We all made it to North Carolina in one piece today. “Kristen, why are you out of state?” you ask. “You are 38.5 weeks pregnant!” Well, there’s an interesting answer to that question.
We were planning to have a hospital birth in Richmond with a CNM. We would have preferred a freestanding birth center, but there are only two in Virginia and none of them take clients from Richmond (too far.) We really liked our first midwife, Leslie, and the hospital she was supposed to deliver in. But as you may recall, the midwifery program was suddenly cancelled at her practice, and we had to find another midwife. Our second midwife is fine. We never felt as comfortable with her as we did with Leslie, but she is very competent. However, she delivers in a research hospital three or four times farther away than the hospital we had originally planned on, with icky parking and downtown traffic. We were never excited about that situation for a variety of reasons. We did inquire with our local homebirth midwife (a CPM who has been delivering babies for over 25 years in the area!) but using her was cost prohibitive because of our insurance, so we decided to stick out the hospital birth plan. (You just can’t beat having a baby for $600 with an HMO.)
About seven weeks ago, it occured to us that we had another option. We could homebirth in North Carolina at my parents’ house with a wonderful Christian CPM here. Because we didn’t require much prenatal care at this point, the cost was much lower than we originally anticipated. My parents have the world’s best homebirthing tub in their new master bathroom — very deep and wide, with jets. We are able to spend Christmas relaxing with family in a festive enviroment instead of waiting for baby in an apartment without a tree. Kate has my parents and siblings to occupy her and help her transition while she sees as much of the new baby and I as she wants. It just seemed right for our family, for this birth.
We’re not the world’s biggest homebirth crusaders. I think home is one of many safe places to birth and different women in different situations have different needs. Being a low-risk, young mother having a second birth who hates hospitals and can’t relax there was a big factor in our decision. And so, we’re here. And so, we wait. I trust our midwife here and her knowledge and experience, I know if anything concerns her, she’s not afraid to transport us to a hospital where we might have a better outcome.
Just a head’s up.