Doctor or midwife? Hospital or birth center? Breastfeed or formula? Circumcise or not? Cloth diapers or disposables? Store cord blood or not? So many choices, so many decisions. Not to mention the million different cribs, swings, high chairs, play yards, bottles, bouncers and on and on. There are so many things to think about and decide. I am the kind of person that has to think about and research each decision and option. I don’t just do what everyone else does or what someone tells me to do. I do my own research. Books, Internet sites, message boards, asking friends, doctors. I take all the advice and then make my own decision based on what I feel is right for me. I don’t always pick the most popular or mainstream choice which is hard for some people to accept. Some decisions are easy for me like breastfeeding, but then there are more questions. Do I introduce a bottle and pump? When do I do this? Other decisions take a bit more thought and some convincing of those around me. The biggest one was my desire to not birth at a hospital. I don’t like hospitals. I know we need them and they fixed me up. They very well might safe my life or our baby’s life during labor and delivery. They do great things and save babies and mothers. I don’t doubt the need for them, but I don’t feel that low risk, healthy women need to birth in a hospital. I am afraid they will push for interventions that I don’t want, stick me in a bed attached to machines, keep me from eating or drinking, stick me with an IV, do an episiotomy or send me in for a c-section I don’t really need. I don’t think I need a surgeon to deliver my baby unless something is going wrong.
I am so lucky to have a wonderful birth center near me. They are located in Chapel Hill and have been there for many years. They have practice privileges at UNC Hospitals and are well respected in the community. Sure it is a 45 minute drive from our house and WakeMed is 5 minutes. However, if I do need to be admitted to a hospital UNC is my first choice. For those who don’t know birth centers are run my midwives. They are not just hippies with no education. They are probably more educated in normal births than OB’s. OB’s are surgeons and most have never even attended a birth from start to finish. Research has shown that both birth centers and home births are just as safe as hospital births. As if going to a birth center wasn’t enough to get everyone questioning my sanity I am also hiring a doula. A doula is a woman that stays with us throughout the whole labor to help support both mom and dad. She will come out to our house during the earlier stages of labor until we go to Chapel Hill. We will not be admitted to the birth center until I am 5-6 centimeters so that is fair amount of work we do on our own. She will stay during the delivery and for about an hour after. She then comes by for a post partum visit. Deciding on a doula was difficult for me because I really liked everyone I met. Casey went to the meetings with me and helped with the decision.
My other controversial decision is cloth diapers. I honestly never gave cloth diapers a second thought until one of the doulas mentioned them in passing. She wasn’t even talking about using them, but was mentioning how many different kinds there are now. Different kinds? You mean they aren’t just the white folded diapers with pins and plastic cover. You should check them out! I started looking into them out of curiosity and soon was thinking…. this might be a good idea. Not only am I leaning towards using them, but also cleaning them! Am I crazy? Maybe. I am going to get a few to try before investing the money in them. If it works out we could save a ton of money. Sure it might be a little more work for me, but maybe it won’t be that bad. I am going to use disposables for the first few weeks. I expect to be a bit sleep deprived and not wanting to clean diapers!
On a lighter note I purchased my first maternity jeans tonight!! I went with the Motherhood secret whatever they call it… belly maybe? They were the most comfortable for the price. I got two pairs which should be plenty for me for awhile. I expect I will want something cooler in a few months.