Local stay-at-home mom April was set on a hospital birth for her second child, due late in 2017. She had warm memories of her two-year-old son’s birth at a hospital in the Midwest, and she looked forward to another delivery attended by caring, expert medical personnel. As a second-time mom, she also knew she’d appreciate recovering for a day or two in the hospital with her new baby before heading home.
April had another reason to choose a hospital birth: She experienced two miscarriages before conceiving her daughter, so even though her pregnancy was healthy and problem-free, she was still cautious. For her own peace-of-mind, she wanted to do everything she could to plan for a healthy, safe delivery, and she knew she wanted hospital staff nearby.
But after touring Tacoma hospitals, she and her husband decided they wanted a more private, comfortable setting for their birth. A visit to the Midwifery Birth Center at St. Joseph Medical Center confirmed that they’d found their ideal birth location: A private, serene birthing suite just moments away from one of the region’s most advanced hospitals.
By the time she’d settled on the Midwifery Birth Center, April was well into her third trimester. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health midwives quickly took over her prenatal care, with calm, caring answers to her many questions and reassurance for her nerves.
“I did have some added anxiety going into this birth, and the Franciscan midwives were very kind in shepherding my pregnancy, delivery and recovery,” April said.
The day her daughter was born, April remembers a happy, helpful birth environment. “I really noticed that every person that we interacted, the doulas, midwives and nurses, were genuinely happy about our baby. They met us in our concerns, not treating it clinically,” she said. “There was a lot of nurturing and sweet responses. Everyone was very responsive to our questions.”
Her daughter was born just 45 minutes after they arrived at the birth center. And, just as she’d hoped, her recovery was restful and smooth — and surprisingly quick. Her brief labor and quick delivery left her less exhausted, with enough energy to begin her life as mother of two.
“I ended up having such a nice recovery this time,” she said. “I wasn’t as exhausted, and my husband wasn’t as exhausted. We were cuddling our baby together. It was very sweet.”