This afternoon we trekked over to Mesa for the grand opening of the new Women's Birth and Wellness Center. It was awesome!
I went into this not really knowing much about the center, nor about the midwife who is in charge of it, Claudine Calligan. For some reason, I've absorbed a lot of information about Phoenix's two other birth centers, but not about this one - why, I don't know! But there it was. It was a mystery.
A mystery no longer!
We had a chance to tour the center - something which would have been lovely if our little one had not taken it into his head to scream his head off the entire time - but I did get to glance around, albeit briefly. The center has 2-3 birth rooms, one with a birthing pool, a common room and kitchen, offices, etc., all equipped for births and exam capabilities - plus an ultrasound machine!
I met one of the midwives who is running the birth center, and she gave me lots of yummy information. Firstly, and most exciting of all news - this center (listen up, mothers of the world!) will be taking VBAC, breech, and multiples births! YES! Is that not exciting beyond belief? The other two birth centers are not able to take those types of births, due to insurance and licensing issues, but this one can and will. She told me that there will be a lot of restrictions on those births, to ensure that women accepted are all low-risk, but I am so excited to have a resource to offer VBAC mothers. (And the people rejoiced!)
The midwife told me that this birth center will have more "medical" capabilities than most low-tech birth centers or homebirths can offer. For example, they will offer IVs (offer, not mandate) to laboring mothers and to long-labor mamas who might benefit from IV placement. For those of us who decry mandatory IV placement in modern hospitals, this might seem like an odd benefit, but for mothers who need it or feel more comfortable with traditional labor trappings, this is great. They will also have a nurse attend all births. For friends of mine who want lower-tech births but need the comfort of a more medical setting, this will be ideal.
The midwife also told me that the center is now awaiting its first birth, as their first mama is "in the window" and will be birthing any day.
(After speaking with this midwife for half an hour, I finally realized that she was the same midwife who had worked with my own midwife five years ago when we were awaiting the birth of our first child! When I finally made the connection, it was fun to be able to say "Oh, it was you!" "Oh, and how are you? And what have you been doing?" and all of that.)
I am very excited about this birth center! I can't wait to learn more and get to know the midwives involved, and to hear about all of its adventures. Congratulations to the staff of Women's Birth and Wellness Center!