Hi all! I'm so glad to have found this community!
First - a little background on me: I'm Lindsey, 31 years old, due Dec. 7th with my 2nd baby, mother to DD who is almost 2. She was delivered by my DP in the car on the way to the freestanding birthing center where we were supposed to have her. :) She was an impatient little thing!
We are living in the middle of nowhere PA right now and I'm really unhappy with my birthing options. I've been seeing midwives who are part of an OB practice. I have known from the beginning I DO NOT want to have this baby in a hospital, but it's been looking like my only option. I was thinking of just hiring a doula and going to the hospital at the last possible minute (it's only about 2 minutes from my house).
Well, today I had an appointment and went over a few of my concerns. First, I am not promised midwife when I go into labor. I get whoever is on call. They have 3 midwives and 8 OBs. :( Second - DD is not allowed to visit while I'm in the hospital. Well, that's not entirely true - they said she can "drop by to say 'hi'". I am very much not ok with that. I am never away from her. Lastly - she told me today they wouldn't let me go over 41 weeks. Now, I had DD at 39 weeks so maybe I have nothing to worry about, but I'm not comfortable with this style of care, ya know?
Here is my issue. I would love a homebirth, but can't find any homebirth midwives in the area who take my insurance and we are super strapped for cash, so out of pocket is not an option. I am thinking about going the unassisted homebirth route now. Maybe with a doula present (I did find one online who is also a RN)? My labor with DD was a breeze but I guess I shouldn't assume this one will be, too.
What are your thoughts/opinions on this?
Thank you in advance and I look forward to getting to know all of you in the coming months!
Such a tough situation not to be able to find the kind of care you want, and so essential to at least try to get the birth experience you long for! It sounds like you've already had an uneventful UC, however unplanned it was. Choosing UC is, I think, something you (and dp) should be really on board with before committing, but you can also learn lots and lots before December, and get really comfortable with it, if it's what you wanted (it's my first, and I'm planning UC, but it's not something you can push on someone, you know?). You can't, however, rely on a doula for medical care, and I'm fairly certain they are legally prohibited from providing it, although of course they can still support you in birth.
(And be sure to check out the UC forums here, if you're interested)
Another option to consider is a lay midwife-- a midwife who is not recognized by the government. It seems like something that you would only really find out about by word of mouth, and surely you'd want to hear from lots of good references before you hire someone, but you might also find what you're looking for.
Whatever you decide, I'm wishing you peace and a happy pregnancy!
If you got he hospital route:
They can say they 'won't let' you go over 41 weeks, but what do they do if you just don't show up for the induction? I doubt they come to your house and drag you in kicking & screaming. At least it's something to tell yourself when you worry... I doubt you'll have to cross that bridge. I had my kids at 38 & 39 weeks and my MW says that when you've had one earlier, you tend to have them all by the due date, and people who go late, tend to go late for all of their babies.
As for your DD visiting... would you want her at the birth? Here, many moms are released as little as 10 or 12 hours after they have their baby. Maybe you'll have the baby in the evening after DD is in bed, she can visit you in the morning, and you'll be released by afternoon... I know you can't predict how it'll go, but it might not be so bad? The OB?MW aren't going to be there much after the baby is born... it's really up to the nurses about visitors... what they say and what happens could be two different things. I bet a lot of people 'overstay' their welcome, and the nurses let it slide as long as they aren't disturbing the other patients. Do you know any moms that had kids there that you could ask what it's really like?
~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.
No thoughts on a UC really, but I agree... If you go to 41 weeks and they schedule you for induction, there is no saying you have to go in. Plus, I am guessing you won't go that far anyhow. Also, you could think about giving them a date of LMP that is a week off to buy yourself some time. As far as visitors, you could also check yourself out AMA as soon after the birth as you feel comfortable. I have had some friends do it even with the blessing of their provider not long after the birth when it was their second or third.
I'm in a similiar boat, though our lack of midwife is from availability, not funding. The thought of birthing in a hospital makes me cry. I've gotten more adjusted to it over the past few weeks and months, but it still makes me sad. I would rather UC than have an OB attended hospital birth, but DH isn't ready for that, so I'm stuck with a hospital birth and hoping somehow that DH will give in once we're actually in labor and I can "oops" at home.
It's a hard place to be in, and as you've already found, so many things to consider.
Doula mama, medic daddy and Tenley Harper born naturally 11/29/11
No way would I go to anywhere that wouldn't let my other kids in. #2 was a hospital transfer and I literally refused to push until my sister got back from taking DS #1 to get food. My nurse was trying not to laugh because she knew I fake pushed.
I would really look into Doula and an accidental UC if things are going well.
C-Section rate in my town (one of the crunchiest in the nation) is 30% - I refuse to go to this hospital short of a life or death situation and then I might just say bring the paramedics to me.
- you can elect to not schedule an induction. you can call in sick for your induction. you can tell them that day doesn't work for you. you can call in and say your car broke down. you can call in and say your child care cancelled. you can call in and say you stubbed your big toe, lol. I have ladies in my personal circle of friends who rescheduled their scheduled C-Section 4-5 times in an effort to allow themselves to go into a labor (without so much as a phone call from their OB), and a woman who didn't show up for prenatal appointments after 38 weeks. NOT ideal, but workable.
- your daughter can come anyway. What is the reasoning for this rule? Where I live, they had a ban on children visiting the hospitals all winter because there was a terrible flu problem and they were trying to protect patients, which is understandable, but this seems kind of random.
- assuming everything is OK after the birth, you can go home. It's called checking out AMA (absent medical advice) and they might want you to sign something to cover their butts legally, but you can leave whenever you want. You're only 2 minutes away, if something happens once you get home, you're pretty close, you know?
- if you want your DD at the birth, that might be trickier, but you can always decide to push the rules.
The problem with all of this is that it moves birth into the realm of War Zone, and that's not ideal at all. But if you end up NEEDING to do the hospital, you do have options.
I second trying to find a lay midwife, though. In PA, especially if you're anywhere near Amish communities, it should just be a matter of asking around. Lay midwives are often less expensive, and many will work on a sliding fee or work with you on a payment plan.
I have been in a similar situation and will be again for this baby. I see a midwife/OB at a women's health center that is my only option. I either deliver in the hospital or I deliver alone in my bathtub.
It is not all doom and gloom -- I have had 3 beautiful births in hospitals. All of them unmedicated and as natural as can be. My husband was with me and I felt loved and cared for the whole time. The midwife/OB was never much of a key player for any of my births, but I always had wonderful nurses.
What I can say is this (if you choose the hospital route):
Go to the hospital at the very end stages. I stagger in heaving, panting and leaking amniotic fluid on the floor. It is a sight to behold. The advantage is that I am not there long enough for anyone to try to push any obnoxious advice on me. It is too late for them to offer drugs and too late for them to do anything other than catch a baby.
Be LOUD! Be very loud and very clear about what you want. This is your birth, your baby. I want the lights turned down low, no one tells me to push, I will not lay on my back, and I want my husband near me.
Inductions -- I have been scheduled twice for inductions. I don't show up. I tell them I won't show up. I'll show up when I am in labor. My OB tells me that he has to schedule the induction for the insurance companies. Not my insurance, HIS. He is the one who is liable and can be sued later if there are complications.
About your dd -- no advice there. I have never wanted my kids at the births. I am groaning and heaving and bleeding and pooping (let's be honest). I really just want to focus on pushing out this new babe. Later? Oh yah! I totally want my kids to pile in and see the new baby, but only after I am cleaned up and rested.
And I am with you -- I think this style of care stinks. The only local midwife (a real midwife!) was recently arrested and is currently awaiting trial. Stinks, stinks, stinks.
Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves