How do I decide if this is right for me? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 08-03-2005, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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My first dd was born in a hospital with a horrible induced labor, lots of complications, etc. I am determined to have my next baby in a much different setting. I am due with #2 in April so I should probably decide fairly soon if I want to have a homebirth or go with our local freestanding birthing center. I would prefer to have the same midwife throughout pregnancy. I'm not sure if I am even a candidate for either since I'm pretty overweight (but healthy otherwise). I really don't want to have this baby in a hospital! The birthing center is supposed to be really great, wonderful midwives, etc. but I still keep imagining how much more comfortable I'd be at home. Heck, I can't even sleep away from home! My DH would be ok with whatever I want to do, he trusts my opinion. When I suggested the birthing center to him while pg with my dd, when I told him its very homelike, he said 'why wouldn't you just have the baby at home then?' :LOL How do you decide which place is the best for your 'risk' level? I've come up with a little pro and con list for each place.

Birthing Inn (you can look at their website at
pros-close to hospital if transfer is needed, some emergency equipment
birthing tub, etc on site
my family (mom, IL's etc) would be more 'comfortable' with this
insurance will cover 80% of cost
you can leave soon after birth if you want
they have massage and photography available on site (how cool is that!)
cons-because I'm overweight they may not consider me low risk enough
(not sure if this will happen or not)
having to travel there while in labor, traffic may make it take awhile
leaving dd who will be only 23 months
trying to relax a foreign place

Homebirth...well I'm sure you probably know the reasons why I would pick this, but I worry about being too far to transfer if neccessary (we live in an area that can have bad traffic sometimes, but hopefully could get there within 30 minutes), I'm also assuming my insurance would not cover this, and my mom would FLIP out. My mom loves to use the phrase 'women used to die having babies all the time!', and thinks she would have died while having me in the 'olden days' (I am a nurse and I truly do not believe that she would have died in a modern day homebirth- her uterus inverted when the placenta came out so childbirth to her is a 'medical emergency' ).

I am mostly afraid that I because I am overweight that I am putting myself and the baby at risk doing either one of these things. Logically that doesn't make sense to me but I think I've bought into too much of the crap I've heard in the medical field as a nurse I guess! I really, really would appreciate some input from mamas that have been there and done this!

mama to a sweet girl , & 4 silly boys

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#2 of 16 Old 08-03-2005, 08:00 PM
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I know that being overweight is not a risk factor, at least where my midwives are concerned. I saw several overweight women in their office when I went for my prenatals.

Talk to the midwives you are considering and they'll probably tell you the same thing.

If you want a homebirth, then go for it! If that's where your heart is, make the decision! You deserve to have the kind of birth you want!

As far as your family, I think it's natural if they express concern and ask questions when you decide to do something unorthodox like birth at home (or even a birth center). Let them know you've done your research and know the safety stats so there's no need for them to worry.

You can give them a copy of the homebirth study recently published in BMJ about how safe and satisfying a homebirth is:

That should satisfy most "concerned" family members. If they persist or try to scare you into a hospital, refuse to talk about your birth decisions (polite tactic) or tell them where to shove it (not-so-polite but quite effective tactic)

Good luck in making your decision, and please let us know!
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#3 of 16 Old 08-03-2005, 08:02 PM
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Oh, please! I think all that bull about overweight women automatically being higher risk is just that, bull. I'm not overweight, but I can't see how a healthy woman who does not have any heart or diabetes problems should be considered high risk just based on weight. That just makes no sense.

Who cares where your mom and family will be more comfortable, where will YOU feel the best? You don't even have to tell your mom where you're having the baby until after it's born. Just let her assume you're going to the hospital. I know if I hadn't told my family specifically, that's what they would have assumed. KWIM?

I have a friend who is very overweight and has had more than one homebirth. If you are concerned, find a midwife and talk to her about it. I'm sure a good midwife would give you good information, whether it's what you want to hear or not.
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#4 of 16 Old 08-03-2005, 08:16 PM
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For the most part homebirth midwives carry everything available at a birth center. I would only choose a birth center if 1. I was VERY rural and far from a hospital (more than an hour) or 2. for some reason I couldn't birth at home or wouldn't feel comfortable (in the middle of construction, no running water, living with in-laws...)

Personally I think that homebirth should be the standard of care

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#5 of 16 Old 08-03-2005, 08:27 PM
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I don't know how overweight is "pretty overweight" (and it's none of my business) but my pre-preg BMI is 31 and none of the midwives I interviewed said anything about weight at all, even after weighing me. I think the risking out of the overweight is based on some anti-woman attitudes that have nothing to do with objective science.

I looked into my local birthing center, which is supposedly soooo crunchy, and I immediately knew it was not for me. For one thing, they practice the 24 hour deadline. If you don't give birth in 24 hours they transfer you to the hospital for all the fun stuff based on the clock alone, even without fetal distress or anything. My friend had a birthing center birth and they "started talking about c-section" after just 9 hours of slower-than-average progress in the first stage. She beat the deadline and birthed vaginally, but with an epidural. Despite this, she and her husband said the birth center was "excellent." Whereas I was just horrified hearing about it. I can only speak for myself but what that told me is that the birth centers are for people who are more comfortable with the risk of intervention than I am.
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#6 of 16 Old 08-03-2005, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your votes of confidence! I am so excited that this may actually be something I can do!

I am going to save that article if we end up needing to do some more 'convincing'. I'm sure I could eventually convince them, but my mom was even nervous that I wouldn't be allowed to give birth at the Birthing Inn because of HER bad birth experience I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Originally Posted by wendy1221
You don't even have to tell your mom where you're having the baby until after it's born. Just let her assume you're going to the hospital.
I don't think that will work :LOL My mom lives less than 10 minutes from us and is going to be the support person for my dd while I'm in labor. She and my MIL were both present for the birth of my dd so they are very interested in what is happening this time. I am sure (hopefully) they will come around if I decide I want a homebirth.

I should probably do a little more research into the cost of a HB midwife and how much we will end up paying for the birth center. It may end up being not that big of a difference. We ended up paying thousands for our part of our dd's birth, plus for her being hospitalized at 6 days of age for dehydration/sucking problems (which I believe were due to the epidural I ended up with).

mama to a sweet girl , & 4 silly boys

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#7 of 16 Old 08-03-2005, 09:29 PM
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celestial: see here for more info about plus sized pregnancy: (fwiw, the mama who maintains that size is a hbac and plus size mama herself. )

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#8 of 16 Old 08-03-2005, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by celestialdrmrmama
I should probably do a little more research into the cost of a HB midwife and how much we will end up paying for the birth center. It may end up being not that big of a difference.
I would definitely encourage you to call before jumping to conclusions. I thought homebirth was automatically a lot more expensive, but I was completely wrong! With my BCBS plan, homebirth attended by a CNM (the only legal midwifery in MD) is covered at 100%! No deductible to meet, no co-pay! A hospital birth, on the other hand, would cost me my maximum family out-of-pocket of $1,000 since I'm due in January and that's when the deductibles start over again- and even if I never had a single "procedure" I know it would cost that much just for walking in the door. Isn't that crazy?! So check it may be surprised!

Good luck and know I'm here making a similar decision: homebirth with a CNM i'm not crazy about and a husband who is worried our 15 minute drive to nearest hospital is too far (argh), or a hospital birth with a CNM practice that is well-renowned in the area for waterbirths and low intervention rates, which i'm also in all honesty not so crazy about. So...I'm right there with ya. But I know we can both do it if we want to!
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#9 of 16 Old 08-04-2005, 12:46 AM
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Definitely, definitely call a bunch of homebirth midwives and talk to them about any concerns you have. See what they have to say.

Don't let your mother's fear, or anyone else's fear, steer you away from the best birth for you! It sounds like you'd really like to have a homebirth -- I say go for it!
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#10 of 16 Old 08-04-2005, 02:41 AM
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YOu are the mother, and you are queen in your own home.

If you want a home birth, then have a home is your baby, your body, your healthcare bill $ , your decision, and you will live with the memory and the result.

If you feel safer in the hospital, or in a free standing birth center, then go there.

And have the best and safest birth for YOU, not anyone else.

"Vaccines are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are gonna get - eczema, allergies, diabetes, petit/gran mal seizures, ADEM, SPD, GBS, TPI, POTS, JRA, RA, JPA, CFS, SLE, fibromyalgia, encephalitis, neurological damage, coma, or death."

~paraphrased from "Forrest Gump"~

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#11 of 16 Old 08-04-2005, 04:48 AM
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I agree with pp in saying to do what makes you feel safest. For me that was homebirth even though I am pretty overweight myself. I just made sure I was eating healthy and getting what excercise I could. We chose homebirth even though we had to pay for it and would have been free for a hospital birth. It was so worth it for me. I would have ended up with lots of interventions considering I was vbac and took 2.5 hours of pushing. You just have to consider what is most important to you about this. Birth is such an important event to us as women and even our partners its very hard for me at least that I was cheated the first time. Good luck in deciding what you need to do for yourself.
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#12 of 16 Old 08-04-2005, 12:59 PM
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Well, I haven't been there-done that; but I'm walking the path now. =)

My DH was OK with the idea of a BC birth, but not with a HB. The thing that convinced him was that all the emergency equipment the midwife has at the BC would be brought to the house. And we'd only be exposed to our own germs. If logic works on your in-laws, maybe that would help. If logic doesn't work and you can't keep them in the dark, there's the "this is my decision, thank you for your concern, but my mind's made up" route. I totally agree that their comfort shouldn't affect your choice; you have the say in this, you are the one giving birth.

As for the money aspect, I've learned that no amount of money saved will ever compensate for a crappy birth experience. Our homebirth is coming straight out of our pockets - all $3K. I have no idea how we're going to afford it, just that we will.

As for women dying all the time, I find it ironic that in those scary times of childbirth fever, it was the *doctors* who were causing the deaths. Doesn't raise my confidence in hospital birth, even if they do wash their hands now.

I hope you find a peaceful answer!
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#13 of 16 Old 08-04-2005, 01:54 PM
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(((Echo, Echo, Echo))) You have to find the right choose for you and choose it. Others opinions or fears need to be pushed aside, this is your body, yourbaby, your birth.

birthcenter vs. homebirth: After visiting several and speaking with many different midwives the general consensus was that the difference between BC and HB was just a different location. The midwives all brought the same equipment to both. With BC you are getting their space dirty or whatever. At your home you have the comfort of familiar sourroundings, your own confidence, your own timing, so many less intervention.

Most midwives do not charge for an interview so get on the phone or computer, whichever is quicker and find several to speak too. Address all your questions and concerns. If your DH is as supportive as you say, you've really got it made.

Cost: I know here in Texas Birth center is more expensive than HB. You have to pay a BC fee and the usual midwife fee. HB is just the midwife fee. I have BCBS and they are covering everything. This will be my cheepiest birth yet. I am so excited.

I hope you continue to find outside support no matter what your decision is to birth. You might also consider a birth doula, she can be supportive and encouraging and reasuring when your unsure of your power and strength.
Good Luck.

Laurie, wife to James, mom to 3 girls: 8,5 & 4 and 1 handsome boy,2: planning May 2010
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#14 of 16 Old 08-04-2005, 03:10 PM
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I agree with what eveyone else has to say. I just wanted to chime in with this link with some info on helping you decide if a homebirth is right for you. Also, I'd talk to both the birth center and a few homebirth midwives and see which one I clicked with the most. My main thing with going for a homebirth instead of a birth center whenever #2 comes along is that I don't want to have to drive while in labor and I don't want to have to strap my newborn into a carseat a few hours later to take him home. I want people to come to me and I want to snuggle with my baby, toddler and dh afterwards and not have to worry about going home.

-jeanine and connor almost 2!!! : :
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#15 of 16 Old 08-04-2005, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the links and the support. My DH and sat down and talked about it last night and it first his response was NOT what I expected. He was worried that it would be 'really messy' and that people who came over to the house and heard that the baby was born there would be grossed out : I had no clue that would be his big concern, and never realized he thought that part was a big deal. Anyway, I called my friend who has had 3 wonderful homebirths and got lots of great info from her and a midwife recommendation. I talked to my DH some more later and he decided that he was being silly about the 'mess' issue after I told him our friend's experiences. He then asked lots of good questions about safety, etc and which I was able to answer from alot of the reading I have done (especially here!). He is actually excited about the idea now! We are going to meet with my friend's midwife hopefully and we both can get any of our questions answered. I know there are quite a few great midwives in our area, and I know a few people that have had HBs so I should be able to find someone. I'm still not 100% sure that this will happen, but I'm really considering it at this point. If we decide to have a homebirth my mom can just deal with it :LOL

mama to a sweet girl , & 4 silly boys

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#16 of 16 Old 08-04-2005, 09:59 PM
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I am going to do my next one with a homebirth over a birth center because I am very comfortable with the birthing process and driving to a birth center is no different than driving to a hospital in my opinion.
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