Originally Posted by chetuk3
I was just going to write to this group.. I've been through exactly the same set of questions myself and completely overwhelmed. But I think (THINK) I've finally made the decision - so hold your breath..
So yesterday Dushyant and I went to tour Birth Care http://www.birthcare.org/
, a birth center about 7 mins drive from our place (10 in rush hour).. Let me add, we also toured Washington Hospital Center’s delivery facilities last weekend which is touted on local forums as the best place for natural birth amongst hospitals, so we did have good control to compare against.
There were about 10 other couples at Birth Care, (some in their third trimester and looking harried because they “converted” last minute and were way down on the wait lists) … We were near completely bowled over. The practice is well established with 5 midwives. The place is neat (although a little tight in terms of space but that’s standard in the DC area). It’s also in a really nice area in case one wants to walk outside. Of course the whole birth philosophy is drug free / natural which is the biggest attraction – so no hooking up to IVs or fetal monitors unless abs necessary. They have affiliated doctors in a hospital less than a mile and half away who are natural birth friendly. Their rate for episiotomies is <3% and in less than 10% of cases they have needed to transfer to the hospital (of those emergency cases are only a small fraction, the rest being transfers due to prolonged labor and mother’s fatigue/ inability to carry on). Coincidentally, the Bradley classes I am signing up for are also going to take place at the same center (although I discovered the Bradley class much earlier) and the instructor is already affiliated to this Birth Center – she’s a birth assistant here (although she never even mentioned or tried to sell me this place). I will be starting Bradley in Jan. So will probably get much familiar with the place beforehand.
Of course all this depends on various things falling in place. So fingers crossed on two things- one that I stay qualified for an out of hospital birth through the end and two- we’re currently #5 on the waiting list for the birth center- so hopefully we move up and out of that list and join the practice soon.
So all fingers crossed!!!!!
About classes- whoever I have spoken to has recommended taking classes and through my personal research I found Bradley to be the best for me. Also about natural birth, from my tour of Washington hospital, my sense is natural v/s intervention has its shades i.e. it’s not black or white and it totally depends on what your tolerance level is (i.e. do you want pure white or pure black or something a little here and there is okay)… when I was thinking of hospital birth and if we have to go that route eventually, I was thinking of going with a doula who can be an advocate for what I want at the hospital and to a great extent your doc should be on the same page too because hospitals look for nods from docs on a lot of things (like whether you can eat or not, or whether you can take a shower etc!) - Although most hospitals do have different policies and you have to see how they go down with you.
So my suggestion will be TOUR THEM ALL, ask questions and decide soon!
P.S. I do agree that the more you read/ see about this debate, it can seem more and more scary.. so I was debating whether to recommend this or not, but I think it is important just to know what could be in store.. So I decided I'd recommend watching "the business of being born". It's available on netflix.