Hi, Does anyone have experience with Avalon Midwives in Morristown & Caldwell NJ? I'm currently with Hackettstown Midwives who I LOVE LOVE LOVE, but I may need to switch practices at 32 weeks due to insurance reasons. I am looking for a VBAC water birth at Morristown Hospital & they seem to do them. I have been getting a lot of conflicting advice about them from doulas & Moms, either they're great or they'll unnecessarily C-section you. So far, they told me that I could labor in the tub but not give birth there due to protocol, although one Mom said she ended up birthing in a tub. There are about 5 midwives in the practice so I guess the variation could be from midwife to midwife.
I hope I don't have to switch but I want to have a back up plan. If my insurance doesn't come through for me, I either need to find the money to pay Hackettstown out-of-pocket or go with Avalon.
"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."- Albert Einstein
This is the experience I was hoping for with Avalon, and if not for my son's pesky cord issues, I would have gotten it I think. I came very close.
Morristown has one tub room, and one portable tub. It comes down to luck when you arrive, whether or not both will be in use already. As for protocol, they told me the same thing about laboring in the tub but not giving birth there, due to being a VBAC. That was ok with me though. And I could see if things progressed quickly there might not be time to switch out of the tub.
In my situation, we went into it knowing it would be a difficult labor. I was nearly at 42 weeks and we had an ultrasound to make sure everything was still ok, fluid-wise. It was, but my DS was wrapped up in his cord. When I finally went into labor (on my own, no induction, despite being 'post-dates'), I was at the hospital for almost seven hours with almost no progress (but strong, frequent contractions) before the option of a repeat c-section was brought up. I did wind up going that route and I'm glad, my son had a double nuchal cord and never descended; I never got past 5-6 cm no matter what I tried (walking, squatting, shower, etc.) I never even made it in the tub because they didn't want it to slow me down even more.
Anyway, despite the outcome not being what I was hoping for, I felt very peaceful about the whole thing. My wishes were respected every step of the way, and the protocols in place at Morristown for VBAC patients were not intrusive. They placed a heplock after I arrived so that an IV could be placed quickly, but did not insist on constant IVs. They have wireless monitoring so they could continue to watch as I walked back and forth from the tub room to the nurses' station many times. :)
Do a search on Avalon here, if you haven't - I know I've posted about them before as have other moms. The only drawback is that with several in the practice, there are bound to be ones you find you get along with better than others, and you won't know who you're dealing with until the day you go into labor.
I just had a VBAC at Morristown with Judy Hagan, she's a homebirth midwife who also has privileges at Hackettstown. I didn't want to use the tub because I hated it during my previous labor so that wasn't an issue for me. But I thought my birth was brilliant. Judy was superb, and Dr. Garfinkel from One to One female Care (who is Judy's back-up Dr.) was very good and stayed out of the way to let Judy take the lead right until my son was coming out.
I can't say anything about Avalon, when I looked into them they were going to make me pay for an interview/chat which I thought was madness.
(Just in case it helps, my VBAC was totally natural, they put a hep-lock in but it fell out, I kept going to the bathroom which meant the monitors were off and from first contraction to baby out was 11 hours! I felt fabulous afterwards. I know reading good stories inspired me before my VBAC, so hope this will help you too!)