Anna, do you mean a homebirth midwife? Have you checked your insurance yet? More and more companies are covering this option. I've even heard of women petitioning their insurance companies to cover it, and succeeding.
If insurance absolutely won't cover it, you might be able to find a midwife who will work out some sort of deal with you. The midwife who attended my second birth did trade and payment plans.
Sistermama, the first time around, with just one baby, was way harder for me than the second time around, with baby and toddler, because I was kind of broken in by then. I knew what to expect and how to prepare, so it wasn't a shock to my psyche. So I wouldn't worry, you'll be fine.
I don't care for Ina May's style of midwifing (as portrayed in Spiritual Midwifery) but I sure love reading about that hippie culture. It's funny in some ways (and therefore entertaining) but in others deeply touching and inspiring. After inundating myself with birth education material for two years, it was the only thing I wanted to read at the end of third pregnancy. It has staying power.
Well, yesterday I spent a truly wonderful day with two good mama friends, one of whom is a midwife. (Pamamidwife to be exact
) It was so uplifting to be around some positive female energy. We talked a lot about birth, Pam felt for my fundus and came up with an age of gestation that is pretty close to what I was thinking, and we tried to find the heartbeat with the fetascope but it's still too early. And we watched videos! There were a bunch of scary ones with women on their backs and paid attendants with their hands all over them, stretching their perineums, pulling on the baby, ugh. But there were a few really beautiful ones, one is Birth Day (which you can read a little blurb about here: http://www.ucbirth.com/books.htm
), I really recommend it. The other was an old Bradley video which is out of print, all the births took place in a hospital, but the mothers were in a deep squat with perineum almost touching the ground (usually supported in some way) and the babies were born without anyone touching the mother
or in most cases, even the baby. Once in a while the doctor would support the babies head with one hand, just until it slid onto the ground. Then all hands were off until the mother picked up the baby. It was incredible the difference between the two kinds of births, how much more gentle and non-crisis-like and how the mother's focus was never on anything other than the baby, unlike when the attendant delivers and then hands the baby to mother. It was really edifying to see. I wish all professional birth attendants could watch this video!