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I was just on the Choosing Not To Vaccinate board and it scared the crap out of me. I DO NOT want to give birth in a hospital.
From what the girls on there have said, the hospital went ahead and gave their babies shots without even asking them. I do not want my child to be vaccinated because of all the risks. Some babies have died because of the vaccines and I'm not risking anything with this child. I don't want a medicated birth and I don't want people to lie to me in a hospital.
My problem is that I'm in rural Ohio, in between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. I'm 18 and my SO is 20, it's our first and I'm terrified of giving birth unassisted. I would need a midwife. I need to know if midwifes take insurances and if they travel or would I have to go to them? I'm pretty sure that there are no birth centers around here and Pittsburgh is an hour away if I would need to travel to one.
What do you girls recommend I do? Should I give birth unassisted, go to a hospital and stick it out, try to find a midwife, what? I'm so worried and confused.
I'm going to my first official doctor's visit on Friday and I don't know if I should now. Should I go to the doctor's for check-ups or should I find a midwife right away? Can I just have a midwife for birth? Do I need to see them from the start?
Personally, I would recommend finding a midwife right away and seeing her from the start. You will be happier with the level of care you will recieve. The average amount of time an OB spends with you on a prenatal is 5 minutes. With a midwife you'll have at least a half hour, probably more, and will definitely get all your questions answered. I wouldn't recommend unassissted. Particularly with your first. It's always good to have someone there just in case you have a complication. I'm sure you could use that peace of mind.
I just looked up what the legal status is for lay midwives in OH and they are not legally regulated there, but also not prohibited. This means if you can find a CPM close enough to you your insurance MAY cover some of the cost. You'll have to talk to your insurance co about it. If you can find a CNM you'll have a better shot at getting it covered, but some CNM's are more medically minded and have more restrictions because they have to be supervised by a Dr in most states. Medicaid will not cover a CPM in your state, they probably will cover a CNM though. If you're not familiar with these terms look at www.nchomebirth.com This has info specific to NC, but it describes the terms quite well and has good general home birth info.
One more thing, we're paying for our home birth out of packet because in our state CPm's are illeagal. We DO NOT make much money, but the midwife was great about working out a payment schedule that made it possible for us. It will cost us $2600 but that is SO worth it to me not to be in the hospital!
Just a few thoughts for you. If you can't find anyone in OH, are you close enough to Pennsylvania for travel? I'm not familiar with the area at all, but thinking that there are Amish communities in pennsylvania, meaning there are midwives there for sure.
Another thought is if you find you can't do a homebirth for whatever reason, maybe an acceptable alternative would be a midwife assisted hospital birth (which would be covered by insurance.) Midwives generally tend to honor your wishes for an unmedicated birth as well as things like vaccines for baby, etc... And you would see the midwife for prenatal care instead of an OB, and I agree you would probably be much happier with your level of care.
Good luck with whatever you decide and keep us posted.
Earthy-Birthy Tree-hugging Mama to 5 (6 for now) great kids:
SciGuy,14 Butterfly Girl,12 Wyldchild,7 FlowerFairy,5 and Babybird,3
Okay, first: there is no reason to be scared that someone will do something to your baby w/o your consent in the hospital AS LONG AS YOU TAKE PRECAUTIONS. Don't ever, EVER, let your baby out of your or your SO's line of sight, and watch everyone like a hawk. Make sure your birth plan (or better yet, but these wishes in a separate "newborn care plan") states everything that you desire to happen or not to happen to your baby. Make sure that you never sign a consent form for any of the things you don't want to do. I gave birth to my first son in a hospital that did Hep B, Vit K (injections) and eye ointment and, of course, circ. We didn't have any of those things done without our knowledge (although we did do vit K and eye ointment, with our consent, right in front of us). None of the other things were done and I'm 100% sure of that because he was never away from us for any amount of time. ANY.
Second: yes, it is much easier to accomplish all of the things that you desire for your birth and baby care with a homebirth and a midwife. There are still midwives who do things w/o permission (I personally know someone whose midwife put eye ointment in baby's eye while mom was in the bathroom!), but it's much less common. I know that OH is not a very midwife friendly state, but I'm sure that there are midwives who serve your area. A good resource is the "finding your tribe" forums at Mothering.com. There is a forum for your state and there will be women there who at least know of midwives and can point you in the right direction.
Third: most midwives are perfectly willing to accept insurance, but some insurance companies won't pay for midwifery services. It's up to you to find out if your insurance will pay for a midwife, and if it will, to ask for an "in network exemption" so that you can get as much of your care paid for as possible. That said, many times it is nearly the same price to pay for a midwife out of pocket as it is to pay for the deductible and co-pays with an OB and hospital.
Charlotte, midwife mama to Samuel and Atley, mourning the loss of our "March Baby"
You do not have to allow the medical staff to do things to your baby. It is your baby! YOU are in CHARGE!!!!
Get to researching and reading asap, so that you know what you believe and why you believe it. You can have the birth you want for you and your baby. Just remember that you are the customer and you deserve to be happy with your experience.
Keep us up to date.
"I am a midwife. It is not just what I do, it is what I am, and I grow in it."
I actually live in OH as well, but in central OH, not close to PA. And, no, OH is NOT a very "midwife friendly" place, but they ARE out there! My mom was one for years, and I'm seeing one who lives about 20 minutes away from us. The general rule is that you travel to them for prenatal appointments and then they come to you for the birth, then usually a few times after the baby is born.
I use a lay midwife who isn't licensed but who is well-qualified and has been doing it for 10+ years. My mom found her for me, and she knows many of the other midwives in OH as well. I should be seeing her soon for an appt, and if you would like, I can ask her if she knows of any midwives in your area. If you would email me your location at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would be happy to ask her if she knows of any in your area. She is Mennonite, and many of her midwife friends are too, so if that matters to you, you'll have to let me know. It didn't make a lick of difference to me, as long as she was qualified to deliver my child, that was all that mattered.
About insurance, some cover it and some don't. Ours does, but it is out of network and we have a deductible to factor in as well. They end up paying MUCH less to her than they would to a hospital.
Hope this helps!
"We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents, or the country of our birth. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live." Joseph Epstein