natural birth, water birth

Baby #4, Birth Plans, & Feeling Lost

 I’m 22 weeks pregnant, so it’s time to start thinking about this again. These were my thoughts a few weeks ago, and honestly, I haven’t made any progress in knowing which direction to go:

It’s 10:30 pm. I got off a conference call with the health insurance benefit coordinator an hour ago which got me thinking about my baby due in July. My friends in England always ask me how health insurance works in the US, so I’m just going to put up one of the diagrams from the presentation to support what I always say about it:

“It’s complicated.”

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 20.42.15

I called every midwife and birthing centre I could think of. I’m trying to figure out how in the world I want to bring this baby into the world. Because, to me, this matters. (I think I might have turned a bit crunchy granola in the UK.) All 3 of my births have been special- but now I’m just confused.

You see, baby 1 and baby 2 were born 100% medical model- US based OBGYN led care meds for sleep, pooping regularly, labs drawn frequently, scheduled induction, epidural, 2.5 day stay at the hospital, vaccinations, and pain meds and sleep meds at discharge.

By contrast: Baby #3 was born in the UK. Hands off, birth is a natural process not to be interfered with- went into the midwife led unit at 9 cm dilated, jumped in a tub, hooked up to some nitrous oxide and 20 minutes later, my husband delivered the baby. Got stitched up, took a nap, hit the door.

Read the birth experience in the UK.

Read about the difference between the UK and US labour and delivery from my experience.


Welcome to my stream of consciousness….

Truthfully, I want nitrous oxide. I love that stuff. But then again, I felt more buzzed than I’ve ever felt in my life on it, and I feel slightly bad/irresponsible/weird about it that I was basically stoned when I had my baby. But that buzz? It was amazing.

Looks like I don’t have to debate this too much because nitrous oxide is only available in 3 birthing centre locations in Dallas- so I found out. Two are too far to drive. The third is fully booked.

So I definitely want a water birth. I loved bringing baby into the world in water.

So I inquired about birthing centers with birthing pools.

Birth centers are almost fully booked- one is available, but quite the drive. The drive was the worst part about my last labour, so no thank-you. Only one hospital about 45 minutes away does water births.

No worries, I’ll have a home birth in my own tub.

Then the midwife asked me where I live.

Oh right. I don’t have a house yet. 

What city are you moving to?

I gave her the four most likely possibilities. 

She has one spot left for July, do I want it?

Maybe? Will my insurance cover it?

Back to the stupid diagrams. Ugh. She’s out of network, but if my insurance doesn’t offer another certified nurse midwife, she can be, maybe, might be covered in network. But will it go towards my out of pocket max and my deductible?

I looked through some websites of traditional OB led care. I can’t do the fake plants and the beautiful, but very medical and clinical setting- it’s just too . . . sterile.

By contrast, these birthing centres look a bit…. what’s the word? They remind me of a 2 star motel. It’s almost like some of them used to be a brothel. Like one of the prostitutes got pregnant and the pimp changed business models.

Is that rude? Should I write that?

Maybe, it’s more accurate to say an old fashioned bed and breakfast.

So fancy slick hospital bed with amazing amenities or  1980’s motel?

Oh yeah, the motel is booked. Never mind.

So I asked a midwife… can’t I just birth my baby where I am? I mean my husband caught the last one, right? Like can’t I just go into labour and DIY-it?

She didn’t recommend that, but did say, it isn’t illegal. 

So I have no idea about insurance coverage for anything other than OBGYNs and hospital births.

How much money do I want to pay for “a natural” birth?

Hell, if it is going to be $4200 like I’ve been quoted for a hands-off, home birth labour at my home that doesn’t currently exist, I want the epidural, the nice food, the push-button help from the nurse, the nursery so I can get some sleep, the pain meds, and the two day stay.

I need to make a decision basically now if I’m going to choose midwifery led care, and I just can’t commit not knowing where I’m going to live or how the house will be set up.

Why not just go with the dearly loved OBGYN who brought the first two into the world?

I love love love my old OBGYN. He’s pretty far from where I’m expecting to live, but I’m just too crunchy to go back to his pharmacological model- as nice as it was to schedule the birth.

So two hours later, two consultations with midwifes and some internet searching plus some frantic asking friends for recommendations, I’m still where I was at 10:30 pm- lost.

I think I’ll eat a snack and get some shut eye.

Am I overcomplicating this?

#pregnancy #moving #expatlife




7 thoughts on “Baby #4, Birth Plans, & Feeling Lost

  1. Kathryn says:

    Consider what I call hospital lite: use the hospital and OB/GYN but decline all the meds and epidural, skip the scheduled induction, have a port instead of a full IV, etc that you can and only use what meds/services that you choose to do. Even though you’re in the hospital you can still say no to a lot of things.


  2. Jersema says:

    I had two children at home without a midwife, just the father. People have been having babies for thousands of years. Birth and death both get complicated by hospitals. But it it is true, and a good idea, that you can just say no to the meds and procedures you are better off without. Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

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