Real Life: One Mom’s Birth Story and Experience with Methodist West Hospital


Des Moines Moms Blog is honored to share this guest post from local mama Megan McAtee. This article was done in partnership with UnityPoint Health Des Moines.

Megan’s Story

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant, there was a rush of emotions. We were excited, of course, but also nervous. What do we need to remember, how do we plan, and what needs to be done before, during, and after this little one who is completely dependent on us enters our lives?

We signed up for multiple classes, read every book and article we could, met with our birth doula, and toured Mercy and UnityPoint Health at both their downtown and west locations to scout out the best fit for us. There were several factors that set Methodist West apart. It wasn’t as busy as the downtown hospitals, and we felt they had the ability to give more personal attention. The rooms were big and nicely appointed, and we felt our family coming to visit us would be comfortable while they were waiting in one of the two waiting areas. We also liked that there was plenty of parking for them right outside the hospital door and a great cafeteria just a few floors down. When visiting friends and family at the downtown hospitals, we had struggled with finding parking and had to hike to the cafeteria, so having guest amenities close was a plus.

While we hoped we wouldn’t need it, we appreciated that we would be in the same nice room for recovery even if we had to have a C-section. If a complication arose during the delivery, mom and baby would be transported in the same ambulance if it was something the neonatal nurse practitioner (who is available 24/7) couldn’t handle. The proximity to our house was also a big factor, and that proved to be very helpful the night I went into labor!

I went into labor on my due date, but it came suddenly and fiercely. I was sick to my stomach and told my husband there was no way I was going to get to the hospital on time. When my doula arrived at our house, I even asked my husband to tell her to go away because I couldn’t do it! They somehow convinced me to leave the bathroom and get in the car for the (thankfully) short ride to Methodist West. We had a speedy check-in, didn’t have to worry about parking, and made it up to our room without too much incident. Even though I had hoped for no drugs when we initially talked through our birth plan, I knew that was not going to be an option in the moment. We had the best nurses as we went through position after position, and they encouraged me, pushed me, and let me know everything was okay as I tried everything I could to deliver my baby. They worked with my doula, Katie Nyberg (The Iowa Baby Lady), to communicate all of my options to me, and when it came to the point where it wasn’t going to be healthy for anyone to keep trying to push, the nurses, doctors, and anesthesiologist were so supportive and understanding in communicating to me that a C-section was going to be the best option for us.

They prepped me for surgery, and my husband was able to get ready and be in the room as my beautiful daughter was born!

Real Life: One Mom's Birth Story and Experience with Methodist West Hospital | Des Moines Moms Blog

I believe there were only two other women there the day Madeline was born, so she got plenty of attention from all of the nurses, and the lactation consultant took a lot of time helping me make sure we got everything figured out. My husband reminded me that the food there was pretty good, and they brought enough for me to share with him so he didn’t have to miss anything by making a meal run. The staff there couldn’t have been better through everything from the delivery to the recovery process. The only hesitation I have in recommending Methodist West is now everyone will know about it, because if we have another baby in the future we will definitely be back!

About Guest Blogger Megan McAtee

Real Life: One Mom's Birth Story and Experience with Methodist West Hospital | Des Moines Moms BlogSettled down in Iowa was the last place Megan thought she would land, but she is glad to be here! She met her husband Ed while performing in a show at the Des Moines Playhouse, and their lives have been a great mix of comedy, drama, and the occasional musical number since 2009. They introduced a daughter, Madeline, to the cast in February 2015, and they couldn’t imagine life without her. Megan loves discovering new places to explore, spending time with family and friends, making far too many Target runs for “just one thing,” and reading to and spoiling her daughter every chance she gets!


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