Delivery at Morristown Memorial Hospital - Avalon - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 09-10-2008, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My wife and I...yes, i'm a very involved husband, have been looking into our birthing options. We are expecting our second.

Our first was delivered at St. Barnabas in New Jersey. Although our dr. was wonderful, and we still admire him to this day, the overall experience was not what we are looking to replicate.

The same 'ol story...water broken manually, pitocin, epitdoral. Son ended up in NICU with a raised temperature (we attribute to the fact that my wife had a fever, we think from the Epidural and not being able to drink water!) They both had the exact body temperature at the time of birth. Only hours old, and he's being pumped full of Antibiotics....which went on for SEVEN days. Yes, not what we were hoping. There are many worse stories than this, spend a day or seven in the NICU and you will count your blessing for such a story, but nevertheless, if avoidable, we are willing to try.

We have met with 2 separate midwives, for a home birth, and planning to meet with Avalon and tour Morristown next week.

Avalon/Morristown looks like a great combination. The experience of a midwife delivery, but in a setting we personally find a little more comforting.

The decision is not yet made though.

We are still skeptical of being anywhere near the hospital for the delivery.

If anyone can give detailed experiences on your delivery with Avalon at Morristown that would be wonderful.

Questions/Concerns we have:
How much control do you have?
Were you solicited to change your plan? Drugs?
We you left alone?
Did you use the pool?
Were you confined to your bed at any time?
Could you eat or drink?
Could you take a bath?
Did you deliver in the old stirrup position or were you free to birth however?
Did you feel rushed?
Did you have a private room?
Did you have other children in the room?
Did you need intervention?

I know... a lot of questions, i appreciate any answers.

Thanks!
Shane's Dad.
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#2 of 19 Old 09-10-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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I gave birth at Morristown with a midwife from One-To-One. I had planned a homebirth but was not signed off at 39 weeks, so I had to go to the hospital.

Morristown was very nice. We were in the delivery room that has a tub (although my midwife had never delivered a baby in water, my homebirth midwife who was also attending had). The nurses were very pleasant and were respectful of my birth plan, to a certain extent.

My birth went a little off-plan though and I ended up with a c-section due to excessive fetal decels.

However, everyone was very accomodating of our requirements after my daughter was born - my husband was with her every moment until she was brought to me in the recovery room. We kept her in our room with us (the rooms are all private and very, very nice), we refused a bath, we refused VitK and eyedrops, my husband accompanied her to the nursery every evening for the checkup and then brought her right back to me, and some other things which I've forgotten which were a little out of the "norm" for the hospital.

All in all I found the place very nice, the staff were wonderfully helpful and supportive and the Dr/Midwife I used was good. I would go there again (since I have no choice now with the no HBAC rule. If you don't trust hospitals at all, did you consider homebirth? Judy Hagan is a great homebirth midwife in northern NJ.

I hope that helps a little.

 Mummy to two,  vbac.gif winner.jpgsigncirc1.gif
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#3 of 19 Old 09-10-2008, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply. We are considering Home Births as well. Linda Perry in Caldwell, NJ and another group in Montvale, NJ.

Personally i liked both of them, but we just wanted to make sure we did all our research.

Thanks again.
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#4 of 19 Old 09-11-2008, 03:26 AM
 
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I gave birth to DD Sophia on April 4, 2008 at Morristown Memorial Hospital with Avalon. My experience was very similar to Stelly's. I requested a room with a tub and got one right away. We declined vit K and eye drops and our daughter roomed in with us at night, we also declined the bath etc. My husband and I were treated with respect and the nurses were very accomodating and kind to us. Especially my delivery nurse who held my hand throughout natural labor. I would definetly go there again!

Unfortunately, I had a bad experience with Avalon, similar to your experience. Water broken manually, pitocin, Cessarian. I was solicited to change my birth plan by my midwife. She broke my water without warning and three hours later told me I needed a little push (Pitocin). My midwife offering me Pitocin for no other reason than speeding along a delivery was never a situation I considered and wasn't prepared for. I agreed reluctantly because I felt very pressured. I felt like she wanted to get home before midnight and sure enough my daughter was born at 11:43pm.

My husband and I were left alone but we were ok with that because I had the feeling my midwife did not want to be there and was unfortunatly correct. The hospital nurse was very supportive though and was there when we needed her. I didn't labor in the pool because my midwife filled up the tub when we arrived and by the time I was in hard labor the water was cold and the midwife didn't want to refill the pool with warm water. Instead I labored in the shower for a bit. Never confined to the bed but my midwife had me on my back with my feet up. The nurse recommended I try to position myself on my hands and knees which I did until my midwife came into the room and told me to turn over and get back in the "traditional" birthing position which I had vowed I would not be in and again never expected a midwife to use. I freely drank water and felt that if I wanted to eat that would not be a problem. I felt very rushed by my midwife but not by any of the hospital staff. We had a private room which was a good sized and very nice.

I chose Avalon/Morristown because I also thought it would be a great combination but unfortunately it didn't work out. I hope what happened to me isn't the norm at Avalon. The reason I wanted a midwife was so that I could avoid this exact experience and I will seek out a midwife for my next birth experience because I know that this is an unusual situation for a woman to have while in the care of a midwife.

Another option is to also hire a doula. They are like a birthing partner with more of an advocacy role or will tailor themselves to what you need.

Good Luck!

Good luck
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#5 of 19 Old 09-11-2008, 11:17 AM
 
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Nicole,

I am actually set to deliver with avalon in 2 months....

Who was your midwife with whom you had such a bad experience, if you don't mind me asking...?

Thanks!
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#6 of 19 Old 09-11-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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There are other options as well. I am using Dina Aurechio and she is great! I live in Chatham and Morristown hospital is our backup in case of transfer. I did email Avalon for info when I was first pregnant and did not like the tone of their emails. They basically tried to scare me into a hospital birth when I asked if they did home births.
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#7 of 19 Old 09-11-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole_75 View Post
Unfortunately, I had a bad experience with Avalon, similar to your experience. Water broken manually, pitocin, Cessarian. I was solicited to change my birth plan by my midwife. She broke my water without warning and three hours later told me I needed a little push (Pitocin). My midwife offering me Pitocin for no other reason than speeding along a delivery was never a situation I considered and wasn't prepared for. I agreed reluctantly because I felt very pressured. I felt like she wanted to get home before midnight and sure enough my daughter was born at 11:43pm.

My husband and I were left alone but we were ok with that because I had the feeling my midwife did not want to be there and was unfortunatly correct. I chose Avalon/Morristown because I also thought it would be a great combination but unfortunately it didn't work out. I hope what happened to me isn't the norm at Avalon. The reason I wanted a midwife was so that I could avoid this exact experience and I will seek out a midwife for my next birth experience because I know that this is an unusual situation for a woman to have while in the care of a midwife.
I am so glad that I decided to go in another direction. Your post confirmed it for me. That sounds like a very unpleasant experience and not one you would expect from a midwife.
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#8 of 19 Old 09-11-2008, 04:56 PM
 
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I am pregnant with my 1st and I'm currently considered low risk, so I've been doing a lot of research. I visited my obgyn and then a few midwife groups that work within hospitals. Then I interviewed some hb midwives and I chose a home birth with Linda Perry.

My ob had worked with Avalon when they were at Mountainside and he had "not good things" to say. I didn't know if I should believe him or not, but I felt like "where there's smoke there's fire...maybe."

I felt like there were still boundaries and rules in the midwife/hospital setting because after all, it's still a hospital. I'm just not comfortable in a hospital anyway. And I don't know how moms do it, going through labor, the mental, emotional, and physical challenges you face, and then to have to be in a hospital sometimes having to advocate for yourself, and maybe not always knowing what's going on because you're kinda busy being in labor!

My sis birthed in a hospital in NJ and ended up with (maybe) an unnecessary csection. My sis in law then birthed at the farm midwifery with Ina May Gaskin. She had a great experience, and after reading a lot, I learned how hb can be quite safe. And, if anything does go wrong either before or during labor, we have very accessible backup options. I set those in place and feel quite comfortable.

So, my recommendation is Linda Perry. I also visited Valeriana and Judy Hagan and liked them both as well, but Linda seemed to be a better fit for me.

All the best to you and your wife.
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#9 of 19 Old 09-11-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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OH NO!!! I going to Avalon now. I have seen somethings that I kind of question.? Hum? What to do.??
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#10 of 19 Old 09-11-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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If you're more on the northern end of things and going to be looking at hb, I highly recommend http://www.newjerseyhomebirth.com/
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#11 of 19 Old 09-11-2008, 07:37 PM
 
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I delivered at Morristown with Avalon in April. While I didn't get the VBAC I'd hoped for, I blame that more on bad circumstances (my baby had his cord wrapped around him twice -- confirmed on U/S and then during c-section -- and never descended despite hours of active, natural labor).

I had a doula (Kim Connor, liked her very much) and had no problem sticking to my plan for the majority of the time I was there. Because I was a VBAC candidate I was encouraged to go to the hospital earlier than someone with no previous c-section might.

I had a great labor room with the big tub, though I never did get to try it since I wasn't dilating (didn't want to relax too much and slow things down further). I used the shower and was walking almost constantly, or down on all fours on a yoga mat. I remember being so exhausted (strong contrax from 2 AM until the following evening) that I'd put my head down on the floor and doze off for a minute before the next contraction came along!

My MW (Joanne Cunha) was patient and unobtrusive. She spent most of the time just sitting quietly, watching the monitor (I had wireless monitoring) or offering encouragement. After several hours I expressed my feeling, my intuition that something wasn't right. I had been there so long with absolutely no progress, no descending. It was at that point that we discussed other possible interventions (no pitocin for me as a VBAC - things like breaking my water). She felt it would be dangerous to break my water given the cord issue, so we didn't do that. Eventually (probably after the 3rd time I was checked with no progress) I decided on the repeat c/s.

I wasn't offered an epidural during the entire time I was there (8+ hours). They did a spinal on the operating table right before surgery.

I was encouraged to eat/drink the whole time, though at some point I stopped drinking enough and they encouraged a saline IV near the end (I had a heplock inserted first thing -- again, being a VBAC -- so this was no big deal as far as being distracting or interrupting).

I never felt rushed -- like I said, I was the one who started getting the feeling that something was wrong. The monitors showed that we were both ok, I just knew that he wasn't coming down.

Joanne sat with me during the whole c/s. My husband was there too, on the other side, but he left so that he could stay with the baby while I was being stitched up. She didn't leave until after I was stable in recovery, ready to be transferred to my room -- probably close to 11 PM.

The nurses at Morristown were awesome, too. As a second-time mom I had no problems with the breastfeeding, but the nurses were supportive and I felt like they wouldn't have sabotaged a new mom, you know? I was nursing DS pretty much 24/7 and when one of them came in, she said, "You nursing that baby AGAIN?" I was all prepared for a snarky comment, but then she said, "That's great! Your milk will come in quickly now!"

The postpartum rooms are private, there are snacks available all day long and a nice solarium with a big tv to hang out in (there are also tvs in the rooms, which are like hotel rooms, honestly). The worst part of being there was just missing my first son and my husband, so I checked out after only 3 nights -- otherwise I wouldn't have had a problem with staying 4, as is typical after a c/s.

Anyway, that was a long post! I think it's great if you have the option for homebirth, and if that suits you. In my situation it wasn't really an option, but I think I got what I was looking for with Avalon and Morristown. Definitely 'shop around' while you can!

mama to Joey (1/04) and Teddy (4/08) :
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#12 of 19 Old 09-11-2008, 11:38 PM
 
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In a week and a half it will be one year since I birthed at Morristown with Avalon midwives. I had a GREAT birthing experience and, in my opinion, even more importantly, they have been very supportive with any questions I have had throughout the year.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have very, very fast births. I gave birth to Rebecca within 45 minutes of entering the hospital, so there wasn't too much time for intervention.


How much control do you have? Full control
Were you solicited to change your plan? Drugs? Nope, only pitocin AFTER the birth to help deliver placenta

We you left alone? Joanne Cunha was in the room with me at all times, but did not interfere with my natural labor, in fact, when I said I needed to push, she told me to go with my gut.

Did you use the pool? Morristown hadn't installed it yet.

Were you confined to your bed at any time? I found it easier to be leaning back on an angled bed (practically standing) but I wasn't confined.

Could you eat or drink? I drank

Could you take a bath? No time

Did you deliver in the old stirrup position or were you free to birth however? My first child I birthed squatting, this child I was angled on the bed, but I had been walking around until the last minute.

Did you feel rushed? No

Did you have a private room? Yes

Did you have other children in the room? My 4 year old came to visit

Did you need intervention? Only after the birth.

It was a great birth, they were wonderful including my 4 year old throughout every visit up to the birth. They call me back right away with any questions I have and have been very helpful. However, I do think it depends on who you get. I have a real connection with the Joannes.

They are more mainstream than other places that you might go. However, I had a more relaxed and true to what I wanted birth experience with them, than when I birthed with a more "popular and prominent' midwife here in NJ..
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#13 of 19 Old 09-12-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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If you're more on the northern end of things and going to be looking at hb, I highly recommend http://www.newjerseyhomebirth.com/
OMG she looks wonderful. Not trying to hijack the thread but does she deliver in the Morristown area? You can pm if you want to leave the thread open!

Cindy + DH Paul = DS1 (4/26/06), DS2 (11/30/07), DD (12/20/10) & surprise 4th edition coming in April 2014.

Bradley Method Natural Childbirth Educator, Doula, and Breastfeeding Counselor

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#14 of 19 Old 09-14-2008, 12:06 PM
 
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since I have no choice now with the no HBAC rule
There are midwives in NJ who will do a hbac. I just moved to NE PA last December from NJ and I assisted at a couple of hbacs while living there.

Just wanted to let you know that you do have options.

Homebirth Midwifing mama to five blessings in Northeastern PA.
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#15 of 19 Old 09-15-2008, 09:34 PM
 
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My midwife at delivery was Joanne Yates. I did like one of the other midwives there but unfortuantely I didn't have her at my delivery.
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#16 of 19 Old 09-15-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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A friend of mine delivered with Dina Aurechio and has nothing but great things to say about her.
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#17 of 19 Old 09-18-2008, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to all for sharing your experiences and opinions. It was all very valuable.

We visited MMH and took a tour. The host was wonderful, but we were not too keen on the hospital experience still. We were also less than thrilled about the prospect of laboring in a small, cluttered, windowless room...only to be whisked away to a palatial spa-like recovery room afterward. Seemed upside to us.

We met with another midwife this past weekend, and by the time we were in the car we were already calling her back to confirm. Very happy!

Anyway, thanks again and good luck to you all!
Shane's dad

PS: If you have not seen "The Business of Being Born", I highly recommend it.
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#18 of 19 Old 09-23-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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If you are still looking for a midwife, my suggestion would be to check out www.hackettstownmidwives.com They deliver in Hackettstown Hospital but the care they give is wonderful! Also Judy Hagen who does hb www.babycatcher.com. Good luck with your search!!
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#19 of 19 Old 09-24-2008, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Mel, we actually chose Judy, we think she's great. Working with United Healthcare now...
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