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First of all I am so excited to have my first little one on the way I have been doing research for years preparing for this moment and ultimately I decided that an unassisted birth just seemed right and it's really something that I'd like to do. However, I lost my job a few months ago causing my husband and I to be homeless. I've always had knee problems ever since I was little and I suppose I just didn't realize how much the pregnancy would effect that. At my last job I did have to stand and walk around a bit and I had a couple episodes where I was in a lot of pain and almost passed out until I just had to quit.

So fast forward to right now, we have a older Honda Odyssey van that we took the back seats out of and we live in it. We don't sleep in a shelter because the curfews would interfere with DH's job and they wouldn't allow us to stay together. They would separate us to different rooms and in my emotional state I would not be able to handle that. My husband's job basically covers the cost of keeping our phones on, car insured, food and gas, and other necessities but that's it, so he's working on getting one that pays more. Despite being homeless I have been able to take care of myself very well taking prenatal vitamins, making sure my nutrition is well rounded, and being able to get plenty of exercise and fluids. I've been monitoring the baby's heart beat and fundal height, my weight and blood pressure, ect. I do think I'm healthy enough to have an unassisted birth. Also at this point I wouldn't be able to afford the deductible for my insurance for a hospital birth or birth center and I wouldn't be able to afford to Midwife either. But I am not doing this because of lack of money. I really do want an unassisted birth and I feel like it's the best option for me. I feel capable and I have no problem planning for the unknown and calling for help if I should need it.

Of course I assumed that I'd be able to get another job and that we'd have a house or apartment by the time the baby got here but that is proving to be a lot more difficult than I thought and I'm getting more and more nervous as the due date is creeping up on us. We do have a friend that lets us use their address so we could receive the birth certificate and everything but I'm just worried about where we would have the baby because right now we park in different places monthly.

There there is an option available to us where we could lease a plot of land for pretty cheap in a neighboring Rural town that way we would have a safe secluded place to put our van and we could still do a freebirth until we get back on our feet. Which obviously has its own drawbacks but honestly right now that's the only plan that seems realistic everything else is just a bunch of what-ifs.

I know I can keep the baby warm, safe, fed, healthy, and loved. I just want a little bit of encouragement / advice / any alternatives or additions that anyone may have to this plan. It won't be like this for long. I'm just trying to do my best with what I have.

Thanks in advance!
 

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My first though is what facilities are available on the block of land. Is there running water and what is the plan for toileting? If there is a solution to both of those things then, living there sounds like the best option to me. You could create quite serviceable living quarters with some tarps and tents which you might be able to buy secondhand.

Thinking about your birth, how far is the block from the nearest hospital which is capable of dealing with an unexpected birth emergency? Is there easy access to the block for an ambulance? If it is within your comfort zone then, again, probably the best option.

I know you have said that you want to have a freebirth regardless of your financial circumstances but, since you mentioned hospital fees, I’ll comment on that too. Are you not eligible for care under Medicaid (I’m assuming you’re in the US) should you decide/need to birth in a hospital?
 
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You sound like a responsible and intelligent person, so this is not a comment upon you but ...

What kind of society doesn't provide housing assistance, income assistance and health care for someone in your position? Is it really true that your government offers nothing in terms of a safety net? Pregnant moms in crowded refugee camps in northern Africa get more help than you! I'm appalled. Is there an advocacy centre or similar that could help you find and leverage resources? What about approaching a church known for social justice or poverty outreach work?

On a practical level pertaining to the birth, I agree with katelove that access to clean running water is crucial, whatever you do. I know that women have been giving birth naturally in fields since time immemorial, but both maternal and infant mortality were also much higher in the past. I would also say that a comfortable, well-lit space is important, and make sure there are no obstacles to emergency services i.e. an ambulance needs to be able to locate and access you quickly if need be. My suggestion would be to assemble a kit of mattress, linens and waterproof drop-sheet etc., and beg the use of a spare room in someone's home (do you have any friends who share your values around childbirth?) for when you go into labour.

Miranda
 

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MissFitz wondering how you are doing & if you still needed a place; You're about equidistant from me & my Hampton Roads midwife. Drop me a pm if needed.
 

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Hey, did you have your free birth?

I had an unassisted birth and pregnancy and it was beautiful.
 
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