For a happy hospital birth, thank you

May 25, 2019

Home birth vs. hospital birth — it is a question many women ponder nowadays. After watching the movie, The Business of Being Born, like so many soon-to-be mothers, the idea of a hospital birth seemed less inviting.

As someone with a background in nutrition and fitness, I strive to approach all my health matters as naturally as I can, and childbirth would be no different. I felt some pressure at the beginning of my pregnancy to plan for a home birth; after all, that’s what most moms who lived a well-rounded and holistic lifestyle did. However, due to some family history of complications during labor, I opted for a hospital birth. I even considered going back to my home country, France, where the reputation for almost all medical procedures, birth included, is applauded.

Halfway through my pregnancy, the choice had been made that I would give birth at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, and I am so grateful for my experience.

On April 29, we welcomed our baby girl, Margot, into this world at Christus St. Vincent, and the team that helped us through it left me feeling deeply touched and grateful. Hospital births have not been the choice for many in recent decades, but the maternity wing at Christus St. Vincent and its Women’s Health Center deserve recognition for their amazing work.

From the beginning of my pregnancy and through my postpartum days, I have received exceptional support and attention from everyone. The Women’s Health Center has a group of midwifes that all did an amazing job; my grandest experience was with Dena Knight. She was one of the four midwifes I met during my first trimester, and I knew immediately I wanted her to be a part of my daughter’s birth, to help bring Margot into this world. I felt like I was in the best hands with her and could fully trust her. Throughout the pregnancy, Dena never overlooked a thing; she addressed all my fears and questions with a calm and reassuring approach. I couldn’t have asked for a better midwife.

The nurses were nothing short of amazing — emotionally engaged, gentle and supportive. The treatment we got from nurses Bridjett Miller, Abi Wood, Erin Howard, Blanche Kraai and Genea Calabaza was beyond what I would have imagined. They were there every step of the way, from coaching me through contractions, helping me get through the last push and aiding in my recovery, as well as walking me through breastfeeding.

Holly Baldwin, the lactation consultant at Christus St. Vincent, also played a huge role in our first postpartum days. We faced some challenges with breastfeeding, and she not only helped us at the hospital but maintained her support once we were home in the week to follow. She even went out of her way to come with us to an evaluation appointment.

Thank you to this team for sharing the emotion of our birth with us and doing the work you did. You all truly made this birth such an unforgettable experience for us. I hope this speaks to all of the moms-to-be who fear a hospital birth, and reassures them that they will be in amazing hands.

Manon Pierme lives in Santa Fe and is a holistic health practitioner, entrepreneur and mama.

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