Guess I should take a step back to try to give a condensed version of my thoughts...
My delivery with Avery was near perfect (at least in my book), and a huge part of that had to do with my caregiver, a midwife named Angie. Now, before you categorize me as Granola, know this: I was blessed with a complication-free pregnancy, and when my OB said I was free to see the midwife in his practice, I thought "why not?"
At the time, I did not realize that, in general, there is a large vacuum in the way an OB/GYN and a Midwife practice medicine. For the most part, midwives promote pregnancy and childbirth less as a medical event, and more a natural and healthy occurrence. Having said that, there are different classifications of midwives, some are all about home births and very little medical intervention, but all must be licensed by the State to practice.
My midwife, Angie, is a Certified Nurse Midwife - someone who has a graduate-level education in nurse midwifery. These are often the types of midwives with practice privileges in birthing centers or hospitals - who can do everything an MD can BUT a c-section, and this was the case with mine.
I feel there are two things that made my delivery with Avery ideal: my trust in my body's ability to birth a child - I did not fear the pain, and my absolute trust in my midwife. Those last couple of hours of labor are fuzzy in my memory (too bad I wasn't blogging then!), but I know that whatever Angie said to do, I did, and the result was a perfect, alert baby girl. I did not have any pain meds or tearing.
I won't get into the "to have or not to have" an epidural. I will say, however, that many nurses, other women, etc told me [in defense of pain meds], "No one gets a medal for withstanding the pain of childbirth." Yeah, well, despite having what everyone tells me was an "easy delivery," I wear the fact that I went medication-commando like a badge of honor. For me, the benefits of being drug-free were worth it.
Needless to say, my standards are fairly high for my second birth experience. A young, female OB/GYN in my hometown was recommended to me, and she seems capable enough, but after Ben and I visited with her about birth plans over the holidays, we both walked away thinking: she's no Angie.
I don't think it's so much an issue of her being a good doctor (she is), I just think she practices with the MD mentality of delivery: come into the labor room at the last minute, "catch" the baby, do any stitches, and move on.
Well, that's just not good enough for me. When you've experienced the best, you have a hard time settling for what you feel is less...
However, they don't typically take new patients after 30 weeks. I'll be 34 weeks when I get back to Texas for the duration of the pregnancy. I've sent them my chart for full review, along with a letter proclaiming my loyalty to midwifery - I'm basically begging them to agree to deliver this child!