|29 weeks pregnant. And thanks to some cool weather recently, my feet aren't enormous yet!|
So due to a recent change in my insurance, I actually have the option now to have this baby either at the hospital (as I did with Sly, both by choice and by insurance-dictated necessity) or at the birth center. Either way, I'll be using the same group of midwives.
Here are some thoughts about the two options.
- Just in case anything goes wrong, they have everything they need to take care of me and the baby. I wouldn't have to be rushed anywhere in the ambulance. During my labor with Sly, I developed preclampsia and had to be put on IV (and stay on it for 24 hours after the birth - ugh, that was annoying). The midwives told me that had I tried having a birth center birth, I might have been shipped to the hospital anyways, because of that.
- My experience last time was good overall. The labor and delivery staff was awesome. Once they moved me into the post-natal section, there was a noticeable decrease in nursing ability and attention. But it might be worth dealing with the annoyance of that because...
- I really like that I got to relax in the hospital for a couple days recovering, and being taken care of. The birth center has a 12 hour maximum stay after the birth (and I think it's usually less, if it's not your first baby).
- Friends visit at the hospital. It's nice because it's not your own house, and you don't feel like you have to entertain them, clean up, or feed them anything. You get "kicked out" of the birth center too soon for most people to have a chance to visit.
- This may sound silly, but I loved how they take those fresh-out-of-the-oven professional newborn photos. We bought a 5x7 of Sly, and decided we'd do the same for all our future babies. Sure, I could take baby girl to a photo place when she's a week old or something...but it's just not the same.
- On our last night at the hospital, the nurses took Sly to the nursery for an hour (gasp! oh no, my baby's ruined for life!!*) and served Tom and me a fancy dinner - steak, potatoes, good bread, sparkling grape juice, dessert....it was just a really nice little touch. And that, sadly enough, was our last "date" for a really long time after. I liked that a lot.
- The birth center would probably be a more relaxed and low-key environment to give birth. I'm assuming there'd be much less equipment beeping and flashing away, no doctors peeking in to check on things, etc.
- We live literally minutes away from the birth center - I could walk there even, except I know that when I'm having contractions, there's no way in heck I'll be willing to try. It's not much farther to get to the hospital, but if it's time to go during rush hour, it'll be trickier.
- At the birth center, you're allowed to eat during labor. At the hospital, you have to sneak it. Although...I'm really not sure I'd have any desire to eat anyways, so this might not matter.
Just looking at the sizes of those lists, I think I'm leaning towards a hospital birth again. If anyone has an opinion or experiences to share, though, please do!
* I was definitely being sarcastic about the nursery ruining a baby! Sly actually spent his whole first night in the nursery. I sent Tom home to get some much-needed sleep, and they wouldn't allow me to be alone with the baby, because the drugs I was on (for preclampsia)could supposedly make me woozy or confused or something. And yes, they gave him a bottle and a pacifier, and you know what? He still took the breast just fine, and I'm not upset about it at all.