Danbury Birth Center: Please Share Your Experience - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 08-28-2009, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

I live in the New Haven area, and I am 21 weeks pregnant. I am considering transferring to the mw practice that delivers at the the birth center in Danbury, CT. I pretty much like the mw practice I'm at now, but they only deliver at Yale, which just does not feel right to me. I had a dream homebirth with ds and, although I've been trying for the last 21 weeks, I just can't get used to the idea of giving birth in a hospital. But, Birth and Beyond is out of business, I can't afford a CPM, and Danbury is looking like my best option (And no offense, but please don't give me the "how could you sacrifice your ideal birth because you don't want to pay for it" bs. Rent comes before my ideal birth, and I have 2 other kids that I have to feed/clothe/give shelter. If I could afford to make it work, trust me I would, but I have state insurance for a reason.)

Anyway, if you have given birth at Danbury, used the practice, or know someone who has, please share your experience. How did you like the midwives? The facility? If you've had a homebirth, how did the two experiences compare? Any policies/practices that rubbed you the wrong way? I am aware of the 12 hours or less rule... that is from the time you actually get there, right? Not including the time you labored before you came? I think that is total crap, but since my first and second labors were 8 and 6 hours respectively, I am *hoping* that that won't be an issue for me. Also, if you've made the drive from the New Haven area, how long did you take and how did you feel about it? TIA for your help
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#2 of 19 Old 08-28-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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I didn't actually end up delivering there...but know a bunch who did. I was with them for my first pregnancy which ended in a miscarriage. They were beyond wonderful:

A dear friend delivered there about 18 months ago and ended up not having the midwife (kathy) that she wanted at the birth, but was still extremely happy with the care she received.

Her son was born with unexpected severe genetic issues and was only 4 lbs at birth, (she was measuring to dates and everything had looked great all along) they handled the situation with great professionalism and were able to transfer care with her to the hospital which was a HUGE bonus! The midwives were able to back her up when the neonatologist was accusing her of being a crack addict leading to her child being small and having all his other issues due to being born addicted. The midwives were able to vouch for her which lead to a much earlier diagnosis of her son. The hospital was about to waste a huge amount of time drug testing and getting CPS involved.

It may not be your perfect birth, but they are wonderful!

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#3 of 19 Old 08-28-2009, 09:09 PM
 
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I've heard great things about the Danbury birth center too. I also wanted to mention The Birthplace at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, if you haven't considered it. I've delivered there twice throught Naugatuck Valley OBGYN, and the midwives were absolutely amazing, as was my birth experience. With the exception of transportation during labor, i absolutely cannot imagine much that would be different with a homebirth. I'm on Husky too, and would also like a homebirth, but there's just NO way we can swing it right now. Last year, we would have scrimped and saved for it, but where we're at right now... it's impossible. So don't feel bad about that Anyway, good luck, and again, i've heard great things about Danbury. So it may not be PERFECT, but i bet it would be pretty great
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#4 of 19 Old 08-30-2009, 03:33 PM
 
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I'm also thinking about switching to the CT Birth Center in Danbury for my birth, however my fiance thinks it's too far. We live in Norwalk, and it's about 40 mins drive (if there's no traffic). Is this really too far to travel during labor? This is our first baby so we have no idea how my labor might progress.
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#5 of 19 Old 08-30-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LeMiLaDoRe View Post
I'm also thinking about switching to the CT Birth Center in Danbury for my birth, however my fiance thinks it's too far. We live in Norwalk, and it's about 40 mins drive (if there's no traffic). Is this really too far to travel during labor? This is our first baby so we have no idea how my labor might progress.

I'm in norwalk and the friend that I mentioned in a PP was also in Norwalk. It's a 40 minute drive without traffic. Personally, if a HB isn't an option, I would seriously consider that trip...then again, there is no way I would ever voluntarily walk into Norwalk hospital again (especially for L&D)...so it would move you to Danbury hospital in case of a transfer.

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#6 of 19 Old 08-30-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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I like the midwife of the Danbury Birth Center. They did my prenatal care for my second pregnancy,but I end up with a HBAC:
Good to see here that are MDC mamas from Norwalk.I'm Norwalk too!

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#7 of 19 Old 08-31-2009, 11:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Fyrestorm View Post
I'm in norwalk and the friend that I mentioned in a PP was also in Norwalk. It's a 40 minute drive without traffic. Personally, if a HB isn't an option, I would seriously consider that trip...then again, there is no way I would ever voluntarily walk into Norwalk hospital again (especially for L&D)...so it would move you to Danbury hospital in case of a transfer.
Thanks for that tip, makes me feel better about keeping that option open. Now I just have to convince my fiance
Don't mean to hijack the thread, but - what happened at Norwalk hospital? I'm still very new to this home birth\birth center idea and playing around with all kinds of options in my head. I spoke with the Norwalk Hospital Midwifery Service today and they seemed very open to natural birth (maybe I'm just being naive here though). They even recommended a home birth midwife if I chose to go that route.

Finding this forum has been great help. I'll have to go back and do some searches on recommendations\stories on here, so far haven't had the time, so pardon my ignorance

Thanks for the help!
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#8 of 19 Old 08-31-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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I won't hijack the thread...I'll send you a PM about my experience at Norwalk hospital and their completely natural birth UNfriendly CNMs

Actually, here is a link to my birthstory...The hospital midwives in question are the ones in question.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=668204

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#9 of 19 Old 09-02-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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I am 37w2d and I live in Middletown. I was in a similar situation...how far is too far, is it worth it, should I transfer. I went to Danbury for a meet and greet. We met Sara, she was nice but just too bubbly and almost too opinionated. I also went to St. Mary's in Waterbury and looked at their birthcenter. I chose Danbury and here is why, I felt like a transfer into the hospital was just too easy in waterbury, the center was inside the hospital. I was afraid that I might be risked out too easily and that the Dr.s might meddle in my business. I also thought the maternity floor smelled, maybe it was my pregnant nose or maybe I just walked my one smelly room. Waterbury is 20 minutes closer and the nurse there was soooo nice. But I followed my husbands gut and a bit of my own and I am SO glad I did.

Sara has done almost all of my prenatal and it is funny the personality that I didn't like initially is what I enjoy now. She is opinionated, but if your opinioin differs from hers, she is not only ok with it, but supports your opinion and never says anything again. My example is she swears by a birth class, I went to only 1 of the four classes and hated the experience! I told her and she said oh sounds like she isn't the best fit for you. That was it end of story. Now I am doing Hypno-babies and she loves the idea.

I have also met with both Kathy P and Kathy G, they are very low key, nice, gentle, knowlegable women.

Danbury is an hour, driving fast, from my home. We hit traffic everytime, 84w sucks! But I wouldn't change a thing. People think I am crazy for driving so far. But the midwives see no issue with it. Some moms-to-be are traveling 2 hours to use the facility! They have two offices for prenatal exams, in danbury and southbury.

OH another plus...if for some reason you are risked out or transfer to the hospital, the midwives are still in control. They work with the OB who will stay out of the picture, they have a very good relationship with them, and they will continue to guide you through the birth.

I hear they won't do a breech birth, at the center or the hospital, but I have been told they won't do those in CT. Maybe if you have had a few children already then they may consider doing a breech at the hospital. Ok so I am thinking just don't consent to the C section and they have to allow me to birth?!

No internal exams...that is huge as far as I am concerned, I didn't even have to say no, they just don't do them. Blood work is drawn there, they are sooo good at drawing blood too! They are big on nuitrition.

As far as the 12 hours, that starts from when the baby is born not from you getting there, at least that is what they explained to me. They don't want you to arrive to early in the laboring either. Aparently this 12 hour thing is an insurance issue more than a them thing. More than 12 hours and you have to admitted and it isn't considered out patient. If you still feel you need more time after the baby is born to adjust or just are not ready to go home, they can transfer you to the hospital across the street for the rest of the "stay". Don't worry about the 12 hours if you labor for 12 they won't send you home with a 1 minute old baby, they let you stay 12 more or less if you prefer!

I think you should go meet them, I love them and can't wait to birth at the calm birth center, the rooms are so relaxing, the baths are big, they have a full kitchen for friends and family (grandma can bake a cake!), the waiting areas are living rooms. Next best thing if you can't have a homebirth or just not sure or ready for one!

Sophia ~ 9/21 learning how to be crunchy mama. Uh oh, I just went over the crunch edge! ECing!! Planned ~ maybe next time : :
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#10 of 19 Old 09-02-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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Hi there,

I transferred to the CT Childbirth Center at about 34 weeks, and am so glad that I did. I live in Westchester, and the drive is about 30 minutes.

I'm due in a few days now, and am feeling relaxed and secure in the midwives' care. I feel that they share my philosophy of low-intervention birth, and trust their judgment and expertise. I've found each of them to be a good listener and adviser, and have never felt rushed through an appointment or my (often extensive) list of questions.

Then again, my only previous experiences have been with mainstream ob/gyns, so for me this has been a real revelation..... If you're coming from a home-birth/midwife experience, you may not be as quickly and wholly impressed as I've been, but I can tell you that my experience has been good so far. What I can tell you is that the birth center itself is very nice -- calm and well-appointed -- and the midwives' protocols make sense to me....(hand-held Doppler monitoring, tub encouraged, water birth allowed). And they seem very comfortable with their arrangement with Danbury Hospital; they assure me that they are well respected there and work in harmony with the staff and with their own four affiliated female OBs, when a hospital birth is necessary. I believe their transfer rate is about 12%, (mainly due to non-emergency reasons such as epidural requests or extremely stalled labor), and their overall c-section rate is 9%.

I've also taken a tour of Danbury Hospital, which struck me as more progressive than others in the area (no mandatory IV or continuous EFM, bath in every room, squat bars, birth balls, and even an in-house doula service subsidized by the hospital) -- though of course it's still a hospital in the main sense.

Basically, I think you can feel assured that these midwives will do everything in their power to give you an experience as close to homebirth as possible. The 12-hour rule, as a previous poster has said, does not begin until *after* the birth. And evidently people are often ready to go home even before that.

I'll try to post my birth experience after it happens.... In the meantime, good luck to you!
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#11 of 19 Old 09-02-2009, 09:02 PM
 
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I am 37w2d and I live in Middletown. I was in a similar situation...how far is too far, is it worth it, should I transfer. I went to Danbury for a meet and greet. We met Sara, she was nice but just too bubbly and almost too opinionated. I also went to St. Mary's in Waterbury and looked at their birthcenter. I chose Danbury and here is why, I felt like a transfer into the hospital was just too easy in waterbury, the center was inside the hospital. I was afraid that I might be risked out too easily and that the Dr.s might meddle in my business. I also thought the maternity floor smelled, maybe it was my pregnant nose or maybe I just walked my one smelly room. Waterbury is 20 minutes closer and the nurse there was soooo nice. But I followed my husbands gut and a bit of my own and I am SO glad I did.
JUst wanted to respond to this part, as someone who did use St. Mary's Birthplace. I don't doubt your instincts one bit -- and i will agree that there is a low threshold for transfer/nonacceptance, bc the Birthplace, which used to run itself, has been reabsorbed by the hospital in the last couple years. It still functions independently, but certain protocol have changed. I had absolutely no problems with anyone ever suggesting a transfer or anything, and had zero contact with any OB, but I also had a quick labor (1-2 hours from the time of arrival to birth each time) and no risk factors. My births there were virtually UC -- I even caught my own babies in the tub. A couple of doppler checks and one internal for each birth was the most intervention I ever saw. I have heard from other birthplace moms that the mws were great about getting even the ones with long, difficult labors through without transfer, and the CNMs at my practice are very low intervention. However, they were absorbed by the hospital in between my last 2 pregnancies, and I did see a big difference postpartum in the way they handled situations. During delivery, they have an OB nurse come, which was fine. But with my first, the baby stayed attached to the cord for several minutes and didn't leave my arms for at least an hour or so, until i wanted to use the bathroom and that was when they weighed and diapered her. With my second, they cut the cord within seconds (which i was NOT thrilled about) and the OB nurse took him from me for weighing, diapering, etc within minutes. I mean, it was all right there on the bed next to me, but i didn't want to let him go yet. It came up with the midwife later, who apologized profusely... They've been trying to train their OB nurses in the wants/needs of birthplace moms (very different from hospital moms), but some are just set in their routine. In their defense, I should have just spoken up, but i'm such a pushover. Those were my only issues there. Obviously, my experience is not everyone's, and you may be totally right that a longer, more difficult labor might have invited some intervention i never got a chance to see. But I had a fantastic experience and can't complain one bit
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#12 of 19 Old 09-03-2009, 07:21 PM
 
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Hi, I'm a new member of the forum in central CT (live in Cromwell, work in Middletown). I just gave birth at the birth center in Danbury at the end of July; I'd been planning a homebirth but switched to Danbury in my third trimester, after Birth & Beyond shut down. We had a very positive experience and I would recommend them highly. Sarah was our midwife and she was terrific (based on the interaction of our personalities during prenatal visits, she would not have been my first choice - but she turned out to be _great_ as a birth attendant). There were a few complications but everything was handled professionally. I never felt pushed into anything (I had to have a pitocin shot during the third stage after some blood loss). I liked knowing that there would be continuity if larger complications did arise - that the same midwives would be able to care for me in the hospital if necessary (luckily that did not happen).

You have to leave 12 hours after giving birth, not 12 hours after arriving. We left 9 hours later. I recommend having good support at home - we are first time parents with no local support, and it was tough coming home so quickly with no help.

I had been worried about the drive (it's 50 minutes minimum for us, on 84W - and once there was an accident and it took 2 hours). But in fact it was ok. I was fine in labor in the car, with the help of breathing & relaxation - except for the very end of the drive when I was in transition! So I would say don't let the distance dissuade you.

Happy to answer other questions about my experience there - and hello!
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#13 of 19 Old 09-03-2009, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You have to leave 12 hours after giving birth, not 12 hours after arriving. We left 9 hours later. I recommend having good support at home - we are first time parents with no local support, and it was tough coming home so quickly with no help.
Thanks so much for the info, everyone! I can't wait for the meet and greet, I think the only thing that could lead me away from the birth center at this point is the drive, so we'll see how that goes. By the "12 hour rule" I was actually referring to the rule I've heard that states you have to give birth within 12 hours or be transferred to the hospital. I have NO problem with going to home <12 hours after birth, lol.
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#14 of 19 Old 08-24-2012, 06:22 PM
 
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This is a three year old thread, but offers still some great information, so I decided to *bump* rather than start a new thread. Was wondering if anyone is currently using or has used The Connecticut Childbirth Center in Danbury. I am not due until early February, so I still have time to decide.  I live about 45 minutes away (in good traffic), so I am a little nervous because I'm due in the snowiest part of winter. I would love to hear any feedback or information that anyone has about the center. Thank you! heartbeat.gif


 

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#15 of 19 Old 08-24-2012, 07:29 PM
 
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Hello, 

I had my daughter at the Birthing Center in early March of 2010 and live 45 minutes away from Danbury...in good traffic :)  We, too, were very concerned about the drive because of possible snow, luckily, the weather was good the day we needed it to be.  Our experience was fantastic, from the first visit with Cathy Gallagher to our birth with Sarah Najamy (I do not think she is with the center any longer).  The only tough part was the 12 hour maximum stay, since Jane was born at 5:30 pm, we had to leave by 5:30 am, not easy for my husband to drive home after being awake for so many hours.  However, that is not a significant drawback, just a little annoyance.  I was the only one giving birth that day, and our nurse was absolutely wonderful, and took really great care of our new little family.  I do wish that they had a lactation consultant on staff, though, because my daughter ended up having a posterior tongue tie and I was in a lot of pain from the beginning.  Despite those small things, I would recommend the birth center whole-heartedly.  I cannot imagine having had our daughter anywhere else.  I ended up needing just a few stiches from a tear and took arnica for the pain.  That was all.  A few days after the birth, our midwife came to our house for a visit which was very convenient and comfortable.  Let me know if you have any specific questions about our experience.  Congratulations on your pregnancy!

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#16 of 19 Old 08-27-2012, 03:38 PM
 
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Hi Nicolette507,

 

Thank you so much for your prompt reply! I see that you're in Orange - I am on the Fairfield area so it's a similar hike. I am so worried about the early February weather. I know that the Winter of 2011 was a fluke, but can you imagine if that happens again? Anyway, I am so glad to hear that you had a positive experience! And you are right, Sarah Najamy is no longer there. There is a CNM who replaced her, but she just graduated in 2011 (not a criticism, just an observation). I have a question about cost. The website says that they take insurance, but then it talks about a $5200 fee. Did you have to pay that much or did insurance cover some of it? I wonder what would happen if I paid the $5200, but had to go to a closer hospital to give birth (due to weather)? I guess that would be a question for them. A few questions for you, if you don't mind:

How many birthing rooms are there? It looks like there are 2 rooms, but I'm not sure.

Is there a CNM there 24/7 or are there nurses/other staff that cares for you?

Did you have an IV?

I see there's a kitchen, do they serve meals or are you and your family on your own?

Did it seem like it was kept really clean and well-maintained? (I keep thinking about the tubs)

 

Thank you very much! 


 

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#17 of 19 Old 09-04-2012, 11:59 AM
 
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Hi Nicolette507,

 

Thank you so much for your prompt reply! I see that you're in Orange - I am on the Fairfield area so it's a similar hike. I am so worried about the early February weather. I know that the Winter of 2011 was a fluke, but can you imagine if that happens again? Anyway, I am so glad to hear that you had a positive experience! And you are right, Sarah Najamy is no longer there. There is a CNM who replaced her, but she just graduated in 2011 (not a criticism, just an observation). I have a question about cost. The website says that they take insurance, but then it talks about a $5200 fee. Did you have to pay that much or did insurance cover some of it? I wonder what would happen if I paid the $5200, but had to go to a closer hospital to give birth (due to weather)? I guess that would be a question for them. A few questions for you, if you don't mind:

How many birthing rooms are there? It looks like there are 2 rooms, but I'm not sure.

Is there a CNM there 24/7 or are there nurses/other staff that cares for you?

Did you have an IV?

I see there's a kitchen, do they serve meals or are you and your family on your own?

Did it seem like it was kept really clean and well-maintained? (I keep thinking about the tubs)

 

Thank you very much! 

 I used the Birth Center for my first pregnancy in 2008. I had a wonderful experience with them (although I did not get to deliver there and wound up at Danbury Hospital).

There are 2 birthing rooms, the kitchen is for your use and that of your family but they do not provide meals for you. You do not have to have an IV. It is very clean and well maintained and Im sorry i did not get my water birth :(

 

As for the drive, I live in Norwalk and it took me about 45 min.  I hear your concern about driving in winter, but i would not let that deter you if you want to have your baby in this type of environment. If you happen to get up there too early (ie before 5 cm  I think- they can't admit you prior to this) you can always get a nearby hotel room and labor there. That is what we had to do since when I got up there and was checked I was only 2 cm and we were not about the drive all the way home! I wish I could have used them recently as I had another baby in April but alas they do not do Vbac's :(


If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#18 of 19 Old 09-05-2012, 07:14 PM
 
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I totally wish I could convince DH the drive would be worth it when we are ready for #2!  I live a tad bit further - about an hr and 30mins - so I settled for a hospital MW birth with DD, which turned out fine, but I think homebirth is not something DH will come around to so easily, and birthing center would be ideal but alas, I had a hard enough time convincing him is was OK to have just a MW! (he did come around to that though!)  I guess since we're not even thinking about the next one yet I could start dropping hints LOL!

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#19 of 19 Old 09-07-2012, 04:27 PM
 
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How many birthing rooms are there? It looks like there are 2 rooms, but I'm not sure.  

There are two rooms, but they also have sort of an emergency labor area in case there are three women laboring at the same time.

Is there a CNM there 24/7 or are there nurses/other staff that cares for you?

I do not know about the day hours, but over night we had a wonderful nurse (training at Yale to be a midwife) who was just amazing.

Did you have an IV?

I did not have an IV, I cannot even imagine being connected to anything with the amount of moving I did.  They used the doppler to monitor the baby's heart rate.

I see there's a kitchen, do they serve meals or are you and your family on your own?

I believe the previous poster answered this question, in our case, we arrived at 3:00 pm, my daughter, Jane was born at 5:30 and it was sort of a whirlwind, we ate very little.  The kitchen is there for your use, we packed some energy bars and fruit and that sufficed.

Did it seem like it was kept really clean and well-maintained? (I keep thinking about the tubs)

Very clean, I labored in the tub for a bit, but was not comfortable because of back labor.  The only issue I encountered, which ended up working for me was that they put me in the pin room first, and all I wanted was to get in the tub. They ran the water forever but for some reason it did not get warm so I ended up switching to the other room and had to wait for that tub to be filled (takes a while because of how deep the tubs are.)  It worked out because I wanted to be in the green room.  I was apprehensive about it during our tour, though, because the green room shares a wall with the common waiting room....my family definitely heard my loud labor noises!  Turns out you cannot care less about other people hearing you when you are actually in labor though.....

 

 

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