Chicago- A Woman's Place or New Life? Any opinions? - Mothering Forums
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Missouri, Illinois, Iowa > Chicago- A Woman's Place or New Life? Any opinions?
jrose_lee's Avatar jrose_lee 12:26 AM 08-28-2008
Hey!

We are living in Chicago and due around April. We're going to have a homebirth!

I have a consultation with A Woman's Place tomorrow and one with Sarah Simmons at New Life Midwifery the next day. I'm sure I'll form my own opinions, but I was just curious if anyone had any real life expertise to add. I'd love to hear anything!

Thanks!
jessica

acp's Avatar acp 01:04 PM 08-28-2008
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Watching what people say, and also curious in your thoughts once you meet them, Jessica.
I'm also due in April, and while I have my first appointment tomorrow with my midwife from last time (who I adore) she only does hospital births and I'm planning to interview at these two practices since I'd really like a homebirth this time, assuming I feel as good about them as I do my old midwife.
chandasz's Avatar chandasz 01:17 PM 08-28-2008
I know people who have been with both these practices and have had fantastic births. I'd recommend meeting both and seeing who you feel best meshes with YOU. Both have very good reputations
acp's Avatar acp 02:52 PM 10-03-2008
Jessica, what did you end up deciding? I'm curious, since I'm in a similar position and recently met with both practices (I think I'll be going with Sarah). Also, I can't believe how busy April seems to be for home births!
jrose_lee's Avatar jrose_lee 03:01 PM 10-03-2008
Hey! I ended up going with Sarah, even though I'm thinking she's not in network for our insurance. I really liked her and felt that she was on the same page for me. A woman's place seemed a tiny bit more medical (but also very nice).
honeybunmom's Avatar honeybunmom 04:07 PM 10-03-2008
I know you've made your choice, but I do want to add that I had a homebirth with Jewel (now retired from midwife work) and Jennifer in '05. Jennifer's previous experience was in a hospital. I met Amy for the first time last night and she seems very nice. I don't know what her previous experience is. In any event, Jewel and Jennifer (especially Jennifer) were wonderful and helping me birth my posterior-never-turned ("We see eyebrows!"), 9lb first baby at home after a 5.5 hour pushing phase that resulted in a swollen cervix. They did everything they could to keep me at home and from transfering to the hospital . . . and thank goodness it worked. Jennifer had some knowledge of a technique she'd read about and never had to use (simply icing down my cervix) that kept me at home.
mommy2naomi's Avatar mommy2naomi 11:09 AM 10-09-2008
I had a failed HBAC with Sarah in May. If you would like more details please PM me.

PS - I also felt that Jennifer was more medical when I interviewed her but I liked them both. I picked Sarah because she and I just totally clicked.
mamasara's Avatar mamasara 03:21 PM 10-15-2008
My sister just had a homebirth with both Jennifer and Amy on Saturday. They were wonderful! I'd recommend them and my sister and her husband were extremely satisfied with their homebirth experience with them.
chimomma's Avatar chimomma 07:25 PM 10-27-2008
I had hospital birth with a woman's place. It was fine, I was only in the hospital less than two hours before delievery. That was with Jewel, but she left. Now I am back seeing Jennifer and Amy for my second pregnancy. They are really nice and supportive of the desicions you make, but not totally hands off. I do think that if you didn't want something they would support you. I have a friend who recently had a homebirth with Sarah Simmons. She interveiwed a Woman's place and also thought they were too medical. She ended up not being satified with Sarah and it seemed like she was too hands off during her water birth. And she also mentioned she was kind of distracted and didn't help out much after the birth. So maybe it depends on what exactly you are looking for. There are also a slew of underground birth attendants in the area if you are interested in that.
CEG's Avatar CEG 11:33 PM 10-27-2008
I had a homebirth last month with Jennifer from a Woman's Place and I couldn't ask for a better experience. She was incredibly supportive while also being hands off and letting me make my own decisions. I would absolutely recommend Jennifer and Amy.
Romana's Avatar Romana 03:00 PM 10-31-2008
I chose Jennifer with A Woman's Place for the birth of my #2. I called late and the last part of the birth went very fast (homebirth) so she arrived after ds was born, but I have a very high opinion of her and will be hiring her again if I have a #3. I would agree that she is more medical than some midwives (though certainly much less so than a typical hospital-based midwife), but I have found her to be very interested, intelligent, and respectful of a mother's choices. The guildelines they do have are, in my opinion, truly in place to ensure good and healthy outcomes. The most important thing I can say is that I feel I've finally found a birth HCP that I can trust. I would also say that I do not have textbook births and she's been very supportive (validating rather than undercutting my experience of the birth or questioning my opinions/feelings/perceptions of the birth).

The only downside I can think of at the moment is that the appointments are a bit short for me, because I always have a lot of questions/things to talk about related to the pregnancy and birth. I'm not sure how long a typical appointment is there (maybe 15-30 min?), but I always needed more time. Plus it didn't help that I always had to fight traffic to get there and half the time was late myself. :

Overall, I would highly recommend her.

Good luck to anyone trying to choose . . . it's not easy!
chimomma's Avatar chimomma 12:13 AM 11-02-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2 View Post

The only downside I can think of at the moment is that the appointments are a bit short for me, because I always have a lot of questions/things to talk about related to the pregnancy and birth. I'm not sure how long a typical appointment is there (maybe 15-30 min?), but I always needed more time. Plus it didn't help that I always had to fight traffic to get there and half the time was late myself. :

Overall, I would highly recommend her.

Good luck to anyone trying to choose . . . it's not easy!
Whenever I go in there I usually stay between 30-60 mins. Never felt pushed out or rushed at all.... maybe I am just being oblivious and overstaying my time! Anyways, I was always impressed with amount of time they spend with you discussing just about anything.
chemmama's Avatar chemmama 12:55 PM 11-02-2008
Hi-
I interviewed both and I went with a woman's place in the end. I was very very happy with the whole experience. I know that they have the reputation for being more "medical" but honestly I didn't get that from them at all. I basically refused every test from ultrasounds to the group B strep thing. I think I had a blood test at the beginning and the urine tests. I don't know if there was anything else. At the birth itself, Jewel was phenomenal and very hands off and afterwards she was great as well.

I liked sarah ALOT and I felt that we clicked better and she was closer to my house. However she canceled a few appointments and my first was born early so I liked that a woman's place had hospital privileges.

Alice
dj_una's Avatar dj_una 04:13 PM 11-07-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2naomi View Post
I had a failed HBAC with Sarah in May. If you would like more details please PM me.

PS - I also felt that Jennifer was more medical when I interviewed her but I liked them both. I picked Sarah because she and I just totally clicked.

I am planning an HBAC with Sarah for December.. I am pm'ing you
emilyw99's Avatar emilyw99 12:27 AM 12-28-2008
jessica, how are things going with sarah? i'm trying to decide who to go with for our next homebirth...
jrose_lee's Avatar jrose_lee 04:18 PM 12-28-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyw99 View Post
jessica, how are things going with sarah? i'm trying to decide who to go with for our next homebirth...
Hey! Things are going really well with Sarah I'm thinking she will be as hands off as I want her to be (which is sort of what I like). She had no problem at all with my not doing a lot of the normal "testing" stuff. I did the bare minimum. She is really sweet and I like her a lot. Let me know if you have any questions!
Shonahsmom's Avatar Shonahsmom 02:27 PM 12-29-2008
I'm due in May and am using Sarah and am really, really happy with her so far.
acp's Avatar acp 03:49 PM 12-29-2008
I'm also using Sarah and have been very happy with her so far...
LEAW's Avatar LEAW 02:39 PM 01-29-2009
Sarah caught my son, and it was a great experience, PM me if you want more info.

I interviewed Jen and my husband and I felt her approach to be more medical and we were really discouraged by her interactions with our then 2 yr old dd.
octobermoon's Avatar octobermoon 08:51 PM 02-05-2009
i am planning on meeting with sarah soon, (and yes she is VERY hard to get hold of) and also A Woman's place. i am wondering how A woman's place is more medical? this will be our first so i don't know much. do they require tests or what? also i am wondering at which hospital does A Woman's Place have privileges?
acp's Avatar acp 06:03 PM 02-08-2009
My sense when I interviewed A women's place (though I haven't worked with them, so i might be wrong) is that they cared more about making sure you did the standard tests, glucose, Strep, etc and were a little more similar to a lot of CNMs working in hospitals than Sarah is (though she's a CNM too). Sarah, for instance, was fine with me skipping the glucose test (also would have been fine with me doing it), and agreed with my reasons for why I was extremely low risk for it. I think her philosophy in general is to let the mother make more of the decisions - as long as she sees them as safe, of course, and she'll certainly give her input.
The main reason I didn't go with them is that I didn't totally gel with Amy when I met her, but she's no longer with the practice, and I never met Jennifer.
I know they lost the hospital they were working with shut down, but I think now they have privileges at Swedish Covenant?

I've been very happy with Sarah overall, though the hard-to-get-ahold of thing has been frustrating to me lately - I plan to bring it up at our next appointment.
octobermoon's Avatar octobermoon 06:13 PM 02-08-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by acp View Post
My sense when I interviewed A women's place (though I haven't worked with them, so i might be wrong) is that they cared more about making sure you did the standard tests, glucose, Strep, etc and were a little more similar to a lot of CNMs working in hospitals than Sarah is (though she's a CNM too). Sarah, for instance, was fine with me skipping the glucose test (also would have been fine with me doing it), and agreed with my reasons for why I was extremely low risk for it. I think her philosophy in general is to let the mother make more of the decisions - as long as she sees them as safe, of course, and she'll certainly give her input.
The main reason I didn't go with them is that I didn't totally gel with Amy when I met her, but she's no longer with the practice, and I never met Jennifer.
I know they lost the hospital they were working with shut down, but I think now they have privileges at Swedish Covenant?

I've been very happy with Sarah overall, though the hard-to-get-ahold of thing has been frustrating to me lately - I plan to bring it up at our next appointment.
thanks. i too have been frustrated and a little worried since she has been so hard for me to get a hold of. it makes me nervous, i'm thinking is she gonna be there for me when i need her? kwim? i haven't met her yet though so this is all i have to go by so far.
babywolverine's Avatar babywolverine 07:07 PM 02-09-2009
I just had a homebirth with Sarah two weeks ago and it was great. As previous posters have pointed out, she is pretty hands-off, so if you want a birth with lots of hugs/backrubs/cheering etc., she may not click with you. I really appreciated how she stayed in the background and offered suggestions, rather than ordering me around. If I wanted that, I could have delivered in the hospital with my ob/gyn As for being hard to reach/canceling appts., I think she is working on bringing another midwife into the practice in order to lighten her workload a bit.
octobermoon's Avatar octobermoon 07:18 PM 02-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by babywolverine View Post
I just had a homebirth with Sarah two weeks ago and it was great. As previous posters have pointed out, she is pretty hands-off, so if you want a birth with lots of hugs/backrubs/cheering etc., she may not click with you. I really appreciated how she stayed in the background and offered suggestions, rather than ordering me around. If I wanted that, I could have delivered in the hospital with my ob/gyn As for being hard to reach/canceling appts., I think she is working on bringing another midwife into the practice in order to lighten her workload a bit.
congratulations!!! :
deymm's Avatar deymm 12:56 AM 02-10-2009
I have hired Jennifer and her new midwife Laura from A Woman's Place for my homebirth in September. After our initial consult and my first prenatal appointment, I don't find them to be overly medical at all. In the end, any testing is my choice.

I previously had a HB with mw's in CA and when interviewing Jen, I met the sister of one of my CA midwives in the waiting room. That spoke volumes for me.

I also find appoitments easy to come by and Jocelyn in the office is always great to talk to. (unlike the witches at my previous Ob/Gyn's office)
Octobermoon, we are in the same DDC!

If you have more questions, feel free to PM me.
CEG's Avatar CEG 01:19 AM 02-10-2009
I find the perception that Jennifer is more medical really surprising.

It's important to remember that informed consent works both ways- some providers will tell you what they want you to know and pressure you to accept the testing/procedure. Some will tell you what they want you to know or not discuss it at all because they want you to choose not to have something. I think Jennifer strikes a great balance by telling everything there is to know and letting the patient make the decision. Maybe the fact that she discusses things in detail instead of just dismissing them or giving her opinion makes her seem more medical.

Either way I never felt pressured one way or another for testing or procedures and had a lovely birth.
babywolverine's Avatar babywolverine 09:05 PM 02-10-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by octobermoon View Post
congratulations!!! :
thanks
haleyelianasmom's Avatar haleyelianasmom 04:45 PM 02-20-2009
Does anyone know... is it hard to get in at either of those places? I'm more interested in A Woman's Place just based on what I've read, but we're not 100% sure we'll be living in the Chicago area by the birth and if I have to start care here and then transfer mid pregnancy, I'm worried that I won't "get in". How many patients do they usually accept? Do they have to turn people away ever?
deymm's Avatar deymm 04:50 PM 02-20-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by haleyelianasmom View Post
Does anyone know... is it hard to get in at either of those places? I'm more interested in A Woman's Place just based on what I've read, but we're not 100% sure we'll be living in the Chicago area by the birth and if I have to start care here and then transfer mid pregnancy, I'm worried that I won't "get in". How many patients do they usually accept? Do they have to turn people away ever?
I have found scheduling with AWP very easy.
haleyelianasmom's Avatar haleyelianasmom 04:58 PM 02-20-2009
That's good to hear. I really want to stick with the same provider all through my pregnancy. My husband is looking for a job in the Chicago area so if it's looking positive, I'd like to go to AWP from the start. We're hoping!
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