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Old 06-20-2007, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure if I'm just sharing this, asking for opinions, or just typing it out to help myself process everything.

I am currently in massage therapy school. I quit my actual massage class (I was taking massage 101 and anatomy and physiology) a couple of weeks ago because I am transferring to a different massage school that is more focused on natural healing vs. spa style massage. I finish anatomy class on Thursday night. My intention was to take the summer off and start at this other school in Sept.

But, the further I get into this pregnancy, the more and more I can feel myself pining for a homebirth. Longing for one. Dreading every single thought about going to the hospital. I picture this birth, and going to the hospital is not a part of it at all! And when I force that into the picture, it's one filled with dread rather than excitement. Don't get me wrong, I will be ecstatic with the baby no matter where or how the birth takes place- but I don't want the birth to be filled with anxiety and dread- it's not good for me or for baby!

With our current situation, we cannot afford homebirth. No way, no how. Our local CNM that attends them does not have malpractice insurance, therefore no insurance covers her services. And I have Medicaid, and it definitely doesn't!

We can't afford it out of pocket. Last year DH's old boss and former business partner sold the business he and DH owned together (a year or so after DH sold his shares of the co.). Little did we know that when this man was supposed to transfer everything to his name in the sell, he left a $5k loan in DH's name. We both trusted him, as we'd known him for years and were friends with him. He has a serious gambling addiction, and we're actually lucky- the woman that bought DH's shares was left with over $50k in debt due to this man's bad business dealings. So...anyway, we had to take a loan out to cover that. That loan is crippling us. It's what is keeping us from being out on our own. It's a low payment compared to some people's payments for cars, mortgages, etc. but to us it's what is standing between us and our own place.

I have a friend in a similar place (just down the street actually )...her and her boys live with her folks, and she and her boyfriend are trying to save up enough money to move in together. She just got out of college, doesn't have a job yet. We're going to be applying for jobs together this week. Just telemarketing or something similar. Full-time.

Now...I can work until Sept. and start classes like I had planned. That would definitely get us ahead, maybe even pay off our loan. But since we won't move until we have our deposit and at LEAST one month's rent, we wouldn't be able to move yet, and we wouldn't be able to pay for a homebirth.

However, if I put off school until January and work until I'm due, we would be able to move, pay off the loan, AND pay for the homebirth. It'll mean 3 more months of school, which is really nothing (considering that most people tell you not to expect to make enough as a massage therapist to support yourself for at least a year...so financially it's not a huge loss). I'd be starting very soon after the baby is born. But...I can take them to class with me if I need to, and the school is VERY close to my mom's house so she can bring me the baby if I need her to. I've discussed it with the director and she said that they would always be willing to accomodate pumping for me. And I'd be going back in January even if I started in Sept. so it's not like I would have a huge break after baby anyway.

I am just so confused. I'm not concerned about dd while I'm working. She'd be with my parents, and since we live here and I've worked before, she's used to spending time with them and they know how to care for her. It will mean even less time with DH (he works overnights, so we don't see each other often), but that's temporary and we know how to make the most of the little time we have together. I don't like the idea of working, but doing this wil afford me the luxury of being a SAHM the entire time I'm in school (one year), and school is only 2 days a week, so that's good.

I feel like if I don't put off school I'd be being selfish...denying my family the opportunity to be in our own place (and we need that...one room for 3 people on 3 VERY different schedules just doesn't work that well!), making DH put up with a wife who will be on edge because of the hospital birth, and putting more of the financial burden of our family on DH.

But then in the same breath I feel like I'm selfish for wanting to wait. By getting school done sooner with I could possibly find better paying (albeit part-time) work sooner. I also feel that education is very important. But...if it comes down to family or education, I will quite obviously put family first. I always have and I always will!

I feel like I'm being forced to choose between myself and my family, even though logically I know that's not it at all. I have a month to decide what I'm doing...but I'm already anguishing over it now. : I hate making decisions like this- it's so hard for me to just make a decision and stick with it. I am much much much too indecisive and hard on myself.
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:02 AM
 
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Hi hun ... what a pickle hey? i think you need to do what you think is best and by stopping school for a little bit and being able to afford the homebirth does seem best by what your thread says... as it is something you can not change once it happens and then what you need to think is that you dont ever want to look back and regret it if you didnt have the birth you wanted ... do you know what i mean ?... i hope that makes sense ... i hate decisions ... but i find it helps telling myself its not the end of the world, life will still go on no matter what i choose ... and also writing a list of good points and bad points to each also helps me make decisions and its then in black and white and sometimes its clear really what your heart is telling you to do .... and also if schooling is something you can put off and return too when things are a bit better for you and having an homebirth is really something you can not put off then return to ... you need to look at it like that ... but do exactly what you and your DH feel is best. Good luck and best wishes .....
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:12 AM
 
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It sounds like a homebirth is something that's really important to you. I know how you feel. Just a thought, since school is only two days a week, what if you got a full-time summer job, then cut down to part time in the fall?
Say a homebirth costs about $2,000 (That's about what I'm paying). Say you went to school two days a week, went to work two days a week and had three days a week with your family. And let's say your job paid $10 an hour, 16 hours a week, $160 a week, and you worked September, October and November, voila, there's your two grand right there. I'm a firm believer that if something is that important to you, you should try to make it happen instead of living in regret.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:36 AM
 
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I can't tell you what to do, only what I think I would do in a similar situation. I've had a freestanding birth center birth and a homebirth and cannot imagine giving birth in a hospital. We couldn't really "afford" a homebirth when we had one, and a hospital birth would have been covered by Medicaid and dh promised he would advocate for me at the hospital, but I just could not do it. I finally convinced him to homebirth despite the cost, and it did all work out. We paid about half of it and then took a loan for the rest and paid it off by the time ds was a year old.

So, I would have to say that I would do whatever it took to be able to have a chance at homebirth.

I hope you can come to a decision with peace. Best wishes.

Christa
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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Actually, a couple more thoughts...one, not sure how you feel about litigation, but it sounds like you have every right to take your DH's former boss to small claims court for the $5 k. It might be something you just don't want to touch or deal with, and he might not be able to pay it anyway, but it could be something to consider. Also, you were really smart not to default on the loan. Even though it's a burden now, keeping your credit clean is so important. Mine's mediocre and I'm trying to fix it now.
The other thing I just wanted to mention is, I really like the sound of your family. It sounds like you have a lot of good support all around you--parents who help care for their grandbaby, a DH who's working hard to support his family, and you say you know how to enjoy whatever time you have together, and a crunchy school that will help accomodate your new baby. And from the way you write, it sounds like you have an important decision to make and you're carefully considering all the factors and how they'll affect every member of your family, including but not limited to you. With your head on that straight, you'll make a good decision and it'll all work out.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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Old 06-20-2007, 12:25 PM
 
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Have you done a cost vs benefit list? It always helps me to see the two columns running down the page...

Looking at your situation, I think it would be pretty easy for me to say that getting out of debt, getting into your own place, and getting your homebirth would totally be worth that 3 extra months of school later. Heck, I think even just one of the three would be enough for me to make the decision to postpone school for a few months!

Plus, I don't know your tuition situation, but have you checked into scholarships/grants for women who have had to postpone their education? There used to be quite a few of those--dunno if one semester is a long enough postponement to qualify, though....

IMO, it sounds like there are so many benefits to the postponement, and only one benefit--getting finished sooner--to not postponing.

I know it's hard to give up on a dream, but for me, the homebirth issue would totally trump the school issue. 3 months of schooling (and possibly, you could finish that in the summer semester, rather than having to go next fall, too?) would be a sacrifice I'd easily make to know that I could give birth at home. What does your dh think you should do? How would he feel about a homebirth, even if you were able to pay for it OOP? Is he on board, or would you have to talk him into it?

Sarah, Queen of Hearts, raising a Full House with Michael, King of my Heart!
DS (2/02), DD (3/04), DS (1/06), DD (12/07), and DS (3/10)
~~*~~Not your typical Pastor's Wife!~~*~~
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by newmamatobe View Post
Actually, a couple more thoughts...one, not sure how you feel about litigation, but it sounds like you have every right to take your DH's former boss to small claims court for the $5 k. It might be something you just don't want to touch or deal with, and he might not be able to pay it anyway, but it could be something to consider. .
If we could, we would. But the loan was officially still in DH's name, so we were legally accountable. We allowed this man to leave the loan in his name because a) he was making the payments on time each month, b) if we hadn't DH wouldn't have been able to get out from under the business and it would have cost us a lot more than the money it did, and c) DH worked for him so if he forgot a payment Dh was allowed to simply take it out of the drawer and pay it himself. Once the man sold the business that all went out the window, obviously. And he couldn't pay it back. He has two kids, work(ed) at a hotdog stand and got arrested for stealing food from there to feed his family...and is still seen regularly at the casinos. I'm not even mad at him anymore, and wouldn't do that to his kids even if I could now, kwim? They are really the only ones we'd be punishing.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SheBear View Post
IMO, it sounds like there are so many benefits to the postponement, and only one benefit--getting finished sooner--to not postponing.

I know it's hard to give up on a dream, but for me, the homebirth issue would totally trump the school issue. 3 months of schooling (and possibly, you could finish that in the summer semester, rather than having to go next fall, too?) would be a sacrifice I'd easily make to know that I could give birth at home. What does your dh think you should do? How would he feel about a homebirth, even if you were able to pay for it OOP? Is he on board, or would you have to talk him into it?
IMO, it seems the same way. There's too much good that can come from putting school off those 3 months.

DH is 100% on board for a hb. He wasn't at first, but when we were pregnant last Sept we met with the hb midwife in town (CNM) and he was able to ask her all of his questions, she showed him the emergency equipment she brings to each birth, etc. It calmed his fears and really got him on board for the whole thing. If I thought I would be comfortable, we'd plan for the hb even if we were here at my parents' house. There's just no way to use a tub downstairs (where we are) and I need the tub to labor in. I could be upstairs, but I wouldn't want my parents here and I don't want to put them out of their house all day with nothing to do...it just feel rude, lol.
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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Are you SURE that you can't get a homebirth covered by medicaid? Medicaid has covered both my birth center birth and will be covering my homebirth with my current baby. They don't cover CPM's, or direct entry midwives, but they do cover all services done by a CNM either at home or in a hospital or birth center. And that should be all state medicaid programs, because it's a part of the federal statute defining medicaid's services.

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Are you SURE that you can't get a homebirth covered by medicaid? Medicaid has covered both my birth center birth and will be covering my homebirth with my current baby. They don't cover CPM's, or direct entry midwives, but they do cover all services done by a CNM either at home or in a hospital or birth center. And that should be all state medicaid programs, because it's a part of the federal statute defining medicaid's services.
Nope. She doesn't take medicaid or other insurance because she doesn't have any malpractice insurance and they won't pay her if she doesn't.
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:35 PM
 
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Aaah, so it's an issue with your specific midwife. I get that. And if you've found someone you have a great relationship with, I can totally see staying with her regardless of the costs.

Sorry, it's just that helping people better use the medicaid program is one of the things I do professionally (well, when I'm not unemployed...) and I hear a lot of people saying "Oh, medicaid won't cover that..." when it's totally not true. Mainly, I think, because people assume that because it's a government program it must be crappy. Which doesn't really say anything nice about our government, but at least isn't true in the case of MA.

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:00 PM
 
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My "gut" says pay off your debt, get your own place, and go for the hb! Waiting 3 mos for school is nothing when you think about the lifetime you'll have to pursue your career. And this is your only chance for a hb with this baby. Plus I just think the peace of mind you will gain from being debt-free, having your own space and having the type of birth you want will make up for any discomfort waiting longer to start your career will cause. It's really a win-win, IMO.
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