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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DH and I recently decided we would have a third, though we won't be conceiving for a while yet. Before we even start TTC I want to find a care provider but I figured before that I should pick a hospital. Since my two cherubs were not born here I have no experience with the local hospitals, but Lowell General and Saints Memorial are the ones closest to us, but Emerson Hospital is not terribly far so I could consider that.<br><br>
I would be having a repeat c/s (2 c/s thus far and given my history I am not comfortable considering a VBA2C) - so mostly I'm concerned with baby/mama after care rather than labor support - We don't vax or circ and we expect to be able to room-in and, etc. All my babies have been big and so I've had to worry about the automatic blood sugar testing / formula pushing crap. I prefer to be in a place that treats me like a thinking person and doesn't try to push any of these things on us. My sons birth was wonderful even though it was a c/s - afterwards they backed off and left us alone, no pressure to get their procedures done by a certain time, etc.<br><br>
Anyone care to share their experiences, good or bad with any of these facilities? Thanks!
 

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I grew up in Dracut and am pretty familiar with Saints and Lowell general. I gave birth to ds#1 and and ds#2 at Saints memorial, ds#3 was a homebirth. I would never go to Lowell general if my life depended on it. They completly botched a friend of mine C/S when I was in high school and around the same time they almost killed my mother with mistakes they made while she was in the ICU for diabetes. Some people say its nice but I personnally wont go there. Saints was alright even though I prefered home. They are fine about rooming in but I am not sure about no vax. I cannot remember about circ but I don't think they were pusshy about that either. I did have to make sure my DH stood up for me and stayed with the babies since I did not trust them about formula (I still think they gave ds#1 some 8 years ago). I did not really have any problems BF and the BF counceler who was there 6 years ago was very nice and helpful. I took a bf class before my second was born even though I bf for 2+ years already and she told me I should teach the class. I beleive only one group of docters can deliver there now, Saints memorial women health. MY FP use to deliver there but he moved<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> . Woman helath wasn't too bad but there is way too many docters so you do not know who you are going to end up with. As far as after care they were very nice and with my second they more or less just left us alone to be with the baby since we already knew what we were doing. The rooms are nice and big. The bad part about Saints memorial that may have changed in the last 6 years is the pediatrician on staff. They have Chelmsford pediatrics and I really despise Dr Newman. He would not release my son a day earlier because he said that "I" needed my rest. The baby was fine and I was already discharged from my Dr. Unfortunatly I did not stand up for myself and spent another uncomfortable sleepless night inthe hospital bed before I could back to my own and sleep there. I also have a family history with that Dr that is not positive either. You may be able to request a different ped so it is worth asking. The other Dr that was there and was much younger was very nice. A friend of mine delivered 2 at Emerson and she liked them there. My DH use to work there and he did not like any of the maternity nurses though. The rooms at Emerson are pretty tiny. When I visited my friend I felt pretty clausterphobic (sp?). If your older children will be visiting I would not recommend Emerson. Saints memorial also has a great prenatel excersize class that is I beleive 2 nights a week. I highly recommend the class. I hope all works out well and good luck TTC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info.<br><br>
I went to Dr. Newman in Chelmsford as a kid - was this an older man or a younger man? (I believe he has a son that practices with him now) - I would imagine the one I went to must be in his 60s or older by now. I don't think I liked him much as a kid myself.<br><br>
I'd love to find a nurse-midwife who could do my prenatal care and assist in the surgery (which is what I had with child #2) but I get the impression I'm not going to find anything like that around here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: A big practice doesn't worry me since it will be a planned c/section, so we'll plan it for when my doctor will be there. So unless I go into labor early I'm okay - and considering I'm 2 for 2 at going into labor at all and I waited until 42 weeks both times...I'm not too worried.
 

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The Dr Newman I am talking about is the older one. His son wasn't in practice at the time I met him. He had an oriental man working with him that seemed nice. When I was little my mom worked for Greater Lowell Pediatrics answering service and Dr Newman was the covering Dr when Dr Cogan was unavailable. He made many bad calls back then just because he didn't want to get involved. The one that sticks out the most is telling the mother of 6 day old baby with a 103 fever to not worry about it. Luckily the mother went to ER (per my moms request) and they caught a serious infection that really could not have waited to be treated. My mom hated him and I guess that rubbed off n me a little. All my kids go to greater Lowell ped and I love them. As for a nurse midwife, Saints memorial woman health has one on staff (at least they did 4 years ago). Personnally I would go there. I still deal with them if I have any gyn issues.
 

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I gave birth at Emerson. The nurses were nice. I have big babies too and they were concerned about dd's blood sugar but not enough to mention formula. They seemed to pretty much leave me alone since I wasn't a first time mom. I even fell asleep with the baby asleep on my chest and they didn't say boo about it. They also put a "no bottle's no paci" sign up for me. The Lactation consultant seemed pretty lame. Their maternity ward is pretty old. As far as the staff is concerned, I'd go there again, but I really wish their ward was newer.<br><br>
Kara
 

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Hmm. I'd personally take Lowell General over Saints for surgery, but that's based on the experiences of family and not l&d specific. Lowell General does have a better NICU, and they offer hypnobirthing and lots of breastfeeding classes, so I had it in my head that they were more progressive. They do offer tours and pre-conception info even if you're not pregnant. I am not sure about midwives practicing there, but I am betting there are some. There is definitely a CNM at Saints, I spoke with her last fall after I found out I was pregnant. I opted for homebirth midwives, so I never met her.<br><br>
I'm not sure if this is too far away for you, but I was fairly impressed with St. Joseph's in Nashua. My friend had a c-section there (w/ a midwife assisting), and they are a Baby Friendly hospital. She got great breastfeeding support and roomed in the whole time.
 

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I know someone who had a c-section at Lowell and would never go back there. I know someone who had a c-section at Emerson and seems to have had a good experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm not sure if this is too far away for you, but I was fairly impressed with St. Joseph's in Nashua. My friend had a c-section there (w/ a midwife assisting), and they are a Baby Friendly hospital. She got great breastfeeding support and roomed in the whole time.</div>
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Nashua is an option too. I did notice there was a midwife team there on my health plan. It would be so nice if I could still get some midwifery care even if I can't have a natural birth. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
bumping this if anyone else has some input
 

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I was a first-time mom with c/s at Emerson in 2004. I really hated many aspects of it, but some of the crap I endured could probably be overcome for a 2nd-time+ mom. I understand they will be remodeling their maternity ward (they call it a birth center... it is not) in the next year or so. I don't know if any hospitals let c/s moms sleep with babies in the room, but I thought that was part of "rooming in." I was really bummed that their rule was that someone has to be awake in the room the whole time baby is there. That really made our stay difficult. Some nurses were fabulous, others terrible, but as a 1st time mom, eveyone gave me advice... and some ordered me to do things (e.g., bf) exactly the way they thought it should be done. The nurses were all contradicting each other, so each shift change I would get different pushy "advice." One told me I had to start wearing a bra (I have barely B-cup breasts *while* bf - so this was really unnecessary). Another told me I needed to squish my breast back so it wouldn't suffocate DS. A different one didn't believe me when I told her my pain level on the 1-10 scale. Another one pressured me to let them use DS as a "sample" for teaching expectant couples how to bathe a newborn (I caved and let them do it - I felt like they owned me when I was there). The "lame" LC a PP mentioned is the one who convinced me to give DS a bottle of formula, when the ped didn't think I needed to, and I didn't think I needed to. They were big on scheduled feeding and documenting feedings, and they would wake me/DS up if they thought I needed to bf him again, even though we just finished a feeding before falling asleep, because they were so strict about the documentation aspect. And while I was a first-time mom, I was a 32-year-old professional accustomed to being treated respectfully, and like an adult, at the time DS was born. So it's not like I looked like a child who needed all this crappy advice. I just was not prepared for a c/s and the baggage that came with it.<br><br>
If you know your mind and can tell the misguided folks to jump off a cliff, then Emerson *might* be OK. I only have been at one hospital though, so I don't know if this is bad or good compared to others.<br><br>
The pluses were - private room, private bathroom, honored my wishes for no paci/bottle (until the LC convinced me otherwise), closest hospital to my home. Oh, and "lame" LC recommended the Happiest Baby on the Block book, which was the first step for me toward APing.<br><br>
I am not planning to use Emerson again.
 

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I had both my girls at lowell general and had wonderful experiences. I had an emergency c section with my first and then tried for a vbac and ended up with another c section. I did not dialate past 4 cm with my first and ended up with an infection due to my water being broken for a long period with my second it was simular, i did not dialate past 2 cm and I asked for a section, just because it was so simular to my last labor. Anyways all the nurses were wonderful!! Lacation consultants were great!! I really cant say enough about them!!!
 

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Well, unfortunately I can now share my Lowell General C-section story! We were a homebirth transfer for fetal distress (turned out we were dealing with growth restriction and low fluid, which caused her not to tolerate contractions), and they were very respectful and professional. I didn't care for the on-call doctor, but all the nurses on the mother-baby floor were wonderful, as were the assorted sonographers and lab techs. One nurse in L&D gave us a hassle when we said we'd be declining eye ointment, but we just calmly restated our wishes and the ped said "sure, whatever." I think they are working on becoming a Baby Friendly hospital since the WHO guidelines are posted on all the bathroom doors. They were due to start 100% rooming in the week after we left. We had her in our room almost the whole time, and they put a big sign on the bassinet that said "no bottles or pacifiers." we could go to the nursery with her at any time for weight checks or tests, and we had no trouble declining the hep B.<br>
And the lactation staff members were all terrific. We had a rough start with really low birth weight and continued loss due to tongue-tie, and they helped a great deal and never said the "f" word. I went back to see them out-patient a few times after the birth as well.<br>
The food does suck, though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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I recommend Saints Memorial and not Lowell General, I had my second son at Lowell General and it was an awful experience. I also recommend Woman Health in Chelmsford, Dr. Chocran is awesome, and hard to get to see for that reason, but so worth it. Saints Memorial took care of us so well, I was happy there when I had my baby, they are very supportive of breasfeeding.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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What ever you do stay away from holy family,!!!! my son ended up with MRSA (mega resistant staph aurius) from their scn in wich he was there for the pneumothorax he recieved at birth!
 
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