I think the perfect birth would be a water birth with an epidural. Sadly I can’t find any doctors or midwives who will hook a sista up with that, so I’m searching for the next best thing. No, not an orgasmic birth. Weird! But I am looking into other avenues I once thought were strange.
I LOVED my birth. Nothing against it. Nothing I’d do differently if I could do it again, but I’m open to trying new things. Which is what intrigued me about a local birth center.
At work I recently had the chance to interview a midwife who owns a birth center for a health segment I do once a week. That’s one thing I love about my job. It gives me a chance to meet people and see things I may not normally see.
But something I found once I arrived was this wasn’t just any birth center–It’s quite possibly the only birthing center in the world that could convert me, (an epidural lover) into a midwife and birth center prospect.
First of all, I’m not the type of person who could give birth to my baby at home. Not on purpose at least. I like to be in some kind of professional atmosphere. I loved the hospital but a birth center has a nice homier feel, but without my dog’s hair everywhere.
The owner, Jeanne, she rocked my socks off the bat. She told me straight up, her birth center isn’t for everyone. People who are high risk or who really don’t want to feel any pain she said she’d recommend they look elsewhere. Their pre-patient screenings help them to have very low transfer rates, and since I’ve already had one baby vaginally, there’s something like a 1/400 chance things wouldn’t go as well the second time.
She also had positive things to say about OBs, hospitals, and how she thinks the “us vs them” mentality is ridiculous (it took every fiber of my being to keep me from hugging her when she said this). I told her how I loved my birth experience but am open to trying something new, and she didn’t try for one second to tell me how her way was better than any other way. She said everyone wants different experiences and your expectations can greatly impact how you feel in the end.
I had never met someone from her side of the fence who seemed so open to different opinions. This opened my mind to the serious consideration of a birth outside of a hospital.
The reason I crossed this idea off from the get go last time was because my insurance covered my hospital fees 100% after a $150 deductible. 150 bucks, that’s it. My contribution was chump change compared to my $17,000 bill.
Now my insurance plan is more like 90/10. Still not bad, but 10% of that bill is $1,700. The total cost of all of the care at this birth center, including all prenatal care, yoga twice a week, ultrasounds and the birth is–better sit down–$4,500. Worst case scenario my out of network cost would be 20% and thus about $900.
This decision doesn’t all come down to money but now the idea is definitely on my radar. Just getting a tour of this place got me all excited. Look at these tubs! My hospital didn’t have any sadly. These beds and tubs looked so cozy I just want to get a babysitter and escape there with my husband. I’d use it as a bed and breakfast. I’m not picturing myself shaking from
pain intensity while pushing a ten pound baby out of my whohaah with no pain medication.
Oh, and about the drugs. They have some there! Not epidurals but something special they can give you to “take the edge off.” I need to ask again what this is called because if it’s what I got at the hospital last time before I got my epidural I don’t want it. I felt like a drunk… At least I think that’s how a drunken person would feel.
Others tell me laboring in a birthing tub is like having an epidural but I don’t believe them. I want to but I just can’t. People telling me that must not have had the awesome experience I did with my drippy drug. They also tell me babies born naturally are more alert. I’m not sure why that’s a positive yet but maybe someone will tell me. My daughter seemed pretty alert to me. But really, who wants an extremely perky baby to deal with after running a marathon? I’ll take the sleepy one.
Anyway, I’m keeping this place in my back pocket for Spawnie #2. This specific room. But my husband says a birth center is out of the question because they don’t have epidurals and because I “don’t remember how bad it was” but he does. We’ll need to work on his dulo skills.
Part of me thinkings “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” but at the same time, what if the experience could be even BETTER?