Yesterday we interviewed a midwife for home birth, and then toured a birthing center and spoke with one of the midwives there.
We had discovered before arriving that the coverage for the birth center was great (read: pretty much free) where the coverage for the midwife, while existent, was not near what the birth center offered. So going into the interviews, I was assuming that we would end up with the birth center.
We spoke with the home birth midwife first. I was really impressed with her experience and demeanor, and she made me feel really comfortable with the idea of birthing at home. We learned that we wouldn't be cleaning up afterwards (she handles that), she brings staff with her (generally a nurse and sometimes a student midwife as well), and she handles your labor how you want. Don't want her around until its absolutely necessary? She'll step out and give you space. Want her there every second to offer support? She'll do that too.
I loved that she didn't feel the slightest bit pushy, as I have seen some strong personalities in the birthing community and could imagine some being a little too strong for me.
After the interview, we headed over to the birth center, about a 10-15 minutes drive from our house. We arrived a bit early to the birthing facility, so we headed to their office (they have two buildings - one for exams, the other for birthing) to see if maybe we could start early. We found out that the midwife was catching up on some sleep but would be over there at 5 as scheduled.
When we returned to the center at 5, I was a little surprised to see others there, as I assumed it was a personal tour with an opportunity to speak one on one with the midwife after. (My fault for assuming) After waiting a few minutes for two more couples that never showed, we were given a tour of the facility. It was homey - birthing rooms looked like bedrooms, with their own attached bathroom in most cases. The two rooms equipped for water births had a kiddie pool (that's really what they were, nothing fancy) in either the bedroom or the attached bathroom.
It was all nice enough. But for some reason I just wasn't feeling it. I kept thinking about being at home in my own comfy bed during early labor, being in my own bathroom for the water birth (we have a big tub). The familiar smells of home, my own fridge with fruit and drinks I would want. Not having to pack anything while I am in the midst of labor. Not having to MOVE at all in the middle of labor.
The birth center had oxygen and other items available should the patient need it, but so did the home birth midwife. All of the things they had, the midwife would be bringing to me.
The birth center midwife spoke with all of us as a group after, and I got kind of bored. She was talking about things I had already researched, things I had already learned. She was new, so the questions I had (e.g. "what are your transfer rates?) she didn't have the answers to on hand. And then, we found out that if they do transfer you, it would be to a hospital that I would not want to go to if there was an emergency.
When we left, I felt guilty. I knew that the birth center wasn't a bad option. And it was definitely the less expensive option. But I just kept thinking about how nice the birth would be in the comfort of my own home. How nice it would be to have Jonas and simply rest with him in my own bed, instead of packing him and everything else up to go home.
I asked J when we got in the car what he thought. He hesitated, saying he didn't want to color my decision with his opinion, as he felt that ultimately, I should be the one to decide. I insisted he go first and was relieved to hear him say that he felt better about the home birth.
So today, I faxed authorization for the release of my medical records to the midwife and am now planning for my home (possibly water) birth.
In a good way.
Listening to: Annie Waits by Ben Folds
Current Mood: Relieved. I also feel good after I've made a decision and started the process of moving forward with that decision.