Decisions Decisions

This past Friday J and I met with the Nurse Practitioner for the OB that I’m seeing.  She was very nice and informative, as was the office.  I felt comfortable the whole time, even when my feet were in stirrups, so bonus there.  The doctor’s visit overall went very well.  They took a very detailed family history, got my weight and BP, did a breast exam, a pelvic exam, an ultrasound, tried to use a Doppler to hear the heart beat (we couldn’t hear anything though) and drew 7 vials of blood.  J and I made the decision to schedule an NT Scan.  This checks to see the likelihood of the baby having down syndrome as well as trisomy 21.  I still need to call my insurance company to make sure that they cover it though.

We also had a chance to ask the NP questions – and this is the part of the appointment where I started to get nervous

What’s the doctor’s C-Section percentage?
What’s the office’s C-Section percentage?

  • The NP didn’t know the doctor’s or offices C-Section rate, but she said that the hospital where I would be delivering has a 50% C-Section rate.  That seems overly high to me, and I cannot stress enough how much I do not want a C-Section.  The recovery time on them is super long compared to a vaginal birth and I don’t want to under go major surgery if I don’t have to.

Will they let me go two weeks past my due date before they induce?

  • No.  Only one.

What’s their opinion of a drug free / intervention free birth?

  • Most of their patients do not go this route.  Most of them receive an epidural.  I was told that I could have a natural birth if I wanted, but intervention free would probably not happen.

What percentage of their patients receive pitocin?

  • I forgot to ask this one, but I assume if most of their patients get epidurals, that most if not all receive pitocin.  I was told that they wouldn’t hook me up to anything without my knowledge and consent though, but I’m not sure how much I believe that.

Will they let my labor progress naturally without interventions as long as we’re both doing fine? Even if it’s 16 hours in the second stage of labor?

  • No.  As long as things are progressing in a timely manner I can have a mostly intervention free birth, but if things slow down or stop they will intervene.

Will they let me push on my own without being coached?

  • I forgot to ask this as well, but I assume yes, as they can’t make me push when they say “Push!”

Will they allow me to not have an IV, so I can walk around, or bounce on a ball as much as I like?

  • No.  I will be hooked up to an IV as soon as I get there.  The IV will be a saline or glucose solution.  This makes me nervous as I’ve read a lot of birth stories of nurses coming into the room and hooking the women up to pitocin or other drugs without saying a word.

Will they let me be in labor over 24 hours after my water’s broken?

  • I forgot to ask this one too.  But I assume they’re like most practices and give a women 24 hours to pop a baby out or they head the C-Section route.

How often does the doctor / the practice perform episiotemies?

  • I didn’t ask this, mostly because  I was getting disheartened by the other news.

Is a water birth an option?  Are there tubs in the birthing suites?

  • No.

So, I have some thinking to do, but honestly I think my mind is already made up.  If I don’t deliver with this OB practice, then I’m going to go with a birthing center that’s in Chapel Hill.  My only concern with this is the fact that it’s an hour and fifteen minutes away from my house as well as where I work.  I need to talk to J some more about it, but I’m really heavily leaning towards the birthing center.  I think that my overall experience there will be better than a hospital.  The birthing center’s C-Section rate is extremely low, something like 2 out of every 500 women.  They are located right next to a hospital in case things do go down hill.  Most women who go the birthing center route  do not tear or have episiotemies because the nurses and midwives help message and stretch you so it doesn’t happen – this is a practice that most hospitals don’t do.  I feel that the baby and I would be better taken care of at the birthing center, and my body would be able to do what it wants to do and what’s natural for it do it, and I really like that.

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