Exactly two months from today, she'll be two.
She laughs easily, tells stories with animation, and has the cutest little waddly-run you've ever seen.
I often think of the night I first met her. 8:30pm - on the dot.
She arrived in the water. I was on all fours. Tim caught her from behind. We were overjoyed.
Looking back, I remember the pain of the birth (yes)...but the word that mostly comes to mind is "peace."
Tonight, I pay tribute to the Birth & Women's Health Center in Tucson, AZ...known to me and my family as simply "the birth center."
I always want to tell first-time mamas to consider skipping the scary hospital experience and opt for a birth center instead. I wish I could explain the wonder of natural birth (the glory, the triumph, the magic). But I never know quite how to do it without sounding pushy (birth is a tough topic to discuss sometimes, isn't it?).
The Birth Center is getting ready to move to a new location (on Grant Road, between Wilmot and Craycroft on the north side of the street). I'm not sure about the exact dates, but it's soon.
As many of you know, our family will be traveling the USA in the coming year in an RV. It's likely I'll get pregnant on-the-road. It's also likely that we'll come back and give birth in Tucson, AZ. The birth center is THAT wonderful.
P.S. The Birth & Women's Health Center is on Facebook (and I "Like" it). (I wish they were on Twitter too).
Where did you give birth? What one word would you use to describe the experience? Also - Is there a birth center in your town?
MORE READING ON THIS TOPIC:
I had to have my baby in a hospital; there are NO birth centers in IL. I was disappointed with the experience since I had an unnecessary cesarean even though I switched from an OB group to a midwife-OB supervised group. My baby was healthy and beautiful and chubby. That was wonderful; breastfeeding him in my post surgery drug-haze.
I had my first baby almost 5 years ago at the Birth and Women's Health Center in Tucson. For us, at the time, it was the perfect way to achieve the natural birth experience we wanted while being close to a hospital in case an emergency arose. Never having had a baby, my husband felt like a home birth was way too risky and in order for him to be my coach and relaxation facilitator (we used the Bradley Method and it was fabulous!!!) he needed to be at peace! Although now, having had another baby, I know my first labor was really hard, the experience was fantastic! We labored through the courtyard and garden of the surrounding offices, on our own private balcony, and in the hot tub. Our midwives gave us gentle support and privacy at the same time. When my son announced he was ready to be born, my husband had the privilege of "catching" him with our midwife's complete blessing. We had family visit after the birth and Rob picked up Outback Steakhouse for dinner and proceeded to cut my meat without a word from me so I could eat it while I nursed our newborn joy. It was an AMAZING experience!!!
My daughter was born in the mountains where we live now and there is no birth center. So my options were hospital or home. We went with home and it was perfect! We were both at peace with it. My labor was much more mild and I walked circles around our dining room table during early labor while Rob and Bobby slept (Before anyone gets mad at him, I told him to! I was gonna need him well-rested later!). Our birth team arrived 30 minutes after our call about 4 hours before our beautiful baby girl was born. My son slept all night in the comfort of his own bed and woke up well rested and soooo excited about 2 hours before his baby sister was born. My midwife stood in for Rob for a little while so he could make Bobby breakfast (LOL! jello and lifesavers with a side of egg casserole we prepared ahead of time-- It was a party!), applying pressure to my back when I contracted. He was there for the birth and helped his daddy cut the cord. It was a big moment for him and he viewed it as a great responsibility to his baby sister. After Gabi was born I had trouble birthing the placenta and lost a lot of blood. I was freezing and almost passed out. My midwife took care of me while Rob and Bobby took care of Gabi. Her assistant made me hot tea and took pictures for us when I was stable. A couple of hours after the birth our family was outside in the fantastic fall sunshine with our midwife set to return the next day to follow up. Again, AMAZING!!!!
I have never had a hospital birth but don't imagine it would offer as much flexibility. Here the hospital requires an IV and you are bedridden once your water breaks which mine did at the very beginning of my 16+ hour labor with my son! But I love what Kara said about it being perfectly fine to discuss and totally disagree. I think that is the defining aspect of true friendship; respect for individuality and loving each other through disagreement.
Can I just say, Stephanie, that I so appreciate the way you discuss topics like this? I actually have very different feelings about this topic than the ones you express, but the way you talk about it (and the things you mentioned in the other posts) let me know that we could disagree and it would be perfectly fine! I had all three of my daughters in hospitals, but as you know from knowing a little bit about my past experiences, that was definitely the safest option in my case. I appreciated that you mentioned in your birth center v. hospital post that in some cases, medical conditions make hospitals necessary- and thank heavens for those life saving technologies! After the placental abruption with my 2nd daughter, the head doctor told my husband multiple times that the things they were doing to save my life were very, very new and just two years earlier, he would likely not have been able to save me. After that experience, even though I'd had one perfectly normal, successful pregnancy and birth, there's not a doctor worth his/her salt that would let me deliver anywhere but a hospital. Good thing too, since I had complications again with my third daughter (totally unrelated to the issues with pregnancy #2 and despite the close monitoring by a team of perinatalogists, undiagnosed!) and I ended up having tons of blood transfusions and spent the night in the ICU. Good times! However, I still feel that "empowering" is one of the words I would use to describe all my labors/deliveries (I did the c-section without proper anesthesia because I wouldn't let them knock me out without knowing that my baby was okay, and I TOTALLY use that as a claim to fame and reminder to myself that I can do just about anything!) However, because we lost our 2nd daughter after the abruption, "heartbreaking" is also one of the words I think of in those experiences, which is probably why I don't really talk to pregnant women much anymore. I know that both of the conditions I had, the crazy huge placental abruption and then placenta accreta, are very, very rare and there's no reason to freak expectant mothers out about something that likely will never happen to them. But, you just never know when something might go wrong, after all there's a reason why women didn't start outliving men until recent decades, and for that reason, I'm very grateful to be alive now and not fifty years ago!
I'm so glad that you feel comfortable discussing divergent viewpoints here! I love hearing the opinions and perspectives of others - and I'm happy that you posted your story here. (Thank you for that).
Wow - a c-section w/out proper anesthesia - that IS a claim to fame! You are a brave woman and I admire you.
both of my girls were born in a hospital - one in Utah and one in Michigan. I didn't love either birth story, but unique they both were. I caved and had an epidural for both but neither epidural worked. (oh, except that the first one completely stopped my labor and I was able to take a 4 hour nap in the middle of it all). If I were to have another - which will not likely happen (as 40 feels old to have another baby), I would definitely look into a birthing center. With my oldest I was having kidney stones so the midwives had to refer me to an MD. Then with my youngest, I went into preterm labor at 24 weeks and had to be under the care of a high risk ob (she delivered 1 hour before her due date).
The birthing center in Tuscan looks like a great facility. I don't know of a birthing center near where I live.
We also were Tucson birth center folks...although I ultimately had to deliver at TMC with our midwife (we went there after 36 hours of contractions every 2-3 minutes and having only dilated to a 4). I am hoping my next baby will be born peacefully in the water though at the new center. I would describe labor and delivery experience as empowering.
I often use the word "empowering" to describe birth as well. There's really nothing quite like it - the human body is amazing, isn't it?
You are ridiculously beautiful!
I had both of my babies in our local hospital and had a great experience both times. Both of my labors were FAST and relatively smooth. My first birth was a total of 4 1/2 hours (she was 13 days past due) and my second was 2 1/2 hours (he was 9 days past due - and both of my dates were right on). I was able to have natural birth both times (wouldn't have had time for anything other than that anyhow). I was very pleased with both experiences...not what I had imagined but no complaints here! The ER doctor delivered my first since my doctor couldn't make it on time. Part of the reason I had such great experiences is due to my doula. She helped me throughout the entire labor, both times. She was right next to me when I needed her to tell me to breathe, provided a calming spirit for both Markus and myself. Our experience wouldn't have been nearly as smooth without her there.
your recent photo shoot is amazing!!!
Yay for birth centers! I birthed my son at a freestanding birth center as well and the entire experience was so amazing. They made sure I was good to go with breastfeeding before I was able to go. They made me trust my body. In fact, I showed him my birthing video to my son the other day for the first time. He is 2 years old and wasn't sure if it was too much for him. He was enthralled by it and now keeps repeating, "Mama pooped out Baby Luke". I left it at that. Recently I have experienced two separate miscarriages. My midwife and her staff were so considerate and helpful to me during both occasions. I cannot imagine an obgyn going that far out of their way to make sure I was comforted and taken care of during my times of grief. I will return whenever I do end up getting pregnant and I always recommend them!
Both my children were born in the same hospital with a birth floor that tries its best to mimic a Birth Center. I've found that my experience varied greatly with each child only because I switched from an OB (1st child) to a Midwife (2nd child). Unless there are extreme circumstances, I will never go back to an OB.
We have now moved 30 minutes away from that lovely hybrid of a hospital and because both of my labors have been lightning fast it probably isn't a good idea to plan on delivering there. So I'm unsure what we will do when I get pregnant with baby #3. There is a birth center that opened up just a mile from our house but it would be extremely expensive for me to receive care there and/or deliver there as we have a high-deductible plan and it is out of network. (I hate that insurance companies play a part in my decision but I guess that's the world we live in.) I've found myself debating between a pleasant but older hospital or, perhaps, a homebirth? I'm not sure if I'm the homebirth-type yet. I have to pray on it. But one thing's for sure: I will definitely have a midwife no matter what!
I can totally see you having a homebirth (and I bet you would love it).
I keep wondering when you're going to come out with an announcement about baby #3. I have a feeling that you and I will be pregnant "together" at some point in the upcoming year. ;)
Your daughter is so beautiful! I didn't even know we had a birth center in Tucson! I'm hoping to become pregnant this year, so I will def have to check them out!
I hope you do! It's a wonderful place!
Stephanie - I forgot to say in my last comment... The photo of you & little one is BEAUTIFUL. I love it!
For the record, I loved our Birth Center experience too. I know Stephanie did most (birth is exhausting for husbands too) of the work, but labor can be overwhelming for everyone. I really appreciated the calmness of the midwife and nurses. Especially, that they were so encouraging.
After our second was born (in a hospital, with the most wonderful midwives attending), my husband was offered a job in the midwife practice. Yes, the women probably do the most work through labor and delivery, BUT, I couldn't have done it without Jay. Not in a million years. And goodness! He was so amazing, the midwives thought he should go into it! (Weird? Um, yes... luckily they were just joking!)
We have friends who lived in a school bus for several years, and she delivered her baby there. So... and RV isn't out of the question, right?! :)
I feel the same way! Tim was the ultimate encourager.
An RV birth. Hmmm. I actually HAVE thought about it, but I think I'd miss the birth tub too much. Water helps me so much in labor.
There is no way I could describe my experiences with the Birth Center in just one word. I have four wonderful girls, the first two born in water at the birth center. Number 3 was delivered at a hospital under the care of our midwife. When I was told I had "risked out" of midwifery care because of a heart issue with number four, I cried. I was 6 months pregnant and told I needed more specialized care so I chose St. Joseph's hospital knowing I would receive care which valued life. I again had a natural child birth and I hated being on my back in a bed, but this was still the day I labored to bring Ella into this world. Even when events are out of my control, I can control my attitude and spirit! Now if only I could control the postpartum depression - but that's a post for another time (hint-hint).
I gave birth naturally in a hospital with a supportive midwife, nurse, and my husband by my side. If I had to pick one word to describe it: intense. Every person in that room was a huge part of the birth. There is no birth center in my town or even in my state. I really wish there was. I would prefer this option over home birth or hospital birth.
The pic of you and your daughter at the opening of this post is beautiful and precious.
We are done having children and while at times I would like another child, I feel my body would not take kindly to a third pregnancy. However, if a third were in the plans for us, I would love to try something other than a hospital. I had two very different births and thankfully each was special in its own way. But I was ready to come home immediately after giving birth and I almost resented being kept in the hospital. Due to a freak accident - my daughter fell on our walkway after visiting me in the hospital and was rushed back to the hospital via amubulance, I was able to conference with my doctor and pediatrician and was released after just 24 hours so that I could go home to care for my hurt daughter and worried husband. I envy my friends who have had their children at home.
I've never had a birth at a birth center but have only heard good things. That said, many insurance plans don't seem to cover birth centers, so after having a hospital birth with #1, we opted for homebirth with #2...and then again with #3. After all, once you have a homebirth you kind of become a convert. Like, there's nothing better than just having your baby at home. Yes, I'm a big time fan of homebirth.. It allows total flexibility and openness, relaxation and comfort based on your own specifics (it is your house after all), and it makes the whole process feel normal. Special, yes. But normal. Not scary, or intense, or too much to handle. Just another version of normal. I know for me the whole birth process felt like something women do instead of something women have to get through. And being able to have a baby at home with or without your other kids there and whomever else you invite over just feels so right. For me, it feels like a momentary connection to all women in history. After all, we've been having babies at home for centuries regardless of what the media likes to hype. And one word for my births:
with my first: life-changing
with my second: special
with my third: exhilarating
Cheers to all mamas!
I sincerely hope that I can have a home birth someday! I think I would love it...and my husband would be on-board with the idea, for sure.
I have a "traditional" OB (whom I love, love, love!!!) & will be giving birth for the 3rd time at the Birth Center in our county. I love it there. Every single nurse (no hyperbole) has been amazing. The huge bath tub is a huge pain saver for me & seems to speed up my labor, too. Then after the baby is born, it almost feels like you are on vacation, or something. The food is SO good.
I am so for the birth center. I love it.
I remember the pain, too, for sure. But, I think my word I would choose is "rewarding".
The water helped me a lot too. For my first birth (in a hospital), I didn't have the option of a tub. For my second birth (at the birth center), I delivered in the tub. It really helped to take the edge off of the contractions!
The hospital food for birth #1 was terrible! For birth #2, we checked out of the birth center about 4 hours after the delivery and went home...so lovely!
I know it sounds awful and I have been really praying to move past this before we are pregnant with #2. I mean really it has been 3 years, but I am still so frustrated in myself and the whole hospital/doctor experience. My one word to describe my birth would be disappointed. Everything I knew I didn't want I let happen and eventually ended in a c-section. Praying my next birth is totally different. As for birth centers last I checked there weren't any not even one in Georgia. There used to be one about 5 hours from where I live, but they have since closed. And to top it off home birth is still illegal in Georgia as well. Of course there are midwives who will attend home births thank God for these great ladies who know labor isn't about a hospital and surgery. And this is something we are considering for our next birth.
I'm so sorry, Melissa! Many of my friends have had "disappointing" birth experiences too and it breaks my heart. Some people may say that "a healthy baby is ALL that matters...," but I disagree. I think the birth experience matters too.
I wish you peace and clarity as you make decisions about conception/birth in the coming year.
We seriously considered a home birth with our first (and so far only) baby. We ended up going to a hospital out here in Boulder that is incredible. After my 22 hour unhurried, peaceful, and empowering birth I said 'This is like a home birth except we never run out of hot water and there is room service!'
We will definitely go back for number 2.
I love hearing about hospitals that "get" that birth is a normal life event. It's awesome when hospitals can provide personal care and a peaceful environment. (Unfortunately, I think your experience is somewhat rare...especially in my geographic region).
I was looking for a BC in my area, but it was about 4 hours away. I wish there were more BCs so moms could make a choice
I do too!
If more moms would opt for the birth center experience throughout our country, I'm sure that additional centers would open. "Supply and Demand" is undoubtedly a factor.
What a great tribute, Steph! No higher compliments. We do have a lot of birthing centres in our neck of the woods. Most of my friends and colleagues opt for midwifery care unless they are considered high risk. There is a pretty healthy partnership between OBs and midwives here. I'm planning a home birth with our third after Joe's unplanned "free birth" we figure we're pretty safe. My daughter's birth words would be "hard and fulfilling," Joe's would be "FAST! and exciting" and this time, we're really praying for PEACEFUL to be the word. My poor husband. ;-)
I had my third baby with the Birth and Women's Health Center in Tucson. It was a fabulous experience - the best of the three births. I had high blood pressure, so I ended up in the hospital and being induced. It was almost the exact same situation as with my first, but with my first I used a doctor. The experieces were NOTHING alike.
My doctor with my first child had me in bed the whole time. The midwife let me walk around, find different positions, even sit in the bathtub for a while!
All of my labors were very long. I ended up with an epidural for all three. I realized after my third that all three of my babies were most likely "sunny side up" (face up) which makes it very difficult for the baby to come down the birth canal, and hence, long labors.
Using the midwife, I was able to rule out all other options to get my baby to turn the right way and come down the birth canal naturally. Eventually, after 5 hours at 8 cm. we decided the best thing to do is an epidural so we could get pitocin to really squeeze my uterus so the baby would turn the right way. I felt a little dissapointed that I was getting an epidural, yet AGAIN, but my midwife encouraged me, saying "This is what epidurals are for."
Using a midwife in a hospital felt like the best of both worlds for me. Having high blood pressure, I was high risk, and really needed to be in the hospital, but having a midwife "run things" allowed me to do things as naturally as possible.
in past posts about birth, several of my readers have commented that the caregiver you choose is more important than the setting of the delivery. I think this is probably very true.
Midwives are highly knowledgable about the stages of labor and about how to support women as they progress through them. In my personal experience, they are also more personable and caring than OBs.
(I do realize that this is not always the case. I'm sure there are doctors who are caring and involved...and midwives who are not. But, as a general rule, I would say that midwives tend to view pregnant women more as people going through a natural life process...than as patients.)
Our oldest was born in the hospital, not the plan, but needed none the less. She is 5 today, and my worse birth by far, induced, meds that make me feel awful...yuck!
Our second was a water birth, at home, in the middle of our tiny living room. With my wonderful midwife. The best thing I can think of for this birth was amazing. Yes, painful, but amazing. She was so at peace when she was born and the water felt so good.
Our son, and third birth was at home too, different house, on the couch. We tried water, but he was not having it. Sunny side up, it was a painful birth. But, still wonderful. The joy of holding that sweet little bundle as soon as he was laid on my chest. Joy is the best way to describe this one.
I pray when I have another that I can be at home as well. Best best best place I think, when there is not a medical need, to have a baby. The comfort and *sigh* wonderful feeling of climbing into your bed after a hot bath and some home made soups and bread is just...priceless!
I would REALLY love to have a home birth for baby #3, but I'm pretty sure we'll still be on-the-road when that time comes. Our RV is a little bit too small for me to be comfortable with that arrangement (setting up a birth tub would be out of the question, for example). ;)
Maybe for baby #4? :)
First was in a hospital... words to describe... long and just all around horrible.
Second at a birth center.... peaceful is the best description!
I had my son in a hospital. However, this hospital tries very hard to be what a birth center is. They do not do medical interventions unless absolutely necessary, you labor, deliver, and recover all in the same room (without a roommate), the rooms are very homey (if that's a word!) and there are large, deep bathtubs in everyone's room if you choose to labor that way. I had an OB-GYN but she is someone that I have a personal relationship with so she feels more like a midwife to me.
I think everyone should pick whatever feels right for their family, and I am by no means against birth centers. However, I don't think all hospitals are scary either. It's important to know your options!
If I could some it up in one word, I'd say "overwhelming." I mean that in a completely positive way. I absolutely loved my birth experience.
This is a huge topic of interest for me, as we are about to start trying to conceive baby #3. I have had both my babies in hospitals with epidurals and all of that. With my first baby everything was fine. I had a great hospital experience and I have clear and vivid memories of every minute. My last birth, however, was a HUGE disappointment. I hated the way I felt. I hated the meds. I hated and still cry over the fact that I mostly don't remember ANYTHING about birthing my precious baby. I am in tears right now just thinking about it. Natural birth isn't something that is looked kindly upon where I live or among my friends and family. I don't know anyone in real life who has done it. I have tried bringing it up in conversation and quickly been shot down. I have expressed my interest in home birth with a midwife and was told I was completely crazy. When I say that I want to have my next baby (even if I'm at the hospital) naturally with no epidural, my family (even my husband) says I'm insane and that I will change my mind. Such a hard thing to discuss without feeling people's judgement. I don't know what we will do when the time comes for our next baby to be born, but I am greatly inspired by your story and other Mamas who have blogged about their natural births.
I'm sorry to hear that natural birth is "looked down upon" in your area (where do you live?). I really, really loved both of my natural births...and I remember both experiences w/ the greatest of happiness.
I will say, however, that my first natural birth was much more difficult - in the hospital setting. You would have thought the L&D nurses had never seen a woman in labor! Five people actually came in to watch because it was a novelty.
Here are a few resources to help you find a midwife (http://www.midwife.org/find.cfm) or locate a birth center (http://www.birthcenters.org/find-a-birth-center/).
Best wishes w/ your decision!
I live in north Alabama. I was actually looking yesterday, and there aren't any birth centers in my area. There are also no midwives unless you go into Tennessee. So, we'll most likely deliver our next baby in the hospital, but I'm going to do my research and have my drug-free birth plan ready, so there won't be any "talking me out of it".:) I just don't want another experience like my last one. The birth of your baby is not something that you should have to hear about second hand, because you have no idea what even went on. I will definitely check out the links, though. Thanks.
My first two were born with midwives in the hospital. The 3rd - we had moved to WA and I used a midwife in a birth center. That was my very favorite pregnancy and birth experience. I would absolutely have gone back, but we moved to IL where birth centers are pretty much non-existent, except in Chicago, which is too far away for us. There was recently a bill to be voted on about free standing birth centers and professional midwives, but it failed. I am in the process of certifying to be a doula in our area because without the birth center experience doula's really are needed in this area! Needless to say, our 4th was born in a hospital, but the entire pregnancy I really really really missed my birth center from WA!
How sad that the bill failed! Was it specific to Illinois? I should keep better track of birth-related bills so I can rally for midwife-friendly options throughout our country.
I had my babies in hospitals. Lilly in CA and Zac here in Tucson. I had a great experience both times...
I think it's important for women and parents to LOVE their experience, whatever it is. I'm glad you did too!
PS I also LOVE your headband in that pic. Where did you get it? I'm nervous about headbands (I have no idea why... big forehead?) but you make me want to try out! lol!
That's actually a funny story. I bought that headband at Target in the Girls Section for my 4-year-old. She was wearing it up until about 20 minutes before the photo shoot and then announced that it was too big and she wasn't going to wear it. I promptly put it on and thought, "I'm totally going to wear this!" So I did. ;)
I agree with you that it's important for women to love their experience.
One of the reasons that I champion birth centers and home births is because most women who give birth in these settings are exceptionally happy with the experience. Most of the women I know who were disappointed by their labor & delivery are the ones who had babies with OBs in hospitals (where they felt frightened, out-of-control, and frustrated).
That said, I know PLENTY of women (including many of the commenters here) who LOVED their hospital experience.
Ultimately, every family needs to decide what is best for their family based on their health history, lifestyle, geographic region, etc.
I had my baby at a hospital, but with a midwife. I have to say that although the midwife on call that day was one that I only had seen 2x, and not my beloved midwife I had grown to love over 2 years of visits, the process went very smoothly. In fact, another patient was in labor the same time as myself, so I saw the nurse more than the midwife. I don't even remember seeing a dr. but I think they had to call one in for official paperwork and stuff -I have no idea. :)
One word to describe it - oh gosh, I can't pick just one. The first that comes to mind is LONG (11 hrs), but the 2nd is QUIET b/c it was just me, hubby and the nurse so I felt like we were in our own private world as baby made his way out - we kept the lights low, listened to classical music and worked through contraction after contraction until baby arrived! It for certain was not the yelling, screaming, rushing around procedures you see on television - I laugh now when I see those scenes. I am sure it happens sometimes but... that was SO not my experience! :)
I would love to find out if we even have a birth center in CT... gotta look into it! :)
My friend gave birth at a birthing center near Waterbury and she loved her experience. I wish I knew more back when I had my daughters.....I would have explored this option.
It fascinates me that you used QUIET to describe your birth experience. My two births were quite the opposite. ;)
I do agree, however, that giving birth is nothing like the media portrays it on television. I wonder why that is. It would be awesome if more sitcoms and reality shows painted a TRUE picture of pregnancy, labor, and new motherhood.
oops, I meant to post this link to my birth story: http://formissionarymoms.com/2010/04/18/pregnancy-and-birth-overseas-megan-in-southeast-asia/
I'm not sure if this is actually linking or not, but at least you have the url!
My first son was born at home with a midwife and a water birth. I loved it. absolutely loved it. I did have to go to the hospital afterward because of some bad tearing, but other than that it was great! My second son was born here in Nepal at what used to be a mission hospital. IT has been turned over to the government in the past few years and has unfortunately started to go down the drain. I got to the hospital about 10am and told them that I would need to move to the delivery room soon because my babies come fast. Long story short, I was pretty much ignored until the head nurse checked me and said in a very surprised voice "you're nine cm! you need to be in a delivery room!" (this was after me saying for nearly an hour an a half that my baby was on it's way!) They then made me walk to the delivery room. But we didn't make it and he was born on the floor in the middle of the hallway. pretty ridiculous. thankfully my husband was there at the last minute to see him born. That was a year ago and he's doing great! If we have another baby in the states I'll use a midwife, but if we're pregnant in Nepal again, then we'll just go toTthailand where medical care is MUCH better.
Both of my birth were in hospitals. The first one was not what I had hoped due to a substitute doctor. After that I switched to a midwife practice that delivered in the same hospital, then we moved. I found another midwife group that delivered in a hospital and that birth was super fast (we only arrived at the hospital parking lot 18 minutes before she was born) and really the whole experience was so much better. We will always have our children in hospitals because we like to have the NICU immediately available if necessary (thankfully so far it hasn't been necessary, but I don't think I could forgive myself if we weren't there). There was a birth center nearby when we lived in San Antonio, but now there isn't. I think the closest is about 45 minutes away. Here are my birth stories: http://macyfron.com/blog/wordpress/?p=197