Ever since DS2 was born, I said if I were to have a third, I would have a home birth. My labor was lovely with #2, the hospital I delivered at was extremely friendly and all my wishes and demands were met without question. But since I had an intervention free 2nd birth, I said there was no point in going to the hospital.
We have since moved and I found a wonderful and extremely competent pair of ladies to catch our third. I never second guessed my choice, and DH is EXTREMELY supportive of our choice. Well, a minor complication (pinched nerve due to sacroiliac joint dysfunction) required a check at the backup/transfer hospital (they were concerned about a kidney stone). This is a hospital that is more than an hour from my house and I ruled out simply due to the drive.
Oh my is all I have to say. I think this hospital (which caters to many Mennonite women) is the answer to many women's dreams. Gorgeous, airy and bright, extremely educated nursing staff prepared to help you with a med free birth, birthing tubs in every room, etc. There is only one practice that delivers there too, so even in an emergency I will be seeing a doctor I have met before. Granted it is small, but it is wonderful (oh and the food freaking ROCKS!).
In the end, I don't know what to do. Now that I know a hospital exists that could meet my every want and need, the idea of going there and being catered to for 2 days after delivery sounds a bit heavenly. I wouldn't have the look back concern on "what if" and I would know the doctors prior to delivery if there was a complication. Alternatively, it is an hour away, I have long early stage labors usually, but who knows what this one will bring and I do trust my midwives.
I just need some direction. I spoke to the m/w's today and they told me to meet the other doctors in the practice and see what I think (they are the m/w's backup doctors, so they have a lot of experience with the practice). DH says he would be so proud if we did it at home, but I have to be comfortable about the process or it is going to result in a long drawn out labor (he is a smart man). I don't even have friends who are willing to weigh in to help me one way or another because even if they think I have lost my mind, they know I wouldn't do anything to hurt my baby and so I think a home birth is safe, etc. I did pros and cons and I still don't feel like I have a better grasp on what is the "right" answer in this situation.
There's no shame in choosing a hospital birth if if that is where your gut is telling you to go. What I find most impressive about this facility is that you WILL know your provider before you give birth. I can't tell you how many women I meet who establish a great relationship with a trustworthy OB only to be thrown over to whomever is "on call" when the Moment of Truth hits.
For me personally, I would rule it out based solely on the drive. But I hate hate HATE being in the care while in labor, when every tiny chip in the asphalt feels like a massive pothole and exacerbates the pain of each contraction. One hour of that experience would be my personal hell.
I'm not going to tell you which to choose for the obvious reason that no one can make that choice for you, but I hope my verbal meandering adds something productive to your decision-making. (Doubt it though ) Good luck!!
So make your lists, and have your DP make a list too, and see if that helps you decide. Good luck!
If you really feel most comfortable in that hospital then that's the place for you. It does sound like a very very good one. Myself, I couldn't picture even the best place away from home being as comforting, convienant, and confidence boosting as staying on my own turf. But that's a personal decision and is going to vary for everyone. Do find out what their routine procedures are, they're probably good about it at this one but just check that they work for you (heplock IV ports, fetal monitoring options, any restrictions when you can be in the water, walking around, what you wear, eating, being patient about a slow labor).