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Old 09-19-2013, 02:35 PM   #1
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Questions about homebirth

I'm really torn about what to do. I would like to homebirth this baby (my third). I've had 2 uncomplicated hospital births but one was premature (36 weeks) and I needed a few stitches (2-3 the first time, 1 the second). I also live in PA where homebirth is illegal. That being said, no one goes into homes and enforces it or anything, just the practitioner can be fined for unlicensed practice of medicine.

I found an amazing homebirth midwife -- she is a retired RN has delivered 100s of babies. She charges a really reasonable price (under 1000 if you go to her for all the prenatal checks). I have a coinsurance with my insurance so if I go to the hospital I would be looking at 5-6k out of pocket. I don't like my hospital stays, I'm really uncomfortable there, some of the nurses really push formula, I don't like the constant poking and prodding. BUT my DH is uncomfortable with the idea of a homebirth. He is afraid something might go wrong or blood will be everywhere.

What would you do? Are there any articles anyone can suggest to me to have DH read (non-graphic please)? He is open to exploring the idea of homebirth, but like I said I can tell it makes him uncomfortable. I don't want to do it without him being fully on board. I also hate the idea of paying 5-6k for a doctor to catch a baby (got the hospital 1 and 1/2 hours before DS1 was born and 40 minutes before DS2 so it isn't like they "do" that much at the hospital before they just catch the baby -- but obviously they check over the baby and all that).

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Old 09-19-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
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Re: Questions about homebirth

What is the drive time to the hospital?

My dh is very numbers/science/study oriented so I would just show him the statistics I found as I came across them about the safety. I took him to the first meeting with the midwife so that he could ask any questions that were still concerning him at that point. We'll be having our fourth c-section in a few days but we are both VERY pro homebirth for healthy uneventful pregnancies.

We are about a fifteen minute drive to transport to a hospital (and we did end up transporting) and we both felt comfortable with that.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:12 PM   #3
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Re: Questions about homebirth

Homebirths aren't legal here, so my compromise is travel to a birth center over the state border. Thankfully, my experience is I have very long labors, and my midwife is actually closer to me than any hospital.

I'm pro-homebirth, but I'm just not comfortable working with a midwife skirting the law. I know lots of people are, but that's where I've been able to draw the line. We also have a plan for transfer if necessary, and I know where she stands there (she's got good instincts and is not the type to screw around if she thinks something is amiss).
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:20 PM   #4
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Re: Questions about homebirth

First your fears...36 weeks is full term, and I'm sure any mw would deliver a 36 week baby. Stitches...most mw can do stitches.

Your dh's fears...if something goes wrong, it is usually a process, not an immediate thing, and a trained mw will know if you need to get to the hospital. You can go at any time (before or after the birth), or call 911. That said, most birth problems are caused by too many interventions.
Blood everywhere...hmmm...I suppose it's possible, it's probably less bloody than he thinks... but most mw's clean up everything after the birth, and put down lots of chux pads. Also, you may want to rent a birth tub and do a water birth, or if you have a large tub, use that.
A mw can also look over your baby, and you can take it in to the pediatrician within the first week of birth. A MW will also usually carry oxygen if they baby is having trouble breathing.
You should interview the MW w/ dh and ask all these questions!

Good luck, I hope you are able to have the birth you envision!
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
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Re: Questions about homebirth

First of all, homebirth is not illegal in Pa. It's alegal. There are no laws supporting or forbidding it. With all the amish homebirths it really can't be illegal in this state. Practicing without a license is what is illegal in this state. Pa doesn't offer licenses to DEM's or CPM's. So that means that licensed CNM's have no problems (legally at least) homebirthing in this state but a DEM or CPM might. The only time I've heard about a DEM or CPM getting in trouble in Pa for homebirths is when something goes wrong.

What part of the state are you in and what midwife did you find? I'm in Pa too and just had my homebirth a year and a half ago. I may be able to give you some info on the person you had.

One thing that concerns me (though I know it would concern other people) is the fact that your midwife is a RN. Not that there is anything wrong with that but I would want to find out what additional birthing training she has done. How long has she been practicing? Most midwives around here in eastern Pa only take on 2 babies or so a month so I find it a little hard to believe she has been in charge of delivering 100's of babies. How many babies has SHE actually delivered and not just attended? I also find it odd she is only charging $1,000. The cheapest midwife I found charged $2,000 she was a long standing midwife who had pretty extensive midwife training. I know of midwives in the area that are charging quadruple your cost who have very little experience AND are just DEM's. I certainly could be wrong but that $1,000 cost throws up some red flags. I would be questioning her very well.

That said about homebirth itself... There is very little mess. I think I 'dirtied' two or three chux pads and a towel that got washed. I personally am a science minded person so reading the research makes me feel better. I live in NEPA, there is only one delivering hospital in my area, Moses Taylor and it STINKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Either way something can go wrong. Your not magically safe from danger if you deliver in a hospital. After experiencing the horridness of Moses Taylor I felt safer at home once I did the research. We lived 30min's from the hospital which is considered a safe distance. The book, "the thinking women's guide" by Henci Goer talks about the research that has been done about many of the common things done in the hospital, IV's, drugs, electronic fetal monitoring, no food by mouth rules etc. That book really helped me make the decision.

As for the
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:22 PM   #6
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Re: Questions about homebirth

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsBurrows View Post
Homebirths aren't legal here, so my compromise is travel to a birth center over the state border. Thankfully, my experience is I have very long labors, and my midwife is actually closer to me than any hospital.

I'm pro-homebirth, but I'm just not comfortable working with a midwife skirting the law. I know lots of people are, but that's where I've been able to draw the line. We also have a plan for transfer if necessary, and I know where she stands there (she's got good instincts and is not the type to screw around if she thinks something is amiss).
This.

I would either go across state borders, depending on location, or find a really good OB.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:24 PM   #7
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Re: Questions about homebirth

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Originally Posted by Ellasundies View Post
First of all, homebirth is not illegal in Pa. It's alegal. There are no laws supporting or forbidding it. With all the amish homebirths it really can't be illegal in this state. Practicing without a license is what is illegal in this state. Pa doesn't offer licenses to DEM's or CPM's. So that means that licensed CNM's have no problems (legally at least) homebirthing in this state but a DEM or CPM might. The only time I've heard about a DEM or CPM getting in trouble in Pa for homebirths is when something goes wrong.

What part of the state are you in and what midwife did you find? I'm in Pa too and just had my homebirth a year and a half ago. I may be able to give you some info on the person you had.

One thing that concerns me (though I know it would concern other people) is the fact that your midwife is a RN. Not that there is anything wrong with that but I would want to find out what additional birthing training she has done. How long has she been practicing? Most midwives around here in eastern Pa only take on 2 babies or so a month so I find it a little hard to believe she has been in charge of delivering 100's of babies. How many babies has SHE actually delivered and not just attended? I also find it odd she is only charging $1,000. The cheapest midwife I found charged $2,000 she was a long standing midwife who had pretty extensive midwife training. I know of midwives in the area that are charging quadruple your cost who have very little experience AND are just DEM's. I certainly could be wrong but that $1,000 cost throws up some red flags. I would be questioning her very well.

That said about homebirth itself... There is very little mess. I think I 'dirtied' two or three chux pads and a towel that got washed. I personally am a science minded person so reading the research makes me feel better. I live in NEPA, there is only one delivering hospital in my area, Moses Taylor and it STINKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Either way something can go wrong. Your not magically safe from danger if you deliver in a hospital. After experiencing the horridness of Moses Taylor I felt safer at home once I did the research. We lived 30min's from the hospital which is considered a safe distance. The book, "the thinking women's guide" by Henci Goer talks about the research that has been done about many of the common things done in the hospital, IV's, drugs, electronic fetal monitoring, no food by mouth rules etc. That book really helped me make the decision.

As for the
my midwife was a CNM and charged $1,400. and i'm in South Florida with a high COL?
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:02 PM   #8
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Re: Questions about homebirth

I'm sure there are areas where that price is normal but it isn't for eastern pa. The OP said she was in pa which is why I mentioned the price thing. Fwiw I wouldn't consider the mid to northern pa area high col. I think col is only a part of it.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:38 PM   #9
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Re: Questions about homebirth

Watch the movie business of being born, its really well done. My husband enjoyed watching it.

For a 36 week baby you'd probably goto the hospital (I would think any experience midwife would send you there). I am not allowed to delivery at the birth center until 37 weeks. i'd say do it if DH comes around.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Pixi6s
Watch the movie business of being born, its really well done. My husband enjoyed watching it.

For a 36 week baby you'd probably goto the hospital (I would think any experience midwife would send you there). I am not allowed to delivery at the birth center until 37 weeks. i'd say do it if DH comes around.
Yes, I was going to recommend BoBB as well. My home birth midwives also won't deliver before 37 weeks at home.
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