I am new to the Mothering community, but had been a magazine subscriber since I was pregnant with my first child in 2009.
I am trying to finalize my plans for a homebirth, but have a few concerns/obstacles that I don't really know how to handle. First of all, I am due with my second child in early November. My daughter is 19 months old. We live in a unique community, because it is an island (like, we literally take a boat to the mainland). :) I knew I was seriously interested in having a homebirth this time around since my first childbirth experience was less than ideal. We have one midwife on island, and although I'm not sure we "click" the way I would like to, she is my only real option. My comfort came in knowing that I have an amazing doula chosen, who is not only a friend to me, but someone in whom I have 100% confidence and feel at ease with and consider a good friend. Furthermore, my mother just passed away, and my husband's family (sister, mother) lives in the midwest, and does not plan to be here for the birth, so I don't really have a family support network built in.
I was a little hesitant to go with my preferred choice of a homebirth, being a little unsure about my midwife, and just being new to homebirth in general. My husband wasn't totally supportive from the beginning, and in the meantime, my mother was dying and I didn't find much time to put real thought into the decision. Now I am about 6 months pregnant and the time to decide is here. I met with my midwife and doula this week and afterwards, my husband and I decided that a homebirth was the way to go, and that we were confident that it would be a good situation with our doula there to support us and fill in where we might feel like the midwife was not meeting our expectations (the midwife is just not all that warm and fuzzy...).
Here's the issue. My doula just emailed us and told us that she had made a prior committment to a very good friend of hers, who is also due around the same time as I am. She feels that it is unlikely that we will go into labor at the same time, since we have virtually the exact same due date (give or take a day), but recognizes that it may happen, and wanted to let us know before making a committment to us and moving forward with us.
What should i do? I don't want to go into this birth process with a shady plan, a midwife I'm not 100% sure is what I need, and a doula who might not be able to be there!?!? It's just a little scary. What do you think?
How far off of a mainland do you live, and how hard would it be to get a midwife on the mainland to travel to you when you're in labor?Are you by chance in Alaska? One of my friends lives on a remote island in Alaska called Wrangell, and the island you live on made me think of my friend. :)
No, I live in New England. :) I have thought about looking into mainland midwives, but being that it will be November, and the weather makes it SO difficult to be able to count on traveling, that it seems just as "iffy" as the rest of it....
Would you settle for a birth center birth if you're this iffy about a homebirth? I guess the only thing you can do about reassuring yourself about a homebirth is taking FULL responsibility of your childbirth.
Just my two cents- I am birthing at a birth center and it's no "safer" than a homebirth- your mw would have all the same tools and equipment at either. Unless it's a hospital birth center, then obviously it's attached to a hospital. Is there a hospital on the island? Any doctors? I'd have a doc lined up for any emergencies in case of an inability to travel, and I'd go for it. I'm sure it will all work out and your doula will be able to be there, and your mw will be just who you need during labor.
Welcome to MDC!!
I birthed my first at a birth center that was staffed with 5 or 6 midwives. You didn't know which one you would get until the day you went into labor. I originally did not like that idea at all b/c I hadn't had the chance to meet all the mw's ahead of time and of the ones I had, I didn't feel like I clicked well with a few of them. But when labor day came, I found that the mw I had was great in that moment. I remember them telling me that everyone seems to just get the mw that was meant for them, but honestly I think it's more of the phenomenon of sort of falling in love with the person that is helping you in that intense and intimate moment. Another thing to take into consideration is that how you relate to your mw during prenatals is not really the same as how you relate to her while you're in labor... at least in my opinion. I would like someone more warm and caring for prenatals, but during the birth- I really don't need that. I want someone who is competant, but hands off. So even if this mw doesn't feel warm and fuzzy to you right now you might be quite surprised that she is exactly what you wanted during the birth.
I know it's still early in our pregnancies for us to be really focused on the actual birth, but have you had the chance to fully examine what roles you want others to play in the birth? For me, with my second, I wanted more space and autonomy. I really didn't want anyone but my dh to be present- I wanted to feel my way through it myself and experience a more unhindered birth. If any of that appeals to you then the fuzziness factor of this mw really doesn't matter much. The mw I ended up hiring for our "in between UC" appeared very cold on the phone. So much so that I didn't even bother to interview her originally. But around 37ish weeks when I realized just what it was that I wanted to get out of the birth, I called her up and met her. It turned out she was exactly what I wanted. She was just matter of fact, no nonesense. She worked a lot with the Amish and Menonite communities in our area and was used to women birthing babies like it was an every day occurance. She was not warm or fuzzy. She was strong and relaxed. She had no strict protocols and was happy to let us do our own thing and be present if needed. She was perfect.
I found this article really helpful to narrow my thoughts and feelings down regarding what I wanted out of birth: http://houstonbirthdoula.com/blog/2010/05/the-holistic-stages-of-labor/
Also it is likely that your friend will be able to doula for you. The chances of you birthing at the same time as this other woman are quite low. Of course there is a possibility, so I would be sure to have back up childcare if that was a role she was going to play, but otherwise I wouldn't worry too much about that. Though I know it's hard not to worry.
Good luck with all your decisions... I've got quite a few to make myself since we just moved to this state this weekend.
Mama to Avalon 1/07 , Austin 1/10 in between and Avery 12/11
I know it's hard to relax about this, but as a birth doula of 2.5 years, I have never had 2 clients go into labor at the same time, even ones where the due dates are very close. *hugs*
Jesus-loving Doula/Birth Photographer Mama to Tor 4/2007, Zion 11/2009, Enoch 11/2011, and Zephyr due 12/13/2013