Friday, May 16, 2008

Home Birth

I promise I will write about something other than the pregnancy soon. I am doing other things, ya know. I am going to a sketch group again, painting, getting apartment baby-ready, yoga, and more yoga.

And I have debated telling everyone this, but then I remembered that I am not Dooce and most likely will not get any horrible comments or emails. So anyway, we have decided to have a home birth. I talked about it before, and after many talks, tons of research, interviewing midwives, watching this movie 3 times, we feel so good about out decision. And we picked a midwife, Davi, who we love and trust. She is a former hospital bound nurse midwife, and now a private one, with 20 years experience helping babies come into the world.

And contrary to what I assumed, LA is not full of birth centers and midwives. I found four midwives and NO birth centers. And many of the hospitals do not allow midwife births or have birthing tubs. I was shocked at this, and I assumed it was probably a matter of big business insurance crap. My OB, who is a super sweet woman, had to have so many patients just to make her huge malpractice insurance costs. This is why I wait 45 minutes to see her for 5 minutes. And I was completely forgotten one time. I know she doesn't want it that way either. The office would tell me that I had to go here and get this test, and this blood work, and then this other test. Okay. But then I would have to call them two weeks later to find the result. My last blood test showed I had very low iron, and they didn't even call me. ( I started taking iron supplements, and man, oh, man, what a difference!) They are way too overloaded.

On the contrary, at the initial consultation visit with the midwife we all talked for two hours. That's more time I ever spent talking to the OB combined. There were all these pictures of babies coming out of hoohas on every wall. There was a very comfy waiting area with books and nobody else in it. And the next visit was an hour. They told me they always leave room for an hour at every visit. They come to the house for the birth, stay for two hours after, and come visit the day after, and for four more home visits after that. I have their personal cel phone numbers. They made it very clear that they take no chances - if they think anything looks questionable, off to the hospital, where they stay and be doulas. They come to the house with just about everything they would have at the hospital except epidurals and scalpels.

I believe that the routine the hospitals do is not in synch with what the body needs. I would think that a laboring woman needs to move around and to feel safe. I know for me, I need to feel safe and comfortable in my environment so I feel free to to let my body take over. And to have a midwife there every second when I need her. I feel that having nurses running in at every blip on a fetal monitor strapped to my belly would drive me to a panic. The rates for interventions, cesareans, and fetal deaths rose immediately when fetal monitoring started. America has one of the very worst fetal and maternal death rates in hospitals. The rate for home births is much lower. The rate for cesarean surgeries is so high in hospitals (40% in the hospital here!) In home births, the rate for hospital transfer is 8%, and only 4 to 5% of those end up in cesarean. The rate of tearing and episiotomies are practically nil. All these things were pivotal in our decision.

Now the next big decision. A pediatrician. Any advice about that one? Gah, I am so worried about this decision. There aren't too many in our insurance near us. And I do not like the idea of having to drive 40 minutes (without traffic) to one.

We already warned all our neighbors about the likeliness of 3am howling in early August. But we have heard plenty of stuff like that coming from their apartments, so we're even.


ks1k said...

Go for it Joy. Do what you feel is best for you, Mark and the Ninja.

No ideas on a pediatrician. I would look for one as close as possible.


saffry said...

I surprised by the lack of birthing centers, it must be fall-out from the huge increase in OB malpractice insurance in the last few years.

It does sound like you'll be much happier at home. I hope Mark is up to it, Dan would've passed out if he'd had to take on one of the nursing/birthing roles. Do you think you'd like to have other friends or your Mom there to help? Or do you want it to be a quiet occasion with just you & Mark & the midwives.

Just keep an open mind about things. I think that anyone who plans for the perfect birth has a 100% chance of something going wrong. Even if you stay home and everything goes well, you'll probably accidentally start blasting Beastie Boys from the stereo when you meant to have something calming for the birth.

paintrly1 said...

Thanks, Dad!
Thanks, Amy!
Yes we have an open mind, and we are not clinging to any outcome or process. I am starting to feel real thrilled about just letting things go where they go.