Posted by: Ingrid | July 2, 2013

I’ve got Options

So I didn’t anticipate having to weigh my birthing options the third time around, particularly with how much I absolutely loved the home birth experience that I had last time.  I figured that wouldn’t even be something I’d have to think about.  Hospital, bad, home birth, awesome, end of discussion.

But of course, I was wrong.

Maybe it was the terrible first trimester combined with husband teaching 25 college credits on something like 7 or 8 different campuses combined with feeling like all but a few people dropped out of my life.  Between the constant nausea and exhaustion and depression I seriously feel like I lost three months of my life.  Three months that are now a hazy blur, leaving me wondering if it could really have been that bad.  (This is why procreation continues – we start feeling better and develop a fuzzy amnesia state that keeps us from remember how hellish pregnancy and birth can be.  Amnesia lifts as soon as we get pregnant again.)

It was bad enough that I came out of that time with a strong feeling that I never wanted to trust anyone ever again because (most) people are never there when you need them to be unless you pay them.  So yes, the first trimester felt a little traumatic and I am a bit jaded.  Just slightly.

Enter the fall semester, during which Husband will be teaching 28 credits, with a lot of night and weekend classes during months eight and nine of pregnancy.  I thought about my home birth with Jonathan, how within hours of giving birth I was hanging out on the couch eating Subway and feeling like I couldn’t possibly have just been in labor.  How quickly life returned to normal and how quickly I was doing things around the house.

This time around I think through scenarios that involve giving birth and then the next day Husband heading out to teach all day and maybe in the evening as well while I tend to 3 children and laundry and diapers and nursing and putting the baby down and more nursing and more diapers and think NO.  That’s a capitalized, italicized “no” and can be dressed up with expletives if you like – that’s how strongly I feel about it.  I will not be stuck at home exhausted and trying to take care of everything and everyone after having this baby.  I will be somewhere where people work to take care of me; where I can push a button if necessary, nurse my baby without interruption, and food appears at scheduled times.  And since this is baby number 3, maybe I can actually read a book while I’m there as well.

In my ideal world I have this baby in a birthing pool at home with a midwife and then toddle off to the hospital, baby in tow, to check in for a two day vacation.  But I don’t think that’s exactly how they work.  Plus, because of the after care last time with my home birth I wouldn’t use the same midwife  and would have to find a new one plus the expense would come out of pocket.  I am back to where I was with Isaac.  If I can give birth for free I don’t really want to shell out $2000.

So then there is our local hospital.  Now I know that my hospital experience with Isaac was bad, but I am grown up enough to know that it was a first pregnancy experience, in a different state, and that it is not necessarily representative of every hospital in the world.  I take a tour there tomorrow, just to explore that option, but most of my concerns center around the actual giving birth experience.  They have birthing pools to labor in but you have to get out before you start pushing, which is the worst part of labor to move around in.  I sort of feel like, for someone laboring in a tub it would be like giving a woman an epidural and then removing it when she hits 9 em.  I don’t want to be sopping wet and cold and having pushing contractions as they try to get me to sit on the edge of a bed and have a baby.  It feels like I could either lie, and wait until the very end and pretend that I’m not pushing or try to time the birth so that we skid into the hospital as I’m about to have the baby.  Neither option sounds particularly… comfortable.

Another option is a unit that is part of U of M that still does water birth under the care of their Nurse Midwives.  I wasn’t able to get a tour there until the end of the month and I don’t even know if they will have room for me.  If they did, it would be about an hour’s drive, but at least I would feel  like I could get there early and just hang out in Ann Arbor if necessary before checking into the hospital.  From what it sounds like, I think I could probably labor more on my terms and with less stress than I could closer to home.

I did not expect to have these decisions to make!  I suppose this is a good reminder for me that every birth, just like every child, is completely different.  And I still have 16 weeks to figure it all out, right?



  1. man, it would be nice if you could have someone else helping out at home while hubby carries on with work etc so you could have your homebirth and the familiar environment…no relatives to draw from to help for a few days? Would it cost much to hire a nanny for a week or so to help with kids and maintain the house?

    • I am not sure but I am definitely trying to think through the fall schedule and come up with some options. No relatives close by, unfortunately, and we aren’t in a large town… We may fly my MIL out for a few days but we aren’t sure on that yet.

  2. Do I get a vote? Hospital all the way! If, as you say, for nothing else than having some help! Maybe you, ll be lucky like me and have bladder issues and score an extra night! My other thought is when you get home, hire high school kids for the easier stuff like entertsining isaac and light housework. High school labour should be somewhat affordable?? If it makes uou feel better, market rate for a babysitter in our town is 13 to 15 per hour wc given they don, t pay taxes is not muchnless than I make after taxes!!

    • You definitely get a vote. 😉 It’s terrible though, because I know that U of M only keeps patience one night, maybe two depending on when you deliver and I think the hospital closer to us does two for sure. I feel bad knowing that just hearing that sort of sways me, even though I think the experience will be better at U of M. And I will probably have to do something with college/high school students because I will go insane otherwise, I think. Most of the college students nearby charge $7. We would go broke or never go out if they charged $13-15! I can’t believe it!

  3. i went to a birth center that won’t allow you to deliver in water. actually, i think it’s a state regulated thing. anyway, i spent my entire first labor in the jacuzzi. got out about 10 minutes before i delivered. i moved from the tub to the bed between contractions. it wasn’t as bad as you would think. also, i only had to move about 5 feet. is the tub far away from the bed? getting caught during a contraction while trying to move would stink!!! but it’s completely doable and by the 3rd they just slide out (ha) kidding. so, i would see 1. how the room is set up. is the jacuzzi and straight & quick shot to the delivery bed. 2. can you push in any position? like would they have to get you all situated or wherever you land on the bed to push is good for them (if it’s good for you) 3. the temperature of the room itself. how warm do they keep it. (i was never cold and i think my fully clothed husband was sweating). 4. your recovery room. is it different? do you have to move.

    i have quick active labors + the 2nd one i tried to convince myself i wasn’t really in labor. i had 1 contraction @ 11pm then nothing until the next afternoon so i was thinking it was false labor. ha. so when i knew like we wouldn’t have much time we drove 1hr 45min. when i got there, they told me i could push even though i could’ve waited 30 more minutes. i never got to get into the jacuzzi at all 😦 moral of the story, if you want to drive 1hr and you feel “safer” there, you can totally make it. especially since you seem to have longer labors.

  4. For what it’s worth, I think there would be pros and cons to any option. I had two hospital births, but they were of the midwife/no intervention variety (until post birth with my hemorrhage problem). We stayed the minimum amount of time post birth (~24-36 hours, the variation being that I birthed Bella at 1:30 AM vs. Oliver at 9:30 AM) and the hospital experience was not relaxing. They did SO MANY checks that felt useless and we also got had the bad luck of being there during computer system transitions and other nonsense that necessitated extra checks (switchign arm bands to match the new computer system, etc.). I wanted them to stop bugging me and the baby so we could rest. But then again, many other women talk of the restful experience they have at the hospital.

    But if you do home birth and have to pay $2000? OUCH. Plus being in the position of having to be in charge of a full household so quickly. Hmmm…Have you calculated what your insurance would cover/what you would owe if you had a no intervention hospital birth?

    Anyway, I’m sure it will all work out, but what I’m wondering might make the most sense would be putting money towards a postpartum doula/help. Maybe you could do the hospital birth, not stay super long, and then have help at home? Just throwing ideas into the ring!

    Finally, as someone who got into the tub and then hopped out again before giving birth: you don’t even notice. By 9 cm you are so deeply in the zone that being wet doesn’t even register 🙂

    Good luck figuring out your ‘ideal” path with this!!

    • Good to hear that hopping out of the tub isn’t that traumatic. I think because in my only experience I stayed in 2.5 hours and had Jonathan in the water (and never wanted to get out) it sounds like a lot to ask. But I am sure it will be okay. Right? Maybe? And with insurance everything in hospital is covered, unmedicated, medicated, C-section, doesn’t matter (Thank you, state of Michigan.). I will probably opt to spend the money on some help from… someone. Hopefully I’ll figure that out in the next 15-ish weeks.

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