New to this board and looking for advice/support

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MommyJannah's picture
Joined: 08/25/08
Posts: 109
New to this board and looking for advice/support

This will most likely end up being long, I apologize in advance.

I am currently almost 10 weeks pregnant with my 4th baby. After thinking about it for awhile, I decided against having the same birth I had last time. My first two babies were unmedicated, in a hospital, with an OB. With my 3rd, I ended up having an epidural. I fully believe this had everything to do with having little support. I was terrified, and I felt alone, which made the pain intensify. I was so ready to go home after I gave birth to her, but they "made" me stay for the requisite 24 hours because that's just what they do. I was threatened with legal action if I signed myself out AMA, and I could not have taken my daughter home. I stayed.

As I was researching a doula today, I found the website of the only practicing CNM on this side of the state. Midwives here don't have hospital privileges, and there are no birthing centers. If I want a midwife, I have to birth at home.

Now, I don't mind the idea of a homebirth, when it's in theory LOL I have a lot of friends who have had home births and LOVED them, but it's something completely new to me. I had my first 2 babies with no intervention, even an IV, but I was in a hospital, etc. I'll be honest, I'm scared. My mother and aunt (who lives with my mom) are completely supportive, and have told me I'm welcome to birth there. (They live about 5 blocks from me, but have a very open floor plan and lots of room.) I would not tell my in-laws. So, to my point, I have some questions for you all hehe

1. Not including your midwife, how much did you spend on supplies, etc for your birth?
2. Were your other children there? How old and how did they handle it?
3. For those that have had both an OB and a midwife, what do you like better or worse about each in your care/labor/delivery?

I think I'm still getting used to the idea. I meet with the midwife at 11am tomorrow, and I'm half excited, half terrified. I've had the same doctor for all 3 of my children, I think I'm just ready for something more. I've done a lot of research and I'm not discounting the safety or efficacy of home birth, and I love great home birth stories, I think it's just never been real for ME, because up until recently, it was not an option here. Now that it is, I'm seriously considering it. Thanks Smile

Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292

1. Not including your midwife, how much did you spend on supplies, etc for your birth?

Maybe $50 (not including the cost of having a doula for my last three home births). My midwife's fee included the birth tub and a birth kit, so all we bought beyond that was some hydrogen peroxide (gets blood out of carpet) and food for during/after the birth.

2. Were your other children there? How old and how did they handle it?

Yes. My first home birth was with my second baby. My oldest was 22.5 months old at the time. She handled it very well. Since I have five children and my last four were born at home, we've had our older children aged 22.5 months - 8 years. They all did very well. We prepared them beforehand for the sights and sounds they might encounter.

3. For those that have had both an OB and a midwife, what do you like better or worse about each in your care/labor/delivery?

I liked that my midwife spent more time with me at my appointments and approached birth as a normal process rather than an emergency. I don't think I have anything good to say about my OB care.... Wink

jooniper's picture
Joined: 08/27/07
Posts: 780

Yay, and welcome! I've only had a natural hospital birth so far, but I'll answer for my upcoming homebirth:
1. Not including your midwife, how much did you spend on supplies, etc for your birth? No maternity coverage here, so it's all out of pocket- 2500 for the birth, probably another 500 for lab fees and other supplies. Still less than the 4000 I paid for my hospital birth- and that's was AFTER insurance.
2. Were your other children there? How old and how did they handle it? Daniel will not be here. I'm hoping maybe I'll labor at night so he can be sleeping upstairs, but- I couldn't handle having that little walking distraction around. If I labor during the day, I'll have some friends or my brother come get him.
3. For those that have had both an OB and a midwife, what do you like better or worse about each in your care/labor/delivery? I haven't delivered with a midwife yet, but it is nice having someone who agrees with me and supports me. I HATED my OB. My hospital was ok, but the OB was awful. I hated feeling like I was on a clock, I hated feeling like my refusal of drugs was an inconvenience, but mostly I hated the 3rd degree tear that I'm relatively sure wouldn't have happened (or at least, not as badly or would have healed better) with a provider who knew what she was doing.

Honestly, it sounds to me like a doula in the hospital would be a good option for you. Sounds like you trust your OB and you know how to get what you want (aside from being stuck at the hospital afterwards). But I do think you could handle a homebirth marvelously, and it's certainly cheaper and easier to get what you want.
I'm thrilled to be having a homebirth this time, but... it's a big idea to adjust to. If you do want to go for it, my biggest suggestion is to immerse yourself in literature about homebirthing- including some of the fantastic birth stories on this board. Good luck!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

1. Not including your midwife, how much did you spend on supplies, etc for your birth? Only about $50 on a birth kit, and maybe another $50 on food & beverages for everyone during labor. I also splurged & rented a big hot tub, that was $200. I got it at 38 weeks, so I got to enjoy it every night for almost 3 weeks before labor started. Tiven liked playing in it, too. Blum 3
2. Were your other children there? How old and how did they handle it? I ended up transferring for Weston's birth, but Tiven (age 5) was home for much of my labor. She accompanied me on a walk, held my hand while I was in the tub, shared my Gatorade with me, LOL! My MIL was responsible for her, took her to & from preschool, made her dinner & put her to bed, took her out of the room when she got too chatty for me, etc. We'd prepared Tiven for what to expect, and she would have been welcome to be in the room for the birth, if it had happened at home, if she'd wanted to be & wasn't distracting. If she was distracting, MIL would have tried to quiet her, or removed her if it didn't work.
3. For those that have had both an OB and a midwife, what do you like better or worse about each in your care/labor/delivery? I did dual care because my HMO covers maternity for no cost to me, so I figured why not? I liked being able to get all the labs & ultrasounds right then & there at my OB appointments, and I liked knowing that the hospital had everything they'd want or need in case of transfer. And I liked being able to better educate my OB about VBAC. Blum 3 With the OB, I didn't like the feeling like I was being watched for things to go wrong, whereas with my midwife was watching everything go right. And I didn't like that I had to negotiate the things I wanted for my labor, that I had to find a way to fit into their cookie-cutter L&D process whereas my midwife asked how I wanted certain things done, and was going to do them my way. I loved everything about my midwife!

kvo
kvo's picture
Joined: 12/18/06
Posts: 902

I can't give you answers to your questions b/c I am not doing a homebirth (not covered by insurance, so too expensive for us). I can say that my experience with the MWs vs OB is that the MWs have the same philosophy as I do about natural birthing and avoiding complications.

I wish you luck with interviewing MWs and getting the experience you want.

CaBlondie918's picture
Joined: 01/27/07
Posts: 260

I haven't given birth yet with a midwife but had an OB with DD. All I can say is even the interviews with each midwife (when I was interviewing) was significantly longer than any appointment I ever had with an OB. I know the next appointments with the midwives are around an hour long, when usually OB appointments with the actual doctor is less than 10 minutes... sometimes, well... the majority, it's just the time it takes to find the heartbeat on the doppler then out you go.