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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 33 weeks. I've interviewed 2 midwives. I have a 3rd I'm going to interview. I just can't decide if I'm comfortable with a homebirth. I definitely do not want the hassles of the hospital b/c there are lots of things I want to decline (most of the newborn stuff). However, the HB midwives don't have backup obs and that makes me a little nervous. Plus, it likely won't be covered by insurance.

Talk me into it ladies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess I'm worried about needing a transfer and getting to the hospital and being in the hands of someone I've never met. That kind of scares me.

I think that ideally I'd be most comfortable at a birth center but the closest one is over an hour away and I don't think I'd want to make that journey in labor.

I guess I'm still trying to shake my western medicine upbringing.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chlobo View Post
I guess I'm worried about needing a transfer and getting to the hospital and being in the hands of someone I've never met. That kind of scares me.

I think that ideally I'd be most comfortable at a birth center but the closest one is over an hour away and I don't think I'd want to make that journey in labor.

I guess I'm still trying to shake my western medicine upbringing.

Well, even if you had an OB, there's a good chance you'd end up with someone you didn't know at the hospital.

A birth center has no safety benefits over a homebirth- keep reseaching!


-Angela
 

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My mw doesn't have a back-up OB.... but considering in my four previous (hospital) births, I only got to see my OB right at the end when it was time to push. During my labor, I was with whichever nurse was on shift (who I've never met before) and an OB on-call, who would come in occassionally and check on me.

It took me a while to decide on homebirth myself and even after I decided, it still took me a bit to be 100% sure with my decision. It does take time to shake the western medical belief of "normal" birth! LOL

Good luck with your decision!
 

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Hmmm...I don't think you should try to have a homebirth. A person who needs to be persuaded is not a person who is ready for the responsibility of a homebirth, and not that interested in the joy and power of it. Not to be mean about it, just very frank. Ambivalence is a risk factor for a safe homebirth...you are most likely to have little issues crop up that slowly erode your own and your midwife's confidence that it's the right place to be for you, things that steal your energy and make your labor longer and more uncomfortable.

Early in my practice I made the mistake of letting myself get hired by families where the dad was more committed than the mom to homebirth--I foolishly believed so much in homebirth that I did not see that, and did not yet realize that it takes THE MOM's 110% committment to homebirth for it to work. That handful of ladies all ended up being transported to a hospital, where they gave birth just fine after some nice doc did doctorly things that made those moms feel safe. Nothing heroic, nothing monumental--just 'medical things' like hooking them up to an IV, or manually rotating their baby...and suddenly babies were born and mom was happy.

It's not enough to 'not want' sertain things that are likely to happen in the hospital. You have to 'want' what homebirth IS. If you don't want that, really truly and with all your heart, it won't go well. It might even go 'well enough'--you might even get a homebirth out of it! But you won't be happy, you'll find things that were wrong with the care, wrong with yourself, wrong with the experience...

So, do you WANT A HOMEBIRTH????? Then have one. If you don't, then don't. I'd say that someone who still needs persuading at this stage of the game is not really wanting a homebirth.

just my 2cents
 

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Not to discourage you at all, but I think MsBlack has a point, if that applies to you. I am having my first child due in September and have been dreaming of and planning a homebirth for several years.

BUT, I think that it is valid to alay some of your fears if that is all that is holding you back from complete commitment. If you want a back-up OB then find one one your own! I've done that. If you ask around you may be able to find an OB who is very supportive of homebirth. My back-up OB is only for needed prenatal care and possibly for delivery if we know in advance that we need to birth in a hospital. (the OB is an hour away) If we transfer we will go to the local hospital, which is an eventuality we are prepared to take in the event of an emergency.
 

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When my DS was born I wanted to do a homebirth so much, that I was worried about having to transfer because I didn't want to go to a hospital (the dreaded what-if scenario in my head), which caused the birth to not go as fast as it could have. Only after my water broke and it was clear (over here it's pretty standard that you have to transfer to a hospital when there's meconium in the water) I could completely relax and DS was born within 2 hrs after that.
So if you have doubts, be sure to not have them anymore by the time baby will arrive! It can definitely block the birthing process.
A home birth is wonderful, I would definitely recommend it to anyone. It's such a special feeling to see your baby come into this world in your own room, lights down low, DH by your side, MW looking quiet from a distance. For us, it was calm, it was really a special MOMENT, like it was frozen in time, when he was born, whereas in the hospital when DD was born, it was hectic, and most definitely not "a moment" shared by me, DH and DD.
Having a baby in a hospital when there's no medical reason is like going to a doctor when you're not sick. Or like having your car checked out: they will always find something when they start looking. Chances of having an interference in any way shoot up the moment you walk through that hospital door. If you can make it work for you somehow, do it, because a home birth is really wonderful. I loved that we could all sleep a bit when everything was cleaned up because we didn't have to go anywhere, DH was really happy that he could be at the computer doing his own stuff while I was breathing through contractions and wanted to be alone, DD was asleep in her own bed when DS was born and she woke up to a baby brother! And when I walk around our apartment and look at our bed I think it's so funny that DS was actually born here. Babies are born between cooking and doing dishes in the house for centuries and women have done fine that way, now it's your turn!
 

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I chose a hospital birth with my 1st because of insurance. I wish I could go back and get a do-over. My homebirth rocked. I never saw an ob, and knew that in the small chance I had to transfer, I'd get whoever was on call. That was a risk I chose to accept. I guess you have to decide for yourself if that's acceptable. I'd never have a hospital birth again, personally.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SublimeBirthGirl View Post
I never saw an ob, and knew that in the small chance I had to transfer, I'd get whoever was on call. That was a risk I chose to accept.

Well, if you lived here and went to the clinic here you'd still be stuck with whoever was on call. That's the risk you take having an ob too. You get who you get. It's the same with the nurses too. You get who you get. I will say this though, it is very important to know exactly what you want. My mw and I had a talk about this too. She wanted to be absolutely sure that this is what I wanted to do. She mentioned that the ones who weren't 110% committed were the ones that got trasfered mostly. If you are using a back up ob as an out, then you might as well go to a birth center or hosp. I hope you are able to deal with your fears so that you can have a homebirth. Out of curiosity, you say you've interviewed 2 mw already. What is it that you aren't comfortable with? I mean if 2 don't have answers for you, what are you wanting to know? Just curious. Maybe if you can verbalize your fears here, some of the ladies can help.
Sam
 

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Why not continue to see your OB and pretend you are having a hospital birth while planning a homebirth? That way, you will have YOUR OB as back-up in case you go to the hospital. I have a back-up OB and it really makes me feel at ease knowing that I have someone to go to if I have a medical problem, during pregnancy or birth. At 39.5 weeks I have had no medical problems and highly doubt that I will, but it is still nice to know that I wouldn't be stuck at the ER with some random doctor if I did.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MichelleAnnette View Post
At 39.5 weeks I have had no medical problems and highly doubt that I will, but it is still nice to know that I wouldn't be stuck at the ER with some random doctor if I did.
But if it were a real emergency then you'd still most likely be stuck with a random dr.

-Angela
 

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FWIW, here's my 2 cents:

I agree with a PP that you shouldn't have to be talked into it. I kind of feel that HB is something you really should be passionate about.

The fact of the matter is you will have a better experience at home than you will at a hospital; and that experience will be better on many different levels for many different reasons.

I know this from experience because I have had both a hospital birth (my first birth - an emergency transfer) and a HB (my second). The two experiences are as different as night and day.

I do not understand why you have a concern with your MW's not having a backup OB. Really I would think this is of no consequence, because the truth is if you have a genuine emergency and you transfer, you are going to go to the nearest hospital and be treated by whomever is on duty at the moment. So, what difference does it make?

I would think that someone who is ambivalent about a HB would be more likely to transfer to a hospital without it being a true emergency - especially if it's their first birth.

But, my ultimate advice would be to find your guts and go for it! HB really is amazing.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chlobo View Post
I'm 33 weeks. I've interviewed 2 midwives. I have a 3rd I'm going to interview. I just can't decide if I'm comfortable with a homebirth. I definitely do not want the hassles of the hospital b/c there are lots of things I want to decline (most of the newborn stuff). However, the HB midwives don't have backup obs and that makes me a little nervous. Plus, it likely won't be covered by insurance.

Talk me into it ladies!
Why do you need a back up OB? I agree with the OP list out what you are worried about. Maybe talking through it can help you. My worry is hemmorage and DH worry is breathing problems. After a lot of research and discussion with my MW I am comfortable with both of those things being a non issue.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SublimeBirthGirl View Post
I never saw an ob, and knew that in the small chance I had to transfer, I'd get whoever was on call. That was a risk I chose to accept.
See that is the thing unless you happen to birth during office hours or on the day the OB is on call it is possible you will get whoever is on duty. My hospital staffs an OB 24x7 specifically for that reason. My previous OB was only on call one day a week and that was the day she did an overnight at the hospital.
 

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I think that this is something you should not be "talked into".

With my first I was only 20 and just too nervous with the whole idea of NOT using a hospital. It turned out that the hospital was very crunchy and people were TOTALLY hands off, so I decided to give birth there again with my second.

Well... then I moved to the US and had a hospital birth in a conventional hospital there. That experience was so horrible and opposite to anything I had experienced before that I decided there and then I did not want to risk going through it again. HOWEVER... DH and I werestill NOT ready for a homebirth...

Only after a fantastic birth center experience did we realize that giving birth at home was the only thing that made sense for us! But it was not something somebody else could have told us - it took us experiencing what was out there for us to feel confident and sure about our choice to homebirth next time. I think I would have been too stressed out with a homebirth if I had tried it before I was ready, and that could have ruined the whole experience, IMO
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post

It's not enough to 'not want' sertain things that are likely to happen in the hospital. You have to 'want' what homebirth IS. If you don't want that, really truly and with all your heart, it won't go well. It might even go 'well enough'--you might even get a homebirth out of it! But you won't be happy, you'll find things that were wrong with the care, wrong with yourself, wrong with the experience...

just my 2cents
I have to agree with this. You have to want what a homebirth is. You might get a homebirth out of it, but you may not be happy.

That describes my first son's birth. BUT, I switched from OB care during my 8th month to a HB MW, who was too busy anyway and we never really got to know each other really well while I was pregnant, even though I went to her office every week. She came right as I was pushing my son out after an 8 hour labor (she came right from another, longer, labor and birth so she was spent, too). I am still happy I chose to birth at home even though it wasn't the best experience for me, emotionally and mentally. I could have been more prepared, but then again, I think I had to go through it to really be prepared for the next birth. I am glad I didn't have to work my way back to HB after a terrible hospital experience, and it did make having a second HB much more rewarding.

Don't know how helpful this all will be for you, what I am sharing. I encourage you to consider all the posts in response here thoughtfully and make the decision that feels right to you.
 

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It might help if you called your nearest hospital and talked with the head nurse in the OB/maternity unit about how they handle transfers.

That's what I did when I was preparing for my second HB. It reassured me to know what their procedures were if I did end up transporting for medical reasons. My midwife was surprised I would call, but she was also interested to hear how the conversation went.

I still remember asking about how the hospital handles HB tranfers. The nurse was surprised and began asking me questions like, "Have you had regular prenatal care"? I was a bit surprised, but not too much, by how little she understood and was familiar with midwifery care. I took the time to share with her what kind of care a midwife gives and we actually ended the phone conversation well, and by the tone of her voice and her words, she sounded a bit less worried about me. LOL. It also was a moment where I was brave and outlined what I want and who I am and I felt more sure of myself after the phone call. And I had the info. I needed to feel comfortable with moving forward with the HB.
 

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My HB midwives don't have an official "backup" ob, but they do have what they describe as a "good working relationship" with an OB practice in my area, that serves the hospital we're likely to transfer to in the case of an emergency. I did one visit with them to meet the nurse midwives in the practice and ask all my horror story questions, as well as get some bloodwork drawn and a Urinalysis. The CNM I saw was very supportive and answered all my questions and told me she hoped she didn't see me again for this pregnancy. I went back to my HB midwives and they asked questions and that was that.

If you're not 100% committed to homebirth, you'll end up transferring. If you're not 100% committed to natural birth, you'll end up with interventions. If you know that birthing your baby at home, in your own environment, without strangers or strange equipment present, then money shouldn't be the #1 issue.
 

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: Great thread, great points

I had never thought about the transfer thing and how you'd get whoever's on call...duh

I had thought back-up OB incase of emergency too but my OB will be an hr away and if we had an emergency we'd go to the nearest hosp and no chance of her being there

OH well...one less thing to even worry about so thanks for pointing that out girls
 
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