Sunday, July 15, 2012

Birthing Choices

Written on 5/31:

Everyone has to do what is right for themselves and their family, especially when it comes to parenting. This post is in no way supposed to be a sermon about the "right" way to give birth (as if there were such a thing), but I just want to share my reasons for choosing to give birth to not only my son, but the one on the way, in a hospital setting and with a mid-wife.
There has always been a lot of talk about natural child birth, mid-wives, epidurals, c-sections, and so on. As a soon-to-be parent all of these choices and the opinions that surround them, can seem overwhelming and confusing. I believe that the very first rule about choosing your labor plan is deciding what YOU want. Once you know this, it's important to surround yourself with supportive people.
For my husband and I, the safety of a hospital setting was what we felt most comfortable in. My mom had some labor complications with two of her four daughters (one of them was me), and I just wanted the security of a highly trained hospital staff by my side in case there were complications with my labor. Also, I have friends who would not have their little ones today if they had not been in a hospital at the time of their child's birth. I know that this is not necessarily typical, but for me any risk was to high.
This turned out to be the best choice for us, considering my son was angled down and to the left, has a large head, and after hours of pushing was hopelessly stuck. When he finally made his debut, he had not only a large bruise but also a blister the size of a penny on the top of his head, thanks to all of my smoshing and squeezing. I don't know what would have happened to either of us, had we not been in the setting we were in.
I also liked the nursing support that was offered to me while in and even after leaving the hospital. Within an hour of my son being born a lactation consultant was there helping me and Liam figure it out. We had a rough start, so the support, encouragement, and expertise were really the only things that kept me going. Newberg hospital is so pro-nursing that they offer donor breast milk which has been processed and screened to make sure it is clean and healthy. Because we had to take advantage of this the first few days out of the hospital, I am confident that we would have had to supplement with formula had that option not been there.
To help me stick to my birth-plan and to feel 100% comfortable with any situation that arose, I wanted to choose a doctor that we trust and can rely on no matter what. For us, this was a mid-wife who had delivered two of my siblings and my nephew. It was nice to have a bit of a mix within the plan. We had the hospital setting, but the mid-wife running the show. This helped us to feel as though our wishes would be followed unless it was absolutely necessary to deviate from them.
She was more supportive than I could ever imagine, and when the time came to have a c-section, I was confident that it was not only the best option for me and my son, but the safest. I trust her with any decision, and if she tells me it's what's best for me and my baby, it's what I'm going to do! Having a hospital birth was not a difficult decision in any way. It was what was best for me and my baby boy. But choosing someone that you trust whole-heartedly was a far more important piece of the birthing puzzle.

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