So at this point I've been on pursuit. Pursuit of knowledge of all types (pregnancy, nutrition, baby soothing techniques, birthing, yoga, chanting, you name it!) and also to sort out in my head and my gut exactly what type of care I am seeking throughout my first pregnancy. It's a little difficult for me to even write about at this point because it's been in my head and such a topic of late that I'm a bit sick of it. BUT the great news is next week I have an appointment with a new doctor, Dr. Green, on Monday. Here is an article from the Santa Barbara Independent which features him as a local hero:
Dr. Ralph Green has blessed Santa Barbara women and families with personalized childbirth experiences for the last 39 years. With the skills of an obstetrician but the inclusive philosophy of a midwife, Dr. Green has eased thousands of Santa Barbara babies into the world since 1967 (he lost count at 5,000 births 10 years ago). Many women who feel dissatisfied with traditional prenatal care are recommended to Dr. Green — who, in turn, recommend him to others. At 70, he works at least 60 hours a week, sometimes sleeping at the hospital to ensure he doesn’t miss a birth.
Dr. Green’s loving smile and calm manner set his patients at ease, even throughout the most trying birth experiences. In order to be responsive to what “the individual desires out of birth,” Dr. Green aims to forge connections with his patients early on in the pregnancy, which helps him intuit potential problems and plan accordingly. Dr. Green also encourages his patients to have a doula — a woman experienced in childbirth who cares for the mother-to-be — present during the birth so that they are not “at the mercy of an attendant they have never met before.”
According to midwife Mary Jackson, Dr. Green is one of the few OBs who “view childbirth from the perspective of trusting in the process.” Part of this trust plays out in Dr. Green’s refusal to do routine episiotomies or to rush births. In an age where immediacy and anonymity seem valued over experience, Santa Barbara is fortunate to have a doctor who welcomes new life into the world at its own pace and in its own way.
Our meeting with Mary Jackson at home actually kind of made me feel like that perhaps we're not ready for a home birth at this point. It's absolutely the more complicated way to go, even though it is meant to be the simplest. It's complicated with insurance and can be complicated by the myriad of potential, although unlikely, possible scenarios that might occur during a pregnancy. Just a lot to think about. Again, ideally I'd be in a birthing center, but here in Santa Barbara that is not possible yet, so for the time being I'm looking forward to meeting with Dr. Green on Monday. If I like him, I'll make the switch over to his care and will hopefully be able to relax. For a little more insight on my current thoughts ... I'm seeing a doctor who is part of a "group". I have to meet all of the various doctors in the group because I have no idea who will be on call at the time of my labor. Basically I feel like I'm just in this system. It's not really personalized at all, and I just want a little more.
In other goings-on: I'm busy all day tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday with a retreat, The Art of Joyful Living. It is being conducted by an esteemed life coach team, Roger and Kim Vincent. What lead me here? I want to figure out how to maximize joy and my life purpose. Right now with work, the radio, volunteering to the Junior League, juggling marriage and a social life as well, I am often exhausted and not left with much to give. As I will become a mother soon, I figure I'll need a bit of a paradigm shift in my life. I always love to learn about myself and others and am constantly seeking ways to improve so this is right up my alley. I'm looking forward to it, but it won't leave me with much relaxation time this weekend ;-).