In our circumstance the CNM/hospital waterbirth is 100% covered by insurance. With my first DD I think we ended up spending a couple hundred out of pocket for various tests that apparently weren't covered, but that's it. We don't even pay premiums for it, because it's no-cost pregnancy Medi-Cal. For a minute I thought that we had a share-of-cost (basically a deductible) of almost $1,700 but I called Medi-Cal and they told me that the share-of-cost only applies to non-pregnancy-related doctor's visits. So the difference in price between the two choices is fairly stark. Frankly, I was kind of hoping that the $1,700 applied to pregnancy too, so that I could better justify choosing a homebirth! But no dice.
However, as it stands right now I think we're still leaning towards the home birth. DH gets a little sparkle in his eye when he talks about having her at home surrounded by our things and with our daughter (possibly) present. My parents are driving out to attend the birth and will be sleeping in our living room on our sleeper sofa, so I kind of assumed that they would prefer a hospital birth so as to not encroach upon their already limited space, but today we skyped and DH told me he could tell my mom is keen on having a home birth. She kept talking about how much safer our neighborhood is than the one the hospital is in, and how it would be much less stressful for me to be able to relax and not have to worry about when to head out for the hospital. She also mentioned that at home it is easier to distract myself with other things during early labor--cleaning or playing with DD or going for a walk--and that getting to the hospital before really active labor hits kind of makes it impossible to focus on anything BUT labor and contractions and TIME. So I was kind of pleasantly surprised. Even when I was growing up she has always been about letting me make my own choices and just supporting me in them no matter what--even to the point where it sometimes frustrated me, like give me some GUIDANCE here lady! But as an adult it is kind of nice. So she has not come straight out and stated her preference, and when we talk about the hospital she does her best to look at the bright side, so I guess she just assumed she was hoping we'd go that route. Anyhow, I'm rambling.
As far as money, the 3k is definitely still something that I'm trying to justify and get over spending. It occurred to me on my run today that part of my problem with the expenditure is that on some level I feel like it's incredibly self-indulgent and financially irresponsible of me to make the choice for a home birth when a "perfectly good" free hospital alternative is available. My income will be greatly reduced over the summer months, and we might be incurring some additional costs sending DD to preschool. Also, I still need to complete my credential (over the next 3-5 years, so we have time) But still, it's an upcoming expenditure that we are trying to plan for, and we intend to pay for it in cash as well. So all of these things weigh on my mind when I think of spending the money on a home birth.
However, we just recently paid off the last of our debt, which we were spending $250 a month on. So if we just continue to put that amount into savings then we can pay off the home birth within a year without really changing the look of our current budget, and without having to resort to putting it on credit cards, which amlikam helped me realize was a very bad choice given our circumstances. I mean, it's just not necessary, and debt is riskier than having slightly less in savings. So if we go with the home birth we will have to pay $600 up front (which we have in cash, so no dipping into the savings account yet) and then roughly $150/week until June. Looking at it like that feels less daunting that thinking of it as one big lump sum.
The decision hasn't been 100% made yet. Tomorrow I plan to call the home birth midwives and chat with them about where my head is at right now, and then Tuesday we tour the hospital. I also have my next prenatal with the CNM/hospital midwife (who actually suggested I look into home birth) and I want to talk to her about it too. I feel like I need to talk it through as much as possible and with as many people as possible in order to make this decision. This is when having a therapist would come in handy! lol.
Thanks for listening mamas, it really helps to have a space to get this all out without feeling like I'm talking the ear off of DH or my mom. I feel like I keep going in circles over this!
Edited by kitteh - 2/24/13 at 10:47pm