Monday, April 23, 2012

Have a Happy Birthday Tour!

So far I love every trip we get to make to the hospital! Each time, I pick Arthur up from work downtown and we cruise over together. Such a special time. I was just as excited this last week when we went to tour the hospital's birthing center we intend to deliver at. Although we don't know yet if there is anything medical that would stop us from doing so, we are planning to do all our prenatal care with the Swedish Ballard Midwifery, and deliver with a midwife in the Swedish Ballard Birthing Center.

We are both really excited about midwife care and feel so lucky to have such a great program available to us. Since we don't have our own house, we weren't interested in doing a home birth this time, and really liked the idea of being within a hospital that has access to higher level care. However, if anything were to go really wrong we would be rushed to Swedish First Hill were all the perinatologists (high-risk baby doctors) are, as well as the level 3 NICU—Swedish Ballard has a level 1 NICU. So in order to continue prenatal care with the midwives at Ballard, I will have to be considered a low-risk pregnancy. Even twins disqualifies us!

Clearly I learned quite a lot at our Have a Happy Birthday Tour! Our guide was so knowledgable and helpful. It was also a really great experience because we toured with about six other couples who had lots of great questions to ask (my only questions were: when can I take a potty break and where is the bathroom?). We spent most of our time in one of the eight birthing suites talking, which was really spacious and had a whole wall of windows, in fact, all of the suites do. Papa K used to be an EMT and has seen his share of birthing centers. He assured me that this was one of the best ones he's seen. We both agreed it had the perfect calm vibe. The guide said that the midwifery has had quite the influence on the way this campus does births. There is even a tub, which is a huge plus! Although, water births are not an option.

The midwifery also offers two style of prenatal care: Individual and Centering. Individual care is regular one-on-one 30 minute appointments with a midwife through your entire pregnancy. Whereas Centering is once a month appointments (twice a month later in pregnancy) with a midwife for 20-30 minutes, and then you meet together in a room with other people who have babies due in your same month to discuss a relevant topic for another hour and a half. These meetings are considered our birthing classes. Centering is what we are hoping to do. We both think it will be really helpful to get to know people who are at a similar stage to us, and also to start our birthing classes a lot earlier in pregnancy than most traditional programs do.

Of course, if we find out we're having multiples or anything is considered high-risk about this pregnancy, we will have to see an OB and potentially switch campuses. The priority is safely delivering a healthy baby and we will do whatever is best for mama and baby! Hopefully we'll have a better idea in two days :)

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