I had an appointment with my midwife today that was really pleasant. It was just a quick routine visit, nothing out of the ordinary. I was pretty excited to hear my little roo's heartbeat again; that will never get old! During my next appointment, I will have more bloodwork to check my levels against what they were back in October since the amount of blood in my body has nearly doubled! About two weeks ago I started taking an iron supplement, so I am not too worried about my red blood cell count this time. I didn't really want to take any prenatals or other vitamins, but to be extra cautious I decided to seek out a natural iron supplement. I ended up choosing Garden of Life's Vitamin Code of Raw Iron. It is completely vegan and all of the ingredients are derived from herbal sources rather than animal or chemical sources. This raw, unprocessed capsule also includes Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and Folate as an added bonus!
Another issue that was only lightly touched on at my appointment, but I have been beginning to think about lately is where I want to give birth. Now don't be freaked about about me having a natural pregnancy and wanting a natural childbirth--that is true to an extent, however, I'm leaning towards giving birth in a hospital (as opposed to a birthing center or having a home birth). Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a midwife deliver my baby in a birthing center, but for insurance reasons and to keep my boyfriend at ease with putting up with me, I do think a hospital is the best way for us to go.
Newton-Wellesley Hospital vs. Brigham and Women's HospitalSo here's my dilemma: my OB practice only has privileges with Newton-Wellesley Hospital, but I am not sure I want to deliver there. I have looked into a couple of reputable hospitals in the area, and would really prefer Brigham and Women's Hospital. Brigham and Women's is closer to the South Shore area where we will most likely be living, as opposed to Newton-Wellesley being almost 10 miles further away (which could be a real pain, depending on the time of day and traffic). Brigham and Women's is also the leading hospital in the region for women's healthcare and has a separate pediatrics facility right next door--the buildings are actually connected by a bridge. The labor and delivery room looks extremely comfortable with a place for my boyfriend to relax (or sleep, if necessary), a TV, an option for playing music, a mini fridge, labor relievers (like stretching bands and a labor ball), and other things I know I am forgetting right now. They also have a very reputable maternity staff including nurses and lactation consultants, as well as the OB doctor who will be doing the delivery. It's not that Newton-Wellesley, doesn't have comfortable rooms or a knowledgeable staff, I just literally fell in love with Brigham and Women's online maternity ward tour video [here] as opposed to Newton-Wellesley's [here]. The biggest reason for wanting to give birth at Brigham and Women's has to be the fact that I really want to be able to bank and donate my baby's umbilical cord blood, and that is a service not available at Newton-Wellesley. You can read more about it [here] if you are interested, but banking cord blood is a great opportunity to help patients with diseases even as severe as leukemia to make a full recovery. Cord blood is stored for its stem cells that are the building blocks of the blood and the immune system and are often successful as transplants because they are immature cells that do not yet know how to attack foreign substances. Since this process would not interfere with my birth plan, poses no risks to me or my baby, and takes less than 10 minutes, I definitely want to jump on the opportunity to save a life. Who knows, my baby could benefit from a stem cell transplant one day!
Anyway, when I casually mentioned different hospitals today, my midwife basically said that I would definitely be delivering at Newton-Wellesley since that is the hospital they are affiliated with. I was distraught and stressed about this and began madly googling it as soon as we got in the car. While it is recommended that patients deliver at the hospital where their OB has privileges, I have decided that I love my midwife and do not want to switch practices, so I will be keeping my current OB, and I also feel that delivering at the hospital where I feel most comfortable and that I feel is right for me and my baby is also important, so I will stick with my decision of giving birth at Brigham and Women's. I know my OB or midwife will not have privileges to aid in my delivery, but the person delivering my baby is probably who I will be seeing the least of anyway and I won't mind it being a member of the Brigham and Women's staff. When the date gets closer, I will have my OB fax my patient file to the hospital and I will have a printed copy of my birth plan to bring in my hospital bag on the day of delivery.
There we go, problem solved! (a special thanks to google and all the moms who asked a similar question!)