Birth Center or Home Birth? Can't Decide! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 11-19-2014, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Birth Center or Home Birth? Can't Decide!

I made an appointment in a few weeks at the birth center where I've had my three children. If I end up going there, I will probably have the same midwife who has helped at all three births. There's nothing wrong with her, and she has tons of experience, but I never felt super-connected to her, and I sometimes felt like she was a little too brusque/"businesslike," and not really as empathetic or "motherly/sisterly" as I would have liked (if that makes any sense). They automatically put you with the midwife you've had before, unless you specifically request differently, and it would be super awkward at this point to ask for someone else, after we've had that same midwife at the births of all of our children so far.

There was another midwife who was at my second and third births (they work in teams of 3 at the birth center), whom I really, really love and feel connected with. She is very kind, gentle, and sensitive. She just has this aura of love and warmth about her. She has her own midwifery practice now, and only does homebirths.

Well, I love the environment of the birth center! They have all the right equipment, it's beautifully decorated, it's peaceful, and they really pamper you after the birth (bring you takeout from any restaurant in town, have after-birth doulas take care of you, etc.).

A homebirth is a possibility, but it's not really my first choice, as 5 people already live in my urban, 950-sq-ft, 1-bathroom house. The only place to set up a birth tub would be in the carpeted living room. The only way I can see a homebirth working is if we paid for a hotel room for my mom for a couple of days, and she could hang out there with our kids. I just feel like having 2-3 midwives + my husband + myself + our three kids in our tiny house for a homebirth would be too chaotic. I love my mom, but I have some "body issues" due to things she's said to me over the years, so I would not be comfortable with her seeing me naked. So I don't really want her present during the birth.

Also, I feel like I would be uptight about the house being perfectly clean and preparing tasty and adequate food for the midwives to eat while I'm in labor. I don't know if that would be too stressful to think about all of those details.

But I really love the "nice" midwife who only does homebirths!

What should I do, what should I do? Anybody have thoughts/experience? If you've had a homebirth before, were you stressed out about getting your home just right for the midwives? I'm sort of an anxious, uptight person, and I loved not having to worry about that kind of thing at the birth center!

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#2 of 18 Old 11-19-2014, 05:38 AM
 
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If you've had a homebirth before, were you stressed out about getting your home just right for the midwives? I'm sort of an anxious, uptight person, and I loved not having to worry about that kind of thing at the birth center!
I wasn't stressed out about having my home just right for my midwives, but I did have my nesting kick in in early labor. I had to have food made for my kids; I had to have my tub scrubbed clean; the bedroom had to be in order, etc. I did feel pressured by my midwife to get labor going and in the end, when I finally asked my body what it needed, the answer was "quiet alone time." All of my babies came in the middle of the night with the first contraction waking me from a deep sleep. With my fourth, I tried to get things going in the morning because I had a lot of bloody show, but in retrospect, I shouldn't have called my midwife; I should have gone about my day and when I went to bed that night, it would have happened. I laid down just before 7pm, dozed for 10 minutes and woke to the biggest contraction I've ever felt and 2 hours later he was born.

So for me, the pressure of having midwives in my house, feeling like I was being watched, is what slowed me down. This time, I won't call until I get that first, massive contraction that always kicks off my labors. They might not make it, but I need to be at peace with that.

If I didn't start labor off with such intensity, I'd consider a birth center (because insurance would cover it!) but the thought of trying to travel in a car in transition is too much of a deterrent.

My mom stayed in a bedroom with my three kids while I labored with the fourth and then they came in second after he was born. It was perfect. And, we're six people sharing a townhouse with my mom! Not a lot of space here either!
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#3 of 18 Old 11-19-2014, 01:36 PM
 
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I actually thought that I would be concerned about my house, too, but I wasn't. Cleaning did give me something to take my mind off of wondering when I'd go into labor that last week or so, though! By go-time, I really couldn't have cared less about the state of my house. Of course, there really wasn't a whole lot of time for my midwives to really look around since he came before they got here
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#4 of 18 Old 11-19-2014, 05:42 PM
 
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Home births are amazing. I am a midwife and work at an incredibly beautiful birth centre (we also do home and hospital births), but there is just something so special about a home birth. Not driving anywhere during labour, not putting baby in the car for the first few days, eating your own food and drinks, reminiscing about "the spot" where your baby entered the world each time you walk by.


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#5 of 18 Old 11-19-2014, 08:22 PM
 
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Home births are amazing. I am a midwife and work at an incredibly beautiful birth centre (we also do home and hospital births), but there is just something so special about a home birth. Not driving anywhere during labour, not putting baby in the car for the first few days, eating your own food and drinks, reminiscing about "the spot" where your baby entered the world each time you walk by.
Yes! This is my favorite part The last two years, we've taken pictures during his birth minute in the place he was born
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#6 of 18 Old 11-19-2014, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input so far! Keep it comin'!

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#7 of 18 Old 11-22-2014, 05:11 PM
 
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Can you call the home birth midwife and tell her all of this for advice? She might have ideas to accommodate you. She might also be able to suggest a way you can get a better midwife at the birth center. Would it be too awkward to ask her who she would suggest that still is at the center that has a similar style? (if she can't help you with a plan to work with her directly). And then you could tell the one who delivered your others that you liked working with her and (homebirth lady) last time, and (homebirth lady) suggested that you might enjoy working with (alternate) this time.


Phew it is hard to explain that with 3 midwives in the mix.


I would personally chose a birth center over home for the same reasons you said, so it could be a good solution to find a way to switch midwives if it is possible. Or is there the possibility of a different birth center?


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#8 of 18 Old 11-23-2014, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you call the home birth midwife and tell her all of this for advice? She might have ideas to accommodate you. She might also be able to suggest a way you can get a better midwife at the birth center. Would it be too awkward to ask her who she would suggest that still is at the center that has a similar style? (if she can't help you with a plan to work with her directly). And then you could tell the one who delivered your others that you liked working with her and (homebirth lady) last time, and (homebirth lady) suggested that you might enjoy working with (alternate) this time.


Phew it is hard to explain that with 3 midwives in the mix.


I would personally chose a birth center over home for the same reasons you said, so it could be a good solution to find a way to switch midwives if it is possible. Or is there the possibility of a different birth center?
There is another birth center, but it is even further away than the first (45-50 min. vs. 25, without traffic), so I'm not too excited about driving that far in labor (I went through transition in the car with my second pregnancy, and that was not fun).)

I actually went ahead and made a consultation appointment for after Thanksgiving with the homebirth midwife, so maybe I can lay out all my concerns and see what she says.

The whole "switching midwives" thing at the birth center just makes me uncomfortable! I hate awkwardness!

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#9 of 18 Old 11-23-2014, 09:47 AM
 
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I am kind of stumped about using a birth center or hospital - birth center is not covered by insurance and could end up costing more if anything went wrong and I got transferred - it would be like paying double vs going to a hospital. So I understand having difficulty with the decision.


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#10 of 18 Old 11-23-2014, 02:46 PM
 
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I've had four homebirths---never birthed anywhere else. Each time I just had to 'let go' of the house and say that it was what it was. When DH was around, he would clean while I was in early labor if it was needed. But ultimately midwives don't care about a clean house. Having enough room to birth and move around in easily makes things nicer.

I've had to pay out of pocket for all of my births. A birth center would be covered, but one of my reasons for a homebirth us that I don't have to go anywhere. A CNM would also be covered partially by my insurance but the only one that does homebirths around here is crappy and actually may not be practicing anymore.
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#11 of 18 Old 11-23-2014, 05:55 PM
 
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I just wanted to pop in to say that I am the kids off gal who would never want to be in a birth center instead of my home. That being said, if you love the birth center and think there is an alternate midwife you would like there, maybe you could give some thought to ways of saying that you need a different scenario for this birth- make it about you, not your old midwife. But I understand if that's just not something you want to think about.

If what you really want is that other midwife in particular, then I'd say go for it. I think that most things about home birth can be done as well or better than a birth center. Like, just plan to get food delivered. Hire a cleaner one time. Put down a tarp in the living room. Even if it costs an extra $100 doing that stuff, isn't it worth it to have what you really want?

And are you saying 2-3 midwives would be in your house? That's a lot. I'm private in birth so I'd tell them no way to a midwife, an extra, and an extra extra. Oh, and a hotel Tim for your parents and kids sounds great. That's another $100 or something for the experience of your lifetime. Sounds good to me.

Just today I was sitting in the room my baby was born in, thinking about it. That cozy feeling you get from that midwife is the feeling I get from just birthing at home. Best wishes in making your decision.
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#12 of 18 Old 11-24-2014, 02:21 PM
 
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While we're on the subject, I just got off the phone with my insurance (Kaiser HMO) asking them if I would be covered for obstetrical services like C-section at a non-network hospital if I were to give birth at home or at a birth center and something went wrong. (The birth center is not covered at all, and the hospital they're linked to is not a "network" hospital for Kaiser.) They told me they don't cover ANY emergency obstetrical treatment that results from:


"failure to make adequate arrangements for birth and delivery."


She said this includes travelling too far from a covered hospital, home birth, etc. It does not include spontaneous emergencies like cord prolapse. Basically if you don't get to one of two designated hospitals in plenty of time, you don't get insurance coverage for whatever may occur.


Sorry to hijack with this AAM, but can you believe this??


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#13 of 18 Old 11-24-2014, 04:01 PM
 
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While we're on the subject, I just got off the phone with my insurance (Kaiser HMO) asking them if I would be covered for obstetrical services like C-section at a non-network hospital if I were to give birth at home or at a birth center and something went wrong. (The birth center is not covered at all, and the hospital they're linked to is not a "network" hospital for Kaiser.) They told me they don't cover ANY emergency obstetrical treatment that results from:


"failure to make adequate arrangements for birth and delivery."


She said this includes travelling too far from a covered hospital, home birth, etc. It does not include spontaneous emergencies like cord prolapse. Basically if you don't get to one of two designated hospitals in plenty of time, you don't get insurance coverage for whatever may occur.


Sorry to hijack with this AAM, but can you believe this??
WHAT?? That's crazy! Who decides what "adequate arrangements" are?

Well, that adds a little more to the decision...

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#14 of 18 Old 11-24-2014, 04:05 PM
 
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I guess I don't know what I'm doing yet. My last birth was a homebirth and I realized that I should have stayed home for all of my births. We have to pay out of pocket for homebirth ($3,800 or something close, maybe more now) but a hospital birth with a CNM would be covered completely. We have a nice birth center nearby and I'm not sure that it's covered. I don't think they'd take me anyway since I called 9 years ago and because my labor before that was only 1 hour, they didn't want me to try to make it there.

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#15 of 18 Old 11-30-2014, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am meeting with the homebirth-only midwife tomorrow! We'll see how things go.

I still have an appointment scheduled at the birth center for next week, as well.

I guess it's nice to have options. The control freak in me wants to get things nailed down, though!

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#16 of 18 Old 12-01-2014, 05:46 PM
 
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While we're on the subject, I just got off the phone with my insurance (Kaiser HMO) asking them if I would be covered for obstetrical services like C-section at a non-network hospital if I were to give birth at home or at a birth center and something went wrong. (The birth center is not covered at all, and the hospital they're linked to is not a "network" hospital for Kaiser.) They told me they don't cover ANY emergency obstetrical treatment that results from:


"failure to make adequate arrangements for birth and delivery."


She said this includes travelling too far from a covered hospital, home birth, etc. It does not include spontaneous emergencies like cord prolapse. Basically if you don't get to one of two designated hospitals in plenty of time, you don't get insurance coverage for whatever may occur.


Sorry to hijack with this AAM, but can you believe this??
LittleKind, boo! I am sorry to hear that!

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#17 of 18 Old 12-02-2014, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I met with the homebirth-only midwife yesterday, and she is (still) so awesome that I went ahead and cancelled my birth center appointment. Looks like I'm having a homebirth! Not sure about all the logistics, yet, but I still have eight months to figure that all out.

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#18 of 18 Old 12-02-2014, 10:30 PM
 
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Eeeek! Exciting @MamaMakingMemories ! So glad you found a great fit! Were any of your other children born at home?


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