1st baby at birthing centers - Please share your stories!
I am currently 30 weeks pregnant with my first child, and I am planning on having my baby at a birthing center. My significant other was wondering about how many other women out there have had their 1st babies at birthing centers though. Knowing that all your subsequent children are typically born quicker and quicker and usually easier, it would make sense that mothers consider going natural their 2nd or 3rd (etc.) times around as opposed to their 1st. Also, my significant other was thinking too that 1st-time moms might be more cautious and want the security of being in a hospital.
So, I was hoping to hear from others here who had their 1st babies at birthing centers (or even home births too), considering that's what I'm planning on doing. Please share what you thought of it, the good and bad, along with any encouragement! Thank you!!
Thanks! It just made more sense to us to go to a facility focused on natural birthing because I have medical conditions which make things like epidurals a complete non-option. Plus, a water birth should actually speed things along quite a bit!
I suppose it all depends on your circumstances too. Dhs cousin had babies one and two at home with a birthing pool BUT she lived five minutes at most away from the hopsital so if there was an emergency she could get there quickly.
I live a 3+ hour drive from the hospital. If I went to the birthing centre it is an hour nearer the hospital but we'd still have a two hour drive or an emergency airlift to get to the hospital if anything went wrong so for me the birthing centre wasn't really an option for my number one.
There are also other factors too you may want to consider.....what is your midwife system? Do you have a midwife that stays with you throughout your labour and is completely encouraging of your natural choices? Does your hospital have a birthing pool or a birthing room (on One Born Every Minute this hospistal had a cool set up with ropes, swis ball etc etc). How do you feel you would birth in a hospital? Can you do a tour of the hospital and birthing centre?
On the other end of the scale I have a couple of friends whose babies would have died if their baby didn't get emergency treatment or a caesarian. However.....if your birthing unit is next to the hospital then you can easily get there.
Just a few thoughts for you anyway.
For me my husband was quite nervous and really wanted me in a hospital (again related to our distance from the hospital from the birthing unit) so for his peace of mind I just went to the hospital.
I had my first at home, which was wonderful (no birth centres around here, just a hospital, though I still would have preferred to be at home). You can read my birth story, which is in my signature, if you like. What made me decide to stay at home was just that it seemed easier and safer and less painful to be at home where I felt comfortable and relaxed than to be at a hospital, which doesn't seem very relaxing at all (and actually, my daughter had to go into the hospital when she was very small, nothing to do with the birth, and it was in fact a really awful place to be, with really unsupportive, intrusive staff, so I couldn't have imagined having to give birth there!).
It was nice because it was so relaxed and actually I found it to be relatively easy because I was so relaxed (certainly it was easier than I expected it to be). I was really comfortable up until I started to push, and even then it was really just tiring and intense, but not painful (never needed any pain relief). It's just a weird feeling of your body doing something that you have no control over. I pushed for 4 hours! So if that wasn't painful or too much, nothing is. I liked that it was quiet and comfortable. No beeping things or alarms going off. When I was in hospital with my daughter, there was this alarm they would sound every time they needed staff to come to a room for an emergency (this was in the maternity ward, my daughter was in like the baby ped ward, which is all together in the same floor). And you could hear it everywhere. It would wake us up in the middle of the night! I was like, god, that would suck if you were actually in labour, just to be panicking every time you heard that alarm go off (usually it was nothing, they'd all go back to drinking their tea like 2 minutes later).
And I also feel very lucky that because I was at home, I had a really positive first birth experience. Too many women think they have to have their first babies in the hospital because it's 'just what you do'. And then it turns out to be a really negative experience because of unnecessary intervention, and then they do decide to have birth centre or home births next time out of fear of that happening again. I think it's really powerful to be able to make that choice the first time, and not out of fear, but because it's what seems sensible and best to you. There's no reason to go through something really awful before you make it better the next time around. You can and should do it the way you want the first time.
I originally wanted a home birth, but realized that it just wasn't a wise move. I'm a minimum 1-hour's drive from the nearest hospital that time of year (and it's a hazardous drive), and my condition has the potential to create added complications. The birthing facility is just down the street from the hospital, though, in case any sort of an emergency arises.
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