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Memorial Hermann The Woodlands/Doulas

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I am 21 weeks with our first baby and completely clueless! I have been reading more about Doulas and am thinking this might be a good option for a first timer like me. I just want the safest experience for baby and me and have concerns that my Doc (who probably won't show up until 2 mins before the birth) and the nurses won't take the time to be an advocate for ME. Looking for some comments and maybe some references as well, regarding experiences at Memorial Hermann of The Woodlands, TX...and a Doula that would travel to The Woodlands? Any suggestions on a female OB? I like mine, but my appointments always feel so RUSHED. I went with her, because she delivers 85% of her patients, those she does not, one of the other 4 female OBs in her practice does. But I worry that since my appointments are so rushed, will she be equally as rushed/hyper during my delivery? Will she be pushing for a CSec or Pitocin, etc..?
We are very new to TX, so had a hard time getting quick recommends for an OB. Hesitate to switch now, maybe a doula could help me be an advocate for what is best instead of switching OBs? Any thoughts or advice is welcome! Sorry to ramble!
post #2 of 26
I LOVE Dr. Jane Reed. Any of the docs in the practice with her should be good. (with the exception of Dr. Turner, if she's still there)

Both of my deliveries with Dr. Reed were crisis -preemies. But she is so great and compassionate and she really listens!
Also, MHW is great for breastfeeding. They have several lactation consultants and a lactation store!
It's a beautiful hospital and I liked most of the nurses, too.
post #3 of 26
Sorry I don't have a name for you, but I agree that a doula would probably be a great choice for you. I delivered my first at Memorial Hermann SE with a female OB (sorry that's no help for The Woodlands) who matches the description of your OB: it was very important for her to BE there herself when each of her patients delivered, but she didn't stay long. I felt rushed during appointments too, and so I always made hubby come with me. A lot of times he remembered things I couldn't. I was very clear about not wanting interventions, and although my OB was leery of my bringing a doula along, it worked out fine. Make a birth plan and get your OB onboard with it; once it goes into your chart the nurses may not like it but can't override it.

Not sure if Debbie Hull is still working as a doula (since my DD is 3.5 now)---but she'd probably be a good one to call. She used to do backup for my doula (who is now retired).

Congrats and GL!
post #4 of 26
I think it is great that you are thinking ahead. I live in The Woodlands, and will be birthing at MH-TW a couple of weeks before you. I am using Dr. Johnson, who is in solo practice. She attends 95%+ of her patient's births. I had a very rushed OB for my son's birth, so I understand how that feels. With Dr. Johnson, she always asks me twice if I have any questions, and I do not feel rushed. If you are scheduled for an early morning appointment, she is more ontime than in the afternoon. I have also heard great things about Dr. Reed from other doulas and friends. She also has a midwife, Karen Brock, in her practice. I have heard awesome things about her as well.

Regarding doulas, most will travel to The Woodlands. Here is a link to the Houbirth.org Resource Guide with listings of Houston Area doulas. http://www.houbirth.org/Resource%20Guide.html I highly recommend Debbie Hull and Kathleen Wilson. They are both great women and doulas. Kathleen lives in Spring, so she is closer to you. I hope this helps! Please PM me if you have any questions.
post #5 of 26
If you want to stay with your current OB, I'd definitely look into hiring a doula. I had my second baby at Nativiti in The Woodlands. I would highly recommend them. They take a lot of time for you, are less than five minutes from a hospital, have a backup doc for you to transfer to if you develop complications. It's really an ideal set up.

If it's something you want to look into, feel free to pm me for more info.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by paintedbison View Post
If you want to stay with your current OB, I'd definitely look into hiring a doula. I had my second baby at Nativiti in The Woodlands. I would highly recommend them. They take a lot of time for you, are less than five minutes from a hospital, have a backup doc for you to transfer to if you develop complications. It's really an ideal set up.

If it's something you want to look into, feel free to pm me for more info.
We had our little one at Nativiti and LOVED it. We used Megan Mathews as a doula and we HIGHLY recommed her. She was great. PM me if you have any questions.
post #7 of 26
Hmm....this is a toughie. I had two babies with two female OBs (vaginally)...one at MW the woodlands.

I do not know of any doulas though I have to say that your concerns sound totally valid. Have you looked into Nativiti Birth Center here in TW? They have doulas and definitely don't rush you....

Just an alternative. While my experience at memorial was good (with the really crappy exception of them putting me to monitors and an IV) my friend recently had an experience there with rude nurses that made me want to punch them out myself.

I guess, my question to you is this: What do you want for your birth? Being a first time, you may not know everything (totally normal) but are there any "musts"?
post #8 of 26
Have you considered homebirth? That or Nativiti might be a good choice.

There are tons of great homebirth midwives in the area. I had both my kids at home. Wouldn't do it any other way.

-Angela
post #9 of 26
Second Dr. Johnson & Debbie Hull - I had a VBAC w/them last July. Dr. Johnson was very patient throughout the pregnancy and also during labor. Debbie was wonderful.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by petalpusher View Post
I just want the safest experience for baby and me and have concerns that my Doc (who probably won't show up until 2 mins before the birth) and the nurses won't take the time to be an advocate for ME. Looking for some comments and maybe some references as well, regarding experiences at Memorial Hermann of The Woodlands, TX...and a Doula that would travel to The Woodlands? Any suggestions on a female OB? I like mine, but my appointments always feel so RUSHED.
I second the Nativiti suggestion. You'll be rushed with ANY OB, it's just the nature of the industry- they have to see soo many patients in such a short amt of time to cover their expenses (incl. malpractice ins). I remember being so clueless feeling (and still do) when pg w/ DD, I wished I had known a birthing center was a choice!
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by petalpusher View Post
Hesitate to switch now, maybe a doula could help me be an advocate for what is best instead of switching OBs? Any thoughts or advice is welcome! Sorry to ramble!
I don't know the reasons why you're hesitant, but it's definitely not too late to switch to someone else! Plenty of mamas wait until around 20 weeks to switch to a homebirth midwife. I agree with a pp - what are your hopes and desires for this birth? What are your preferences? How upset will you be if you end up with interventions?
post #12 of 26
I'm 22 weeks and am near the Woodlands. I'm using a homebirth midwife, Paula Davis, in Conroe and am VERY pleased with her so far.

I want to have a doula, too, but haven't begun to look for one yet. Come on over to our DDC and join in! There's lots of really nice mamas there.
Click here: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...play.php?f=459
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks to you all for your responses! ) I have an appt next week with Dr Johnson after a rough situation at my current OB's office (more with the nurses there than the Doc this time). Can I ask you all your opinion? I want to make sure I am realistic about this, so please be honest!! When I call my current Doc's office for an issue (spotting or pain or some such symptom), I have to leave a messg with the nurse's VM. I get a call back in appx 3-4 hours. Twice now, (once with a suspected gallbladder attack and 4 weeks later with mild cramping and minimal brownish spotting (sorry if TMI)), Both times I was told by the nurse there is "nothing they would do anyways" and that seemed to close the book. I pressed to have bloodwork/tests done in both situations and was granted this, but not until I insisted. (Found via GOOGLE that gallbladder issues can be detected by bloodwork and then in the spotting instance, perhaps kidney or UTI or bladder infection/stones).
During one of the above issues I had been at the ultrasound place downstairs from the Dr office and needed to question the nurse about the diagnosis she used for the u/s order (DX was "pain in right side" I had no pain in right side, I had cramping in lower abdomen). I went upstairs to talk to the nurse and the receptionist said she was busy. I relayed my messg and this went back and forth until finally, the receptionist said "the nurse says if you are in that much pain go over to L&D". I was NOT in that much pain, but all I wanted was someone to do a quick check of the baby OR offer to schedule me in to see a nurse or doc the next day. I landed up going to L&D to get this done! Turns out they sent me downstairs for the GALLBLADDER thing (which had occured months ago) NOT for the spotting/cramping issue. Am I being unrealistic when I think all this is not appropriate? Do your OB's offices have good access to nurses when questions arise? Would they have responded better, or is this the nature of the OB world? I know everyone is pressed for time, so I don't want to be unrealistic about my expectations! I looked into the home birth and the Nativiti center, but I think I would just feel more comfortable in a hospital this first time. Second birth, maybe I will feel more comfortable with what "happens"! Thanks in advance for any opinions ! (Sorry for the long post)
post #14 of 26
It's frustrating being a first time mom and having lots of worries and need reassurance. Sounds like the other OB office is not receptive and If I were you I would change. I've heard MW appointments are looong (30min-1hr?) and are very sincere with their moms. Why not just interview a MW and see what you think?
post #15 of 26
Honestly if you are looking for that kind of hand-holding and relationship, you will be much happier with a midwife.

Research homebirth and birth centers. They are safer than hospitals for normal birth.

-Angela
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by petalpusher View Post
Thanks to you all for your responses! ) I have an appt next week with Dr Johnson after a rough situation at my current OB's office (more with the nurses there than the Doc this time). Can I ask you all your opinion? I want to make sure I am realistic about this, so please be honest!! When I call my current Doc's office for an issue (spotting or pain or some such symptom), I have to leave a messg with the nurse's VM. I get a call back in appx 3-4 hours. Twice now, (once with a suspected gallbladder attack and 4 weeks later with mild cramping and minimal brownish spotting (sorry if TMI)), Both times I was told by the nurse there is "nothing they would do anyways" and that seemed to close the book. I pressed to have bloodwork/tests done in both situations and was granted this, but not until I insisted. (Found via GOOGLE that gallbladder issues can be detected by bloodwork and then in the spotting instance, perhaps kidney or UTI or bladder infection/stones).
During one of the above issues I had been at the ultrasound place downstairs from the Dr office and needed to question the nurse about the diagnosis she used for the u/s order (DX was "pain in right side" I had no pain in right side, I had cramping in lower abdomen). I went upstairs to talk to the nurse and the receptionist said she was busy. I relayed my messg and this went back and forth until finally, the receptionist said "the nurse says if you are in that much pain go over to L&D". I was NOT in that much pain, but all I wanted was someone to do a quick check of the baby OR offer to schedule me in to see a nurse or doc the next day. I landed up going to L&D to get this done! Turns out they sent me downstairs for the GALLBLADDER thing (which had occured months ago) NOT for the spotting/cramping issue. Am I being unrealistic when I think all this is not appropriate? Do your OB's offices have good access to nurses when questions arise? Would they have responded better, or is this the nature of the OB world? I know everyone is pressed for time, so I don't want to be unrealistic about my expectations! I looked into the home birth and the Nativiti center, but I think I would just feel more comfortable in a hospital this first time. Second birth, maybe I will feel more comfortable with what "happens"! Thanks in advance for any opinions ! (Sorry for the long post)

That's been my general experience with ob offices (and pediatrician offices). Did you take a tour of nativiti or meet the midwives? I fell really hard during my pregnancy with DS. They were not seeing patients that day, but had me go ahead and come right over to listen to the baby's heartbeat. OBs just see such a high volume of patients that they generally don't have the time to take to answer lots of questions and reassure you. They have to see that many patients to afford their overhead expenses and malpractice insurance. But, it doesn't make for good patient care much of the time. Sorry you are feeling frustrated. I know the hospital option seems more reassuring, but Houston just has such wonderful out of hospital options!
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by paintedbison View Post
I know the hospital option seems more reassuring, but Houston just has such wonderful out of hospital options!


And such terrible hospital options....

-Angela
post #18 of 26
I am a former NICU Respiratory Therapist and now a senior midwife student. I know you think a hospital birth might be safer but trust me it is not. It really sounds like the kind of care you want is the kind of care you would receive from a midwife. If you don't want to give birth at home then please consider a birth center. I don't think you will have the kind of birth you want at a hospital. If it is a safety issue you are worried about research has proven time and time again that birth outside the hospital with a midwife is at least as safe if not safer than birth in the hospital. And I can tell you from experience how true that is. The only mother and baby I have ever witnessed die due to complications from child birth was in the hospital. And both cases were low risk when they walked through the door. Please research your options. There is a great book you should read called, The thinking woman's guide to better birth by Henci Goer.

Blessings,
Lisa
post #19 of 26
I was just wondering what the OP decided?

I'm delivering in the Woodlands, with a home birth midwife! :

Sarah, mom to 4 girls and expecting a boy!!
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah trost View Post
I'm delivering in the Woodlands, with a home birth midwife! :
If you don't mind... Who's your midwife? Last time I was researching I couldn't find any midwives who attended both hospital and home births currently.

-Angela
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