Monday, June 14, 2010

An Uncertain Birth Future

A few days ago, I received the rather upsetting news that our midwife, due to a new practice partner, will not be able to accept the bartering arrangement by which we have "paid" for our two births (we've done computer services for birth services). The question now: Where does that leave us in case of another surprise baby?

Here are some of the options I can think of (good and bad lumped together):

(1) Pay cash - nearly impossible, as our finances can be described by the term "shoestring"

(2) Traditional OB care and hospital birth - Not even an option.

(3) Traditional OB care with "oops!" unassisted homebirth

(4) Unassisted pregnancy and birth

(5) Trying to find a midwife with discounted prices for bartering or using a senior student as primary caregiver

(6) If my husband changes jobs, hoping that homebirth will be covered by a new insurance. Or using a "flex spending account" - not quite sure what that is, or if it's an option.


While I completely support a woman's right to UC (unassisted childbirth), I'm not comfortable with it for myself, for three reasons: (1) I know quite a bit about birth, but my husband does not; and a woman in labor is not the best midwife in the world, (2) something could easily happen outside of our ability to handle it, (3) both of our babies have had a hard time at the end of labor, especially our last, who required some resuscitation and suctioning. Not fun to handle solo.

However, at the very least it looks like we might have to face the chance of losing our midwife. I guess we'd live through it, but we are really bonded with her and would hate to lose her. Kind of an upsetting transition!

Of course, this is all entirely theoretical. We have not yet come to a peaceful answer to the "Are we done or not?" question regarding childbearing. But I'm one of those uptight people who likes to have theoretical future situations resolved in advance, even if they may never materialize! So here is yet another question for us to ponder.

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