I've had an inkling for a homebirth for quite a while. For Noah's birth my membranes ruptured at 38 weeks in the middle of the night and the following evening when I realized it wasn't incontenence, we went off to the birth center. It was confirmed to be amniotic fluid but I had no signs of labor at all, no dilation, no contractions. It was off to the hospital for an induction (in hindsight I wish we'd waited until the following morning since I lost the plug & started contracting later that night). The induction was slow, and I was grateful my body had time to adjust, but Noah was born after 2 long nights in the hospital. We were then back at the hospital after a quiet 48 hours at home for jaundice. 24 hours under the billi lights and we were home again... a few hours shy of a week after my water broke. Too much darned time away from home!
This time around I have the first time around to put things into perspective, plus having Noah to think about, plus this baby is due in the most fabulous month of the year in Alaska - July. Flowers in bloom, midnight sun - the walls of even the birth center seem too confining.
But, at the beginning this pregnancy seemed too good to be true since we TTC for Noah for a year and a half and had a m/c in the process. Then I had some bright red bleeding in the first tri and even after that u/s I was still worried.
After a fantastic u/s at 20 weeks I started looking into homebirth a little more and called a direct entry midwife (state certified, do homebirths). Talking to her I found out that in the event of a hospital transfer, her status would be that of doula & she had no relationship with an OB so I'd be subject to the OB on call at the hospital in town with the highest cesarean rate.
For a referral, I met with an OB I'd seen for my m/c and whom had overseen the nurse midwife's practice I had for Noah (my first MW left private practice after too many years of being on call and making little to no profit for midwifery care at the Native hospital). The OB didn't have any relationships with any direct entry midwives and encouraged me to stay with the nurse midwives I was seeing and the birth center birth. I then hesitated for a few weeks.
I don't know why I didn't ask my nurse midwives more questions earlier... I knew that there was a direct entry midwife who practiced in their building and had 'privileges' at their birth center, but I hadn't realized that they have a common patient file system and patients go back & forth between them all the time including.... the nurse midwives that I've been seeing would be the ones attending me in case of a hospital transfer!
I wasn't prepared at all for a hospital transfer with Noah (I risked out of the birth center with ruptured membranes and no signs of labor almost 24 hours later) and know that having a MW attend my induction made a big difference (nice & slow). I figure that if I'm prepared for a transfer this time, I won't have one
If I'd known all this earlier I would have all these decisions made already!
So now I have 2 options (since the direct entry MW is leaving town when I'm 39.5 weeks), co-care with her and another direct entry midwife who is going to be out of town just before the one I talked to. Or co-care with the CNM group of 3 that I've been seeing all along for delivery after 39.5 weeks (which would be a birth center birth). Since I didn't meet the midwife that actually delivered Noah until the day before I went into the hospital (complicated explanation), not knowing WHO will actually deliver this baby doesn't really faze me!
My next appointment will be with the direct entry midwife and we'll talk some more & make a decision. DH is reluctantly on board, I think b/c being at home will be a little more work for him... but Noah's birth was a little scary for him since Noah had 2 umbilical cord wraps around his neck and came out blue, then I bled quite a bit after the delivery. Nothing was done that couldn't be done at home, but as soon as he was born 2-3 more nurses were called into the room.
Thanks for 'listening'!