Maybe you have been trying to get pregnant for some time, maybe your pregnancy is as much a shock to you as anyone else. Either way, once you read those results on that pregnancy test, there are many things to consider. These things can start to feel overwhelming rather quickly, especially with all those baby hormones coursing through your veins!
Before you settle on a name and a nursery theme, you are going to have to get down to the business of choosing the hospital you want to deliver in and the OB/GYN you want delivering your baby. If you are already covered by medical insurance, there are a few ways to go about doing this. You can ask around amongst your girlfriends and see if anyone has an outstanding recommendation, you can call your doctor’s office and ask for a referral, or you can call the hospital in which you want to deliver and ask them for referral.
Choosing the right OB/GYN is important because ideally, this will be the person who is there during the most critical time of childbirth, when the baby actually makes his way into the world. However, your OB/GYN is sort of like the secret weapon of delivery. They are not there with you for the long haul that birthing can be, instead they bust on the scene in the last minutes of the birthing process to bring the baby out of your body. Therefore, it is very important to choose the right hospital as well.
Make sure you are comfortable with the hospital you choose. If you have your heart set on actively participating in the process, make sure you choose a hospital that caters to those needs with the appropriate amenities, like offering exercise balls or squatting bars on their beds for ease of repositioning during labor. Take the tour of the hospital and delivery unit at least a few months before your due date to get a feel for the place and the attitude of the staff.
I had no idea what an integral part our nurses would play in the delivery of our son. Looking back on the entire experience, I know how lucky I was to have some of the best care possible provided by a few key members of the delivery nursing staff. Like I said, the OB/GYN is not there the entire time. Your doctor may come in for updates along the way, but mostly, you are reliant upon the expertise of your nurse so this is another important part of choosing your hospital.
Since there is nearly no way of knowing exactly how your labor and delivery will go, it is of great importance that you make your birthing plan as a guideline for your experience. Do not be so caught up in your plan that you ignore any risks that arise, but do know what you want and what you expect out of your experience. This will help you make choices as your labor progresses. Share this plan with your doctor, see how they react, their reaction will help you determine if this is the coach you want with you on your big day.
These are merely a few examples of the choices and decisions you have ahead of you but they are some of the most important because they lay the foundation for your entire pregnancy. You have to feel comfortable with your doctor so you can ask those questions that make you feel silly to ask. If you aren’t comfortable posing a question, consider how awkward it will be when your feet are in the air and there is a baby making his way down your birth canal!
This is one of the most special times in your life. A little preparation is sure to go a long way so take these tasks seriously or you may have regrets. I guarantee you will want to look back on your delivery fondly, after all, it marks the day that your angel made his way from your belly to your arms. To ensure that you have the best experience possible, don’t stop asking questions, don’t settle for anything you aren’t comfortable with, and speak your mind no matter what. Even when you feel weak, remember, you are being strong for two!