Special Beginnings v. AAMC - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 04-20-2009, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all,

I'm pregnant with #2 in December. my son was born in Seattle where you could actually have a birth tub in a hospital (novel concept) so I was little dismayed when we moved here and was told no way. Had natural childbirth first time but did have some complications (he was stuck, had to use vacuum, I needed pitocin afterward to stop bleeding). So, I'm stuck - I don't know how I will get through labor without water and I heard that AAMC has large bathtubs that they won't force you to get out of. I'd love to stay at Special beginnings but worry about problems occuring like last time. Thoughts?
Thanks!
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#2 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 12:26 AM
 
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I don't know how I will get through labor without water and I heard that AAMC has large bathtubs that they won't force you to get out of. I'd love to stay at Special beginnings but worry about problems occuring like last time. Thoughts?
Thanks!
Sounds like you need to find the place that is most comfortable for you to labor & birth. Have you had the chance to tour both places? If you are already seeing a MW at SB, are you making the decision between delivering at SB or at AAMC? Have you talked over your options with your MW?

I have had three children at SB and loved my experiences there. I find hospitals creepy and uncomfortable so I couldn't imagine myself being comfortable enough to labor in that setting. (That's just me, I know I'm strange!) For me, even with my more difficult first labor, SB was absolutely my better 'fit' for labor.

Good luck-

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#3 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 12:30 AM
 
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Mercy and St. Joe's midwifery groups in Baltimore are two hospitals that do offer waterbirth. Special Beginnings does it at the birth center, I am unsure about the hospital because none of my doula clients who ended up at AAMC were going to be able to waterbirth because we were there for pitocin or pain meds or fetal distress requiring more monitoring. You can also waterbirth at home with any number of area midwives. PM if you want more names.
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#4 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 10:10 AM
 
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St. Joes lets you labor in the water but not birth.

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#5 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 10:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cybercere View Post
Hello all,

I'm pregnant with #2 in December. my son was born in Seattle where you could actually have a birth tub in a hospital (novel concept) so I was little dismayed when we moved here and was told no way. Had natural childbirth first time but did have some complications (he was stuck, had to use vacuum, I needed pitocin afterward to stop bleeding). So, I'm stuck - I don't know how I will get through labor without water and I heard that AAMC has large bathtubs that they won't force you to get out of. I'd love to stay at Special beginnings but worry about problems occuring like last time. Thoughts?
Thanks!
I transferred from SB for this exact thing. The car ride was miserable, but overall it was an ok experience, considering it was a transfer. When I asked the midwife afterwards she said it probably wouldn't happen again, but it scares me too.
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#6 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 10:37 AM
 
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The "problems" you were refer to are actually handled at birth center births and home births quite often and both have the necessary ability to get a "stuck" baby out as well as control postpartum bleeding. Definitely consider SB. If you want a water birth, check out SB and interview some homebirth midwives. You can even rent a tub if you need to. Join the Birthing Circle of Anne Arundel and I think that might help you get to know more about this area and the options.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/birthingcircleAA/

Good luck!!!

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#7 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 10:40 AM
 
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You may birth in the tub at Mercy with Kathy Slone's midwives.

 

Tubs for labor only at Univ of Maryland, AAMC, St. Joe's, Upper Chesapeake.


You can use a rented or your own tub at home in labor or birth at home in a tub. 

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#8 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 10:51 AM
 
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I used SB and planned on birthing there but ended up needing a c-section so had to birth at AAMC. I absolutely loved AAMC, the nurses are wonderful and the facilities are fantastic. I'm not sure about the birth tubs but we did see them during the tour, since I had a c-section I was on a different floor for recovery. If you do birth at a hospital I would highly recommend AAMC and I definitely recommend SB for their midwives. Megan is AWESOME!

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#9 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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Choosing SB is getting both. AAMC is a beautiful, well equipped hospital. It would be a great place to be IF YOU NEED IT. If you're interested in a natural birth, try with SB. The MWs there will know your history, watch for any problems and take care of you. So you'll either have a wonderful natural birth at the BC, or a transfer to AAMC.

PS - Don't go to AAMC hoping for a water birth. They only have two tubs (I think) so you'd be lucky to get one, and I think they are for labor only. Could be wrong but that was my impression.

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#10 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 03:02 PM
 
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Check out Bay Area Midwifery. They have a birth center on campus of AAMC I believe, separate form the hospital but connected by a tunnel? I called them for info and was told they allow water births in the birth center.

Good luck!

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#11 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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I briefly attempted to become a client of Bay Area Midwifery, and wasn't at all impressed with how they ran their office or dealt with me. Others will know better, but I've heard MUCH more positive things about Special Beginnings.

Could be wrong about this, I think one of the biggest problems with Bay Area is that to practice attached to AAMC they have to adhere to pretty strict timing for stages of labor and other routine policies.

Just something to keep in mind.

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#12 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all -- I am definitely going with SB, just the venue that is in question. I hope you're right about it being easier the 2nd time. I didnt' go into details, but I did use midwives at a hospital with my first birth and she really tried everything (as did the doula) to get him 'unstuck'- After 3 1/2 hours of pushing (and 38 hours of active labor) I was ok with the vacuum. Took one contraction and he arrived. :-> Hope to avoid that again, but scared of what would happen and really concerned about how uncomfortable a car ride would be at that point! My son will be 8 in June, so it's been a while - I hope my body remembers :->
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#13 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 07:16 PM
 
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Like you my DS1 was a vacuum assist after a long labor. My water broke on mon morning, labor started tues ~noon, went to SB ~4p, labored there until wed ~3pmish? until I was at 9cm for a while and starting to get tired and techniques weren't working to get my sons chin down. We then went to AAMC where I got an epi to relax and pit to keep contrx going. I think everyone thought I'd end up CS but finally delivery my son ~5pm. SB is great...they try to give you the birth you want but know when to transfer. AAMC was okay for a transfer but I wouldn't want to birth there as first choice over at SB, ykwim? They were very into the fetal monitor and darn BP cuff (which bruised my arm) bc my water had been broken for almost 3days. The ride wasn't awful for me though it sucked a little. Took us <10mins including parking.
I have the same concerns you do this go round (11wks preg) and discussed them with the SB MWs. They think this one will be much smoother. I hope to labor at SB and thats my plan. If you are looking for a water birth, try to labor at SB (they're great)...if it doesn't work out like last time, then you'll be transferred to AAMC which also means you probably won't be laboring much longer. Be optimistic!
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#14 of 23 Old 04-21-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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Freestanding birth centers and hospital based birth centers have varying policies and stats.  Do your research!

 

To the OP, I think you'd do well to jump into a childbirth class given it has been 8 years and really get prepared for this birth and grow in confidence about birthing out of hospital. www.BrioBirth.com

Do know with SB, you are 5 mins away from AAMC which is a Level III NICU hospital and there is an ambulance bay across the street from SB. 5 min drive!

Also, the drive to the birth center is never "fun" for any distance but women doing it all of the time from over an hour away. You can learn relaxation and comfort measures for the trip in a good childbirth class! Think about it!

GL!

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#15 of 23 Old 04-22-2009, 10:10 AM
 
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There is a HUGE difference between a birth center (claiming to be freestanding but it is not) and one that is truly freestanding like SB is.
I have to say from all the reading I've done, this is totally true. It's honestly a bit of a joke, IMO for a hosptial L&D ward to even try to call themselves a "Birth Center." No matter how pretty the curtains are, it's still a hospital.

I will say though that not all hospitals are lousy & the care provider makes the biggest difference. My DS was born at Upper Chesapeake. (BTW, to answer the earlier Q, they do not allow water births - only laboring in the tub.) TWICE one of my MWs told me (Well, implicitly) that she was perfectly fine deviating from hospital "policy." Once when I asked about eating, she said, "Well, I'd say, just don't ask." Then when I nearly hit 42 weeks, she said, "Are you going to let us induce you on Monday?" Before I could even reply, she said, "Well... I went to nearly 43 with one of mine" Love her!

All that said- I still intend to plan an HB for #2, whenever that is.
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#16 of 23 Old 04-22-2009, 10:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cybercere View Post
Thanks all -- I am definitely going with SB, just the venue that is in question. I hope you're right about it being easier the 2nd time. I didnt' go into details, but I did use midwives at a hospital with my first birth and she really tried everything (as did the doula) to get him 'unstuck'- After 3 1/2 hours of pushing (and 38 hours of active labor) I was ok with the vacuum. Took one contraction and he arrived. :-> Hope to avoid that again, but scared of what would happen and really concerned about how uncomfortable a car ride would be at that point! My son will be 8 in June, so it's been a while - I hope my body remembers :->
This sounds exactly like my birth at Special Beginnings, but with a different ending! I pushed for about 3.75 hours (baby was slightly malpositioned and stuck behind the pubic arch), and they told me we might have to think about transferring for vacuum or forceps assistance.

The thought of getting in a vehicle at that point gave me an 18th wind, and I pushed her out myself within the next 20 minutes!

The staff at SB were helpful, supportive, and loving the whole time, I cannot recommend the birthing center enough.

At my follow-up visit, I asked if this would happen if I had another baby (because it was excruciating for a looong time), that I might have to push for so long. They said with a second baby, it was highly unlikely, and that they would not have let me push for longer than an hour if I was showing the same lack of progress in the beginning. Talk to them about your first birth, see how they might handle this next one.

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#17 of 23 Old 04-22-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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I was a BC transfer to AAMC with a c/s because my stubborn baby flipped to a breech position the last week of my pregnancy and we had no idea until I got there in labor after my water had been broken for 12 hours. I was SO against stepping foot into a hospital for this birth because I had such a horrid experience with DD1. I have to say that I was SHOCKED with how good AAMC was. They did everything they could to make my c/s as close to my birth plan as they could. The nurse actually helped me prop the pillows up so that I could co-sleep with her, with DD1 I got yelled at for falling asleep with her in my arms. So, if you do end up at AAMC, they are very accomodating, just have a good birth plan with all of your PP/recovery wishes outlined. They actually will follow it!

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#18 of 23 Old 04-22-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mysticmomma View Post
St. Joes lets you labor in the water but not birth.
hmmm... is that a change? I thought they used to allow waterbirth when Kathy Sloan's partner went over there after Union Memorial closed their OB unit.
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#19 of 23 Old 04-22-2009, 03:03 PM
 
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One of my times in l&d this pg for fluids I had Kathy's old partner Mary Knauer. She said they let you labor in the shower and that's the extent of water therapy. No water births. They also stopped using cervadil for inductions and ONLY use cytotec.

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#20 of 23 Old 04-23-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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One of my times in l&d this pg for fluids I had Kathy's old partner Mary Knauer. She said they let you labor in the shower and that's the extent of water therapy. No water births. They also stopped using cervadil for inductions and ONLY use cytotec.
Holy Crap, they just went off my recommended list for good. Cytotec is crazy s***. I know because it was off label used on me without my consent 11 years ago. Nasty hard labor!
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#21 of 23 Old 04-23-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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i never got to labor at sb due to pre-e. that being said, i still had a great birth experience. my nurse kristen was AMAZING SHe helped me sit up during labor and got me a birthing ball and a mirror when dd was crowning. i had to be monitored but they were cool about me accidently bumping the fetal moniters off, oops.
they didn't push anything on me like checks or drugs or what have you. i told them do ask me if i wanted anything and they were totally ok with that! i lied a lil in my sig, they had to give me pit bc i was a mth early. but i've been to sb for ob n gyn concerns and they are great in n out of the hospital.
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#22 of 23 Old 04-24-2009, 07:23 AM
 
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The water "therapy" and cytotec is for all of st. joes... not just the WHA. That was one of the reasons Kathy stopped practicing there.

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#23 of 23 Old 04-27-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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I know Bay Area Midwifery gets mixed reviews but I just wanted to chime in that I had a great experience delivering with them last summer. I was a VBAC and had to deliver at AAMC in the hospital but Jen one of the Midwives at Bay Area did the delivery and everything went great.

She was very supportive of all my wishes, gave me plenty of time and freedom, etc. and didn't bat an eye when I went against hospital protocol.

They do have a nice birth center on the campus of AAMC and do water births.

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