Friday, November 21, 2008

Home or Birth Center?



After several weeks of insurance limbo about the birth of this child, we have received some great news from our insurance company (Anthem Healthkeepers HMO). Since they don't have any in-network midwives in the area, they've pre-approved us to use the midwives that we were hoping to go with, who are based in Alexandria. We like this practice of midwives because they do both home births and birth center births, remind us of the Cambridge Birth Center, which we loved, and are within a reasonable driving distance. So now that we're finally cleared to do our prenatal care and delivery with these midwives, we have to decide whether we want a home birth or another delivery at a birth center. Since as far as we know, we have another low-risk pregnancy on our hands, the safety of either option is a non-issue-- the midwives take the same precautions in both locations, and are prepared to make a transfer to a hospital in the event of a complication.

Here's what I'm thinking today.

Advantages of a home birth:
  • we don't have to drive to the birth center (this is huge, because I can't imagine spending an hour of labor in the car... in Boston we had 3 minutes of labor in the car and that felt way too long)
  • we don't have to drive anywhere after the birth and can just rest/ sleep at home after labor
  • we are most comfortable in our home environment
  • second babies tend to come fast, so we have the advantage of already being at our delivery point
  • we don't have to worry about taking Zosia anywhere, since she'll be happy to be at home
  • we have all our stuff/food here
Advantages of the birth center/ disadvantages of home birth:
  • i thought it was kind of nice to change scenery mid-labor last time... maybe because I was practically fully dilated by the time we got the birth center and was just happy to start pushing
  • at the birth center, you don't have to get all the delivery stuff ready (there's a looong list of things you have to prepare for a home birth)
  • the laboring tub at the birth center is infinitely more comfortable than our 1950's era tub that doesn't even have an inclined back
  • at the birth center, i could walk around and be as vocal as I want to without having to worry about waking Zosia up (although I'm seriously praying that this next labor takes place entirely during the day... man, it was hard to make up for a full night missed sleep)
  • During rush hour, the drive could take an hour or more
I'm sure that both lists will grow as I learn more about each option, but I think that if I had to make the decision today, I would go with home birth, especially after talking to a mom who just had a home birth a week ago (and also has a toddler at home) and loved it. I'll let you know when we decide for sure!

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