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#1 of 12 Old 03-22-2012, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need some ENCOURAGING stories about natural births at Valley Medical Center in Renton. Any mamas out there who've had a GOOD (somewhat recent) experience with the midwives who deliver there? I'm almost 30wks along and am really confused about providers. I've seen 3+ different ones in various places during this pregnancy and can't seem to feel at peace about my options.

 

Thanks :) 

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#2 of 12 Old 03-24-2012, 01:31 PM
 
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I don't have any personal experience, but their c-section rate is pretty darn good (less than 22%):

 

http://www.cesareanrates.com/washington-cesarean-rates/

 

I'm sorry you haven't found someone you're 100% on.  Do you have any idea what is confusing you/ not letting you be at peace with your choice?


 

 

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#3 of 12 Old 03-27-2012, 03:12 PM
 
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Hi! My son is actually exactly 6 months today and I love Love LOVE the midwives! (I'm actually sad that I don't get to see them any more since I delivered...haha!)

 

With my first I didn't go natural (30+ hours, epidural, and a not-so-great dr on call), but with this little man, I decided to try going natural -- no IV or anything (they told me if I wanted medication that I would have to get the IV). I delivered with Amy Steers (she was my fav even though I really liked them all). I can't say how grateful I am to her. She picked up on every cue I gave -- when I wanted to be left alone, she knew and wouldn't bother me. When I needed a back rub she was on it (and somehow knew not to touch me during contractions). It was amazing! Completely different from how it was with the drs when I delivered my daughter in the same hospital. Aside from just being amazing, somehow I didn't tear this time like I did when I delivered my daughter. I was also impressed that she remember me making a comment on how I liked the pushing part better than the labor part, so when I felt like it was too much she had just the words to talk me through it.

 

Aside from Amy's grateness, the whole atmoshpere of this delivery was different. First off, there was no large group of people in hazmat suits looking like they were about to do a moonwalk, just Amy, and the two nurses. It was calm and relaxed -- even my husband enjoyed it (even though I was rather, shal we say, "loud" during the experience). With my daughter, ny husband was stressed out, but with my son he was a great help because it was way more relaxed and he could concentrate on me and what was going on. Looking back, I wish I knew about them with my first.

 

On a side note, I was just out with a group of friends and one of them mentioned that she is switching to the midwives at valley. Of the 6 of s, 3 of us had delivered there (and I know of at least one more friend who had delivered there too). No one had anything bad to say -- and one of them had a very complicated delivery. HIGHLY reccomend the midwives! Not sure that you can get better care elsewhere.

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#4 of 12 Old 03-27-2012, 09:18 PM
 
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I started seeing valley midwives my last trimester - my insurance changed the beginning of the year and I had to find a different provider. (was with grouphealth but work switched insurance). I just delivered March 18 with valley midwives - went almost all natural had one shot of fentynal (sp?) towards the end of labor but midwife told me I still had bragging rights :). During labor no one suggested drugs to me just other methods of dealing with pain - I did use the jacuzzi tub for awhile and it helped. Also had my "birthing ball" not sure how much it helped my pain but think it did help with opening my hips. I was having back labor and managed to go through the majority of my labor with out anything. When I got my shot I was 8 cm dilated and hour later I was fully dilated and didn't get any more after that since it was time to push.

 

Not sure how much help that is to you but thought I'd share. I had a good experience with them. Hope you find somewhere you are comfortable.

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#5 of 12 Old 03-27-2012, 09:32 PM
 
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+1 on the "I love the Midwives at Valley so much I would marry them if I could".  :)

 

I have three kids - the first was born before the midwives moved to Valley.  I wanted a midwife delivery at a hospital close by but couldn't find any practice to meet that criteria so went with an OB/GYN i really liked and who worked out of Valley.  The birth wasn't terrible but nor was it great (induced before I felt was necessary; felt like no one listened to me; plus it was when the current Birth Center was under construction so not as many amenities) so when I got pregnant three years later and heard about the Midwives at Valley, I immediately made an appointment...and by then i was almost 30 weeks along.  I fell in love with them and never looked back.

 

The second delivery happened so quickly that we didn't make it to the hospital in time but I credit the midwives and our doula for giving us  enough information prior to the birth to come out of the experience safe and healthy.  I joke that I only had a third child because I missed seeing my midwives - two years after my second kiddo, the third was born.  This time around, it went more like I'd hoped - two hours of active labor, no meds or trauma.  The tub was great and the two L&D nurses (Collette and Nancy) were proponents and students of natural birth - Collette teaches a prenatal med-free labor class at the hospital.  They worked so well with Laura Denman and a student midwife, plus my doula and husband.  I called them the Dream Team because they were all amazing, following my lead and together we did an incredible thing.

 

The aftercare was great, too.  I don't know if it's because I was under the care of midwives or because it was my third kid but they left us pretty much alone, other than the usual vitals checks.  When the midwife on call came in, it was just like a visit from an old friend.  We would chat, she would make sure I was recovering nicely, and then we would chat some more.

 

I'm done having babies but really miss seeing the midwives.  I still go there for my yearly checkups which I look forward to every year.  I'm Facebook friends with two of them, though, so I get to "see" them that way.  Occasionally, I have other business at the hospital and will bump into one of them - they remember me by name, even though I'm one of countless faces they see each year, and give me a hug and stop to talk.  The rest of the office staff is great, too - front desk, intake nurse, you name it, they're all warm and caring while still being professional.

 

I can also highly recommend Denise Stuart, the lactation consultant at Valley.  She also teaches the prenatal breastfeeding classes and runs a weekly drop-in playgroup at the hospital, too.  She is so fantastic as a resource for all things baby.  I met a great group of people through the drop-in group when my oldest was born seven years ago and we still keep in touch.  And Denise came to see me in the hospital after my second and third babies were born, officially as the LC but mostly to catch up.  We are also Facebook friends.  :)

 

So, in short, I have had great birth experiences at Valley and could not love the midwives (or lactation consultant) more.  Best of luck - I hope you are able to find some peace so you can focus on your and your baby and the exciting adventure ahead.

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#6 of 12 Old 03-27-2012, 10:15 PM
 
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I love the Midwives at Valley. I had my first with an OB and that birth resulted in a c-section, for many reasons such as he was posterior, too big then he got stuck and finally his heart rate was going down. With the second pregnancy I decided to switch to a  midwife and found a whole group at Valley Midwives. From the very first time I was shocked at how much care and attention I received. I was hoping for a VBAC and the midwives were very encouraging and motivating. I ended up delivering with Laura and the student midwife Hannah. OH MY GOODNESS they were AMAZING!!! First of all someone else was in labor so Hannah stayed with me as Laura would check in during the contractions. And Hannah was just great, she was like a doula and a midwife in one! When I was in labor I was not myself at all, and yet Hannah knew exactly what I needed, such as back support, or a different position. My baby was also posterior and as much as I did not want to move I was encouraged by Laura, Hannah and the nurses to move and sit on the birth ball, which resulted in the baby flipping and a great delivery. I loved the atmosphere that the midwives created, letting me be in charge of my labor. I tore and Laura did a great job on the stitches, I barely felt anything. I am very grateful for the birth that I had, the support from Hannah and Laura. I really felt comfortable, and with our future babies I defiantly am coming back. I had a VBAC, I did not think that I can do it. To the very last minute of labor I thought I was going to end up with another c section, but the midwives pulled me through. I had fentynal during labor, my baby was bigger than my first, and the recovery is amazing. I encourage everyone having a baby to visit the Midwives at Valley.

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#7 of 12 Old 04-05-2012, 08:33 AM
 
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Glad to see that I"m not the only one who wants to marry them! Haha! I couldn't agree more on the feeling that they are your friends. Seriously, my appointment with Amy was more like sitting down to chat with a friend over coffee. It was great to feel like they cared and I wasn't just a number.

 

Oh, and also goo to know that I'm not the only one stalking them on FB. Heehee!

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#8 of 12 Old 04-19-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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Hi all - I work at Valley Medical Center and wanted to let you know about a free event facilitated by one of our Certified Nurse Midwives, Carol Olivier. The event is a documentary video created by anthropologist & childbirth educator Vicki Elson titled: Laboring Under An Illusion: Childbirth In The Movies - What's Real & What's Not. In the film Vicki observes how our culture affects our birth experiences, and contrasts fiction with reality. The result is hilarious, engaging, and enlightening. It runs about 50 minutes; a Q&A with Carol Olivier will follow. The film starts at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 26th on Valley Medical Center's campus in the Medical Arts Center (MAC) Auditorium (1st floor): 400 S. 43rd Street in Renton, WA. Free parking is available in the MAC garage at the north end of the campus. You'll enter the Medical Arts Center from the 3rd floor skybridge, then take the elevator down to the first floor.

 

This is a good opportunity to meet one of our midwives and ask questions.

Best,

Kim

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#9 of 12 Old 09-03-2013, 03:38 PM
 
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So glad I came across this forum. I am in the same exact spot as you, clarissaM, right now. I'm 28 weeks pregnant and have been going to the Midwives at Valley for my second pregnancy. I know you've had your baby since it's been a year and a half. Just curious what you would say now looking back on your pregnancy and birth experience with the Midwives @ Valley. With my first baby I was in a stand alone birth center in Alaska, very smooth birth. having moved to this area recently, when I was interviewing for midwives for this second pregnancy, I wanted to find another birth center here, but the closest one is just way too far away. I interviewed with one midwife and just felt uncomfortable with her and her birth center. Despite my hesitance to birth in a hospital, I interviewed one of the Midwives at Valley and felt very comfortable with her and figured that is the most important thing anyway, is comfort. I've met with most the midwives and really like pretty much all of them. But as the pregnancy has worn on, my fears about birthing in a hospital have been getting stronger. I want to do everything naturally and don't want to be pressured into medical intervention. Today I reviewed my birth plan at my appt. with one of the midwives. I wanted to make sure we were on the same page. I was pretty delighted to find that we are. I sense that the midwives will do and support what I want. But also that there are OB/GYNs and pediatricians that kind of "supervise." For example, I plan on leaving the hospital after birth as soon as possible, as far as plans go. But the midwife said that at the very least the pediatrician/neonatal doctor on call that day will want me to stay at least 24 hrs. Not so great. But overall, I'm feeling pretty good about going to the Midwives at Valley.

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#10 of 12 Old 12-09-2013, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, Rachel! My experience was great. The midwife who delivered my DD was Mary Lou Kopas. Awesome, intuitive woman. I arrived at the hospital in transition and was immediately taken from triage (where Mary Lou had no problem with me laboring on the floor on hands and knees) to a LDR room. When I arrived in the room, she and the nurses had arranged all of the couch pillows on the floor so that I could labor on hands and knees on the floor in my preferred position. I pushed, stood/squatted to deliver -- it was great. In fact, the experience was so peaceful that at one point I asked "Can somebody say something?!" because everyone was so quiet. Mary Lou simply replied, "We're here. You know what you're doing. Just listen to your body and push your baby out." Fabulous. I was able to co-sleep and didn't have to suffer through those 2am nurse-waking-you-up-to-take-your-vitals visits! The whole staff at Valley was marvelous.

 

I'd also highly recommend my doula, Tonya Gervacio (tonyagervacio.com). She was a fantastic support and was particularly in tune with my needs in delivering a posterior baby who didn't want to turn!

 

I had a rough postpartum experience with anxiety and again, Mary Lou was amazing. She gave my husband her cell phone number and encouraged us to call if she could help at all. If I were to have another baby, I'd do it all again the same way!

 

Good luck in your journey! I wish you all the best :)

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#11 of 12 Old 12-09-2013, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, Rachel! My experience was great. The midwife who delivered my DD was Mary Lou Kopas. Awesome, intuitive woman. I arrived at the hospital in transition and was immediately taken from triage (where Mary Lou had no problem with me laboring on the floor on hands and knees) to a LDR room. When I arrived in the room, she and the nurses had arranged all of the couch pillows on the floor so that I could labor on hands and knees on the floor in my preferred position. I pushed, stood/squatted to deliver -- it was great. In fact, the experience was so peaceful that at one point I asked "Can somebody say something?!" because everyone was so quiet. Mary Lou simply replied, "We're here. You know what you're doing. Just listen to your body and push your baby out." Fabulous. I was able to co-sleep and didn't have to suffer through those 2am nurse-waking-you-up-to-take-your-vitals visits! The whole staff at Valley was marvelous.

 

I'd also highly recommend my doula, Tonya Gervacio (tonyagervacio.com). She was a fantastic support and was particularly in tune with my needs in delivering a posterior baby who didn't want to turn!

 

I had a rough postpartum experience with anxiety and again, Mary Lou was amazing. She gave my husband her cell phone number and encouraged us to call if she could help at all. If I were to have another baby, I'd do it all again the same way!

 

Good luck in your journey! I wish you all the best :)

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#12 of 12 Old 12-09-2013, 03:23 PM
 
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This blows my mind. haha. I'm typing this one handed, because in my other hand I hold my 3-week-old ds. I decided to stay with them too and get this, I also got Mary Lou!!!!!! I second everything you said about her--and the Valley staff too! My labor and birth went about as smooth and calm as it could go. When I got to the hospital at about noon, I was 6 cm dilated and was still really nervous about birthing in a hospital. I actually started crying when I opened up those big Birth Center doors, it was a flood of emotions and what ifs. I didn't have any doubts about Mary Lou, since she was one of my favorite midwives. But being in the hospital, would they push medical intervention on me? Would this spiral out of control? Would the nurses be unsupportive about my birth plan? Mary Lou I think could see how nervous I was in the triage and calmly said, "You are doing great. Be sure you speak up for what you want and what you don't want." Right then, I knew I had her full support and it was going to be okay. I labored in the hot tub and out for another couple hours, and then I started pushing. She was so encouraging when I was so tired and in so much pain, my husband says she told me exactly what I needed to hear. I pushed side-laying for about 45 mins. and voila...baby boy was born. It was a beautiful experience. The nurse too was amazing and came back the next day. She said it was just such an amazing birth and she just wanted to see the baby again. Being that it is a hospital, they're obviously not used to seeing a ton of natural births, but the staff obviously really put my birth plan and what I wanted first. Even the pediatrician did not pressure us whatsoever for the Hep B shot or the eye drops, since we declined these. We were worried about being forced to stay a long time. In total we stayed 23 hours. The pediatrician just wanted him to pee and poop then we could go. I ended up being totally fine with this. It was nice for me to have the nurses help out and I didn't mind too much them coming in and out. My husband was starting to get annoyed though, he didn't have such a great night's sleep. But hey, neither did I, I didn't care. But I'm sure if I'd thought to put on my birth plan more specific instruction about the nurses coming in and out they would do their best to respect that. All in all, it was great. I'm glad I stuck with them for sure. :)

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