Yelp Review – Kim M.
The Natural Birth Center is amazing place to receive prenatal care in an environment where women are treated like grown adults, and where you can get all of your questions answered without ever feeling rushed. The facility is warm, inviting, and just the right size, and the staff are friendly and enthusiastic.
As for Simona, words cannot express what a skilled midwife she is.
I started my prenatal care with Simona at around the fourth month of my first pregnancy. After a previous miscarriage, I was always a little bit nervous that something might go wrong even though I had made it past my first trimester, but Simona and her assistant midwives were always patient with me as I expressed my concerns. I also felt respected enough that they didn’t sugar-coast anything for me, either. When it looked like I was going to go past my due date, Simona simply suggested that I get an ultrasound to check on the baby, and even advised me to drink a liter of water before my appointment to ensure that my amniotic fluid wouldn’t read an lower than necessary. I ended up not needing to go to that appointment, as my labor started.
My labor started easy on a Saturday morning, got harder by Saturday night, but by early Monday morning after three checks and getting sent home twice, I was fully effaced but had only progressed from 3 cm to 4 cm. Simona had allowed me to labor at my own pace for about 30 hours at that point, but then it was time to take some action. She broke my bag of waters, and we discovered that there was meconium. Simona explained that this meant that to some extent, my baby was experiencing some suffering, so we should keep that in mind as we decided how to proceed. She moved me, with my husband and doula, into the birthing room, and said she would check me in another couple of hours, with the hopes that breaking my water would help me progress. My baby turned out to be in occipult posterior position, which I think interfered with dilation and had definitely been causing me excruciating back labor throughout. While we had been hoping for a natural birth there at the birth center, but when Simona checked me again to find that very little progress was made, and knowing that our baby was also suffering, led my husband and I to choose to transfer to Whittier Hospital across the street. Simona agreed that this was a good idea. Fortunately, she has full privileges over there, and she just followed us over. That’s where the magic really happened.
After 30+ hours of excruciating back labor, an epidural was exactly what I needed. Simona got me into the delivery room within about 5 minutes of arriving at the hospital so that I could get the epidural as soon as possible. After two sleepless nights, I was finally able to relax and take a much needed 2-hour nap, as I was going to need my energy later. After those two hours, I had finally made some progress, but I had been in labor for so long, that we needed to speed it along, so Simona started me on a low dose of Pitocin. I was completely comfortable while my contractions were able to be effective in dilating me. At last, by Monday evening, I was fully dilated, the baby was in the right position, and it was time to start pushing. Simona had my epidural dialed down so that I could feel my contractions enough to know when to push. Simona’s amazing assistant midwife, Liz, guided me through much of the early pushing.
The next 2 1/2 hours are kind of a blur. It was the longest 2 1/2 hours of my life, but also already a distant memory. But Simona coached my pushing, gave me oxygen when my baby’s heart rate started getting too high, turned my baby gently to ease his passage down the birth canal, warned me that she might have to give me an episiotomy if I wasn’t able to push to crowning soon, and then coached me through the crowning phase so thoroughly and carefully, that she guided my 8 lb 14 oz son out of my body with no cutting or tearing.
I am absolutely certain that if attended by an OBGYN, I would have been forced to have a C section, and with a less skilled midwife, I would have been torn, cut, and/or needed vacuum assistance. I am so thankful that Simona was there to guide me through the birthing of my beautiful baby boy.
P.S. Have already started care with Simona for baby #2!
(Note: Best doula ever, Taba, will be receiving 5 stars soon at Doulable Birth.)โ โKIM M. 1/5/16