I have been so lucky with my prenatal care experience this time around with Hattie. So lucky, that I’m now partnering with my birthing center, Baby+Co, to tell all of you why I’m choosing to go the birth center route this time. Baby+Co’s slogan says it all: A modern birth center, built on evidence, delivered with love. Learn more about Baby+Co here.
With Jude, I had no idea what I was doing. I mean, how many moms can say they knew anything about birthing a child the first go around? Granted, this was five years ago and a lot has changed as far as access to alternative care goes, but at the time, I did what any girl was “supposed” to do. I went to an OBGYN.
When I was halfway through my pregnancy with Jude, I watched a documentary called The Business of Being Born. If you haven’t seen it, this is an absolute MUST if you’re having a child. I had no idea there was another world outside the OB route. I thought everyone had babies in hospitals. Little did I know, this documentary would open my eyes to a world of care that is regularly practiced in Europe, and is proven to be safe for low-risk pregnancies.
After watching the documentary, I started researching birthing centers in NC. I found one, but at the time I was living in Greensboro, and it was a bit too far away for my comfort level. Plus, I’d already been paying my OB upfront and had no clue how the process worked with switching mid-care. I felt stuck. But I was determined to at least have a natural birth, even if it had to be at a hospital.
If you’ve read my birth story post, you know that things didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped. I ended up with an induction at the hospital. I also opted for the IV pain medication (Pitocin is not my friend, y’all) and got two epidurals that didn’t take until after the baby was out, leaving one leg numb. I didn’t feel like anyone trusted me when I said it hurt more and I needed to be checked to see how far I was dilated. I didn’t feel truly supported in that environment. It wasn’t the birth I had hoped for, that I could be proud of.
I vowed to myself that next time, I would do it my way. I would make sure that my baby came into the world in a nurturing, supportive environment. I was determined to get the birthing experience I’ve always wanted.
When I got pregnant with Hattie, I was relieved to find better options in the Raleigh area than where I was previously. Not only was there the same birth center in the Chapel Hill area, but there was one in Cary too! Baby+Co was immediately my first choice. Not only did Baby+Co take my insurance, but just looking at their website, I knew they “got” it.
I took a tour of the birthing center when I was only seven weeks pregnant and I felt right at home. You walk in and immediately are greeted by the lovely receptionists who always call you by name and offer you a snack or water. The center feels more like a nice hotel or home than a doctor’s office. The midwives are always smiling and focused on giving you the birthing experience that you truly desire.
I don’t have to have a typical birth plan because the majority of what I want in a birth, they already do. I’ll birth in the birthing suite without pain medication but will have access to hydrotherapy tubs, birthing balls, TENS units, shower, Swedish bars, etc to help with pain management. My midwife will be there to support me, but they’ll also teach Jordan at our required birthing class how to help me stay as comfortable as possible during labor.
I remember with Jude, I asked my OB once, “Are there any options for me to have a water birth?”
He looked at me, in all seriousness, and replied, “No, and anyway, a lot of babies die in water births.”
Having done my research, I knew this was not fact, but I really couldn’t believe that he said that to me. At Baby+Co, the majority of patients have their babies in a birthing tub. On my first visit, I was told that even women who are completely against it, end up having their babies in the water because the birthing tubs feel that wonderful.
One of my favorite aspects of my care at Baby+Co is that it’s focused on wellness. Each appointment we talk about what I’m eating, what I’m doing for my body, how I’m feeling. While we always get to hear Hattie on the Doppler, it’s nice to know we don’t have to have continuous blood draws or pay for unnecessary ultrasounds.
I’ve come to trust these midwives over the past couple months, much more than I ever did with my OBs. I know that they trust my body to do what it was made to do and birth my beautiful baby girl.
If you’re interested in a more holistic approach to your prenatal care and delivery, I highly recommend reaching out to Baby+Co. Even if you’re unsure, taking a tour can really provide some insight into how the care differs, and how you’ll feel being supported through your pregnancy journey.
And if you see me around the birth center, please say hi! 🙂
*While I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.*