18 weeks (baby #2 FAQ #3)
Here are a few more answers to questions I got via email, mostly about having a midwife! Keep 'em coming!
How does it work to have a midwife in the hospital with you? Is she also a practicing physician at that hospital, or does the hospital have some midwives on staff who aren't physicians?
The midwife group we are using is employed by the hospital (their clinic is located next door). There are five midwives in the practice and we've met them all. I read recently that the majority of midwife-assisted births take place in hospitals (it was more than 96%), which surprised me. I had no idea! So it's more common than I thought.
Will there be an M.D. present at birth?
No, there will not be an M.D. present at my delivery unless there are complications or a situation arises and it becomes necessary. I don't know what all that includes, but certainly a C-section.
There will be a midwife (whoever's on call that day) and a hospital nurse assisting me during labor (more nurses show up when the baby actually comes). (And then, of course, you can also add in whoever else you want, such as a doula or photographer.)
How did you decide on a midwife in general, and on yours specifically?
I feel like when you choose a birth provider, you are in some ways choosing parts of your birth plan (such as location and the standard operating processes of that provider, including episiotomies, how long they will let you go overdue, when they cut the umbilical cord, etc.). You can certainly get an epidural with a midwife-assisted hospital birth, in case that is a concern of yours. You can even have a scheduled C-section, although they will not be the ones performing the surgery, just providing prenatal care.
For me, I didn't know much about birth until I heard my cousin tell me about her un-medicated water birth, and it seemed SO COOL to me. So I think that was my first clue that I would be a good candidate for doing things a bit "different" when I got pregnant (which really isn't all that different anymore). So if you are intrigued by the idea of a midwife, I encourage you to look into it! Every woman will be attracted to a different provider/birth location - follow your instincts!
Right after I found out I was pregnant with Rooney, I watched The Business of Being Born documentary (it's available on Netflix). This solidified my desire for a midwife-assisted birth. I did some googling to see what was available in my area and then called two midwife clinics. I asked them both: "Do you allow birthing in an upright position?" At the time, that was the most important to me. They both said yes, but one of them did hospital births and the other did home births, so that was the deciding factor. I also just had a better feeling from the lady on the phone with the hospital midwife group. I knew that meant I would not get a water birth (in Des Moines, you can only have a water birth at a birth center or home birth), but it was the better option for us at the time.
As for why we chose our midwife group specifically - at the time I got pregnant with Rooney, I thought they were the only midwives in our city who deliver at a hospital. I recently learned this is not the case. But I'm thankful because I really love them! You can always start with one provider and switch later if needed! It's not ideal, but certainly OK.
Related post: 5 Reasons We Chose a Midwife
Is there anything you wish you'd done different during pre-baby times? What did you do that you found especially helpful?
Before we had Rooney, we read books and took classes and watched videos (more details on these below) and talked to friends who were parents, and it certainly prepared us for aspects of parenting, but I don't think you can ever be fully prepared mentally or emotionally for all the changes. Still, here's a post I wrote when Rooney was 6 months old about what I would have done different.
What I miss most now are date nights and vacations :-) We took lots of trips and went on lots of dates and got lots of sleep, and that makes me feel happy because there wasn't anything else I wanted to "check off" a list before having kids, but that doesn't make it easier now to not get to do those things. We used to go on at least one trip a year, but our lives are different now!
I feel torn between wanting to follow my gut, which really feels ready for a baby, and my brain, which says that we shouldn't bring a baby into a home that isn't financially prepared for one.
I am a free spirit, so I will always say side with your gut rather than your brain :-) We aren't really financially prepared for baby #2, but we went for it anyway! There are so many people who say you'll never be financially prepared, and that it all works out. Still, if that will stress you out, maybe it's best to wait. I know this doesn't really help...sorry!
P.S. One thing we did the first time around that I'm kicking myself for not doing this time is getting Aflac insurance. I had two policies: Short-Term Disability and Hospital Confinement, both of which paid out more than we paid in. You must get these before you are pregnant, though, because they don't pay claims in the first 10 months.
Do you have any books or other resources you'd recommend?
- The Business of Being Born (documentary) - on Netflix
- More Business of Being Born (four episodes) - also on Netflix
- The Best Birth DVD (8-session class) - I don't think this is available anymore, sadly. We did this instead of taking a birthing class at our hospital. However, our hospital now has a birth class that discusses how to manage pain with less medical intervention, which they didn't before.)
(I'm recommending these specifically because I sense you may be interested in a natural birth.)
I haven't read any of these cover-to-cover, but I often open them up for a bit of advice and always come away with something good.
- The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD (I have loaned this out several times)
- Babywise Mom Blog
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child (I still use this almost 3 years later)
- New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding
- The Wonder Weeks - I actually haven't read this yet, but I own both the book and app and I am planning to follow it this time
You can read more about each of these in a post I wrote here.