A few may remember a while back (as in like 6 or 7 months ago) when I asked if anyone had any experiences with Dr. DJ Clow and Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe, MO. No one at the time had any, but now I have "been there and done that."
All I can say is that it was wonderful. Admittedly, I didn't know what was going on when I first went into labor, but looking back, things went very well.
Dr. Clow was very good with all the appointments and always listened to me and my concerns. He never just wrote me off for anything and was quite willing to explain anything I had questions about. His philosophy on birth is that as long as Mother Nature is doing her job, he's just there to be a cheerleader and play catch. This is a far cry from what I had heard about alot of doctors being surgery-happy.
He didn't use a vacuum or forceps or anything like that. Episiotomies are only for extreme situations, in his opinion. (He said he could count on one hand how many he had done in like the past 10 years, and since he's the only OB within an hour radius, he has been involved with plenty of births.)
Matthew was placed on my stomach immediately after he took his first breath and they knew he was "normal." (There were some initial worries since he was 6 weeks early.) They allowed me to hold him before they did any of the other normal testing. The APGAR scores and all that took place in the room with me. The only time they took him away was when they took him to the nursery for his first bath, which his dad attended.
I do remember that the doctor was massaging my perineum or something to keep me from tearing as badly (only 2nd degree) when the baby came. I say "or something" because my contractions were coming fast enough by the time I got to Chillicothe that I was losing touch with anything other than the fact that I was in pain. The nurses were trying to coach me on how to breathe in the middle of all that, and I don't think it ever really took. The only thing that really stuck with me was the comment "If you push when the contraction starts, the pain will ease up." That left me pushing for dear life at that point. Maybe that's why the baby came out so fast?
At any rate, I was surprised when the doctor just massaged my belly to make the placenta come out. When Mom had me, her doctor had coached her to push it out just like when she was pushing me out. I had kinda expected something similar. The massage was much better, especially given how tired I was.
The maternity ward is under complete lock-down so only recognized guests and workers can get in, so no worries about random people just walking in and taking there pick of whoever is available in the nursery. All rooms are as cozy as a hospital room can be, in my opinion, with tvs and couches and rocking chairs and such. We had complete rooming-in, so the baby never left my sight unless he was with someone I absolutely trusted. (One of the nurses was actually my husband's old baby-sitter. Small world.) Even then, babies are not allowed out of the room unless in the bassinet and not allowed out of the maternity ward (or "New Life Center" as they call it) until time to go home.
They honor the wishes of the mother such as one woman who gave birth a couple of days after me who did not want any form of artificial nipple being offered to her child.
BTW, any position the woman wants to give birth in is alright with Dr. Clow. He allows free movement if there's time. In my case, I couldn't walk by the time I got to him. I also wasn't very interested in trying other positions other than the slightly propped up position the bed created. I had to sign a release, but they didn't try too hard to convince us to vaccinate my son that early, either. They also don't try to "force" you into circumcision. They'll ask early on, but that's about it.
The only thing that was annoying to me is that the dietary department doesn't give guest trays to fathers and supper trays for visitors have to be ordered by like 10am. That left my husband eating at McDonalds.
(Having spent two years working in dietary at another hospital really made this an issue for me.) Of course, that has nothing to do with the OB department.
This is getting too long, so I'll leave it here.