Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Preparing for Birth: When nothing goes as planned

This post is part one of two...there is now more to the story!

When I was pregnant with Dmitri, deciding on a care provider and a birth plan was pretty simple. I knew that I wanted a natural, unmedicated birth. I also knew that David would not consider a non-hospital birth (although I would have preferred a home birth). So we made the best educated decision we could, choosing a practice of midwives that had a good reputation in the community in which we live.

The birth (click for story!) went better than I ever could have hoped for. As a first-time mom who had no tangible experience with labor and birth, I was in awe of my own body, and was so happy that I was able to achieve what I had hoped for and spent so much time educating myself about.

It's been 16-months since Dmitri's birth, and I have had some time to analyze how I feel about the birth, now, and to figure out what I want to do differently (or the same) the second time around. However, trying to enact these thoughts and plans has been far more challenging than I ever expected.

-The first bump (other than the ever-growing one thanks to jelly bean) came when I found out that my doula would not be able to attend the birth. She was such an amazing support with Dmitri's birth, (and before and after, as well). She is one of those special people that I feel such a connection with, on so many levels. I had always envisioned her being at baby # 2's birth, and letting go of this was difficult and challenging. She has remained such a support, resource, and friend throughout this pregnancy, and I am so grateful for that!

- The second challenge came in trying to choose a location for the birth.The primary thing that I want to change is that I really want a home birth. I wanted one with Dmitri, but since David was not on board I decided not to push the issue. However, he said that if everything went fine the first time, then we could consider a home birth for subsequent births. At the beginning of the pregnancy, we discussed (and debated) having a home birth, and finally at about 15 weeks, decided to contact a home birth midwife.

- I talked to our local home birth midwife on the phone, and we scheduled a consultation (I was 16 weeks when I first contacted her). I was feeling really excited and positive that the birth would turn out the way I had always hoped.

-Two hours before the consultation, the midwife called to reschedule because her daughter was sick. So, I had to wait another week. 18 weeks.

- The day of our rescheduled appointment, David and I reviewed our long list of questions we had for her. We drove over to her house, but we were running about five minutes late. So I called the midwife to let her know, and....she had completely forgotten about it and gone out of town. To say that I was disappointed was an understatement. I was having serious doubts at this point. But we went ahead and rescheduled for a third appointment for two days later.

-Monday afternoon, two hours before our third rescheduled consult, she called to cancel AGAIN. I was 19 weeks pregnant....and let's just say I did not try to reschedule.

-At this point, I was feeling completely lost. What do I do now? She was the only midwife in Athens. I was paralyzed, frustrated, and scared. After a few days of letting this process, I began to look into other options, grasping at anything. I didn't find much...

Option One:
A team of homebirth midwives that live in Kennesaw, two hours away from my home.
Pros: Our birth philosophies mesh really well; I really like both of them, and I would love to have them at the birth.
Cons: They would cost $3,000 out of pocket & I would have to drive 4 hours for EVERY prenatal visit. The only philosophical difference that I encountered was on the subject of checking the cervix - I do not want to be checked at all, and they "required" one check (not exactly what I wanted, but I figured I could live with this.).

Option Two:
A hospital birth, like I did with Dmitri.
Pros: We don't have to pay out of pocket! It's 7 minutes from our house.
Cons: I really do not want a hospital birth. I'm actually  pretty depressed about the entire idea. I realized this at 15 weeks when, for the first time, I actually got excited about the birth: because I thought a home birth might be an option! I don't want to ride in the car while in labor. I don't want to have to worry about leaving Dmitri overnight. I cannot sleep in hospitals (which meant with Dmitri, I laid in the hospital for two nights, not getting any sleep, after having labored and birthed a baby for 13 hours. Not exactly a good start to recovery.). I don't like having 8 people in the room while I'm laboring and giving birth. I don't like the bright lights, or laying on my back to give birth. I don't like having to get out of the bathtub to give birth. I don't like the machines. I don't like not knowing who is going to be at the birth- it's a large group of midwives, and while I like most of them, there are a few that I'd rather not have at the birth.. And I could go on....

So there I was. Over half-way there. Unsure. Undecided. Disheartened. And feeling like I'm having to give up on a dream.

Part two coming soon...


Unknown said...

Oh you poor dear! I completely understand! We ended up paying out of pocket for our midwife so we could have a homebirth cuz I hate hospitals too. I think it's worth it at the end, but my midwife is only 1 hour each way. Thinking of you as you make this hard decision!

Sarah said...

Your dilemma sounds very similar to the factors I had to consider when Celia was born. I ended up finding a midwife practice that delivers at a hospital that's very supportive of minimal interventions and natural birth. I'll be interested to see what you've ended up deciding! Oh, and internal checks? I'm with you on those. All they do is lead to unnecessary interventions.

Cat said...

Hi! Thanks for the comment and thanks for stopping by my blog. I did get the Otter box! Love my phone. :)

coolkids said...

wow. Great post. I am fascinated by natural births and home births but it isn’t what I would choose. Actually, it isn’t even an option for me. I was born with a hole in my heart and had open heart surgery at the age of 4. (would happen now at 6-12 months) and I have to be closely monitored etc..
Now, I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Cate said...

I had the same experience with trying to sleep in the hospital...I hardly slept a wink until we got home! It was much too noisy, and I think my recovery suffered from lack of sleep. :-( We're exploring home birth options for next time!

Curly-T said...

Read your birth story - AWESOME YOU!! You had your plan and you stuck with it and that's incredible. I've had both mine without meds (though I didn't want to move as much as you!), and while I didn't want to see my baby's head either (why do they even offer mirrors???) it was an amazing feeling.
I'm hoping part two is a turn around to something good - thinking of you as you plan out this birth!

Katie Olthoff said...

I forgot about my own party this week. Pregnancy brain.

Please link this up next week?