Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Thoughts about birthing

I've been thinking about going through childbirth again recently. I'm actually looking forward to it. It was such a consuming experience; and as those intense feelings have faded through time, I'm very curious to do it again.

I want to do a homebirth for a number of reasons:
  • Comfort: Being in my own home, in familiar surroundings. I don't want to plod around a hospital room again.
  • Family: Staying close to Starbeans. Squeeze was with me the entire time with our first delivery; his presence was solid. I want to be near Starbeans with my second delivery (for crying out loud - we've never even had a babysitter!). I do not want to be separated from him for the 12-15-25-who-knows how many hours of labor.
  • Personal space: I did not appreciate being confronted by the decision whether to vaccinate Starbeans against Hepatitis within 24 hours of his birth ("either now or at his first doctor's appointment", she said). While I wasn't completely educated on my options at the time, I had enough wits about me to say, "At his first doctor's appointment!" [You may or may not know my opinions about vaccinations, but this should be said: Target populations for Hepatitis vaccinations are drug users who use needles, prostitutes, and health care workers...why are we inundating a newborns' fresh immune system with this???]
  • Personal space, Part II: I want to be left alone to enjoy my newborn for the first few days of his/her life and not experience the constant interruptions to test their vitals, as if their very life was in danger. I understand hospital regulations and liability, but enough already! [That's why I want to be home.]

Does anyone with homebirthing experience have advice on how to find a homebirthing midwife? We went through the midwives at HCMC last time; my experience was largely positive, but I'm (obviously) ready to give birth at home. My only concern is cost: our co-pay last time was $800. I've heard that a homebirth can run $2000 (assuming that our insurance, with is new, doesn't cover it). From a cost perspective, especially with finances as tight as ours, this may affect our decision. Advice. Please!


Jenni said...

Great post! I agree about the Hep shots, my goodness I don't see my child being a drug user or sexually active in the first few days of his or her life! :)

About the midwife thing, we've been fortunate enough to just come by the three midwives we've seen, but there is always the google search method, most good midwives have some sort of website set up! We've also been fortunate enough that our insurance has covered the cost of our homebirths, I think you would be surprised at how many insurances do cover homebirth now adays, it makes so much more sense for them since the cost is so much lower and the risks are just as low if not lower than hospital births. Anyway, good luck in your endeavors to figure out what's going to work for you!

a. borealis said...

Innnnnteresting. That is really good to know. I will have to check into our insurance thoroughly!!

Janna Finch said...

I found a meetup in your area. I bet they have plenty of homebirth midwife recommendations.

Cost is a big factor, but I don't think people should be dissuaded from homebirth just because they can't (or think they can't) afford it.

Every midwife I know provides a payment plan. Every midwife I know has even worked out special deals with families who can't afford their regular rate. Every midwife I know has even worked for barter a few times for very poor families.

Just discuss your financial situation and what you can pay when you are interviewing midwives. I'm sure that most will be willing to work out something with you.

As far as insurance, plenty of people whose insurance company told them they don't cover homebirth have been reimbursed. Your midwife will just bill them for general care. Usually no questions are asked and the bill is paid, even if the insured have been told "no" flat out by the insurance company. Do NOT call and ask your insurance company if they cover homebirth. Discuss this with a midwife and see what she advises because I'm sure most have experience billing and getting reimbursed.

In the end, homebirth is worth every penny, IMO. We struggled to pay the ~$3000 for each of our homebirths, but I would have gladly found a way to pay more if I had to. My comfort, empowerment, peace of mind, etc. was of the utmost importance and there was no way I was going to set foot in a hospital barring a true emergency.

I'm glad we found ways to make my homebirths happen because they are both the most extraordinary, proud moments of my life.

Janna Finch said...

Here's another link that might help.

a. borealis said... You are 15 steps ahead of me. Thanks for the great links (and the encouragement). I love it!

Mama C-ta said...

Interesting! I'm curious to go through child birth again also, I think partly for a 2nd chance to "do it right." I'd loooooove a home birth, especially in this current house - not the last one, too much of a stresser. But this would be so exciting! all of your reasons for wanting one are great and I'd agree. I was always curious about the cost though with insurance. I couldn't picture any of my insurance plans covering a home birth since they don't want to actually cover a prescribed treatment. Grrrrr...

Looking forward to following this!

Mama C-ta