Ok, so, I'm copying this first part from my BB to catch you up on what has just happened...
I don't know if I told you all the crazy plans we have for going back to the States for this birth... but the first plan involved living in three different houses in 4 months, one of which was going to be the place where I would birth.
Well, DH and I have been talking and talking and talking and talking about all of this, and I've done a lot of thinking on my own too... and in the end we have decided that when I go home I'm just going to go straight to living with my dad and step-mom (which was the third house we were going to end up in). This is going to be the easiest choice in a lot of ways- I'll be borrowing their (old, gas guzzling) truck while I'm there, so it will save me on gas in that I'll be closer to my midwife, most of my friends, a city full of parks, libraries, malls, restaurants, etc, my beloved La Leche League meeting and more. Also, just being in one place from March-August will obviously be much easier than moving between three different houses. The hard part about this arrangement is the actual living with my dad and step-mom. I get along much better in general with my mom and step-dad, but their house isn't an option (step-dad smokes in the house). I haven't lived with my dad since I was 6 years old, and I've always been kind of thankful for that- he's a great guy, we just often have different ideas about privacy, responsibility, and general running of a household. So, it'll be interesting getting my head in the right space to just enjoy this time, and appreciate it for what it's worth (saving money, a comfortable home, etc).
The other big thing that is changing (I'm waiting for word back from my midwife) is that I'm no longer planning a home birth, but planning on using the midwife's birthing center. I'm a little bummed, but feeling ok overall. The worst part will be the car ride again, but, we'll make it work. The two things I hated about the hospital were 1) I went from a nice quiet, dark room during labor to bright, loud, tons of people surrounding me and touching me and sticking monitors in my belly and hands up my vagina, etc, when DD was about to be born. I HATED that. I wanted to actually birth in the same space I had labored in, but I guess in the hospital, that might just be asking too much. I know the midwife won't do that whether she's at my house or the birth center. And the second thing I didn't like about the hospital was being cooped up there for two days afterward (they would only let me leave AMA). So I know if I birth at the birth center, I'll get to go home the same day. So even though I was hoping to avoid the driving while in labor, I know that the things that I was specifically looking to avoid with a homebirth, I will still get to avoid.
So that's what going on with us! It's only 63 days until DD and I head home! I'm pretty excited!!
So I also emailed my doula to let her know about these changes, and to ask her if they are ok with her as well. So she emails me back and says that yep, it's fine, and if I choose the birth center, her fee will be included in the cost of the birth at the center, and she will be there as my midwife's assistant, rather than my doula, but, I shouldn't notice the difference! (So apparently they, the "dream team" ARE working together officially, I just didn't know it!) I have to tell you, since most of these changes have been financially driven, it is seriously like a sign from the universe/God/whatever that we've made the right decision! It means that instead of paying her $500 as a doula, we basically get her for the cost of the co-pay on the birth! It's just friggin awesome!
She also reminded me that, even though the drive from my dad's to the birth center is about 45 minutes, I can make the drive whenever I feel necessary (as soon as I know labor has started) because even once I get to the birth center I don't have to worry about "being on the clock" or interventions or anything! With my last birth I was in the back of the car on hands and knees being yelled at not to push (which my body was doing involuntarily, so I had very little control) because of course, I had chosen to labor as long as possible at home to try to avoid all that stuff at the hospital.
So yeah, basically, I'm feeling a lot better about the whole thing, and like we've really made the right decision! I'm so excited now!