Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new the the area and pregnant with my second. My first birth was a pretty fabulous OB assisted natural hospital birth (here) but I'm really hoping for a home birth this time around. I have a pre-existing heart condition that presented absolutely NO problems during my first birth. I moved half way through my pregnancy- in the first city I was seeing a CNM who had sent me to a cardiologist and I was ok'd for a midwife assisted hospital birth with absolutely no issues or worries. When I moved the hospital I was birthing at would not permit midwifery care for me so I had to find a new OB at 34 WEEKS (yeah, i was QUITE upset). Fortunately, one of the MWs I was seeing was married to an OB that worked at the same hospital and I had a great birth with Dr. Hovinen.

Anyway! Bay area mamas- tell me your experiences with local CNM and LM, birthcenters (there's only one in the SF area, right?), and hopsital births in the area. For hospital birthers- tell me about the staff at your hospital and how they treated you & your birth plan. I'm also POSSIBLY looking for a doula (no offense to the uber cruchy) who's name isn't Sunshine.
My first doula was a dreadlocked hippie friend, who was AMAZING, but I think this time around we're looking for someone more "main stream." I just don't want to hire someone who's going to tell me how beautiful my aura is. :p

I am generally a very healthy, normal woman
so I'm really hoping I can find an experienced CNM or LM who will take me on for a home birth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
I just saw your post. I had a homebirth with Amrit Khalsa and am preparing for my second. She's a very eperienced MW. I would also check out the Bay Area Homebirth Collective, Berkeley Parents Network, and the Nurture Center in lafayette for suggestions of possible MW's. I heard that there was a birthing center opening in Oakland -- I don't remember the name and when it was opening.

I hope that helps with some resources. There are so many around here that the biggest challenge for me was sorting through the options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by reillys_mom View Post
I just saw your post. I had a homebirth with Amrit Khalsa and am preparing for my second. She's a very eperienced MW. I would also check out the Bay Area Homebirth Collective, Berkeley Parents Network, and the Nurture Center in lafayette for suggestions of possible MW's. I heard that there was a birthing center opening in Oakland -- I don't remember the name and when it was opening.

I hope that helps with some resources. There are so many around here that the biggest challenge for me was sorting through the options.
Thanks so much for your response. Right now I'm having trouble just getting
ahold of anyone to talk to. Both of the mw's i've talked to (nancy myrick (sp) from rites of passage & cindy haag) aren't taking new patients right now & nancy told me cindy would be my best bet of someone who could administer antibiotics at home (I was strep b + last time but apparently that can change- but I also had to have anti-bios to protect my heart from bacterial endocarditis.

I'm really feeling like home birth might not be an option for me, so I'm going to look to birth centers next and then CNMs for a hospital birth if I have to.... and then last another OB.
:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,179 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
877 Posts
i just read about "the birth place" opening in another thread. it's in oakland, on park blvd.

i had a homebirth 01/05 in oakland with leah redwood and sue baelen, of ?sacred body midwifery in SF (part of the bay area homebirth collective). they were both wonderful for the prenatal/postnatal, but i had a very fast labor and out dd2 popped while they were on the bay bridge.
(i had really wanted an undisturbed birth, so my body made sure i got it...i went from sitting up eating oatmeal at 7:05 to birth half an hour later). so i don't really know much about their labor support style. Sue was an apprentice then, now she's done and on her own. Leah was pregnant herself at the time. she planned to start taking clients when baby reached a year (april06), but i haven't seen her name on the BAHC flyers yet, so maybe she's still on a babymoon, not wanting to leave baby overnight.

my pregnancies have the issue of elevated BP. mostly "white coat" type that's fine if i take it myself with nobody around watching to see if i "flunk", but a little elevated at the last few weeks (130s/high80s). leah and sue agreed to accept the BP measures i took weekly on my own. they wanted some additional lab work, too, to monitor for other signs of pre-eclampsia like liver/kidney function, etc.

my first experience was with kaiser oakland, and they pushed for nonstress tests by ?28 weeks. you lay there with a fetal monitor, and if baby's heart rate doesn't properly accelerate during fetal movement they'll want to induce or c-section you. talk about ways to stress out mama and get my BP up!

i birthed dd1 at Alta Bates since kaiser oakland had not yet reopened their maternity unit (closed when they were planning to close the whole oakland facility). kaiser on-call OB, AB's nursing staff. it was a "minimally" intervened with birth compared with many, but disempowering. ...why insist i lay on my back with stirrups? i was much more comfortable on my left side (which is incidentally supposed to slow down a fast labor, which this was: 3cm to birth in <2hrs)(and was how i birthed dd2 without anybody's "help"). ...why insist i push just because dd1 was past the cervix? i wasn't ready, had no urge, felt unbelievably weak and wanted to rest. i was told "you have to participate here." in a snotty tone of voice by a nurse. so i tried to push twice; it felt ineffective like when you're constipated on the toilet. then the urge came and i simultaneously got some strength and a sense of "how" to push and out popped her head. and next time out came her body. but i tore, and feel i wouldn't have if i'd been left to allow my body to do its thing. it's not like i was taking so damn long anyway; why do they have to be bossy and in charge?
maybe they wanted to get off on time... change of shift is 7am, she was born at 6:44.

and they took the baby and immediately demanded i push out the placenta (i just wanted to get out of those damn stirrups and rest), saying "i don't want you to hemorrhage;" using fear to hurry me along. they also gave me pitocin without telling me. i found out later when i got my records for my midwife. i couldn't believe it, wondered why and when they'd found the time, since the birth went so fast (i didn't sign the admission papers until an hour after she was born...). my midwife told me that it's standard practice to speed placental delivery and clamping off of blood vessels. you have to decline it in advance to avoid it, which is hard to do if you don't know about it!

i interviewed nancy myrick and really liked her, but felt more compatible with leah and sue.

good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Don't get dscouraged if you haven't heard from folks. It took a bunch of calls to hear back from a handful of MW's. Also, some work a reduced schedule over the holidays. The links that were included were a huge help to me. I took a birth class for homebirth and of the 10 couples there were probably 8 different MWs. Everyone had a good experience, even if they had to transfer.

As for the Strep B, you can look into alternative treatments to antibiotics. A good friend was positive and took garlic and propolis I think. Just another option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
redhen,
i don't know if you've figured all this out or not, but here's my two cents!
my first son is 10 month old. i went through a midwife (jeri zukoski) that delivers out of alta bates in berkeley. she was nice and all, but i didn't really have a good experience with her. everytime we came in for visits i felt like she didn't remember us AT ALL. also she didn't really explain my options or take the time to really respect what i wanted. i researched a lot on my own, so i didn't have very many questions. i think maybe she just takes too many clients or something. anyway, i really liked alta bates in berkeley, as far as the staff went. i didn't like that they decided to induce me at a week overdue (amniotic fluid was a little low, when i went in for monitoring, but nothing to worry about). and they also broke my water after being on pictocin for awhile which i told them i thought had already broke on it's own. the staff were all extremely nice though! i was there for in labor and delivery 31 1/2 hours, so we went through a few different shifts. i was allowed to labor however i wanted, positionwise (once they took the monitors off from the pictocin anyway). once our son was out, he didn't leave me for a second. they postponed the baby check an hour and did it in the room. the midwife came pretty much just for the pushing (this was her 7th baby in 7 days, so she was resting for all the rest of the labor).
i am now about 4 month pregnant and this time i'm looking for someone different. but i wouldn't mind delivering at alta bates again. the l&d staff were so nice, they really made it a good experience despite everything! i had made a birth plan and they respected everything that was on there that they could. they knew i didn't want any medications so helped me with alternatives, such as "toning"...which actually really helped once i hit really hard intense labor.
i talked to a homebirth midwife, Judith E. Luce, CPM
Womancare Home Midwifery
1515 Fairview St., Berkeley, Ca. 94703-2317
E-MAIL CHANGE: [email protected]
Tel. 510-428-1419
Cell phone: 802-249-8806
she seemed REALLY nice, i liked her a lot. unfortunately she's unable to take our insurance, but she was even willing to work something out with us to make it affordable. we just can't even afford that right now though :) but if you're still looking homebirth, she was so nice and seemed extremely knowledgable and grounded.
also i found some people on this website on their main website. i emailed a few of them yesterday but haven't heard anything back yet.
sorry this was so long. hopefully some of it helped :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,165 Posts
I had my first at the Birth Home in pleasanton where I saw both the OB and the midwives, Beah Haber and her partner Jennifer. The Birth Home is closed but I am pretty sure Beah still practices. If I were up her way, I would have used her the second time around. Instead I used Ronnie Falcao, but she is down on the peninsula. (You're in the east bay, right?)

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,594 Posts
I am due in a month and will be having my baby at Alta Bates with Lindy Johnson, CNM. Lindy assisted with the birth of my ds 3 years ago at Alta Bates. I really have no complaints about AB. Lindy was in charge and present in my room at all times so the L&D nurse took direction from her.

Lindy is a great midwife, calm and collected. She takes my insurance (Healthnet) so the entire birth is free except for copayments.

The postpartum care at AB was fine. I don't have any particular complaints except the usual annoyance at being woken up all the time for BP checks, etc. If I could skip postpartum and just go home I would be much happier. I am currently looking into that option.

I would have loved to have had a homebirth for this third and last child but I live in a collective household with 2 other couples and 4 children (including another newborn) and just couldn't imagine being relaxed enough here to go through a homebirth.

PM if you have more questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
An amazing option is Homestyle Midwifery in San Francisco through St. Luke's Hospital. They offer all the best of both worlds by creating a homebirth setting within a hospital. They move the hospital bed to the side, put in a futon and labor tub, dim the lights, etc. to create a comfortable, supportive environment. We were thrilled with all aspects of our care and birth and would definitely reccommend them and use them again ourselves in the future. Some highlights include the fact that they take all insurance, offer group visits with other women and partners due the same month as you to build community, get to know you really well and stay with you throughout the entire labor and birth.

http://www.homestylemidwifery.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,594 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jenno View Post
An amazing option is Homestyle Midwifery in San Francisco through St. Luke's Hospital. They offer all the best of both worlds by creating a homebirth setting within a hospital. They move the hospital bed to the side, put in a futon and labor tub, dim the lights, etc. to create a comfortable, supportive environment. We were thrilled with all aspects of our care and birth and would definitely reccommend them and use them again ourselves in the future. Some highlights include the fact that they take all insurance, offer group visits with other women and partners due the same month as you to build community, get to know you really well and stay with you throughout the entire labor and birth.

http://www.homestylemidwifery.com/
I have heard really great things about St. Lukes!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
My homebirth midwife was also through the Bay Area Homebirth Collective. I found a lot of information at Natural Resources in San Francisco. They had a binder with information on some hospitals and midwives. Hope that helps! I have my 16 month old pulling at me
right now!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jenno View Post
An amazing option is Homestyle Midwifery in San Francisco through St. Luke's Hospital.
Yes, as a former SF childbirth educator I told many couples about St. Lukes and Yeshi (with Homestyle Midwifery).

If homebirth is still an idea for you, I highly recommend Awakenings Birth Services (Dana, Juli and Deborah), www.awakeningsbirthservices.com

They are great group practice of 3 midwives.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
877 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jenno View Post
An amazing option is Homestyle Midwifery in San Francisco through St. Luke's Hospital. They offer all the best of both worlds by creating a homebirth setting within a hospital. They move the hospital bed to the side, put in a futon and labor tub, dim the lights, etc. to create a comfortable, supportive environment. We were thrilled with all aspects of our care and birth and would definitely reccommend them and use them again ourselves in the future. Some highlights include the fact that they take all insurance, offer group visits with other women and partners due the same month as you to build community, get to know you really well and stay with you throughout the entire labor and birth.

http://www.homestylemidwifery.com/
i'm a PT at SLH (now part of CPMC), and have also heard good things about our L&D system. much less interventionist, less C/S, etc. than most hospitals. and when i was interviewing midwives for my homebirth, nancy myrick told me they are receptive and collegial when her clients need to transport.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,697 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Deirdre View Post
I have heard really great things about St. Lukes!
I had my baby at St. Luke's. I received my care through their Nurse midwife clinic called the Mother's Center on Valencia street in SF. I was very happy with the whole experience. I am a nurse and my husband works in health care and I couldn't convince him to do a home birth (maybe next time), but we were both pleased with our experience "going natural" at St. Luke's. They have the lowest epidural and cesarean rate in the city, probably because of the midwives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
I had a baby at AB with a midwife I liked, but I HATE Alta Bates with a passion. It would take all day for my to write about why. Let me just say, never again, no way, I wish I'd gone anywhere else. I got bad treatment from every nurse from check-in to the walk out to the car at the end, it couldn't have been more frustrating, annoying, and disempowering.
And I had two great family-friendly, happy births before this, so I know what's possible.
ugh.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top