but then said that it was hospital policy anyway and I couldn't avoid the test.). I managed to get them to waive my having to go in every week at the end for a stress test, but only after a lot of pushing. And the problem with making me do the ultrasound at 37 weeks was that they they "discovered" that the baby was big (well duh, my husband and I are both 6'2", so of course our baby is "big"), and I was only allowed to birth in the birth center because I scheduled my ultrasound at term for 40w5d and gave birth at 40w2d, so they had no ultrasound evidence of the big baby. As it turns out, my daughter was in the 99th percentile for height and weight (because she was a "tall" skinny baby), but only in the 50th percentile for head circumference, and there were no complications - in fact, the labor went relatively quickly for a first time labor. So, that's probably too much information, but the gist of it is that I really don't want to go through the same problems this next time around. But I'm not aware of an alternative to the St. Luke's birth center other than homebirth, and I'm not sure that I want to go that route. I really like the idea of a birth center that is inside or next to a hospital in case of emergencies, but I'm afraid that this comes at the cost of being forced into a bunch of unnecessary testing, and risked out for things that aren't really risks.
With Midwifery of Manhattan, my favorite midwife moved away, and there is still one midwife there that I just don't communicate well with (she's perfectly nice, and I'm sure she is very capable, but I just felt that we were so totally on different wavelengths that I felt that she never understood anything I was trying to say, and perhaps she felt the same way about me). Because in that practice you are stuck with whomever is on call at the time, I feel vulnerable to the chance that the midwife I get may not be one that I really get along well with. Also, with my last labor, the midwife was held up delivering another baby while I was left in the monitoring room on the main birthing floor for 3 hours, attached to monitoring equipment in a tiny space where I kept bumping my head when I tried to move, and with the nurses helpfully telling me to be quiet. I ended up just laboring with the midwife for an hour or two before pushing. So that wasn't great.
So I was hoping that some of you might be able to make recommendations?
Does anyone have better ideas about alternatives to the St. Luke's birthing center?
Any midwife recommendations (where one might have options about where to birth, depending on what route I decide to take)?
(I also thought about hiring a doula, as then maybe it would not matter as much how much I love the midwife, but I hate to spend that much money on help for just one day or one evening, when I know I can get through it myself if I need to....)
Thanks for taking the time to read my post!