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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm so confused right now. I've had 2 in a hospital, and i know I will NEVER birth in a hospital again.

We toured a local birthing center, and dh and I both fell in love. But I'm dreaming of a home birth now. The midwife that I really want to see only does home births.

I'm so confused. How do I decide where to give birth?
 

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Ultimately, it has to be YOUR decision. You just have to examine all the factors and go with what feels best for you.

I was aiming for a homebirth this time around, but the more I got into it and thought about it, the more I decided it's not what I really want. I wanted to do it more to support the cause and to prove to everyone I know that it can be done. But what I really want is that long corridor at the hospital with the perfectly placed grab bar that I can hold onto and squat with while I'm in labor. It was the greatest labor device ever, and I don't have anything like that at home. I also loved the squat bar on the delivery bed. Plus I don't want to pay $4,000 out of pocket plus supplies and clean-up, and I can't think of a single room in my house that I want to labor in. So for a variety of what some people might think are stupid reasons, I'm going with a hospital birth again.

Nobody can tell you what you want. You just have to feel it out for yourself. I wish you lots of luck in your decision and whatever you ultimately choose to do.
 

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Hm, there are so SOOO many reasons to chose one place or another. As the PP noted, sometimes it's difficult getting insurance coverage for HB, whereas hospital birth can be totally free. (RIDICULOUS, but that's reality in America today.)
Off the top of my head- hospital / BC benefits:
- big jacuzzi tubs in some BCs or hospitals you may not have at home
- 'just in case' factor of safety (although I've been told BCs really don't have ANYTHING in terms of safety that an HB MW doesn't bring with her. So the only other 'just in case/safety' thing might be closer to hospital than your home may be.)
- not having to cook for yourself (although I found the hospital food AWFUL - not just bad tasting, but VERY poor on the nutrition scale!) oh - although most BCs want you out within about 6 hours after birth, so that's not much benefit there.
- having help changing the babies diapers
- not having to buy & gather some birth supplies at your house
- some mamas may not have space and/or the privacy for HB

Of course, at home, you have the comfort & privacy factor. Your turf, you're in charge! Everyone's an invited guest.
You do what you please.
No added risk for bacteria like MRSA
No risk of baby being taken away from you, given formula, etc.
Very low to no-risk of procedures being done to you without your knowledge and/or consent (drugs put in your IV, etc.)
Not having to DRIVE in labor! (Many mamas say that's awful. I didn't mind that so much.)

I had a hospital birth with DS because:
1. The ONLY BC in the area was just too far for me
2. I was told HB is illegal in Maryland.
STUPID uninformed Bradley teacher! That's not the whole truth. But I just couldnt' get my head comfortable with using a "renegade illegal midwife" in that short a space of time. I'm cool with it now that I'm more educated.

Plus, I DID find a group of hospital-based CNMs I was comfortable with. They were great! & I recommend them. But I will still chose HB for whenever we have #2.

BUT - may labor ended up going so fast I did ALL my labor at home! I was actually able to resist the urge to push for 30 min while we got out the door & made the 20 min drive to the hospital.

I didn't mind pushing out DS at the hospital, but I CAN NOT imagine the intensity of transiton anywhere but home. THe lack of privacy, strangers coming & going, having to be hooked to EFM for 20 min per hour, not being in my own home turf & familiar territory. I can't imagine it. I just feel like it would have made me miserable. (But, I love being in my house & I hate feeling 'controlled' by people.)
 

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For me, I decided by going into research mode and reading everything I could about all the different kinds of birth. It sounds like you have your choices narrowed down to a birth center or a homebirth? That's a much simpler equation. (Assuming you're talking about a free standing birth center, rather than one attached to a hospital, which is a whole 'nother story).

The main reasons most people choose a birth center include
--something wrong with the home, like being under renovation, that would make birthing at home uncomfortable
--Insurance issues, where insurance will cover a birth center but not a homebirth
--If your home is very far from a hospital, you might start at a birth center in case of transfer
--A lot of husbands/partners feel safer at a birth center, even though there's typically no difference in terms of safety or equipment
--Some people are psychologically attached to the idea that you should "go somewhere" to give birth (I've heard birth center births described as homebirths you have to drive to.)
--Some people don't want to have to deal with the clean up in their home, though typically the midwife takes care of that
--Some birth centers are just really nice places that seem like they would be a good place to give birth
--Some birth centers have really nice built in jacuzzi tubs with jets (but of course you can bring a portable tub into your home)

Reasons for choosing a home birth
--You don't have to drive anywhere during labor. (car ride + labor = ouch). You don't have to worry about packing a bag, forgetting something, etc
--After the baby is born, you don't have to go anywhere. You are already home. You can head right on over to your own bed and start nursing.
--You are on your own turf, in your own comfort space. Curling up in your own bed during labor can be really comforting. You have access to your own food. Some people feel more empowered in their own home
--Some birth centers (not all, but some) seem to be slightly more medical in their policies on issues like time limits in labor and such.
--Many birth centers have a large number of midwives on rotation, and you might not know which one you would get for the actual labor. With a homebirth, you typically have one midwife with whom you've built up a strong relationship.
--You aren't exposed to new germs at home
--If paying out of pocket, homebirth tends to be slightly cheaper than a birth center
--It can be easier logistically if you have kids

I live in Austin, and I was so spoiled for options. I could have had a midwife assisted hospital birth, a birth center birth or a homebirth. I knew I wanted to stay our of the hospital unless complications arose. Originally I was leaning towards a birth center birth, because it somehow seemed safer and more official. But reading up on it, I realized that there wasn't much difference for me between the two, except that I had to drive to one of them. And I liked the idea of being in the comfort of my own home. I'm really glad I picked a homebirth.
One other suggestion -- read birth stories here on MDC. Search for home birth and birth center stories, read both, and see what resonates with you.
 

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After researching for years, I decided that as far as I'm concerned, the default is home. If home is unworkable (too far from hospitals, unclean, etc) then birth center. If there is a medical reason, then hospital.

Birth is not a medical event despite our culture's decision to classify it as one.

-Angela
 

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how cool that you have both options - BC or HB!

since you are already meeting with your midwife, do you feel comfortable with her? unless you don't or you are feeling too uncomfortable for a home birth, why not stick with her?

since she's your current care provider, you could always discuss it with her....
 

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I think Jen summed it up beautifully. There are no BC in Ohio so it was hosp or home. But after learning that sometimes the BC has no other med technology/safety & choosing a very competent midwife, we feel great about our home choice.
 

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hospitals kind of freak me out, i can't really put my finger on one first reason for chooseing home but the more i read up on hb the more i knew it was for me. all 4 of my lo's have been born at home my 4th being a home water birth.
 

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I think you go with your heart on this one.

I can only have my babies in the hospital, so that's where I go. But if I had an option, I'd probably choose a birthing center just because I'd hate the clean-up at home. But I hate to clean
 

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We have several nice birth centers across the river in Portland. I'm sure that if we had chosen to give birth at one of them our birth would have lovely We ended up choosing to give birth at home though.

The things that decided it for us were:
1. With a homebirth we didn't have to pack anything. All our stuff was at home.
2. I got to eat my own food and labor on my own toilet.
3. We didn't have to wake up Dd1 to go anywhere. She slept during most of my labor and got to see her sister being born.
4. I didn't have to drive anywhere in labor (Big + for me)
5. The birth center would have cost us twice as much. We would have had to pay the facility fee and the midwives fee. At home we just had to pay the midwives. (Big + for dh and what convinced him to hb)
6. Because of beaureacratic (sp?) rules none of the birth centers would be able to attend twin or breech births in the birth center. The midwives assured us that they would be able to do this at home though. Our baby was a vertex singleton but we planned for that instance just in case.
7. We clicked better with our homebirth midwives anyway.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KoalaMommy View Post
But if I had an option, I'd probably choose a birthing center just because I'd hate the clean-up at home. But I hate to clean

Its not like the midwives just leave the momma with all the cleaning after she's just given birth. They did all the cleaning and started a load of laundry before they left.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Belle View Post
Its not like the midwives just leave the momma with all the cleaning after she's just given birth. They did all the cleaning and started a load of laundry before they left.

:

Two babies at home and I haven't done a single thing to clean up after.

-Angela
 

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I've had one HB w/ a midwife and two UCs. For me, there is absolutely no reason to perform a perfectly normal bodily function in a hospital. And - since the local birth center doesn't offer any advantages over birthing at home other than not being at home, and requires being transported via car during labor, I never even considered it. Ultimately you need to do what makes you comfortable, though.
 

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Originally Posted by Peace+Hope View Post
how cool that you have both options - BC or HB!

since you are already meeting with your midwife, do you feel comfortable with her? unless you don't or you are feeling too uncomfortable for a home birth, why not stick with her?

since she's your current care provider, you could always discuss it with her....
I'm only 10 weeks along. I originally started with the OB that delivered my son. Quickly changed my mind, and met with a midwife. "Hired" her, but haven't had my first appointment yet. Have since talked to some other people about their birth experiences with her, and a few things made me nervous. Started researching other midwifes, found one that I really think is the one, but she only does home births.

I *know* I will not birth this baby in a hospital. It's just choosing between midwives and being at home vs. the birth center now.

To be honest, I've never been in a car while in labor (I've been induced twice), and it scares me. Plus, I'm not sure I want to spend the $1500 to spend a few hours laboring at the birth center and going home right afterwards (just being honest!). I think I'd rather save the money, and just stay at home.

I know what my heart is saying, I'm just having a hard time convincing my mind. That, and my 12 year old daughter is COMPLETELY freaked out over the thought of a home birth.

My dh (being the smart man that he is
) told me he knows how important this is to me, and he would support me in whatever I choose (as long as he doesn't have to actually deliver the baby, lol!).
 

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I went back and forth between BC and home birth, eventually having the decision made for me, thanks to the local hospital, there is only one midwife in the area who has a transfer doctor and she was expensive and booked. So I chose a BC out of the area. In the end it was a good thing I went there as I had to transfer due to low fetal heartrate. If I had tried for a homebirth I would have been forced to go to my local hospital which has terrible CS rates, terrible procedures and just not over all good practices. I know my birth would have been completely different if I stayed local.

I know that not everyone transfers and not everyone wants to think about transfering, but I have to say that I would not try a home birth here until the new hospital opens and if it shows better overall care then the current local one. I would rather drive to have better options just in case.
 

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With dd my options were either at the local hospital, a further away hospital, or at home. We have one local birth center, but they wouldn't touch me since I was a VBAC. With the hospitals it would have really been picking the best of the worst as I knew that which ever one I chose would have required an OB (the CNM's at the one further away aren't "allowed" to do VBACS) and would have "required" all sorts of things I *knew* would interfere with labor. What it all came down to was the fact that I could never picture myself there.

As for the clean-up at home...I really don't remember there being any. We didn't clean the house above and beyond what we normally do beforehand. I have no idea who did "clean-up," but neither the midwives nor my husband (the only ones there besides me) were ever gone from my side for very long afterwards. I think the most involved thing was the birth tub, but it didn't seem like that took hubby all that long to do. As for food...for the day of I had something pre-prepared to go in the crockpot and then dh took care of the rest. It really wasn't a big deal and so much better than any of the food I had in the hospital with ds.

With this pregnancy it's so much easier. I really can't imagine doing it anywhere by at home. You just have to go with your gut.
 

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Originally Posted by tankgirl136 View Post
I went back and forth between BC and home birth, eventually having the decision made for me, thanks to the local hospital, there is only one midwife in the area who has a transfer doctor and she was expensive and booked. So I chose a BC out of the area. In the end it was a good thing I went there as I had to transfer due to low fetal heartrate. If I had tried for a homebirth I would have been forced to go to my local hospital which has terrible CS rates, terrible procedures and just not over all good practices. I know my birth would have been completely different if I stayed local.

I know that not everyone transfers and not everyone wants to think about transfering, but I have to say that I would not try a home birth here until the new hospital opens and if it shows better overall care then the current local one. I would rather drive to have better options just in case.
I actually prefer the hospital closer to my home than the one directly across the street from the birth center. That was another concern for me (not to mention that our insurance doesn't even cover the hospital the birth center transfers to! That's kind of scary in itself).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MotherMoonPads View Post
I'm only 10 weeks along. I originally started with the OB that delivered my son. Quickly changed my mind, and met with a midwife. "Hired" her, but haven't had my first appointment yet. Have since talked to some other people about their birth experiences with her, and a few things made me nervous. Started researching other midwifes, found one that I really think is the one, but she only does home births.

I *know* I will not birth this baby in a hospital. It's just choosing between midwives and being at home vs. the birth center now.

To be honest, I've never been in a car while in labor (I've been induced twice), and it scares me. Plus, I'm not sure I want to spend the $1500 to spend a few hours laboring at the birth center and going home right afterwards (just being honest!). I think I'd rather save the money, and just stay at home.

I know what my heart is saying, I'm just having a hard time convincing my mind. That, and my 12 year old daughter is COMPLETELY freaked out over the thought of a home birth.

My dh (being the smart man that he is
) told me he knows how important this is to me, and he would support me in whatever I choose (as long as he doesn't have to actually deliver the baby, lol!).
when you "hired" her, had you interviewed her? have you actually scheduled your first appointment? if i were you i might shoot her an email saying you are going to interview a couple of other midwives. she may be offended if it seems like you're changing your tune, but she wouldn't want a client who wouldn't want her in the long run.... meanwhile, if the things you've heard about her are possible to resolve, maybe bringing them up as general concerns you have with prenatal/delivery care would be worth it, to see how she responds.

keep pluging away! it will become more clear with time i'm sure


your husband sounds PERFECT!
 

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Like you I was certain I wanted nothing to do with a hospital birth. The problem was that there are no free standing birth centers in my state and when I did a little research into the birth centers in the area, I found that because they are attached to the hospital, they are subject to some of the same procedures that I found objectionable at the hospital. So I interviewed a bunch of homebirth midwives and found 2 I liked and am going with that.

Definitely interrogate the procedures of the birthing center...
 
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