I talked to someone outside of Evergreen and they explained how the Evergreen Midwifery Clinic works. Basically you're seen by midwives for your pregnancy but then deliver under the same hospital protocol as anyone delivering there. Yes, you'd have a midwife deliver you, but you would also be subject to the pressures of the hospital. They had a 38% c-section rate last year, too. That rate doesn't separate out midwife births, however, but it's too big for me as it is.
This is NOT what I want so I'm now meeting with a midwife at the Puget Sound Birth Center. Thanks for the feedback everyone!
Can you tell me about your experience birthing at Evergreen in Kirkland? I read all of the material they offer on their website and it seems very baby friendly. I've read on this forum, however, that they're not 'mother' friendly. Can someone tell me why one would say that?
How were they with following your birth plans? Having one is at the top of their list of what to bring with you at delivery, but I'm wondering how it is actually handled. Did they ask you over and over if you wanted things you'd listed as 'no?' Can you eat in the room throughout labor? Can you deliver in the shower or tub?
I'll be delivering my first some time in July (hopefully) so I'm just starting to look into midwives/ birth centers. We're just moving to Issaquah next week from SoCal.
Oh, and I am on Tricare Standard if anyone has any experiences with natural childbirth, Tricare, and Seattle birth centers/ hospitals.
I've never birthed there, so I can't talk from that experience. Most my nieces and nephews were born there, but not to parents who were the type to research birthing options or question anything an OB says. They have one of the highest cesarean rates in the region (I think its getting close to 40%?), so that is very concerning and says a lot about the kind of birthing environment. Especially since the high rate isn't due to lots of high risk patients. UW sees the highest risk have have a much lower rate! They are definitely very baby friendly! You can expect rooming in, excellent breastfeeding support/encouragement, and no separation of mom/baby. If I had a medical reason to require a scheduled cesarean, I wouldn't hesitate to go there. They do a lot of cesareans, so they're good at them ;) And none of my cesarean born nieces/nephews were separated from their parents. no routine nursery obsesrvation, all routine tests/exams/procedures done in room.
I birthed my first at Evergreen 8 years ago. It was "ok", but there is a reason I had homebirths after that. I just felt like my wishes were not respected and I wasn't treated as an individual.
With my first, my water broke. Being a naive first time mom, I went straight to the hospital (NEVER do this, stay at home until you go into labor!). Since I wasn't in active labor on my own after 8 hours or so they played the "dead baby card" and told me I'd be an automatic c/s if I didn't give birth by 24 hours after my water broke. No consideration of if it is necessary. Repeated pelvic exams (which are a big no no since the biggest issue with ruptured membranes is the risk of infection which internal exams can cause by introducing bacteria). Anyways, I was pressured into accepting pitocin. Prior to that, things were great. I had a wonderful nurse, who did (after I was induced) continue to stay with me, past the time her shift was over. She was the best part of the experience. I honestly don't think anyone read my birth plan. I was asked over and over if I wanted things I specifically said I didn't want to be asked about (epidural, drugs, etc).
I wasn't allowed in the tub since my water had broken. Once on pitocin I was not allowed to eat or drink anything. I finally gave in and got an epidural, I was so exhausted and the pit contractions were just awful.
After the birth I did not appreciate that my baby was treated basically without asking what I wanted (bathed while they stitched me up, etc). I also really did not like being woken up every few hours to have my temp taken, be poked and prodded, etc. Oh, and they gave me a drug I'm allergic to in my epidural, so I had the fun allergic reaction to that to contend with after my son's birth too. It was right in my chart, in red, I was allergic. They just didn't bother to check!
My 2nd birth was a great homebirth, but for comparison I want to share my 3rd birth because it was similar. With my 3rd I planned on a MW assisted homebirth.
My water broke at 6pm Monday. I called my midwife. She went over with me things to be watching for (signs of infection, signs of cord prolapse, making sure baby was still active, etc). Then she suggested I eat and get some sleep and call her when labor started. Woke up in the am, ate breakfast, still not much by the way of contractions (one every half hour or so). She wanted to see me since my waters had been broken for over 12 hours so dh and I went to her office at 11 am. We talked about how I was doing, she gave me options if I wanted to try to get things going, we talked, and I ended up going home with some herbal tinctures to try around 4pm if labor hadn't kicked into gear by then. My appointment lasted around 45 minutes, no internal exams do to risk of infection (she said she would do one only if I really wanted it, and I didn't). On the way home my labor started (yes, I was rushing home to have the baby!) and she was born around 1pm. Super easy birth. Afterwards I got to sleep as I could (when baby was sleeping) with no one waking me up to poke and prod. I was in charge of taking my temperature every so often to screen for infection and was given instructions on post partum care and what to watch for (and told to call my midwife or 911 if any of them happened). It was nice and relaxing at home and I got more sleep, with 3 kids in the house, then I did at the hospital with my first birth!
Had I been at the hospital, I would have been started on pitocin in the early am and not had a chance to deliver on my own. They don't treat you as an individual and make sure things are going well and decide from there. Rather, they have protocol to follow, and since risk of infection goes up by 24 hours after membranes have ruptured, they automatically assume every woman who is not going to deliver shortly after needs a c/s.
A nice compromise would be Puget Sound Birth Center up by Evergreen. Great midwives, nice facility, super close to the hospital just in case you need emergency help. Or, find a hospital and provider who is natural birth friendly, and pray they are on call when you go into labor.
Check out Puget Sound Midwifes and Birth Center http://www.birthcenter.com/ . They are a few blocks from Evergreen. I will be delivering there in July also (if all goes as planned!) with a midwife from Snohomish.
I have not delivered at Evergreen but I too have heard they have a high C-Section rate. My SIL did have a good experience but she is all for epidurals. I have heard really, really good things about the birth center (one of the reasons we chose to deliver there).
Good luck with your decision!!
Hope you found a good place for you. I had a natural birth at Evergreen 7 years ago and another natural birth at PSBC 3ish years ago. I never felt pressured at Evergreen and my midwife was awesome; and the clinic I went to always had a midwife on call so you didn't have to worry so much about getting a non-natural-friendly dr. My main beef was that I couldn't delivery in water there, which I really felt drawn to during labor. Also postpartum in the hospital sucked, lots of interruptions instead of lots of sleeping. On the other hand my labor with #2 was so fast I was only in the birth center about 3 minutes before giving birth but the big tub WOULD have been perfect otherwise. I would've liked to have stayed in the birth center longer after giving birth, but you're only allowed to stay a couple hours.
Either way I recommend Evergreen's mom/baby groups -- they're free to start with and very pro-breastfeeding and babywearing etc. I don't think PSBC has a mom's group anymore.
I love the ladies at PSBC! Had my first son at Valley Medical, second son at Evergreen, and my third and fourth at PSBC. I plan on having baby #5 at home, with the PSBC midwives.
Xzavier - 9 Julien - 5 Jayce - 3 Jaxon - 18mos
Hoping for a in November!
I am so happy for you that you learned what you needed to make the decision to switch. PSBC is fantastic. Happy birthing (if you haven't already had the baby, then I hope it went great!)
M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey