Tusc Moms

Which is the best hospital to deliver at? And, which is the best doctor to use?

Hi ladies! I was wondering if you all could give me some feedback about your experiences at the big DCH and Northport DCH. How was the overall atmosphere, the nurses helpfulness / attitudes, etc??

I am wanting to find the best place of these two for when I have my baby.

I will want a unmedicated hospital delivery. This means I will want the ability to walk the hall, and not have to come back every five minutes for monitoring (seeing as everything is moving as it should and am low risk). I do not want a doctor who will try to attempt to pressure me into early induction, and will be fine with me going over my due date by a couple of days (maybe even a week). I dont want a doctor who will try to pressure me / or often tends to use unnecessary interventions.
Do any of you have suggestions for a doctor you REALLY REALLY liked, who was caring, concerned, and who was really good at what he did AND who respected (so long as safe) what YOU wanted from your delivery?

Please fill me in on any obgyn's that you have used or possibly a friend used that are more inclined to let things progress naturally without doctor/ nurse intervention.

Thanks so much lasies!

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I saw Dr. Ray at Parlow Harbin & Poist. She was really nice. I enjoyed seeing her and she always made me feel comfortable and like I could ask her anything. When it came to my birth plan, she didn't pressure me at all. When I reached my due date she checked the baby to make sure she was fine and when she was, she said it was up to me whether I wanted to wait longer or be induced. I always felt the decision was mine.
I delivered at the big DCH and had a great experience. The nurses were great, lactation consultant great, etc.

When are you due? Congratulations!
I go to Dr. Myers at the Northport DCH and I love her!!! She is great. I have actually referred a few friends to her and they love love love her too! One of them delivered with her but had a c-section. I have not delivered with her yet - I am due in 16 weeks - and I don't feel like she is "forcing" any type of delivery on me, although, I am not there yet! She doesn't seem to be like that from all of the visits I have had so far. When are you due? I can fill you in with more details in about 16 weeks! :-) Good luck with your decision!
Thanks Kristi!

I am still very early and haven't made my doctors appt yet. So I don't know my due date based on u/s or anything yet.

Did you have a typed birth plan? I am just wondering. I didnt know many ppl made those. Did you use medication? And did Dr. Ray actually end up helping you deliver or did you end up using an on-call doctor.
I didn't deliver in Tuscaloosa but in Birmingham. but I used Dr. Ingram of Henderson and Walton and I would highly recommend her. She is awesome and she comes to Tuscaloosa like one or two days a week. Also she is all about what is the best for you and baby. She told me I could wait until I went in labor on my own or she would induce me at 39 weeks (only if I was thinned out and dilated enough) and the rooms at St. Vincent's (the hospital where I delivered) are awesome so big and nice. Hope this helped.
No, I didn't type it out or anything. But I knew what I wanted.
I had an epidural. And Dr. Ray actually delivered me - rushing to the hossy at 1:00 a.m.! She was great. She worked that day and came back to deliver me. But I think you wind up getting whoever is working that day in the practice. I lucked out and got my doc.
Hi there! Congrats on your pregnancy.

I think you're going to find folks are really divided on where to deliver. That's just based on the conversations I've had with many of these lovely ladies. We all have some varying opinions. Personally, I say find a doctor you LOVE and deliver at whichever hospital they are affiliated with. You're going to find GREAT stories and HORROR stories about Northport DCH and the "big" DCH. You can really drive yourself crazy. So, I'd go based on the doctor.

Personally, I used Dr. Sid Smith at OBGYN of West Alabama (inside Northport DCH). I really liked him, and I've heard nothing but excellent things about all of the doctors there. Obviously if you go with one of them, you will be delivering at Northport DCH.

First about the hospital. I really enjoyed delivering there. I had heard not so great things about the other DCH (but know friends who loved it). I loved the smaller women's pavilion. I loved that they had a lactation center (although I did run into a not-so-friendly middle of the night nurse who tried to push formula on me, but that can happen anywhere). The nurses were great and the facility was wonderful. Had I had a high risk pregnancy or was at risk for birth complications, though, I would have probably opted to deliver in Birmingham.

I really liked my doctor. I didn't think he pushed any particular beliefs on me at all. I didn't have a very strict birth plan because I planned on having an epidural. I wound up inducing because of a few different reasons, but I had been very clear to my doctor that I did not want a csection unless it was completely medically necessary, and would not make a decision about induction until I was completely positive that my body was ready to deliver and would be able to do so without a csection. He supported that and let me make the call about whether to proceed with the induction or cancel it. I told him my feelings upfront about episiotomies (how I didn't want one) and he respected that as well. So all in all I had a great experience and everything went the way I wanted it to.

I did not have a typed out birth plan. I don't think there is anything wrong with one, but I do - again just my opinion - feel that sometimes moms get a little too tied to what they have on paper and then sometimes don't make decisions that might be in the best interest of the health of mom and baby at that time because they feel that they have to stick to their plan or they have somehow failed. That isn't true of everyone, but I didn't want to risk that happening to me. I knew that if I had an actual blow of blow of how it was supposed to play out, then I would be disappointed if something happened to change things. I decided that I would have a rough outline of how I wanted the birth to play out, and I'd fill in the blanks based on the situation at the time.

Good luck!
Like Moozle said, find the doctor first and that will tell you what hospital you will deliver at. I don't know of any that deliver at both.

I also use Dr. Myers and love her very much. She made me feel very important, which is something a woman needs while giving birth. I imagine she will let you do what you want to do for your birth plan, and being unmedicated, I think the nurses at Northport (where Dr. Myers delivers) would encourage you to get up and move around.

I am not one to want to go unmedicated, but if I were I would want a place that had a tub. Not necessarily for a water birth, but to sit in while I had contractions. Northport does not have that... not sure if big DCH does or not.
With my first pregnancy I used Dr. Ingram with Henderson and Walton Women's Center. She delivers at St. Vincent's in Birmingham. They have an office here in Tuscaloosa. When I was pregnant she was here in Tuscaloosa ounce a week (Mondays I think) but of course that may have changed over the past couple of years. I was able to have all my appointments in Tuscaloosa other than ultrasounds and weekly NSTs the last month of my pregnancy. Also, a couple of times I had complications I had to go to Birmingham to be seen.

I really loved Dr. Ingram. I had planned on having a completely unmediated / natural childbirth. I wrote out a pretty specific birth plan and she had no issues with anything in it. She signed off on it and put it in my chart so other drs in the practice would know she had approved of it. I can't remember how I worded it or anything but I included in my plan somehow that if it became medically necessary I would willing to have any needed interventions, etc. I did end up being induced because my water broke and I wasn't having any contractions or dilating. I wish I would have held out longer to see if things would have start up on their own, but I don't feel like I was pressured by my Dr or anyone else to induce. I also ended up having an epidural. I think that if I hadn't been induced I probably would have been more able to avoid it. Very soon after getting induced my contractions went from nothing to the top of the chart on the monitor. After 8 or 9 hours of having "maximum level" contractions I was just barely 2 cm. At that point I pretty much gave up and got the epidural because I thought I'd be in labor the rest of my life and I couldn't take the intense contractions anymore. But, I wasn't pressured into an epidural by the nurse or my doctor.

Right now for my current pregnancy (I'm 10 weeks) I am seeing Dr. Myers. I really wish I could have stayed with Dr. Ingram, but driving to Birmingham is just too difficult right now since we have a 2 year old and my work schedule and other family obligations...etc. So, far I like Dr. Myers. She was recommended to me by a friend who had a natural /unmediated birth. She wasn't my friend's doctor, but just ended up being the one on call the night she delivered her child.
Thanks SO much ladies! Ahh, decisions, decisions... : )
I used Northport DCH with my first one. My dr. was Dr. Rosenstil, and he is wonderful. However he was not the one to deliver me. I enjoyed the hospital stay, and all the nurses and the lacation consultants were very understanding and very helpful.
I delievered at Tuscaloosa DCH and my Dr. was Dr. Madden @ Partlow, Harbin & Poist. I loved him, he always seemed to be concerned for me and my daughter, even though she was early and small, he was still there. He even would come in when he wasnt on call just to check in on us while I was still in the hospital. The nurses, espically the NICU nurses were great also, they took time to explain everything to me so I knew exactly what was going on with her. That was my fear that I was going to be in the dark about her progress but that was definately not the case.
Johnna--I had two wonderful experiences at DCH Northport. Both were unmedicated, natural childbirths. When my son was born 4 years ago we were at the hospital for 24 hours before he was born.... (I spent HOURS walking those halls with the remote monitor!) when my daughter was born this past November we were there for SIX MINUTES before she popped out! (that one was so unmedicated they didn't even take my temperature!) Also, I was six days late and there was very little pressure regarding induction.

Dr Myers is my OB and I love her, and Drs Edwards and Smith were the ones who delivered my babies, but that was OK too--all 3 of them were very supportive of me wanting a natural childbirth (as were the other docs in the practice). One person who also made a big difference-- especially with the long labor for my son-- was the nurse, Jill Picone. She is incredibly supportive of natural births, and she teaches the natural birthing techniques class at DCH Northport. If you want a natural childbirth in Tuscaloosa, Northport is the way to go! But you still do have to 1) be your own advocate with a detailed birth plan 2) be prepared (The Bradley Method is the book I used) 3) make sure your partner is VERY prepared (you may forget how much you want that natural birth when you hit transition-- so he has to be ready to support you through it and remind you why you don't want that epidural!) and 4) when you're in labor stay home as long as you can!

Re: the birth plan- I feel that it's important, especially in a big practice, and especially if you want natural, which is relatively unusual around here. When you go into labor, you could get a doctor or a nurse who you've never met before, and it's really nice to not have to explain your whole natural birthing philosophy when you're 5cm, exhausted, trying to relax, etc. With my son, the doctors switched midway through the labor because it was 7 am shift change-- Dr Edwards came in when I was in no mood to start discussing anything! I had totally forgotten about the birth plan sitting on the counter but he saw it right away, read through it, and knew exactly what i wanted.

Other than the birth experience.... DCH N'port in general is great (as other have already said!)-- I love that its small and the women's pavilion doesn't feel too much like a hospital. The lactation consultants are super helpful, the nurses are all so nice-- even the food is great!

GOOD LUCK with your pregnancy!!

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