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#1 of 16 Old 02-02-2007, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm 22 weeks along and just in the past week am looking into changing doctors and/or considering hb. Actually, what I really want is a hb, but dh has reservations.

My last appt. with my OB, she got really defensive and irritated with me and accused me of arguing with her (so not true! was simply wanting to discuss) when I asked about routine hep lock placement, different positions for labor & delivery, cord clamping, and use of pitocin for placenta delivery. Needless to say, I was not happy and came home and immediately started looking into switching drs and finding info about homebirth in my area.

So, I found a great dr. who is very "natural-minded" and has an excellent rep. with local midwives. So, current plan is to use new dr. and deliver at hospital with a doula.

But, my heart aches for a hb. The more I think about having to go to the hospital, the sadder I get. Although dh has some reservations about a hb, he said he ultimately wants me to be happy, and that he was "in" for a hb; but then he keeps telling/asking me about everything that could go wrong, and he is so scared of anything happening to me. (He's a physician, so he has seen the worst). I respect his feelings, too, though, so I just feel torn. And I don't want to feel like I "bullied" him into something he's not comfortable with; and I also think how ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE it would be if we did a hb and something happened to me or the baby. Never, ever, ever would I forgive myself.

We are seeing a midwife for a consultation soon. I told dh to ask her EVERYTHING that he could think of, and what she would do, and what would happen. However, there's also the very yucky fact that I have an HMO (that the mw told me she has always been unsuccessful in getting any coverage from) that does not contract with midwives, much less pay for a homebirth (or birth center for that matter). Midwife's cost is $3900; hospital co-pay with HMO is $250.

I don't think I really have a question here, maybe I'm just looking for some consolation. I don't know if I should post this in another forum or not, but I thought this was the best place to start...
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#2 of 16 Old 02-02-2007, 06:47 PM
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Make your dh make a list of everything he's worried could go wrong.

Get a copy of Henci Goer's Obstetric Myth vs. Research Reality.

Look up every concern- I bet most, if not all will be covered.

If you want a homebirth, have a homebirth. You can never get a re-do on a birth experience.

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#3 of 16 Old 02-02-2007, 07:43 PM
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I'm 28 weeks along, and we're switching from a midwife attended birth at a birth center to a home birth with a midwife.

I don't have the time to link to stats right now (checking in from work), but transfer rates (home vs. birthcenter) and c-section rates (home vs. birthcenter vs. hospital originated deliveries) go up as you move from home to birthcenter to hospital originated deliveries. Basically, you're more likely to have interventions if you're at a hospital...and those interventions are not tightly linked to actually needing them (there's a ton of stuff that complicates it...malpractice, hmo's, what type of hospital, how the docs get paid, etc....that have nothing to do with your birth).

I'm leaving the birth center, with support from my main birth center midwife, for a few reasons similar to yours:
- I've always wanted a home birth, and no better time than the present to have one.
- The birth center, because of insurance, has become closely tied to the traditional hospital/medical model of birth. Transfer rates and c-section rates have gone up since I had my DD there 2.5 year ago.
- There are more midwives at the birth center now, and the likelyhood of birthing with someone who doesn't know me has increased. I had this happen last time, and although I had a fabulous birth, there were issues that probably would not have occurred if I had a sole provider who knew me.
- Related to the NY Times article in the last week or two (talking about the increase in diagnoses b/c the more you look, the more you find...nobody is perfect...and you don't always need to know about them), the birth center is now on higher alert for 'risks' that take you out of the birth center for births. I had my first bout of white coat hypertension (after talking to my favorite midwife and reading for a while my bp went from 130/90 to 96/52)...I knew something had to change for me.

You will birth best where you are most comfortable.

Ok, one last thing (sorry this is a babbling book)...$$. We will have to pay out of pocket for a homebirth v. *nothing* for the birth center. Still, I've come to terms with the fact that this is what is best for us. If it costs money, and I have that money, I will spend it. My baby's birth will only occur once in our lifetime.
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#4 of 16 Old 02-02-2007, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by scbegonias View Post

You will birth best where you are most comfortable.
This is exactly what my favorite doula says! Women need to be comfortable in their birth space. Some women are more comfortable in the hospital and some are more comfortable at home. It's okay to explore your options.

Also, the cost of a homebirth can feel prohibitive. Consider though that your $250 co-pay to the hospital may only cover some of the expenses. When my son was born in the hospital I paid our co-insurance fee. THEN, I received a bill from every radiologist, pediatrician, lab, anesthesiologist, etc who came within 100 feet of my son or me. I swear the hospital janitor sent a bill! I ended up spending a few hundred dollars more covering the little 10-20% co-pays to all the people and labs involved. Long story short, talk with your potential midwife about insurance reimbursement. She may be able to help you get some money back from your HMO. When you look at getting some money back next to the nickel and diming that sneaks in with a hospital birth, the cost of homebirth versus hospital birth may not seem so far apart.

As for dads, I have not homebirthed yet but I can say EVERY homebirth mama I have met in the last few years says her partner has lots of fears regarding homebirth. The men seem to need to have their fears acknowledged by mama and often the midwife. I think knowing where we will be comfortable birthing is instinctive to the mama but dads are not growing a baby and often don't have that instinct yet. I think you are absolutely right to have your husband to talk with your midwife about every single last fear he has and then see how he feels.
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#5 of 16 Old 02-02-2007, 08:34 PM
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I just wanted to comment on your observation that if anything happened at the homebirth, you would feel horrible. Can you examine that on the flip side? What about if you had a hospital birth and something awful happened due to being in the hospital (an intervention, incompetant care, etc,), would you be able to forgive yourself?

, , , and
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#6 of 16 Old 02-02-2007, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sebarnes View Post
I just wanted to comment on your observation that if anything happened at the homebirth, you would feel horrible. Can you examine that on the flip side? What about if you had a hospital birth and something awful happened due to being in the hospital (an intervention, incompetant care, etc,), would you be able to forgive yourself?
excellent point!!

people flock to the hospitals because they somehow feel (unconciously maybe) that they can hand over the responsibility of a "life" to someone else...

and as my mw said to me, "you can't have a sick baby and a healthy baby at the same time, if there is something wrong, I will know"...
so a competent mw will transfer you to the hospital if she sees something...but in most cases you'll be much safer at home!!

and there is really really something to be said for mother's intuition, especially when you're pregnant.....

it sounds like you know exactly what you want but you're allowing outside voices to interfere (I think we all do this, especially parents).....
while your dh's concerns need to addressed, when it comes down to it, it's your body and you need to choose what you know in your heart is right...

read Janet Balaskas's "Preparing for Birth with Yoga".....that book should be a must-read for every pregnant woman (even if you're not into yoga, it's her philosophies that are so true)
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#7 of 16 Old 02-03-2007, 12:47 AM
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Its okay. Both of you need to do some reading and research and meet with the mw. You will find out all you need to know. There really is not much that can go drastically wrong that the mw or you can not handle.
It is our society who makes us think birth is broken and doctors have to fix it.
You were made to do this.
I highly reccomend Birthing From Within by Pam England.

Good for you for listening to yourself!!! It'll be okay.
Can't wait to keep up with you on this journey.
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#8 of 16 Old 02-04-2007, 02:02 AM
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Ask the midwife to provide you with refernces to a family or two that she has had complications with. Things like transport for prolonged labor or a baby who had problems at birth, or a postpartum hemorrhage. Then talk with them about how they felt she handled the situation.
If she gets defensive, tries to rationalize evrything, or evades the questions, you'll know she's not the midwife for you.

Also remember that most transports from home or birth center are not for emergencies but emergent problems like maternal exhaustion or pain management. It is not the proximity to the hospital that provides safety- it is the knowledge and skills of the provider and her traveling with the family if there is a need for transport. See the British Medical Journal 6/18/05 for an excellent article about the safety of birth outside the hospital.

No one provider has probably had to deal with all the complications your DH can think of, but the MW's knowledge and lack of panic in dealing with a situation appropriately may reassure him that she will be able to spot any emergent problems and deal with them in the way that ensures a safe birth for mom and baby.

Wife, mother, midwife, triathlete
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#9 of 16 Old 02-04-2007, 03:46 AM
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Hi BellaLuv!

We are 21 weeks along. 21 weeks ago, DH and I started out thinking that a OB/hospital birth was best for us. After all, everyone we knew birthed in hospitals, and all of my friends and family were full of "helpful" referrals to their favorite OB.

We started seeing an OB who was very cordial with us, but VERY firmly told us that he REQUIRED IV fluids, REQUIRED constant fetal monitoring, STRONGLY ENCOURAGED epidurals, and "only gave episomities to women who needed them, and first time moms always need them". He told me this on my first visit, right after they had me sign all of these forms that stated that I knew that cesarian section, forcepts delivery, and episomities were "routine" procedures that "may" be needed during the birth. I had only done a little bit of research at the time, so I was very timid with my questions.

After bursting into tears after this first visit, I hit the books and started reading. After about a month of research, I started sharing all of my newfound information with my DH, who thought I was absolutely crazy for even considering going outside a hospital. He even said something like, "if you do a home birth, and something happens to your or the baby, I don't know how I would feel towards you". I responded by saying, "If you make me do a hospital birth and they take my baby away and cut me open and rob me of a good experience, I will never forgive you". Believe me, these are very strong sentiments from two people who really, really love each other.

Two days later we met with two midwives who run a birth center, and it is an experience I will never, ever forget. Dh said it was like being on an episode of The View. They were clearly in charge, and my husband really admired that about them. They bomarded him with studies and books, showed him around the birth center, showed their their suite of drugs, emergency equipment, etc., and talked about their transfer rates and transfer procedures. They throughly explained his role, their role, my role, and then quietly left us and some other expectant parents to eat dinner in a room full of beautiful birth photos and framed thank you notes from their clients. They were like fairy godmothers, and they were the best saleswomen I have ever seen. After our two-hour meeting, my husband looked at me and said, "I'm still not 100% on board, but I can see why you want to do it, and I completely support whatever decision you make, and I think this would be a good choice." It was amazing!!

As much as I loved the birth center, two months ago we decided not to use their services becuase they were 45 miles away (a 2 hour drive in so. california rush hour traffic), and their fee was $6,000.00. So, I started looking for a local center, and was very, very dissapointed with what was available.

So then I started researching homebirth, something that 21 weeks ago I would never have considered in a zillion years!! We have found a lovely midwife who I am very comfortable with. I am covered under two insurance companies, but becuase both plans are HMOs, NEITHER will cover homebirth/midwife services. So, the plan is that I will continue to see horrible OB for tests and for registering at the hospital (just in case), but all of my "real" care will come fromthe midwife. Her fee isn't cheap ($2800.00), but if we scrape a bit, we can afford it (just barely).

BellaLuv, what I'm trying to say is the same thing that others are telling you: money isn't the most important thing, and giving birth where you feel most comfortable is something you deserve. Let the midwives talk to your husband, and although you can't expect him to do all of the research you're doing, try sharing little bits of information here and there with him. The midwife will have wonderful answers to his questions. I honestly still can't believe how much my DH changed after talking to the midwives! Please let me know if your DH would like to talk to my DH as I'm sure my DH would have some very honest and candid insight to share.

Good luck to you, and I truly hope everything turns out well.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer"
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#10 of 16 Old 02-05-2007, 02:25 PM
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Welcome to MDC! I noticed that you're still fairly new here and wanted to be sure that you saw the sticky at the top of the HB forum about getting HB covered by ins. There are some sample letters that might help.

DH and I are TTC #2 right now and even though we're in a similar situation with reimbursement ($100 hospital deductible and much more for a HB with a MW) we will only plan another HB. As DH said "It's worth every penny" - and he's a very skeptical person *and* was against HB before I convinced him with data and stats. He's the biggest HB advocate now

Henci Goer's Obstetric Myths vs Research Realities is a must-read! I'm seconding that suggestion!
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#11 of 16 Old 02-06-2007, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I can't thank all of you enough for your comments, suggestions, and support. I felt better just reading all of the responses! I'll definitely have dh check out some of the birthing books.

Sparklett, I think I live in your area, too. Would you mind pm'ing me if you don't mind sharing some of your info.? I can let you know who I've found, too.

As for the comment I made about feeling horrible about something happening in a hb, I suppose what I may have meant was that EVERYONE ELSE would blame it on the hb, whereas they wouldn't "blame" anyone if something happened at the hospital. For the record, I would be might p*** if something happened at the hospital, too (especially, of course, something stemming from one of their "interventions")

I meet with a new OB tomorrow and a midwife this weekend, so I'll try to keep you all posted.

thanks again!
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#12 of 16 Old 02-06-2007, 10:06 PM
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My dh was totally at peace with having a hb after he met our midwives. Good luck mama!

aka ~lioneyes~ :: In love with DH :: DD 5 :: new sweet baby girl 3/14/2011~ both born at home in water
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#13 of 16 Old 02-07-2007, 11:57 PM
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I switched to hb with mw at 28 weeks, after OB did the same thing and accused dh and I of being difficult by asking questions. Maybe your dh can talk with other former clients of mw...see what their feelings and outcomes were. My dh has a son from a former relationship that was born in a hospital and he said that after being at that birth, he realized how pointless it was to have a *healthy* birth in the hospital with DRs that are only there for 10 min anyways.
The mw has been a dream and I'm at 37 weeks today. I wish you the best of luck. You really do have to go with what you want. In the end, you are birthing, not your dh. I know you want him to fully and truthfully support you, but you have to be comfortable with your final decision too.

good luck!

and about the price difference. Although $3000+ is a chunk of change, in the end it's really not that much for peace of mind, body, soul! Just think, most of us spend that kind of money on an unnecessary car upgrade every year (or something like that).
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#14 of 16 Old 02-16-2007, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Great news! We're on for a hb!! We met with the midwife over the weekend and had a really great visit with her. He never doubted the safety of a hb, just was concerned about what steps are taken if trouble arises. I think we were both a little surprised to find out how well equipped the mw is when she arrives at the home. Anyway, he was more comfortable with the whole thing after meeting with her. Now, just have to come up with $3900....

oh, and decide on whether to tell the family too :

thanks all for your input on this matter
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#15 of 16 Old 02-16-2007, 12:25 PM
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Congrats! Good luck on figure out how to tell your family--I hope they're supportive!
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#16 of 16 Old 02-16-2007, 04:29 PM
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You may want to remind your husband that:

-- "'Of course you've seen "the worst", homebirthers that have no problems don't go to hospitals!'"

--"'Of course you've seen "the worst", perfectly fit people don't go to hospitals!'"

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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