Post from Steve

By steve on August 4th, 2005

Note: I’m still avoiding the computer because of my eye strain. –Kate
Today we met with an obstetrician with Meridian Women’s Health. They’re closely associated with Northwest Hospital, and NW Hospital is on the list of places we’re considering for the birth.
The doctor was friendly and appeared to answer our questions pretty honestly. She’s a little younger than we were originally aiming for, but now I’m thinking that might be a good thing — the older doctors/midwives might be a little jaded after 30+ years of deliveries, and might not match our levels of enthusiasm in seeing the birth as The Most Amazing Thing Ever To Happen Ever.
As far as personality and philosophy, she came across as entirely reasonable and a good choice. If we end up going the OB route, I think she’d be a fine selection. I think the only red flag for Kate was that the vast majority of her patients don’t opt for natural childbirth. She qualified that by using the term “true natural childbirth”, and it’s not exactly clear at what point a birth goes from natural to un-natural, but I think the overall trend is clear. Kate is pretty stoked about going au naturel, and although that’s an option no matter we go, I’d prefer that we were with someone who is more familiar with the emotional demands of the natural style.
Oh, another interesting thing that the doctor mentioned is that most of the labor and general staff interaction is done with the nurses. The doctor shows up, catches the baby, and then moves on. And even then the doctor could be one of seven on-call doctors (although about 50% of the children ARE delivered by the doctor of choice). So interviewing all these doctors isn’t really all that useful — at the crucial time, it’ll be a crapshoot as to whether we get a great nurse, a crappy nurse, or some combination thereof. From that perspective, going with a midwife and getting real continuity of care seems to be an important way to go.
If we DO choose a midwife, there is still a hospital vs. birth center choice. The UW has a fleet of midwives and again it’d be a crapshoot as to who we get on d-day. I believe the same applies to Swedish hospital, which has the reputation of being a baby factory and not as nice as NW Hospital, which doesn’t have any midwives on staff. The smaller independent practices have only one to three midwives, so we can get to know them all and feel comfortable with whoever shows up on d-day, but only a few (if any?) have hospital privileges.
We’ve got some more midwife interviews lined up, so no decisions yet. In any event, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to rush to a decision; prenatal care doesn’t really seem to gear up until the 12th week or so.

Filed under: pregnancy
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