Saturday, September 15, 2012

Midwifery? Why? Part 2

My journey into having an at-home birth started a little differently. To be able to understand this all, I need to give you a little background.
Between the ages of 14-18 I had 4 major back surgeries, so it is very important for me to have insurance. Our church provides insurance through individual plans. We find a plan and they reimburse us for it. This is A HUGE BLESSING and we are very grateful to be taken care of.  Before Jeremy found our plan, his pastor and my dad talked to him about the importance of making sure we had pregnancy coverage. So when Jer was talking to his agent, he mentioned it and the guy reassured him that we were covered. Trusting that we were, we never checked.
After I found out I was with child, I called my insurance company and asked them about my co-pays. "Co-pays?" They said. "You aren't even covered."  I was shocked. She went on to say that they did not even offer pregnancy coverage to individual insurance carriers. We were only covered in the case of emergencies and, then, only for the delivery itself, not the hospital stay, or anything else. I went to the finance office and saw that I was looking at a $30,000 bill.
Also because of my back surgeries, I knew I would not be able to have an epidural or any other spinal treatment. I always have  preferred  natural ways, as well--I usually take a vitamin before I take a drug. So all of these facts put together seemed to scream MIDWIFE. We decided to look into using one.

My first experience was amazing. I met this dear sweet lady and she was at my house for over 2 hours going over all our questions and concerns. When she left I knew I wanted to have an at-home birth, but when she quoted $5,000 I decided to keep looking around. I decided to visit a OBGYN. I was in the waiting room for an hour and in her office for about 10 minutes. I thought "something about this is not right." This was my first visit and all they did was hand me a bag full of samples and tell me to write my questions on a sheet of paper and come back next time. It felt so cold.

I went back and forth. I kept hearing negative comments about midwifes (of course from people that had never used one) and I was afraid that with my back problems, I might need hospital care.

I still didn't understand why it was so "expensive" to have a home birth. ...BUT when talking to my midwife I realized that, that $5,000 had to go a looooooooooong way. What I didn't realize was that it had to cover EVERYTHING. The midwives did ALL the care plus paid for labs pre-labor, labor and postpartum care and for an assistant to the midwife. They are the nurse, doctor, lab assistant, caregiver, birthing educator, coach, and MUCH MORE. Technically they are underpaid.
So when I was 5 months along, we finally decided to have an at-home birth. I  decided to go back to the dear lady.  By the time I did, she was totally booked up. She referred me to Christine and the fun began. Christine was awesome. In fact, a lot of times we got in trouble with our husbands for talking too much. She became like trusted family.  When you are pushing your baby out, you need someone you can trust.

During labor we hit a few rough spots, but Christine handled it all professionally but yet in a gentle, familiar sort of way.  All mothers know that labor is not easy, (hence the word labor) BUT it was wonderful to be in an safe, familiar environment, with people I know and with whom I am comfortable. It was at home so after Avery was born, I took a shower and cuddled up in my warm soft bed with my baby and hubby.

SIDE NOTE: Doctors are great for emergencies but the majority of labors are not emergencies. God designed our bodies to be able to have and deliver these precious vessels. I'm thankful that if I needed to go to the hospital, it was only about 10 minutes away. Christine has had to transfer patients before and has known when to do that. She has a good head on her shoulders. Yet, I am thankful that God gave me strength to do this without the extra medical intervention.

We never had to drive home from the hospital. In fact, Avery's first car ride was to the pediatrician's office a few days after he was born. 

Due to the lack of drugs in my body, he arrived very alert. In fact, right after he was born, (in the midst of his screaming) he lifting his head on his own and looked at Christine. We were all like "DID YOU SEE THAT" "Did he just do what I think he did?"   What a strong baby!

It was a wonderful experience and I pray that I can continue to give birth to any future children at home.
One last note: if  you are expecting and have a low risk pregnancy, please take the time to research and check out home birth. A good movie about this all is The Business of Being Born.  The movie shows a few births and doesn't cover any body parts, so I don't recommend men watching this movie.
If you are in the Brevard area, I highly recommend Chrysalis Midwifery. Check her out.

If you have had a homebirth please leave a comment and share your experience below. Thanks - rejoicing in the present.

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