welcome, sagesmamacrystal!! i hear you about the $. we have only paid about 300 so far! luckily our mw has agreed to a sliding scale, some partial trade, and allowing us to pay over some time.
i am not 100% sure how to word it! i have already put the word out to family & friends that all we need is help with the mw fee. last time we were very blunt about gifts so i think people will expect it this time. i included an insert with the invite that said"
looking for the perfect gift?
-we have an account at Tiny Tots diaper service
-we will not be using plastic toys
and so on. no one thought it was rude. just helpful
So this time i might say:
If you would like to give a gift, please consider helping us pay for our midwife's wonderful services over this pregnancy and during the birth. We are thankful to have found her! This birth is so important to us all.
also, dont just send this to people you invite, send it along with a shower 'annoucement' to everyone you know. no kidding! we made ours on the computer and printed them out to save #- we sent them to coworkers, friends, family, everyone.