Posted by: Ingrid | July 31, 2013

Maize and Blue

Just so you know the sort of football fan I am, I actually had to Google “maize and blue” to make sure that I had the colors right for University of Michigan.  Blue and yellow works for me, but I’m sure that’s insulting somehow.  (It’s not yellow, it’s maize.)  And now I have the nagging thought that maybe basketball is their big thing and not football…

Anyhow, I met with the CNM (certified nurse midwife) yesterday who is part of the birthing unit that does water births at U of M.  I actually thought about cancelling the appointment as it got closer.  It was a two hour round trip, I figured I could make the hospital in town work, and I just felt kind of silly “shopping” for my birth experience.  (Then again I don’t since I am going to have less than a handful of them in my lifetime – hopefully!)

I’m so glad that I didn’t cancel the appointment because what I got was not only detailed answers to my questions, rather than: “Don’t you worry, you can have whatever you want, just tell us or refuse things you don’t want during birth.”  Which sounds nice but ends up feeling very nebulous and relative to the doctor on call.  My discoveries about U of M’s program:

-Their birthing pools are not just glorified bathtubs and you can labor and deliver in the tub if you choose.

-After the 20 minute strip on the monitor the rest of the monitoring is done with a doppler.

-Eating and drinking as needed is encouraged during labor.

-It’s okay if I get there in early labor and hang out, walk the hospital, etc.  No one is going to pressure me to have a baby on a certain time frame.

-If I deliver in the water I can stay there until I’m ready to get out and they delay cord clamping (rather than fighting for a full two minutes until the cord is cut).

-3/4 of their CNM’s have had home births.  The woman I met with actually had her homebirth with the midwife I used with Jonathan.

-You can deliver in any position you choose and aren’t limited to being on the bed.

-appointments are not weekly until 38 weeks.

It was absolutely fantastic to hear thoughts on health care, fetal monitoring, and the fact that birth is a natural process coming out of the CNM’s mouth.  Seriously, by the time we were done talking I wanted to throw my arms around her but that would have been awkward.

Even my silliest hesitation about U of M (the fact that they usually do 24 hours in the hospital rather than 48 and YES I want two days with my baby) was dispelled.  My insurance will cover up to two days and they can lengthen the time if it’s needed/wanted.

I am a good fit for them, since I am low risk, on my third pregnancy, and have delivered at home.  And I was unprepared for the feeling of utter peace that swept over me after the meeting.  I can have my baby there and not feel like I need to be prepared to fight every step of the way.

Not saying I plan on going into delivery singing U of M’s fight song, but I may break down and watch a token game of football in their honor once I Google when football season is. 🙂




  1. This sounds like such a good fit and birth experience. I really missed this with mine and if I have another hope things are much different (will seek a more relaxed experience for sure!)
    BTW as a U of MN grad I kept wondering why you are driving to Minnesota to deliver!

    • Ha! Minnesota would be a long road trip in the middle of labor. 🙂 I had no idea there was such a great birthing option relatively nearby that would be covered by my insurance. Hopefully you will be able to find something more relaxed as well if you decide to have another one.

  2. Who would think I would ever “like” a U of M post. They do have a lot going for them … but you mix “maize” and blue, and you get green! Go State!

    • Very very clever, Ginny! 🙂

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