Everyone has something different in mind when they picture the birth of their child.

I had envisioned a beautiful, zen, birth center experience with a midwife. I wanted essential oils diffusing, twinkly lights, support from a doula, my husband by my side and our daughter’s playlist on repeat while we welcomed her into the world.

Sounds dreamy, right?

Obviously, things never happen exactly according to plan and I was a first-time mom so we were ready to be flexible if things went a little sideways. But, we could have never imagined the birth we got. It was a tragic, hospital experience with machines and IVs as we said hello and goodbye to our daughter all at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, we were very thankful for the incredible hospital staff and care we received, but needless to say, our hopes for this dreamy birth went swiftly out the window.

Now, pregnant again and considered high-risk, my perspective has changed and I’ve been thinking a lot about how to create a positive and healing birth experience while keeping safety the priority.

Finding the right care team is at the top of our list.

I knew I would need to be in a hospital. Not just for our safety but for peace of mind. Since I had been seeing midwives and Wichita doesn’t have any midwives with hospital privileges, I had to start with a search for an OBGYN. This proved to be much harder than I thought.

I called three different practices to meet with six different OBs to see if they’d be a good fit for us. But every office I called could not wrap their heads around the idea of just meeting the doctor before we establish care. Time is money, I get it. I was starting to feel like I may be the crazy one. It’s ok if you think so too…

In an effort to shorten my list of doctors, I asked my midwives and doula for their recommendations. There was one common denominator on my list and theirs so I called and booked an appointment immediately.

I finally met with that OBGYN and some of the biggest questions on my list were:

  1. Can you tell me what your C-section and episiotomy rates are?
  2. What are your feelings about unmedicated births?
  3. Do you allow moms to move around during labor?
  4. What do you do if I’m not progressing as quickly as you would like?
  5. Will I be allowed to give birth in any position?
  6. What do you do if our baby starts showing signs of distress?

These are just a few of the questions that I asked the doctor, but I felt so good about his answers. He was kind, thorough, flexible, and most importantly, he cared about me and my experience! Oh, and I got this cute picture this week so that didn’t hurt either.

Shannyn's 12-week ultrasound image - Finding a Care Team that Cares

Author’s Personal Collection/Shannyn Hanson

This was the final piece of the puzzle in my care team and I feel ready to step into the 2nd trimester.

I share all of this as a reminder that advocating for your family and finding the right care, especially after a loss, is so important. Trust your gut! Our minds and our bodies have been traumatized. And finding the right care may be the difference between healing and opening old wounds.

This is somewhat of a tangent to wrap up my post this week, but there is one idea that’s been running through my head after my search for an OB and I would love it if someone took it and ran with it. What if we had a dating app like Tinder or Hinge, but for OBGYNs and Midwives to match with new patients? I can see it now…Pregnant or trying to get pregnant soon? Try out our new app, PregDate!

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