I am 24 weeks pregnant with baby # 4. I have used CNM's and a birth center (on hospital campus) for all three other births.
As some of you may have read in another post, I am concerned about the tests the CNM's say I need because of my age (41). I am just so afraid of too many tests leading to unnecessary procedures. I am completely healthy, no health problems now or in previous pregnancies. I did have an ultrasound at week 19 which was normal, followed by that Harmony blood test, also normal.
I met a lay midwife a few months ago whom was recommended to me by a friend/doula. I have several friends who have also used her and all had great experiences. My husband, who was really on the fence, really liked her as well.
Now I am nervous that the lay midwife might be too laid back. For example, my friend who had her baby most recently with this particular midwife did not check the baby's heart rate at all during labor (mom's request). I am not that radical to feel safe with that. She also said she has only transferred a few moms in 20 years. She also feels tests just because of my age (non-stress tests) are unnecessary.
I only live 7 minutes from the hospital, but if something did go wrong, the lay midwife can no longer be involved with my care. Where I live (MA) CNM's can't do homebirths and lay midwives and CPM's can't work in hospitals or have OB back up.
I should also say that with my last birth I was transferred to the hospital from the birth center while pushing because the baby's heart rate was not coming up after contractions. As it turned out, the cord was around his neck and he was stuck behind my pubic bone. Every time I pushed it was like a bungie cord (according to the CNM) and he was born bruised from the nose down. (Being transferred was so traumatic to me that I was considering just delivering in the hospital this time).
When I got to the hospital they didn't do anything (other than have about 15 people in the room and take him away as soon as he was born). The lay midwife I met said the CNM's probably have a much higher threshold of tolerating a low heart rate and if I was home probably would not have been transferred.
So what are my concerns? Mainly, if I were to get transferred I would end up with a stranger at delivery and probably treated poorly for having a home birth. And as much as this midwife has been recommended to me, if she is not certified, where are her checks and balances? I just feel like you need a license to be a doctor, nurse, lawyer, even a hair dresser, so if something tragic did happen, that person is liable. Not that I am saying everyone who has a professional license is competent at what they do, I know that for sure.
But she does have 20 years experience and as far as I know, no tragic outcomes. She was very sweet, like an angel my husband said. I suppose if I did not get transferred with my last birth I would not even be thinking such negative thoughts. But I was and I am.
Thanks for any advice. This dilemma is keeping me up at night!!