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i bet you have thought of this already, but what about offering to pay a far away midwife an additional travel fee? I'm thinking something like a couple hundred dollars.
 

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Hard decision. It frustrates me that home birth isn't more easily accessible to women in the US. I am in a similar situation where if I went with what my insurance would pay for the birth would be free, but we have opted to pay $2400 for a home birth this time. I tend to be a very practical/utilitarian type person who is not prone to splurging on luxery items, so at first I thought the home birth was out of the question. And it's not like I had a horrible experience in the hospital with my first child. So I signed up with a hospital-based midwife practice where there are 7 (?) different midwives and made arrangements to hire a doula. After a few visits with the midwife practice I realized that it wasn't a good fit, and opted to prepare for a home birth instead. For me it is a big relief to be able to focus on the birth, and not have to vigilantly strategize for everything that could happen at the hospital (I still have a birth plan, but even if something happened where I had to go to the hospital, I am less worried about avoiding procedures there because I figure if I end up at the hospital, it's because I actually need the kind of stuff they have to offer at that point.)

I do think you can have a postive birth experience in a hospital/birth center. This is such a higly personal decision because everyone's situation is different. Good luck with working out the option that is best for you!
 
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