With Sofia, my first, I chose a birthing center mainly because I knew I wanted an all-natural & un-medicated birth, I really wanted to avoid the hospital route since it didn’t align with the birth plan & setting I personally wanted, and I wanted to do it outside my home.
I had the best birth experience, and of course, would repeat the same experience at the birthing center without a doubt for my second. So why did I consider other options? What was my thought process this second time around?
1. My birthing center, that I ADORE, is an hour drive away, which means that, to get to all my appointments we have to drive 2h back and forth. I didn’t care as much the first time, but now having a toddler and a tighter schedule, I of course don't want to waste my time driving.
2. It’s also far away for the delivery, the drive during ACTIVE labor (since at a birthing center they don't let you come any sooner than 6/7cm dilated) was rough, and I was lucky to go into active labor at 5am, not during rush hour. But who knows when it will be this year!
3. I have Cedars hospital 5min from my place, which is obviously way more convenient for both appointments & deliveries. However, an environment I personally don't want (plus they don't even offer water birth, which is what I want). AND they make you stay there up to 48h after birth, even with drug-free deliveries, and I didn’t want to leave Sofia with anyone for that long (at the birthing center, I am back home 3h after delivering and they come to my home for all postnatal checkups the following days). So the hospital route, although way more convenient, once again, it is not what I want. Scratched.
4. A home birth would be amazing because of convenience too, plus the midwife who delivered Sofia now works on her own doing home births, she could come to my house to do all prenatal appointments, and birth. So I wouldn’t need to drive anywhere, perfect with a toddler. However, I still did not feel comfortable and peaceful to deliver at my house, I want a BIG comfortable warm tub, and to not worry about the mess later. I was in the tub THE WHOLE TIME during labor so I know it’s all I need to give birth, and absolutely loved my setting last time.
So as you can imagine, I chose the birthing center route again. I’ll have to scarify the drive, but Sofia is now in preschool a few hours three days a week, and we both are business owners and can schedule our appointments on those days, and during less traffic hours. It's definitely worth scarifying the drive time, for the best experience.
I will also be able to go home 3h after delivering the boy, so I will only need to leave Sofia with my friend for a few hours... last time we were out of the house for 7h total. I know that I will want to be home with my babies and recover there from the comfort of my home, and I am very much looking forward that!
Finally, I also absolutely love the ways midwifes work, they truly take care of me and spend the time talking to me, providing tons of useful information and always educating me and explaining my choices, so i can decide what’s best for me and my babies. I even met with a few local doctors at the beginning of the pregnancy, and let me just say, the midwife route is made for me!
Last quick note: everyone is free to chose the way they want to experience their birth and the route they want to take, based on what makes them feel most comfortable, so you do you! I respect all choices. I am just sharing because I get asked about why, and my thought process for this second time around!