A big decision: we’re going for a home birth!

by Milton on Fri, Nov 6th, 2009

in Doctors, midwives, and doulas,Week 14

I think today we went from being pretty certain about having our baby in a hospital with a doctor and all that that implies to going to the complete opposite end of the spectrum and deciding to do a home birth with a midwife.

I totally think it’s the right thing for us to do.

We met with a midwife group called Rainy City Midwifery and the difference between what we learned in the 60 minutes there versus the 3 visits and many hours of being at the Polyclinic was stark, to say the least.

Beth Coyote (great name, right?) at Rainy City Midwifery was amazing. Right away she talked about how this is not simply a medical procedure involving a uterus and a baby, but something that is happening to our family.  The creation of a family even.  Imagine that.

3% Cesarean rates, with 85% of the births taking place without transferring to a hospital.  That’s a stark contrast to the 30% Cesarean rates at Polyclinic (even though even that’s lower than the national average).

They have 3 midwives and 2 students, with one midwife always on call, while all 3 are always up to date on everything happening with every mother.  The 2 students attend every birth.  So there are at least 3 people with their full attention on you at all times.  If things end up going to the hospital, they come with you and stay through the end.

Listen to this.  They visit your home 1 day after the birth and 3 days after the birth, and also continue to help out for the following 6 weeks.  That alone was a huge deal to me, and illustrated the difference between getting the baby out and starting a family.

They are cheaper than a hospital.  Mostly because they don’t bother running up every single bill that they can.  When we explained our insurance situation Beth even suggested that some potential payment plans were available.  We might need those.

On every visit (about the same number of visits as you would for a doctor) they spend most of the time talking with you, answering questions, etc.  Contrast that to our 10 minutes of doctor time that we’ve had during our first 3 visits, and however many minutes waiting in waiting rooms and little rooms.

I was ready to sign up right then and there this afternoon.  Esther wanted to talk about it, so we left, talked 10 minutes, and then made our next appointment and canceled our future appointments at the Polyclinic.

We’re gonna try to do a home birth.  1% of births in the US are through midwives, and only a fraction of those are done outside of a hospital.  So we’re going a pretty radically different route than most people do.  But, outside the US, plenty of other countries do it this way.  We both strongly feel that this is the right decision for us.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ariel Fri, Nov 6th, 2009 at 11:29 am

Yay! That’s awesome! I know Beth from my childhood — she was one of my mom’s midwifery assistants/students back in the ’80s. She’s awesome, and I have some close friends who had a baby delivered by a Rainy City midwife (not Beth – one of her partners) last fall.

The level of “whole person” care that I feel like we’ve gotten from our midwives has been so wonderful. Even if I’m not able to have a natural birth (thanks to this stubborn breech baby), I’m soooo happy that all my prenatal care has been with midwives instead of doctors.


2 Callie Fri, Nov 6th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Congratulations! That sounds like a wonderful option for you guys.

I delivered at a birth center with midwives and their care protocol was the same was what you described. They came to my house a day after my son was born to check on him (and me). It was wonderful to not have to travel out there. We live too far away from a hospital for a home birth to be an option right now, but if it is an option in the future, we will definitely consider it.

I look forward to following your story!


3 Kaitlin Rose Walker Wed, Nov 11th, 2009 at 6:42 am

So happy to hear you are having a home birth! I had a beautiful home birth experience as a first time mother back in February. My little Ella is 9 months old now and thriving! I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

The way of care between OBs in a hospital setting and a midwife at home are night and day. I had those home visits you mentioned looking forward to and they were heaven.

Best of luck to you!

PS – have you heard of the documentary The Business of Being Born? Well Ricki Lake and Abbi created a online community centered around it and their new book My Best Birth. It’s a great place to meet other moms – there is a Home Birth group that has over 440 members!


4 Rachel Mon, Nov 16th, 2009 at 7:50 am

Cool! I’m glad Rainy City is going to take good care of the Bensons!


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