I had my first-a water birth at the ABC at W. Sub (Hilary delivered). I also live about 40 min. away and for me that was not good. I had a very fast labor and barely made it to the hospital (baby was out 45 min. after we arrived at the hospital, and it would have been sooner if I hadn't been trying to keep her in during morning shift change and the politics to get into a room). Unfortunately for me, I hemorrhaged at delivery and again 2 days later, requiring multiple blood transfusions and ultimately surgery under general....my experience at W. Sub was nothing short of awful and my loved ones made me swear up and down that I would never set foot in that hospital again. The midwives were fine and the ABC is really nice, but unless you are 100% sure that you will be free of complications, I would not recommend birthing there. The nurses ranged from horrible to quite good (with mediocre being the norm) and the chain of communication was severely flawed...I wasn't even seen by a doctor until after my second hemorrhage even though I'd already had a transfusion prior to that time. I would have bled to death had it not been for the swift and unrelenting advocacy from my family members, and I won't even go into the lack of support that I received to help baby and I with things like BFing when I was needing to be drugged and brought in for surgery.
I had #2 and #3 at Rush Copley. I worked with the MWs at Rush Copley Ob-Gyn and planned on a water birth for #2 however, she was a stubborn transverse breech who wouldn't turn for anything and when my water broke, I needed an emergency C-S. Karen was there with me during the surgery for support. With #3 I saw Karen for my initial prenatal care, but I knew I'd be needing another C-S because I needed a classical incision to safely turn/deliver #2. Due to pregnancy complications this time around, my care was transferred to the OBs around week 20. I just delivered last week and I will say that while a C-S would never be the way that I would want to birth if I could choose, the doctors, nurses, and staff were really great about working with me to make the delivery as family-centered as possible....The anesthesiologist allowed me to keep my arms free, the neonatologist agreed to present baby to me immediately after birth prior to cleaning/assessing, and a nurse agreed to stay in with the baby so as soon as the assessment was finished, Baby was brought to me and held up so that he could nuzzle and nurse while I was being stitched up and then DH, Baby, and I all went to recovery together.
The nurses at Rush Copley ranged from really good to excellent, with excellent being the norm, and the staff was always very attentive, friendly, and helpful. When I had concerns about the amount of post-partum bleeding I was experiencing, it was addressed quickly and completely. Karen also cam by to visit me and cuddle Baby.
Right now Karen is the only MW in the practice. Noreen resigned about a week ago due to family health reasons. They are currently in the process of hiring a new MW for the practice.
While I can't comment on the water birth experience at RC since my wonky pregnancies kept me from getting to that point, I can say that as a hospital RC is leaps and bounds better than W. Sub in my experience. While I am glad that I got to have a water birth experience with #1, the care that I received at the hospital was awful and I shudder to think what would have happened if DD had been the one with complications rather than me.
Anyway, that's my tome. Good luck to you.
Wife to my DH Mama to my two girls '03 and '06 and my sweet 3-'10 I am blessed.