Yeah! We finally made a decision! Praise God!
So we checked out Simona Birth Center today in Whittier. It was just as gorgeous as the pictures and I felt she would make sure we were involved in this birth and all its decisions.
Simona is a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) and is associated with Whittier Community Medical Center and Whittier Presbeterian Hospital. (You can view her credentials here.) She gave us a very thorough tour, starting at the lab area. Here, the mothers are able to test their own urine, giving us peace of mind, "empowering" us, and getting us more involved. We also get to weigh ourselves (I hate it when the nurses come to weigh me and have no idea where to start with the weights).
Next was her office and then the exam room. She explained the prenatal exams and said we would have the urine test, would weigh ourselves, she would measure my urterus, and then explain what will be happening the next month, i.e. what we will be going through and what's normal, abnormal, etc.
The next room was the kitchen, complete with refrigerator, coffee maker, and microwave. She encourages the women to drink juice while in labor and doesn't inhibit our nutrition. Downstairs there is also a Deli with smoothies, etc. Yum!
The next room was the 2nd birthing room. This is in case there are two women there at one time. This is extremely rare, but it's nice to know she's prepared for it. It has a balcony and is a little smaller.
Finally, we saw the birthing room, complete with personal bathroom and birthing tub. She loves the tub because it has temperature control so there is no need to worry during labor. There is also a CD player and she encourages candles...anything that will keep me relaxed.
Here she explained how the births go and we got to ask questions. Woman are checked in at 4cm dialation. She can tell them on the phone what stage of labor the mother is in and let them know when to come in.
Once the baby is born she places him/her on the mother's stomach and normally cuts the cord after it stops pulsing (or lets the dad do it). (My hero!) She then waits for the placenta to be delivered. She also mentioned giving the baby over to the dad.
When I mentioned I was Rh- she said that would have her cut the cord as soon as possible. The longer we wait, the more of my blood will enter the baby (and antibodies), and the baby will develop parental jaundis, which can be life threatening. I was thrilled she actually explained the reasons behind the actions! We asked about getting Big Red's blood tested. If he comes out a definite negative, then there is no reason to worry about the Rh. She also mentioned the Rhogam shot for Rh.
As far as testing the baby after he/she is born, she mentioned antibiotic for the baby's eyes, which she said they don't feel. It is for precaution of the bath, i.e. in case I go to the restroom while pushing and if any dirt gets in the tub from my feet, etc. She also does a Vitamin K shot. both of these she said we could sign to waive - and she didn't sound judgemental.
Because of the tub there is no chance of an episiotomy. If I happen to tear, then she has topical anastesia to put on it.
In case of an emergency there is a hospital across the street and one down the street. She is able to come with us and deliver the baby and even be an assistant if we needed a C-section.
We mentioned having Daja as our doula. She only cautioned to not let her do any exams during labor as it may cause infection. She's had cases where doulas have told their clients they knew how to do everything and the women have gotten infections or whatnot. We trust Daja and are sure there won't be any problems!
When I mentioned number of guests she said I can have however many I wanted. She also noted that having a LOT can make me feel as if I have to perform, stressing me out and interfering with the labor. She called it "negative energy" which made Big Red think she was "new agey".
When I need any blood tests, i.e. for diabetes, she will be able to perform them in the office. Yeah! Especially after my last experience.
For induction, which would have to be done in a hospital, she mentioned the reasons to induce, i.e. the water being broken over 6 hours can cause infection. I'd still like to do some research on this as Daja's water was broken for WAY more hours before the baby came.
Anyway, there are some scattered memories of the tour. We have our first appointment on April 19.