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I just finished watching The Business of Being Born this morning. My insurance covers midwives, but there are none that practice under the umbrella of my physicians group, and there aren't any that even deliver at my hospital. As it is, my hospital is 30 mins away. I'm not okay with going to another one (would be 45+ mins away and it's not a nice hospital). There is only ONE birthing center in all of greater Sacramento, and it's a 45+ min drive for me as well.....which I guess isn't the end of the world. My current hospital is the closest to my home, 30 mins, I literally live in the middle of no where....so a home birth isn't on the table at all.
I thought going with an OB would be okay, that I could still get the natural birth that I wanted. However, the more and more I think about it, the more terrified I get. There are 4 OBs in my practice, I've only met 2 of them. The first one got my reference to "natural birth" confused with "vaginal birth" which is quite scary. The 2nd doctor, who I liked better than the first, gave me the look of "Oh....one of those, huh?" when I said that I wanted a MED FREE birth, but at least she told me to come up wtih a basic birth plan to give to the OB office before I deliver so that we could all be on the same page. But, I still didn't get an encouraging feel from her at all. The more I think about it, the more I feel like she was looking at me like I had no idea what I wanted, no idea what I was getting myself into.
My deepest fear is my doctor or nurses making me feel like I am a bad mom for wanting as little interventions as possible. I don't want to give birth laying down in stirrups, I want to walk around, I want to eat and drink, I don't want fetal heart monitering. I want my baby on my chest as soon as he is born. I want to truly listen to my body. All of these things that I want, I'm afraid that I will be "guilt tripped" into not getting them. I'm afraid that I don't know enough to truly stand up for myself. I don't want to put my son's life at risk by turning down interventions if I REALLY DO need them, but how will I know if I really do need them, or if they are being pushed on my out of convienence and a complete distrust for my own natural labor process?
I want a midwife so badly. I'm sitting here crying right now. I thought I was okay with an OB, but I'm really not. I could go out from under my insurance and hire a widwife and give birth at a birthing center, but I don't know if I can afford that.
I don't really know what to do. I think I am going to call the birthing center tomorrow and talk to them. Maybe I have other options I don't know about.
Thanks for letting me rant. I'm very scared all of a sudden.
i was right where you are emotionally a little while ago. i grew terrified of delivering at the hospital closest to me (heard way too many horror stories) and realized i was totally uncomfortable with having an OB. all i could do was cry! but don't give up. you have options. call the birth center, i'm sure they can work something out for you financially. and 45 minutes isn't that far, we ended up choosing a hospital about an hour away because it was the only place we could find with a midwife. as my midwife told me when i first met her..."if you manage to deliver the baby in an hour then congratulations!" cuz with a first labor its just not likely to happen.
something i learned throughout my pregnancy is how to speak up and vocalize the things i really wanted for myself and my baby. you've got some time, too and if you start now i'm sure you'll uncover all sorts of options you didn't know about. even if the birth center doesn't work out they might be able to offer other suggestions you didn't know about. at least call, you know?
Hugs momma! I totally understand how you feel. I interviewed many OBs and none of them were very supportive of my wishes. They basically gave me the same anwers that you got. I am going with a birthing center/midwife but I just got lucky and was able to find one. One option you may have though is many midwives/birthing centers are backed by OBs. That way if a complication did arise they would have someone to send you to. The backup OB I went and saw for a few things and he understands about a natural birth. He did say that there are several things that the hospital wont allow (you have to give birth in the bed, no walking after water breaks, etc.) BUT he wouldnt push an epidural or interventions on me because he knows the type of birth I want. Maybe you could call the birthing center and if you are unable to go there ask them if there are any OBs in your area that support natural birth that they recommend. I hope it works out for you! Let us know what you find out.
Momma to Brynn 10/2/2002 (midwife at hospital)
Emme 5/26/2008 (midwife at freestanding birth center)
Pierce 11/28/2009 (midwife at freestanding birth center)
*HUGS* sweetie!!! I totally understand why you are so worried but it's good that you are still so early in your pregnancy and have plenty of time to make a switch to someone you like, even if it isn't a midwife. I agree that calling the BC is a good idea and hopefully they will be able to give you some good information. At the very least, maybe they could give you some names of OB's that are natural birth supportive. I would definitely interview new OB's if you don't like the ones you have now. You do know enough and don't let them tell you any different!
Check with the birthing center. Theyre usually so much cheaper. With an OB in your insurance group youll still have deductibles, premiums, copays & probably a % of the entire bill (dont forget, what your OB charges is seperate from the hospital, an anesthesiologist if you get ANY drugs at all, etc).
For us, when we called around & got all our numbers, we were looking at $2k out of pocket WITH an in network provider OB. My MW cost me $1700 with insurance not covering a dime.
Chances are your insurance company will still pay a portion even if shes not in network. But - you may also be able to argue that there are NO in network midwives, and get it covered at the in network rate. Check the insurance company b/c most have a clause like that. Same with if you dont have in network Dentists within a certain radius, they have to cover an out of network at the in network rate.
I know EXACTLY how you feel... In January I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I wanted a natural birth but my insurance covers OB's in hospital only. I didn't have money to pay for the labs and ultrasound I had already recieved from her, and the birth center here costs $4,000 (I could even begin to pay). The birth center was super understanding and put off payments for the month, and luckily in February I got approved for Medicaid.
Point being, you have plenty of time to get things all sorted out. Talk to your company like La la said. I'm sure there's some sort of payment plan you could work out (if you can't find someone in your network). Check out and see if any hospital around employs midwives for their L & D centers.
With DS I delivered with a family doc who still did births. Could that be an option for you? My doc was very pro NCB. In the end I didn't have any interfernce except a once or twice for intervel motitoring (nurse was pushy and insisted on constant monitring but the the doc agreed with me )
oh man, I feel bad. You do still have plenty of time to find the situation that can set you up for the birth you want, or as close to it as you can get. Call around, interview people. Get on the Mothering. com message boards and ask the ladies on there for references in your area. If anyone would know it would be them.
Breanna, so sorry you are having these fears. I worry about it myself for when I get preggie. I definitely will echo what everyone else said to check out the birth center anyway and have the OB be a backup.
But if you end up not having a choice but to deliver with those OB's in that hospital closest to you, hire a doula! At the very least they can be there to fight for your rights and wishes so the stress of that doesn't have to fall on you and your husband.
HUGS to you! Please keep us updated because we're all cheering for you to have the birth you want.
I just had a minor panic attacked. Because finances are a part of the decision process (sadly....) I called my insurance company to figure out exactly what I would be paying. I have a 30% co-pay for birth. I assumed that the average vaginal birth at my hospital would run around $7k. Wrong. I called the hospital, and the average is between $14,000-$16,000 and about $22,000 for a cesarian. Oh. My. Gosh. I started crying and freaking out, but my DH reminded me that I probably have an out of pocket yearly max. Sure enough, it's $3,000. Not as bad as 30% of $16,000 I guess...
I called the Birth Center. No one is in the office until Thursday, so I sent them an e-mail. Dh, who had been fairly wary of a non-hospital birth (although he is 150% on board with a natural birth) even agreed that we should look into it. He told me that if it's what I wanted to do, he would support me fully.
I guess one of the deciding factors now is how much the birthing center would cost. Also, if I switched from my insurance covered OB, would I have to pay out of pocket for the times that I have already seen them and my labs/ultrasounds???
I've thought about hiring a doula, but if my hospital's policy is no standing after your water breaks, that will be a no-go for me, doula or not. I think if I am told that, I will go with the birth center no matter the cost. Their website says that they especially work with couples who's insurance wouldn't cover the birth center and they can arrange payment plans that bit our budget.
I'm anxious to figure this all out, and I'm excited to talk to and meet with the midwife and birthing center.
Wow! 30% is high! I'm glad you have an annual cap of $3,000, although that still seems like a lot to me. I can't wait to see what you find out from the birthing center on Thursday. It sounds like that would be the way to go, especially since they are so flexible payment wise.
Hope you are able to have the birth that you want. I know the financial aspect is scary at times but it will all work out. I hope you are able to talk to someone at the birth center soon. It is so awesome that your husband is on board with whatever you want to do and is supporting you.
I can totally understand how you are feeling !! I feel the same way ! I can't have a midwife here, it has to be in the hospital, again. If you read my intro post - I basically had that happen. I even wrote a birth plan and went over it with my doctor and I still ended up with a bunch of things happening that I didn't want to happen, but when you're in the middle of it with all the "experts" around you feel like they know whats best... you know?? I don't feel that way anymore. I know I can trust my body. I will definitely be more adamant about my wants/needs this time around!!
Proud Mommy to Mattea Lilian born February 21st 2007 - 7lbs 14oz &
Owen Markus James born October 21st 2009 - 10lbs
Forever loving & Missing ~Damian~ born into heaven August 13th 2008
Hunny! I just hope you get what you want. I just found my midwife who works with women on mediaid. She said she also is open to working on a sliding scale for payment. If you are going to pay $3000 for a hospital birth you don't want, why not pay that much (or maybe less) for a midwife home birth? 30 min. away for an emergency hospital sounds completely reasonable. Have you looked into independent midwifes yet? Some might be happy to work with you and just work out the finances later.
*hugs* Being that I am in California too, maybe some Bay Area midwifes can help give me references for the Sac area? I'd be happy to try to ask around.