I had no idea how much tension I was carrying around, thinking about actually planning a hospital birth.
I was actually considering it. I am older, after all. Plus, I've had two home births, so having a baby at home is not something I would be missing out on doing. And, of course, the big consideration, insurance pays for all of it if you go to a hospital...
I hate that money is an issue, but when you've got an insurance company willing to pay the full cost of your coverage on one hand, and you're looking at paying a midwife for a home birth out of pocket (a hell of a lot less than your insurance company would pay, granted - thousands of dollars less, which is a drop in the bucket for BCBS, but a huge chunk of change for ME!) on the other hand, it's a difficult decision to weigh.
And don't even get me started on the fact that we have to make this decision at all. Insurance should pay for midwives, period, wherever the birth takes place. You'd think insurance companies would jump at the chance to save the cash, but noooo... *shaking head*
So after my u/s appt. and my run-in with the u/s doc, I started calling midwives. I've been a doula and involved in the birth community since 2001, so you'd think it would be easy, but since we've moved an hour away from the hub of where I developed all my birth contacts, it really isn't. Midwives usually don't travel more than hour or so to a birth - and you can understand why, especially for a fifth-time mom. The chances of missing a birth are just too great!
I debated, I researched, I called other doulas, I talked to people about their experiences with the midwives who practice up here in the area, and the same name and practice kept coming up in a positive way over and over. The good news is the name was familiar to me as well. Years ago (back in 2001, actually) I did a Birthing From Within training class to become a childbirth educator, and this midwife and I had connected and had lunch together.
I didn't expect her to remember - but when I gave her a call, she actually did remember! We had a long talk, connected immediately like birth-junkies tend to do - she told me all about the birth she'd just come from, a tough breech with a tired mom - and it felt immediately comfortable and easy.
So I invited her over for an "interview," and she answered all my questions quite satisfactorily. Yes, the bring oxygen, yes, they carry pitocin, their transfer rate is a very low 2%, they don't demand that you take any tests (gestational diabetes, GBS, etc) or do any newborn tests you don't want.
My only disappointment was they don't have their own water birth tub they bring - but they do know someone who rents one, so we're looking into it! I'm not sure yet if I want to. I've never done a water birth, and I really would love to, but since we're renting, I worry about the weight of the tub on the floor... can you imagine if something went wrong!? Eek!
But I'll cross that bridge when I get there...
Oh, and she also told us she does a great deal of Amish births out this way (Awesome! I love the Amish! :) ) and she invited us to an Amish dairy farm for a "field trip" in a few weeks, so the kids can milk a cow, and pet the chickens, and get some fresh milk. How cool!
By the end of the night, she was hired and had her doppler out looking for the heartbeat (baby was hiding, but I know he/she's fine... I've been feeling movement since 10 weeks with this one! I think it's a gymnast...) and showing the kids a model of a 12 week fetus they could hold in their hands. Awesome.
I literally breathed a sigh of relief that night when Michael and I were in bed, and he said the exact same thing I was thinking. "Well, that's a relief, isn't it?"
I couldn't believe how much. I hadn't realized I was holding my breath, bracing myself for dealing with the medical community. I could do that easily as a doula - but as a birthing mother? It would have made it SO much harder. (Makes you really understand one of the important roles doulas play, doesn't it?)
Now we'll be able to stay home and really relax and enjoy the birth (you know, as much as you can enjoy excruciating pain *grin* )
And two big bonuses: she comes to our house to do prenatals AND she actually charges less than rest of the midwives I talked to, even with her years and years of experience.
Could the universe have planned it any better?