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My Birth, My Way at Baystate Franlkin Medical Center

Katherine Mallory of Lenoxdale gave birth to her second daughter, Avilene, on September 8 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. Below, she tells the story of her decision to travel 1 ½ hours to have her baby.

Why I Traveled One and a Half Hours to Give Birth

Katherine Mallory

My first birthing experience wasn’t what I had imagined; there were many issues that made me uneasy. Finally, though, after 24 hours of labor, I delivered my beautiful daughter by Cesarean section.

When we learned I was pregnant with baby #2, I desperately wanted to have a vaginal delivery. Though my local obstetrician was willing to honor my wishes, he left his practice, and I had to look for another option.

My doula strongly recommended that I consider Pioneer Women’s Health and Baystate Franklin for the rest of my care and delivery. She assured me, “I think you will find just what you want at The Birthplace.”

I decided it wouldn’t hurt to at least visit. During my tour, everyone at the hospital and Pioneer Women’s Health was welcoming, friendly, positive and helpful; and they had a good reputation for VBACs (vaginal birth after Cesarean). I was sold!

I only had three visits with my midwife before my delivery day arrived. As we piled in the car, my biggest fear was that long ride. Was it a mistake to try to handle contractions in the back seat of a car for an hour and a half? It turned out to be pretty easy; I just concentrated on my breathing, and before we knew it, we had arrived.

It occurred to us as we arrived at Baystate Franklin that we never even called to say we were coming. It wasn’t a problem. We got off the elevator at The Birthplace, unannounced, and were welcomed with open arms. The support and encouragement I received right off the bat was amazing and reassuring. I heard, “You just think about your labor now; you’re going to have a baby! We’ll deal with the rest of it later.”

That positive, friendly and professional support continued throughout my labor and delivery. I was constantly encouraged, praised, and kept informed. And there was no mention of a possible Cesarean. (I admit I was still worried about that right down to the moment I started pushing.)

At one point, I asked for nitrous oxide, which I knew was allowed here. The nurses felt I was past a point where that would work, and suggested another medication called Nubain. It was just what I needed to quickly take the edge off the pains – no epidural!

After Avilene was born, there were lots of smiles and hugs from so many people; my baby and I were clearly important and remained the focus of nurses’ and midwives’ attention.

Avilene turned out to be jaundiced, and had to stay in the hospital a little longer. Not only was I allowed to stay, too; they even brought the Bili-bed [provides triple photo-therapy for the baby] right into my room, so Avilene could stay with me while being treated.

I am so thankful that I chose Baystate Franklin, and I am grateful for all the doctors, midwives, nurses and support staff who were there to provide such a positive, rewarding, emotionally wonderful birthing experience for me!

Learn more about The Birthplace at Baystate Franklin Medical Center.