Help me choose a homebirth midwife - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-07-2007, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so, this will be my second homebirth. I have to choose between three midwife options. I am : trying to decide. So if anyone has time to read an obnoxiously long post, please weigh in!

Listed in the order I'm interviewing them:

Option 1: Independent midwife, no apprentices or partners, although she's had them in the past. Practices out of her home about an hour away from us. Would come to my home for prenatals. Is very, very flexible and casual. Is willing to do as much or as little prenatal care and I want--completely my choice, no negotiations necessary. Works a lot in the Mennonite community. Really, really casual and cool. Very, very experienced. Charges $2200.

Option 2: Practice of two midwives and three apprentices about an hour and a quarter away from me. I used them for my first birth and so I know them pretty well, although all their apprentices are new. I would have to travel to them for prenatals, which they do in their office. They strongly prefer to do prenatals at least every six weeks, but are ok with skipping weight and urine dips--two things I dislike and prefer to monitor myself. They charge $2100 but are the most expensive option because of all the travelling expenses to get to their office for prenatals.

I had a really good birth with them. A few months after the birth it seemed too interventive, but when I talked to her last week it turns out that my birth was the most interventive birth she'd ever done! She uses my birth as an example of how interventions can prevent transport. (DD was posterior/asynclitic, very high. For most of my 33 hours labor my cervix was not even reachable. She, with my permission and at my request, pulled my cervix forward, then several hours later manually turned the baby's head, then I requested AROM to try to keep the baby from shifting back. After that she was born within a half-hour). So, in the long run, I'm very happy. I'm very confident with them. But the drive! The expense! And they are a bit um, regimented when it comes to checking HB and such in labor--they just have specific routines they prefer to adhere to.

Option 3: Haven't met her yet. Independent midwife, but she often (from what I hear) brings a backup/assistant with her. She lives about 35 minutes from my home. She would come to me for prenatals. I've heard things about her I didn't like as much--kind of regimented too, has routines she wants to stick to, etc. But I really liked her over the phone--she seemed really respectful of my schedule and how busy I am and such, and seemed *exactly* the right temperment for me--not busy, but not soft-spoken either. She charges (I hear) $1500. At that price I might be able to afford a really nice birthing pool too.

So....I'm really so split on the matter. I've got really nice, well-matched temperments and really affordable, or the same practice I birthed with before who went above and beyond to keep me from transport/c-section (a certainty in a hospital with the complications I had) but really expensive and new apprentices to get to know, or a super-cool, super laid-back, very, very hands-off traditional midwife who is priced mid-range and who we really like.

Gah. Such decisions. I'm so lucky to have so many choices, but how to choose!!!???
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#2 of 8 Old 06-07-2007, 06:35 PM
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Sounds like a hard decision to make. DO you think the issues you had in your first birth will repeat? If so, I would go w/ the one you had last time, since they are experienced w/ the situation, and htey also kept you from transferring last time. IF yours was the most medicalized she had attended, she really does sound pretty good IMO. If you do not think your situation will repeat, then I guess I'd go w/ the one w/ the best attitude. I have to say you are so lucky to have so many to choose from! THere are so few in my area, I have only found one so far, and she's kinda "under the table" type who attended a friends HB 2 years ago. B/c of this we are going w/ an OB. And even then my OB's practice is the only one within 2 hours (it's an hour away). Thankfully it's a small hospital and they do abide by my wishes!
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#3 of 8 Old 06-07-2007, 07:51 PM
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wow. That IS a tough one.
I'm still making midwife choices, too. I haven't even met with them yet (I used a birth center the first time, but want to do it at home this time).

Definitely go with your gut over everything. Definitely meet with the third lady before going that route.
Hmm... I dunno... are there lots of good references for that first midwife?
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#4 of 8 Old 06-07-2007, 08:18 PM
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I hate driving in general, and gas prices are SO high, so personally, I wouldn't go with the second option.

Based on your descriptions, I would personally choose the first midwife. When I start interviewing midwives (not until after we move), I'll be looking for someone totally laid back, who will mostly leave me alone during the birthing, and possibly allow me to catch the baby while watching nearby.

Since this is your decision (not mine ), I would suggest going with the one you feel most comfortable and compatible with. This is your baby and your birthing, so overall.. price shouldn't be an issue, you should choose the one who will provide the best birthing environment.

Good luck!!

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#5 of 8 Old 06-07-2007, 10:51 PM
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Can you get phone numbers of other mothers who have birthed with each midwife, as references? Or sometimes, midwives hold monthly mommy meetings where all their babies can meet eachother, maybe you could go there. You might be able to get a few more opinions that way?

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#6 of 8 Old 06-08-2007, 12:56 PM
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I can't get over how cheap they all are!!!! Prices are way higher here.

I say wait for your interviews, take notes, and see what you think then.

(Personally the first sounds the best to me.)

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#7 of 8 Old 06-09-2007, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Yep, we're pretty lucky here in some ways. Final interview tomorrow morning. I'm really leaning towards #1. In some ways I am drawn to #2 because I already have a relationship with them, but the thought of the long drive so many times is just so daunting! My schedule is way too full for that to not be completely insane.
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#8 of 8 Old 06-09-2007, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I chose!!!!

I just hired midwife #3. I soooo never thought I would end up with her, but we just really, really clicked. She is more or less my dream midwife in that I feel like I can just with her and also really see eye-to-eye on care practices.

I'm excited. Of course, I gotta call the other ones now

Oh, and btw, I heard a HB!!!!!!! At 7-1/2 weeks!!!! She carries a very sensitive doppler and sad it might be possible to pick something up if I wanted, and since I've had a miscarriage in the past, I was very eager to try. So yay! HB and a midwife lined up.
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