When we lived in New Jersey, I saw an OBGYN. He was really cool, and pretty laid-back, and knowledgeable, and quite hot, to be honest. He also was very forthcoming about his support of breastfeeding and shared that his wife nursed both their kids into their preschool years. There were small things that bothered me… he was a bit dismissive of my desire for a drug-free birth with Lane. His office gave out tons of formula coupons and samples, and nary a bit of anything breastfeeding-related. His practice partner told me he had like a 90% episiotomy rate. I stayed with them, and wrote a birth plan, and when I went into labor got incredibly lucky that the nurse-midwife that shared their hospital rotation was on-call, and between her and a pretty decent OB nurse I had a pretty great birth with Lane.
Then I got pregnant with Jake, and the stuff that I was able to get past at the OBGYN I was seeing just wasn’t passing muster any more. On top of that, the nurse-midwife wasn’t even in their on-call rotation anymore. So I went out on a giant limb, and switched practices at somewhere around 20 weeks pregnant. The practice I switched to was a group of all women practitioners – 4 OBGYNS and 4 midwives. When pregnant, you got to pick whether you saw the OBGYNs or midwives for your prenatal care and for your birth. They were on a rotation, so you couldn’t be sure who would attend your birth. But I went with the midwives, and they were all so lovely, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed no matter who attended my birth. They also delivered at a different hospital than my old practice, so that was something new, too, but the hospital had a good reputation and had nice, huge rooms, so it didn’t seem too scary.
Midwife Wendy ended up being on-call that night. The birth went great, my OB nurses were amazing, and the whole experience was very warm and intimate and just about perfect.
And then we moved, and now we live an hour and a half away from that perfect situation. There are only two hospitals in my county… one has a decent reputation, and one has a great reputation, but they are a Catholic hospital and won’t allow procedures like tubal ligations (aka tubes tied) to be performed in their hospital (not a procedure I’m really interested in, but it just burns my bustle when choices are refused like that.)
The idea of a homebirth was always intriguing to me, but while I know I would be a good candidate for a home birth, there’s just something a little scary about being far away from a hospital when it all goes down (the closest is a 15 minute car ride). In my mind, the ideal place for giving birth was a birthing center associated with (or at least close to) a hospital, but I was having a hard time finding anyone who knew of anything like that around here. I found one in the Bronx, which isn’t obscenely far but does involve crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge which is never a guaranteed fast process.
And all this time, my body has been acting wonky. It wasn’t until Jake was 18 months old (just over a year ago) that I got my period back, but since then it’s come with alarming frequency. The average is 18 days apart, but it’s often as fast as 16 days. A couple cycles stretched out to 21 or 22 days, but even that is way short than my relatively clockwork 27 days from before I had Lane. (Between Lane and Jake I had an IUD, and then once it was removed only had two periods before I was pregnant with Jake.) I’m sure it’s probably because I’m not ovulating. So at least we don’t have to worry much about birth control, but when you’re bleeding 6 out of every 16 days, sex isn’t exactly on the forefront of your mind.
So finally after 3 16-day cycles in a row, I decided enough was enough and got on the ball. I figured I really needed to be seen, especially if another baby was going to be in the cards. I got recommendations galore for a OBGYN practice with a couple midwives that was closeby, so I called for an appointment. But, even with the assurance I had something not right going on, they couldn’t get me in until February. Um, no. Back to the drawing board.
Then the magic of the internet saved the day. I found what looked like a great option. A practice of three midwives, one with a doctorate in nursing. *They* run the practice, and have two OBs that work with them. They deliver at a birthing center that just opened a few years ago, attached to one of the best hospitals in the state. And while it’s not in *my* state, at least I don’t have to cross a bridge to get there, and it’s still only 35 minutes away. It’s also pretty close to where Frank works, which if I do get pregnant again will make it easy for him to meet me for prenatal appointments.
I called today to make an appointment, fearing the worst. Well, first, the phone was answered by a real person, not a “press 2 to make an appointment” recording. Then I briefly explained what was going on and asked when I could get in. I could have gotten in even sooner, but I have an appointment for 10 days from now. The only very minor issue is that they are out-of-network for all insurances, so I have to pay at time of service and then be reimbursed. But, we have a high deductible PPO with a health saving account, so I end up paying out of the health savings account for most stuff anyway. But, to balance that, she said they keep their fees very reasonable, and gave me a couple of very reasonable-sounding examples. So I’ll go, and see how it is, and keep my fingers crossed that it’s as good a fit and I feel like it might be. Because frankly, if it’s not, I am so not looking forward to going back to the ol’ drawing board.