20 posts categorized "Birth"

Seeking Advice on Where to Give Birth

December 18, 2013

Another good question from one of our readers: I am expecting our first baby next year in February and i am still torn between delivering at Legacy Meridian Park (which is closer to our home, left me with a very good first impression during the hospital tour but doesn't have midwifes) vs. St. Vincent (which would give me the option to use a Midwife but is further away from our home, overall a much more large volume hospital and i just didn't felt very comfortable being at during the hospital tour). I was trying to find recent reviews on both hospitals but wasn't very lucky. I saw there were posts about Legacy Meridian Park on the urban mamas webpage but these were from 4yrs ago. Are you aware of any more recent reviews for either of the two hospital or have any advice for me on what i should be prioritizing when choosing a hospital: getting the right set of providers but being in an environment which at first sight i didn't felt very comfortable in vs. being somewhere where at first sight i felt comfortable but i need to stick to with providers (namely doctors) i might be nervous about as those might be quicker to intervene medically?

Throwback Thursday: life with newborns

October 10, 2013

We have many new additions in our lives and many more coming.  We sifted through the archives and found all sorts of great posts related to life wit newborns:

And then:

Seeking Suggestions: Childbirth Preparation Course for Second Timers

June 13, 2011

An urbanMama recently emailed:

I'm having my second child in December at Providence Portland. My OB/GYN recommended I sign up for the hospital's childbirth preparation classes. It turns out these classes run eight hours, which feels like overkill for a second birth. We did Hypnobirthing with my first child and won't be doing that again. So, I have two related questions. First, does anyone have a recommendation for a general refresher course? Second, do other moms really go through childbirth preparation classes the second time?

How to help: planning for meals & care

March 12, 2011

Have meal-trains become more and more popular or has our community just become more tight? Perhaps a bit of both.  When my last child was born about 1.5 years ago, I was absolutely floored by the generousity of friends, life with a newborn and the gift of meals was so abundant!  

There are quite a few babies entering our lives soon and there are also families in help due to serious health conditions.  I have come across several different tools to help plan out meals: MealBaby seems to be popular, but there is also Lots of Helping Hands (which can also help with coordinating care), Take Them A Meal, and MealTrain.  Which meal train websites have you used?  Which do you like and why?

It's a boy/girl: Does gender really matter?

November 01, 2010

When my mother pushed me out into this world, my father was immediately disappointed.  He wanted a boy.  He was so sad that he left the hospital even before my mother made it to her room from the labor and delivery ward.  He wouldn't come back for another day, leaving his own wife - and mother to his firstborn - alone in her first moments of motherhood.

When my first child was born, we didn't "find out" beforehand.  She was born a lovely girl.  All were thrilled.  When we had our mid-term ultrasound with our second child, we asked to find the gender. We were told, "it's a girl!" and the announcement was met with the question, "are you sure?" from my husband.  And, when our third child was born (and we opted again not to "find out" gender), the words from our moms (who were both in the delivery room for each of our births!) "it's a boy!" brought sheer joy and utter bliss to my husband.

A friend expecting her second child is having another boy.  She confessed to me, "I really wanted a girl."  Another mama with all boys has said, "I'd have another if I was sure it was a girl."  Or, when we recently found out good friends were carrying a baby boy after having had two older girls, we were thrilled.

To be sure, we git what we git and we don't have a fit.  We are happy our children are, for so many of us, born healthy without complications.  And, even with complications, we love our children dearly.

But, whether it's a boy or a girl: does it really matter?  How did you feel when you found out "it's a boy/girl!"?

Cord-Banking: Have you done it?

October 30, 2009

Mamas, I honestly have no idea on this one.  Might you have some thoughts or experience to share with this urbanMama?

I've got 3 boys and another on the way and my mom really wants me to bank the cord blood this time. I've been reading about it, found a cost comparison chart along with basic services, but I was wondering how many families have actually done it and what did they base their decision on when choosing a company? Also, at what age, if applicable, did you decide to stop paying the annual fee?  I read somewhere you had to be registered by the third trimester (which is coming up soon!) and now I'm panicking that I need to make a decision this week.

Thanks a lot H1N1: Limited Visitation by children at area hospitals

October 14, 2009

We delivered a little guy about three weeks ago at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.  The one night we spent at the hospital, we spent in our room along with our two other children to allow our new family of five to begin to get to know one another.  A couple of nights later, another friend of ours delivered their second child at Legacy's Good Samaritan Hospistal.  They, too, spent the night at the hospital as their new family of four.

When visiting together earlier today, my mama friend reported to me that Legacy would have a new rule in effect: no children under 18 may be visitors in the family birth centers because school-aged children have higher rates of exposure to the flu.  In addition, only two immediate family members or support persons could be present at the birth and during the mom's stay.

Apparently, Legacy isn't the only one.  The Providence Health System is also instituting the same policy at all of its establishments, effective October 9, 2009.  An urbanMama recently emailed:

I am heartbroken!
I'm due to give birth on October 26th with baby boy #2 at St. Vincent.  I've been so looking forward to my 3 year old son getting to meet his brother for the first time at the hospital.  For the entire 9 months, I've had this vision in my head of my husband bringing my son into the room and being able to show him his brother for the first time.  I want "that picture" of big brother holding little brother at the hospital, like almost every other mother in America has.  Now, because of concerns over the Swine Flu that will not happen.  I'm just sick with disappointment.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to put anyone at risk and I think it important that everyone is kept healthy, especially in the hospital environment.  But I wonder if there is a place on the maternity ward floor where babies could meet their siblings?  I've already called St. Vincent to ask, but so far there is nothing.  I will call and talk with the head nurse on Monday.
Are there any other urbanMamas struggling with this new "visitation restriction" policy.  I understand that every hospital in the metro area has adopted it including OHSU.  I would love to hear what others have to say.

What did you do with your placenta after birth?

August 24, 2009

Rebecca, my FaceBook friend, posts the best links.  It is through her that I read a lot of interesting articles, and happened upon this article by Joel Stein Afterbirth: It's What's for Dinner. It is a humorous take on his wife's desire to "eat her placenta".  I don't even think I even took a peek at the placenta much less ever thought of taking it home with me from the hospital. It's not the first time I've heard this and in Portland, I'm certain it's something much more common than in other parts of the country. Have you heard of this? What did you do with yours? Also, don't miss the brief video whereby Joel interviews the lady that turn's his wife's placenta into pills, however, beware that it is not for the squeamish:

Preparing for baby's departure from hospital

June 25, 2009

Remember the day you went home with your newborn baby?  Did you have everything you needed?  Were there things you forgot?  An expecting urbanMama wonders:

I am having a baby in late July, my first, and I am trying to be as prepared as possible to go to, and then leave, the hospital.  I have heard that hospitals have some specific requirements for letting you go home with your baby, such as having baby clothes that have been previously washed, and stringent requirements for the car seat.  I will be delivering at Good Samaritan in Portland.  Has anyone had experience with these kind of requirements?  These are things that they don’t seem to really tell you before you get there, so I am hoping to learn from the wisdom of those who have gone before me!

Labor on Pitocin: Is it really that hard?

May 28, 2009

Pitocin is often used to further stimulate labor, increasing the strength or frequency of contractions.  When I was given pitocin during my first birth, it was because - although fully dilated - my contractions had died down in strength and frequency.  My doctor wanted to be sure we could birth the baby before any complications occurred.  I didn't question the suggestion to start pitocin, as I had already delayed the pitocin for several hours, hoping that my contractions would naturally resume.  But, they didn't.  So, I had some pitocin.  My doctor told me that I probably didn't want to have powerful pitocin contractions without an epidural, so I also agreed to the epidural, fearing the superhuman contractions.

An urbanMama recently emailed who wants to know, is it possible to survive an induced-labor, without epidurals or other painkiller interventions?:

My little sister is now pregnant and unfortunately she's started off with a complication:  blood clot in the leg.  Due to this she will be on blood thinners throughout the pregnancy and then when it's time for baby, she will need to be induced (so they can manage the timing of taking her off the blood thinner so she doesn't bleed too much....).  She has attended several births and is committed to a natural, intervention-free labor.  Her concern is that by being induced, her chances of making it through labor without painkiller interventions are less.  Immediately I thought of urbanMamas as being the place to ask that question.  Are there any mamas out there who have been through labor with and without induction?  Any mamas who've been through induction of labor and got through it without an epidural? 

Recommendations for twin delivery?

March 31, 2009

Do you have some recommendations for obstetricians, birthing centers, or hospitals for a twin delivery?  An urbanMama emails:

I am 21 weeks and just found out we have having twins!  Originally we were working with excellent midwives at Andaluz Waterbirth Center when we thought we were only having one baby.  Now that there is two and more risk factors we are reconsidering our birthing options.  We are exploring options right now and would love any advice.  We still prefer to work with a doctor who would be supportive of a natural twin pregnancy or with as minimal intervention as possible.  Also, looking for doctors who have low ceasaren rates for twin births.  I think Providence and Legacy are in network for us so if anyone knows of good doctors at either place we would love to hear your input.

Feedback on Laurelhurst Women's Clinic?

March 19, 2009

We have had several requests from expecting mamas of late, so please continue to be generous with sharing your experiences of your health professionals and facilities.  An urbanMama emails:

I'm wondering if anyone has worked with or knows of Renee Beninger CNM at Laurelhurst Women's Clinic at Providence Medical Center.  I am pregnant with my first child, and I like how her practice works, but I can't find any information on her or the Laurelhurst Medical Clinic in the urbanMama comments. Unlike OHSU, PMCC, and Legacy where I'd rotate through the on-staff midwives and take whoever is on duty when I go into labor, she would work with me throughout my pregnancy and catch the baby. I like the idea of having an on-going relationship with my midwife and know that she will be there when I'm in labor, so this appeals to me.  Because of my insurance, though, I need to work with a CNM in a hospital. Any insights?

Providence's St. Vincents vs. Legacy's Good Sam

March 17, 2009

With one of us urbanMamas recently having another new babe (at Providence's St. V's) and with another one of us urbanMamas expecting again, deliveries are in the forefront of our minds.  We all know that first-hand experience can be oh-so helpful when making some choices, so an urbanMama is wondering if you have thoughts to share on Providence's St. Vincent's Hospital and/or Legacy's Good Samaritan.  Have you delivered there?  Have positive or negative feedback to share?

We've lived in Portland for just a couple of years now. When we first moved here, based on the wonderful reviews from others on this site, I chose Dr. Jenna Murray as my new OBGYN. I've only seen Dr. Murray for a couple of annuals so far but have been very happy with her. Now we are considering a second child and I am re-evaluating my OBGYN and affiliated hospital choice as we have since moved close to Providence St. Vincents and the offices of Women's Healthcare Associates. A friend gave me a glowing recommendation for one of the new docs there (Dr. Garvie-Loveland), and I know there are a few other highly recommended doctors in the practice. So, while I feel like I've gotten a good sense of the doctor issue, I'm now wondering about the hospital choice. Am I better off switching to St. Vincents and WHA due to the convenience factor or is there a good reason to stick with Dr. Murray and Legacy Good Sam? Any feedback anyone could offer on one hospital versus the other in terms of how nice the hospitals are, quality of care, rooms, etc.? FWIW, this second child would either be a VBAC or another c-section.

New baby for Hau inspires knitting group

March 13, 2009

Baby_feet_knitting Congratulations are in order. Last night at 10:19 p.m. -- less than 3 hours after she emailed to say she was headed to the hospital -- Hau and Joe welcomed baby Hendrik Hagedorn, 7 lbs 15 ozs, 20.5 inches. We're thrilled for them and I can't help but ask myself: what am I going to knit for the baby? A third boy deserves something special; for Monroe, my third little boy, it was a wild, swirly blanket of many colors. Richness is required, don't you think?

Which reminds me. Last Thursday in the Oregonian's In Portland section, I read a little story about a Catholic knitting group in Sullivan's Gulch. "Christ Child Society has met since 1964 at the Calaroga Terrace retirement home on Northeast Second Avenue to sew, knit and crochet clothes and bedding and package them with other items in layettes. But with membership declining from as many as 300 to 80 this year and the limited mobility of some members -- several were in their 90s -- the group decided it couldn't continue and held its final meeting last month," it went on. I was struck with a sudden, utter sadness and thought, couldn't we do it?

Shetha_knitted_blanket Last night, urbanMama Suzame gave me a ride home from an event we had both serendipitously been invited to attend, and mentioned the story, and how she and her husband had thought of me. It's fate, I said, and this morning I called Donna Kipp, from Multnomah County Health Department's Early Childhood Services, who had distributed the layettes to low income mothers, offering our services.

First-timer or third, low-income or middlin', every baby deserves some handmade items prepared with love. Do you have a little extra handmade love to go around? Would you like to get together occasionally to knit (and crochet and sew) it forward? If you're interested, say so; and if you can't wait to get started, meet me at Twisted next Thursday (March 19) around 11 a.m. I love the thought of being spiritual but non-denominational. What do you think?

Comments on Legacy Meridian Park?

March 12, 2009

We all know how helpful it is to hear first-hand experiences.  An urbanMama recently emailed:

My family recently moved to Lake Oswego and the closest hospital is Legacy Meridian Park in Tualatin.  Have you given birth there?  I would love to know:

  1. how you liked the hospital and staff?

  2. if you had/have a doctor that you absolutely love - name?

  3. do they have a post delivery "mom's group"?

Certified Nurse Midwives in Portland

November 06, 2008


I know lots of urbanMamas have given birth with midwives, either at home, in the hospital, or at a birthing center, and we've given our feedback on certified nurse midwives before. Jess Bee asks for more of your advice:

I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for Certified Nurse Midwives at a Birthing Center in Portland. My insurance company will only cover this kind of midwife. The only one I have found so far is Michelle at Alma. Anyone have experience with her or anyone else?

Listen Up: Audio Documentaries on Birth & the Post-partum Experience in America

July 15, 2008

I watched The Business of Being Born earlier this year with loads of urbanMamas, and loved it.  Here's something similar, but different.   Thin Air Media has produced two audio documentaries - one on birth and another on the post-partum experience in America.  Check 'em out - you can download excerpts here.  If you love them, there's an opportunity to host a local Birth Tour of these documentaries through Thin Air Media.  Here's how they describe their 'tour' concept:

At the birth tour, we gather men, women and young people to listen to excerpts from the nationally distributed public radio documentary BIRTH and share ideas around this universal subject matter.

If they can have one in SF, Chicago, and NY, surely we can bring it to Stumptown?  Especially since our very own gDiapers is a sponsor.  Anyone???

Birth stories: About our culture of induction

July 27, 2007

Trumandaddyfirstpic_200After my successful VBAC, Rebecca wondered if Pitocin could possibly be a cause of our country's high c-section rate. That got me thinking, and as I'm doing research for a book I'm pitching on pregnancy, last night I came across two really interesting recent books: Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care and Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed to Put Women and Children First. Amazon had several pages from Pushed in its little 'inside-the-book' feature and I was struck when reading about one hospital in Florida whose power went out during Hurricane Charley.

The labor & delivery ward changed its policies and cancelled all inductions. Mothers were sent home unless they were in active labor. No one got Pitocin, no one's water was broken, and epidurals were contraindicated. Their c-section rate went down to almost zero, and even first-time mothers had quick and relatively easy labors. What's more (here's a shocker, haha), the births were evenly distributed between day and night, weekday and weekend (did you know that more births happen on Tuesdays than any other day in the U.S.?). Even fetal distress and interventions after birth dropped to almost nothing.

Essentially, the lesson seems to be that induction is the enemy of a relatively easy birth, and what's more: a healthy baby. Most of the nurses who worked the Hurricane Charley shifts at that Florida hospital have quit and a few are campaigning for changes in the 'induction culture' of birth in the U.S. While it's certainly not true that Pitocin causes c-sections, it could be a major contributor to our unusually high c-section rate. It's anecdotally true for me: I had a bunch of Pitocin in each of my two c-sections, but none in my vaginal birth. I'll continue to do research because it interests me (and Rebecca, let me know what you find) -- but in the meantime, I'd love to hear your stories.

Second Child Prep - VBAC Mamas & Older Child Expectations

July 17, 2006

Martha needs tips on adjusting her child to the arrival of a new sibling:

I have a delightful little girl who will be two in August and am expecting another child on her birthday. We've done a bit of talking/reading about new babies, but I'm not sure how much she really gets. She has been rather whiny and emotional of late and I'm not sure how much is being a toddler and how much is knowing that something is going on. Any tips for how I can help her adjust to the new screaming addition we are about to welcome into our lives??

Betsy has a question for any mamas who've had VBACs and preparing for the big day:

I'd be interested to know what other second-time (and beyond!) mamas did with regard to childbirth prep the second time around. I'm trying for a VBAC, in-hospital birth with an OB/GYN, but due to the "C" in VBAC, I didn't get a chance to actually use most of the stuff we learned the first time around, so I can't really say I've been through labor and delivery, yet I have. I'd especially like to hear from VBAC mamas. Any advice on prepping for the big day?

It's on! - Sharing our Birth Stories

December 12, 2005

I was snuggling 3 and half month old Jack this morning and thinking about the wild day that was his "birth" day. I love birth stories because they are the powerful end of one story and the beginning of another.  Although, I am moved daily in extreme ways by our kids (some wonderful and some frustrating), I find that there are very few moments in life that pack as much love, pain, drama, anticipation, joy, fear than giving birth.  So, in the spirit of sharing, I thought I would share Jack's story as told by my husband (this was an email we sent out to friends and fam after Jack was born - it's a bit long, but most people enjoyed it)...

Continue reading "It's on! - Sharing our Birth Stories" »