I gave birth at North Memorial. I had a great experience. I was supposed to homebirth, but transferred care to a CNM at 37 weeks for pre-e. I have a feeling that my experience at North Memorial had more to do with my care provider than the hospital itself.
I had a pretty much intervention-free birth. Because of my skyrocketing BP, I did have fetal monitoring. If I would not have had the pre-e, I would have had to provide a baseline strip upon admission (took ~5 min) and that would have been it. But, my care provider believed that she could tell way more by looking at a woman than a monitor.
I did not have any pain meds. None were offered - my birth plan stated that I would ask for them if I wanted them.
Had I shown up earlier, I could have labored in a tub. I arrived about 2 hrs before giving birth. The hospital does not allow waterbirth at this time. FWIW, I know that Woodwinds does with certain care providers. Not sure about other hospitals.
If I had wanted to, I could have ate/drank during labor. Without the pre-e, I would have been free to labor in any position I wanted. With, I had to labor on my side. I did labor on the toilet a bit as well.
I had labor support, as well as my DF in the room. My labor support was the midwife that was supposed to attend my homebirth.
I was able to push in several positions. My care provider actually really likes to use the birthing chair. I wound up delivering in the lithotomy position, but that one worked the best for me.
My care provider waited for the cord to stop pulsing before having my DF cut it. My ds went straight to me, skin-to-skin contact encouraged. I was also encouraged to nurse in the delivery room.
The nurses saved my placenta so I could take it home.
The l & d nurse that I has was awesome. You could tell that she really loved babies, loved her job. She even took pictures that she thought we would want later.
The room that I stayed in was different from the delivery room. My ds never left either my or my df's sight. There a fold-out chair-thingie in the room for DF. There is a "nursery," but not the type with a window and a room full of babies. It is a tiny room, where they do the first ped exam, hearing check and the first bath. We were present for all of these.
No one pressured us to do anything. We did not circ, do the hep b vax or the eye ointment. If we hadn't wanted to bathe him, no one would have cared.
We left 24 hours on the nose to the time he had been born - even though I hemorrhaged after birth.
The food was horrendous. That was my only gripe.
Otherwise, great experience. Amazing care provider. I really
my midwife (both of them, actually). Pretty much everything in my birth plan was followed - anything that deviated I consented to (no coercion). From what I know, my labor support was treated with respect.
If you want the name of either of my care providers, pm me. I am more than happy to send people their way.