Originally Posted by firewoman
Wow! Thanks ladies for all the feedback. I think this is such an interesting subject and I'm so happy that we can dialogue about it.
Stellarose-Surely there is a birth center closer to you than Britain. Have you considered going that route. They don't have access to pain medication like epidurals, but can easily transfer you to a nearby hospital if you need one. Birth center transfers aren't subject to the scrutiny that a homebirther would be. Also, American hospitals aren't horrible. I'm sure there are some horrible ones and I'm not sure where you live but I have birthed two of my babies in two different hospitals and had good outcomes. I have also douled for MANY women in the metro hospitals in my area and while it is definitely harder to attain a natural birth, with preparation and a good caregiver, it can be done. Just wanted you to know it isn't THAT bad here. We're not third world or anything.
Did you read the post in this thread of a woman who said despite all that we hear on MDC, she had a great natural birth at a hospital? I applaud you for attempting a homebirth and I'm sure you can do it. You have already had one baby. Are you comfortable with your midwife and her skills?
Thanks for this. I have a great midwife (CPM) whose been doing home births in New York City for over 10 years, and in the field generally for I think 20. There is one birth center in immediate vicinity, but from my perspective, its just as eay to get to the hospital from my house as it is from the birth center (my midwife has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital). I thought about it a lot, and I just don't see any advantage (for ME) in a birth center over my home, since my only reservation about being at home is the pain, and you can't have pain relief in a birth center either.
I know that not all American hospitals are terrible, but I don't think there is any hospital in NYC that has a C-section rate under 26% (most are between 30 and 40%, and alas, my insurance does not fully cover the 26% one). And I am just not willing to submit to rules about eating, drinking, what to wear, how the room is set up, where and how I am going to push out the baby, my mobility, fetal monitoring. I know way too much about how useless and harmful these rules are and I am just not interested in having to argue with people while in labor in order to not be forced to adhere to them. These are all things that I simply did not need to deal with the last time around!
Plus, I am just not one of those people who can "labor like a champ"...my last labor lasted 47 hours, far from adhereing to the "24 hour/1cm per hour" rule. That might not happen again, but the fact is, had I been in any US hospital I am willing to bet a million bucks I would have ended up with pit/C-section.
I know the US is not a developing country, but when you look at our maternal and fetal birth outcomes against almost every other developed country, you start to doubt that.
I do appreciate your confidence and good wishes, though. I just know a better world is possible for the women of our country if we recognize how messed up and exceptional our system is compared to our peer countries and insist it change.