Long time lurker, first time poster.
Anyhoo, I'm 30 weeks pregnant with my second child, a boy, and this go around I'm using a birthing center run by midwives here in town instead of my standard OB/GYN. There are numerous reasons for this (wasn't too thrilled with my hospital treatment, Doc was "this" close to doing a c-section if I hadn't pushed my daughter out in another 30 min even though my total labor was about 6 hours long, was put on general ward when they ran out of room in the birthing ward next to some very ill patients, being induced, and lastly the cost which was about $8,000.00 with insurance!)
Anyway, this midwife practice/birthing center has been in my area since 1985. The founding midwife is still in practice and has been delivering babies since 1980. They have a staff of fully qualified LM. I've found my care to be quite nice thus far. They are a lot more laid back than my OB/GYN who was rather test happy even after I declined many of the tests they suggested. It's a lovely location next to the ocean and I've liked it a lot. I understand emergencies happen (one of my acquaintances from church was transferred to the hospital from this birthing center because she was just simply exhausted and was having a rough time of it.) but I feel good about their close proximity to emergent care in case there was problem.
I took my older daughter in for a slight bout of foot and mouth disease and while I was there (this was a few months ago) I asked my pediatrician what their policy was for babies getting checked out after they had been born in a birth center. He gave me this look of absolute disgust and said "I won't even touch a child who has been born in a birthing center for the first two months, the outcomes for those places are horrible!" I was shocked (and also partly sleep deprived since my daughter had been up with a fever for most of the night) and I couldn't think of a thing to say except "duly noted".
At this point I was really questioning my judgment, maybe I was crazy to go this alternative route? Maybe my baby or myself would come to harm as a result of this decision? I finally decided that no, I would just get another pediatrician for when my son is born and see if I liked them and eventually transfer my daughter over. I have since found a practice to take my son to when he is born and feel pretty good about it.
Fast forward to this past Monday when I had my daughter's 2 year appointment and I didn't bring anything up about this pregnancy, just stuck to my daughter's exam but he brought it up again! "So where are you going to be delivering this pregnancy?" Even though he knows full well where I'm delivering! Again I tell him I'm going to a birthing center and again I get the speech about how many babies suffer needlessly at the hands of these free-standing birth centers and that many neonatalogists have told him horror stories about things going vastly wrong for the baby.
Now I'm having my doubts again. I looked to see if any charges of negligence or lawsuits had been brought up against my midwife group and could find none so really it's a case of he said, she said. I like the model of care I'm receiving but there is this doubt that's in the back of my mind that what if I'm the first one for something to go wrong? Law of averages and all that.
I don't really have any close friends who have gone this route and I tend to keep to myself about since people in our circle of friends would think I'm nuts for even doing this. I guess my question is, have you had a good birth center experience? Do you feel it was better than hospital if you went that route beforehand?