I mentioned a few posts ago that we're thinking of switching our practioner. Right now, we're with an OB practice in Towson, MD. They were recommended to me when I first found out I was pregnant, before I had made the decision t try to go natural.
Since doing all of this birthing research, I have been following some advice. Normally, you don't start talking about giving birth until late in your third trimester. But instead, I've been talking about giving birth naturally and our goals every time we go in (in our defense, we see one of three doctors each time we go in - so we want to make sure each of them is aware of our goal and is comfortable with our wishes). I mentioned awhile ago that one of the doctors seemed pretty rushed when we wanted to talk about it. I wasn't thrilled with her response.
Then I discussed it with the only male doctor (who is my fave of all of them) and as always, he responded really well and seemed very supportive. He's the one who said I was fine not to be hooked up to an IV, to be able to move about (not in bed), and that they would just like to monitor baby's heartbeat for about 10 minutes per hour.
Last week, I called the office to ask some questions. I called to ask what percentage of their first-time moms end up with c-sections. The office manager called me back but said they don't keep that kind of information. She was very nice about it, trying to reassure me that they only perform c-sections "when it's medically necessary." I explained that that wasn't the type of answer I was looking for and that most likely, any doctor would probably say the exact same thing. Who would really admit that they perform c-sections for convenience? I explained why I wanted to know the information and our goal to go drug and intervention free. Although she was nice about it, she basically came up with lots of reasons why they either don't have the information, or that it's not available for me.
It made me skeptical. I didn't need to be reassured of my care - I needed to know that they are transparent in their practices and will fully support our birthing wishes. I know that if something goes wrong, they are fantastic at handling those situations. But if things don't go wrong, I want them to let my body do what it is supposed to do, and let me be. I was very sad when I got off the phone that day. It made me question whether we're with the right practice. I've been rushed by one doctor, and my questions haven't been answered by another member.
So I set off to find out some recommendations from others. I emailed the neighborhood listserv for recommendations for either an OBGYN or midwifery practice in the Baltimore area, supportive of natural births, in a hospital setting, who have experience with hypnobirthing. I got tons of responses! And even got a recommendation for an OB/midwife group who have privileges at the hospital we're currently supposed to deliver at. I also was put into contact with a couple doulas in the region who gave their recommendations for some practices. Finally, I heard from a few women who delivered with my current OBGYN group, and heard good stories. The last piece of information made me relax a bit, knowing that even if we don't switch, other women who have wanted similar birthing experiences as us have had those births realized.
As of right now, my next appointment is a week from tomorrow. I plan on consulting with another practice to see who I like better. Then I will make a decision from there! I am a little nervous that we're thinking of switching so late in the pregnancy - but I've heard of lots of women who switch so I can't worry about that. I know I will wonder whether this is right for us if I don't look into another practice.
The thing I am learning through all of this is that you have to be comfortable with the doctor caring for you. Bringing your child into the world is quite possibly one of the most amazing experiences one will have in their lifetime, and I want to make sure that in that moment, I am confident and comfortable with the care I am receiving so that I can focus on this momentous event in our lives.
I'll let you know what we decide!