Welcome to the next post in our Birth Stories series. We’ll post a new birth story each Monday throughout August and September. Be sure to check back each week for a new story!I am a proud mama of two wonderful boys. I can remember (for now) almost every detail of the days they joined my world, and it helps that both days were extremely similar. I checked into the hospital with my husband early in the morning (6am first time, 5am second time). We filled out a ton of paperwork, I got in the super trendy backless gown, they hooked up my IV, and began the induction. After a short time, they broke my water and the real fun began! With my firstborn, Wyatt, there was close to an hour of pushing and he arrived at 3:07pm. With my youngest, Henry, there was one push and he arrived at 12:33pm. We stayed in the hospital for one night, and by the following afternoon, we were healthy and happy at home! One huge difference in their stories? Wyatt was born in Medford, Oregon. Henry was born in McKinney, Texas.
While the part of the actual births doesn’t differ too much, I did notice some differences in the hospitals and staff that helped us on these most important days. Here are a couple, and which state I thought came out on top.
The baby never left us – Pro for Oregon! I’ve seen “Switched at Birth”, and while I knew it was a long shot for something like that to happen, I still did not want my brand-new baby out of my sight. In Oregon, this wasn’t an issue. Bath, pediatrician check-up, and sight/hearing screens were all done in our recovery room. There was not a second that he was in a different room than me. Texas was another story. Henry was born with the umbilical cord around his neck so right after birth they took him to the NICU to be checked out. He was back on my chest in 15 minutes and I am beyond thankful everyday this story is not different. They also took him to the nursery for his bath and check-ups, and the nurses constantly offered to take him back so I could rest (they meant well, but I wanted my baby!). It was not easy to watch my baby leave, so I did what any sane, postpartum mama bear would do and sent my husband with him whenever he left our room.
We were visited by a breastfeeding consultant – Pro for Texas! With my oldest, the nurses helped me get started, said we looked great, and that was that. Three days later we were at the pediatrician’s office starting formula and I was being told to pump. It was awful. My heart was broken, and I felt like the biggest failure. I was determined to do better with baby number two. While in the hospital in Texas, my overnight nurse was a certified breastfeeding coach and helped me more times than I can count. We were also visited a couple times by a consultant who gave great advice and even brought in a pump to make sure we were on the right path. Sadly, my supply was just not enough, and we ended up making the switch to pumping and formula again. But, I did make it six weeks breastfeeding and I really think that initial help in the hospital made the difference.
My birth plan was honored – Tie! In both of my experiences, I had amazing nurses who took the very best care of me. Kristina (Oregon) and Rima (Texas) will always hold a special place in my heart. I did not want an epidural or pain medication after birth and it was never pushed on me. Sure, they reminded me it was an option, but I never felt pressured to veer off my plan.
Honorable Mention – Food – Pro for Texas! In Oregon, our recovery room had a small fridge and we were told we could bring our own food or order from the cafeteria. In Texas, they brought me AND my husband food at every meal. But the real victory? Every afternoon they go around and deliver fresh baked cookies to the new mom and dads. You’re telling me after being in excruciating pain and getting nothing but ice chips to eat, now I get baby snuggles AND a cookie? That is my definition of a perfect day.