If you came here via a link looking for information on Wexham Park and giving birth there, click here: Giving birth at Wexham Park for all my posts about it.
We've decided to have the birth at Wexham Park Birth Centre. There are several reasons for this. One, when we saw it on the tour a week or so ago, it definitely had a nicer atmosphere than the labour ward downstairs. Nothing wrong with the labour ward, but you definitely know you are in a hospital when you are there. The birth centre in comparison was much more relaxed. Dimmer lights, nobody rushing around, no strange machines that go ping*. We were there last week, unfortunately late for the 36-week chat (both for the chat and for 36 weeks) but everyone had lots of time to answer all our questions, absolutely no sense of rushing. There was a woman giving birth in one of the rooms, but you couldn't hear anything. So no scary noises to stress you out. Two, I had considered going to Heatherwood, but we never made it for the tour. Plus, my paperwork was sent there on November 9th and as of December 1st, it still wasn't ready. Not really a good sign. The person in charge of the paperwork had been off sick for 2 weeks, but isn't there anyone else who can do it in the meantime? I tried to contact them again this week, but wasn't able to reach anyone. So, due to this delay, not being able to do a tour of the place and also it being a fair bit farther from us than Wexham is, we decided against Heatherwood. Three, the birth centre at Wexham is low-key and midwife-led, so birth interventions should be at a minimum. However, in case anything should go wrong (knock on wood against that), they are part of the bigger hospital, with obstetricians, pediatricians and all the necessary equipment in case something does go wrong. So with it being both low-tech but with a technical back-up, it made the most sense to us.
We went to Wexham yesterday for an antenatal visit. Poor girl, we were with her for about 90 minutes because she had to fill in all the paperwork again. But she was really friendly and bubbly, giving us even more reassurance that we'd made the right decision to have the birth there. Anyways, everything is still A-okay and progressing normally. We'll see when the big show actually starts, don't hold your collective breath yet.
* - The machine that goes "ping" is part of a Monty Python sketch entitled "The Miracle of Birth". It's from the movie "The Meaning of Life". It is quite ironically funny in how the birth becomes such a technical thing that the mother and baby are really a side issue to the whole process. You can read the sketch here, or if you have Flash, watch the video below. (don't mind the Portugese? subtitles)