I was unable to find a good obstetrician covered by my insurance for either of my two births. I even had good insurance for the first one. For the second one, I had horrendous insurance. It didn’t matter. In NYC, good obstetricians are hard to find.
For my first birth, I ended up paying more than five figures cash for a fancy practice. This was back when I had a good job, but it was still a huge burden on my family. I did it because I was scared to go to the baby mill. The horror stories of bad doctors and forced cesareans kept me up for weeks before I decided. My practice was great, but they, like me at the time, were 100% take no risks. This meant I got almost every medical intervention imaginable and was hospitalized several times (one time for days) just in case. I had multiple ultrasounds each week. I was at 5 cm weeks before giving birth, but my water never broke.
In retrospect, I really didn’t need any of that and it probably did some harm. We thought the baby was coming early, but she really had no intention of coming out. When it came down to the end, they wanted to induce! Thankfully, she eventually did come out on her own, but they gave me lot of pitocin to make it happen.
Fast forward many years to a post-40 second pregnancy in the midst of the pandemic. This time, I wanted to avoid the baby mills even more. After my last experience and with COVID everywhere, I was terrified.
I tried to find a midwife early on, but because I was hospitalized for early labor (which did not result in a birth or my water breaking) with my first, no one I talked to would take me. The private practice I used before was too expensive this time around.
I went to a (baby mill) practice where I saw a different doctor every time. I knew that if I didn’t do everything just right to advocate for myself, the baby and I might be in danger. In the middle of COVID, the stress of this was overwhelming.
Then, on a whim, I called the Central Park Midwifery. They are not paying me to write this, but I will say that it was the best decision I have made in my entire life.
She was always there to answer my questions. The office was far from where I lived, but we were happy to go up there. I always came out of the office feeling better than when I went inside.
I had a completely normal, healthy, and pretty low-stress birthing experience in a hospital. I even chose to have an epidural (although for some reason it only worked on one side which was insane). She was flexible. She was supportive. I was never scared of my midwife pressuring me like I was with some doctors.
Years later, she still answered some questions I had. I can’t ever thank her enough. I would love to say that she saved my life, but I have no evidence of that. Yet somehow I feel like she did save me. She saved me from the fear and dread of all those birth horror stories (including my own past) and that meant everything.
Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska
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