Making the Switch

A while back I decided I'd write up a post about why I chose to go off-post for OB care this time around. Well, I never got around to it, and then all this stuff with the doctor/hospital I chose came up, and now I feel like I need to talk about it. :)

To start things off, the Army hospital here is more like a clinic than an actual hospital. What I've heard is that they only do procedures/surgeries if it's a life-or-death kind of thing. {The dental clinic won't even do wisdom teeth removals unless they have to.} They also don't have a L&D ward. So, um....okay. They do have an OB/GYN clinic, but they use a local hospital for deliveries. There are a couple reasons I didn't use their clinic, but I also figured that if I can't even deliver there (making the chances of knowing the doctor who will deliver the baby even more slim), what's the point?

I did a minute amount of research on a local spouses page, and found some recommendations for OBs. Slightly more research and decided on one. Her main office (and the hospital) are both downtown, which is a good 30 minute drive from our house. Not terrible - and definitely better than Hawaii - but if there were any amount of traffic, it wouldn't be a fun ride in labor. But, I liked the doctor. She's fairly young (probably mid-30s), kind, and attentive. Her nurse, and the rest of the staff are pretty nice as well. (Except for one idiot who had the audacity to ask me "where's the other kid?" when I told her this was my 3rd pregnancy, but I only have 1 baby. GRRRRRR.)

And then I started asking questions about hospital policy regarding birth/newborns.... 

I shared this in my bumpdate this week, but it turns out that the hospital has pretty rigid standards about babies going to the nursery. Not just for a bath, weight checks, etc., but every day for the pediatrician to do rounds. Depending on how many babies there are, this could take a few hours. And there's a minimum 2 hour requirement for the baby to be observed after birth. Um, what?! Maybe it's just because I had Charlotte in a "baby-friendly" hospital that didn't have a nursery, but this is just not okay with me! As I was talking with other people, apparently this is a common practice...especially in the South. I feel sort of silly about it because, hi, I grew up in the South. Shouldn't I be somewhat aware of this?

I did talk to my OB about these things, and she confirmed the nursery nightmare. {Well, it's a nightmare for me, anyway.} Even though she did say they are starting to make changes to become "baby-friendly," I just don't know that I can risk it and end up with a fight on my hands come baby day. There are some things I can compromise on, but I just can't on this. I really want a similar experience to what I had with Charlotte, and I think I should get that. And if I can't find it at one place, it's okay to go somewhere that I can. I should probably also say that Joe and I have discussed it quite a bit recently. From cord-clamping to rooming-in, he's heard it all. And when I told him about the nursery stuff, he was on the verge of tears. {Totally not even kidding, and I love this about him.} So even if I could have compromised on it, his reaction sealed the deal for me. 

I called a different OB - very highly recommended for a more natural approach - this afternoon and left a message to make an appointment. The girls who suggested her to me (one currently pregnant) said that she's 100% on-board with delaying cord clamping, and skin-to-skin right after birth to promote breastfeeding. The hospital she delivers at is totally baby friendly, and they do all exams in the room. *insert happy sigh of relief here* Also, this hospital is 15, 20 mins tops, from our house. SCORE!

As much as I hate to swap doctors "mid-stream," I feel like we need a doctor (and a hospital) that will allow us to have the kind of birth experience and postpartum/newborn care that we want. I know that not everyone thinks that having their baby sent off to the nursery for a while is a big deal, and that's okay for them. We're just not those people, and I don't feel like we're really asking for a whole lot. :)


  1. I think you made a great decision!

  2. I find it so strange that Eisenhower doesn't do maternity and labor / delivery care. That would never fly at most other posts. And good luck with the new doctor.

  3. So glad you made a switch and can have the delivery and post delivery experience you want. That's nuts about the first hospital-I wouldn't feel comfortable with that either!

  4. It definitely sounds like you made the right choice.

  5. I am shocked the hospital requires the baby to spend so much time in the nursery. I didn't know places did that anymore. It sounds like you are making the right decision for your family.

  6. Good for you! I absolutely agree that you should switch if it means getting the birthing experience you want. Switching mid stream may feel weird at first but you've still got plenty of time to get to know your new doctor :)

  7. That's great! You have to do what works for you!

  8. You def have to do what is right for you! I don't think I would have felt right having my baby away for that amount of time, especially trying to breastfeed. You have to be comfortable with what you are doing. :) Glad you are happy with your outcome!!!!