Yesterday, we hired a midwife. Here’s why:
- I have been disappointed in the care and advice I received from OB/GYNs in the past.
- I am healthy and have no reason to expect complications to arise during this pregnancy.
- Here in Alabama, the Caesarian section rate hovers right around 37%. Should I choose to birth in a hospital, I’d have greater than a one in three chance of undergoing major abdominal surgery.
- We have particular ideas about how we want to parent and a hospital birth is not conducive to the aspirations we have for our child in the first few days after birth.
- Establishing a good breastfeeding relationship is very important to me, and a hospital setting will not facilitate that as well as a homebirth.
- I hope to establish a relationship with a trusted midwife who will oversee my physical and psychological wellbeing during my childbearing years.
- We appreciate the role a healthy diet and active lifestyle plays in a healthy pregnancy, more so than unnecessary medications and procedures.
- I (not we, because Cody isn’t so certain) am not comfortable placing a limit on the number of children we will have. That being said, I want to do everything I can to prevent a C-section and the need for subsequent surgeries should we want to have more children.
- We want our birth to be centered on our relationship and the life we are bringing into the world. I’m not interested in getting an epidural so that I can still converse with my mother, mother-in-law, and best friend while I push then feel I need to fix my hair and put on some makeup so that I can hand-off my baby to assorted friends and family members hours after it emerges from my womb.
- There are many standard hospital procedures that we are skeptical about and do not want to be pressured into making important decisions without being completely informed.
- We want to learn everything we can about pregnancy, birth, and taking care of our baby during this pregnancy (our midwife has a first time mother’s program that requires us to read several books, take three courses in her office, and either a Hypnobabies or Bradley Method course).
- My health insurance will not begin to provide maternity coverage until Oct. 1, 2013. Our baby’s due date is September 10, 2013. Financially, a midwife whose fee is $2,700.00 is a much smarter decision than a hospital birth that would cost upwards of $10,000.00 without an epidural or any complications (notice that this reason is lowest on the list).
There are probably several other great reasons that I’ve forgotten because pregnancy brain is, in fact, real. I cannot explain how relieved I was to find that the midwife we met yesterday met my expectations and answered all the questions I had perfectly. Our consultation lasted about an hour and she told us to expect all my prenatal visits to last an hour as well. My first official prenatal visit is at the end of this month. I’ll be twelve weeks and a few days then and should be able to hear a tiny heart beat.
We understand that we are first time parents with so many surprises ahead of us. We also understand that midwifery care isn’t for everyone. However, Cody and I are both so thankful that this option is available to us, despite all obstacles. You see, midwives are not licensed in Alabama and homebirths are illegal. Our midwife is located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, about an hour and a half away, and I will be delivering our baby in her home. I am so excited about this journey and sharing everything we learn with my scattered handful of readers!