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Forum: Home Birth


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June 3rd, 2007, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 318
I am considering a Home birth with this, my fourth child. My other three have been natural, but hospital births. When I started looking into home birth with this one I found out that the state I live in is not very home birth positive. The only midwives legally practicing are CNM's that have a supervising Physician. Hence, there are only two in the whole state. So, I've looked at them, CPM's that are practicing illegally, and lay midwives, and basically are my good choices are 1 1/2 to 1 hour 45 minutes from me. DH is worried about us having the baby before she arrives, though that doesn't bother me too much. My last took 6 hours, the one before that 8. I could see this one being a little faster, but not less than 2. And if it was, I told him we'd deal with it! He got a little pale at that statement!

My questions is, what are your thoughts on the distance to the midwife? How far is to far? What is normal? Etc?
Thans for any input!

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June 4th, 2007, 08:55 PM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Mine lived just over an horu from me, and when I went into labor was an hour 45 minutes from me. She made it well enough in time & I had a short 4 hour labor


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June 5th, 2007, 08:42 AM
Frelle's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My homebirth midwife did births that were 3 and 4 hours away for several years, in addition to those local to her. There is now a midwife for the NC Outer Banks, but my midwife practices in about a 2 hour radius from where she lives in Raleigh. She knows when to come, and when to dispatch a doula who lives closer to be with you while she is en route. On rare occasions, her doula caught the baby, but usually she got there just fine. My last 2 labors have been really fast, for instance, and I call her after 2 contractions to let her know what's happening. With your labor history, I think you'd be fine.

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June 5th, 2007, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 422
I guess it all boils down to your personal comfort level--the farther the midwife is, the more comfortable you should be with the possibility of her not making it in time. My mw was a little over an hr. To be honest, I fantasized about having an UC, but the midwife made it in plenty of time even with my fast labor. I do wonder if she will make it in time for my second baby since those usually come faster. I guess I'm fine with it either way.

Our mw left her doppler, a case of supplies, and oxygen tank at our house a couple wks before my due date. If you mw does this, it may help your dh feel better about it. My water broke and had quite a bit of meconium in it, but we were able to check the hb with the doppler so knew that the baby wasn't in distress.
Mom to James 3/27/05 & Samuel 3/26/08

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June 5th, 2007, 06:13 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Louisiana
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Hmm...you're not in Louisiana by any chance, are you? It sounds remarkably familiar!!

For me, two hours is the farthest I'll travel for a birth, and I do have some anxiety about missing the births that are that far away. I also have anxiety about traveling that far for prelabor contractions, too, though! But really, if your labor is so fast that the midwife who is 2 hours away misses it, it's quite possible that a midwife across town might miss it. I know for my clients who are father away, I'm more on edge and have childcare plans in effect all the time, and don't drive much further away from them, wheras when I have a client right across town, I might drive to the next town over (with my kids) and consequently have to drive 45 minutes back, drop them at the sitter, go get my bag, and take nearly 2 hours to get to her house in any case. I do say in my information that because I have young kids, it takes me about an hour from the time I'm called to the time I can get ON THE ROAD to your house, no matter where you live. You might ask your midwife about that, as if she's in a situation where she can grab her bag and leave in 5 minutes for every client, a midwife who is father away might take the same amount of time to get to your house. I feel like this is getting complicated, so I'm gonna stop.

The point is there are all sorts of factors besides distance and driving time in the "how long till the midwife gets here" equation, so be sure to investigate them all.
Charlotte, midwife mama to Samuel and Atley, mourning the loss of our "March Baby"
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June 6th, 2007, 09:27 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: hellishly hot, humid hurricane haven
Posts: 43
when i worked for a homebirth midwife, we had a 2 hour radius, but if a woman came and begged and God really spoke to our hearts, we'd push that boundary a little. actually with one woman that was 2 1/2 hours away, it was her 10th baby and she had an episode of false labor that brought us out to her house. after spending about 24 hours there and the labor petering out, we decided that she would come back to our town and stay at our midwife's parent's house for a day or so just in case (her parent's house was about 2 miles away and they were so sweet to offer up their guest room). it ended up being very necessary as this was her first VBAC and she labored for a total of about 18 minutes! lol it was the most beautiful birth!
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June 6th, 2007, 11:23 AM
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My mw is about an hour away. I'm okay with that because I'm not sure if I will call her or not; I may go solo.
~Jennifer, wife of one, mother of many

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June 7th, 2007, 07:40 PM
MrsPil's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We had our UC but we had a back-up homebirth midwife as well as a completely different back-up hospital midwife and OB - contingency plans a b and c. Our homebirth back-up was two + hours away (it's winter and she's out in the country) and our hospital midwife was about a half an hour away. Our back-up OB was about ten minutes away but if we had needed her I would have been taken by ambulance (to get an IV started while on the road, etc) so that didn't really matter.
"I trust birth—not birth attendants—for if you only trust birth that is attended then you really don't trust birth at all. You trust the attendant. And then you start over. Who? Doctor, surgeon, CNM, CPM, SIM? And it goes on and on...." - Carla Hartley
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June 17th, 2007, 09:12 AM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 11,397
Our midwife is over 3 hours away, but she's also semi-retired and only does one birth a month now. That means she has come up and stayed with us near the end, just to avoid the mad dash to try and get here in time (which also includes crossing the US/Canada border, which can take time if the guards are in a bad mood). There are a few reasons we are comfortable with that arrangement:

1. It's our only option if we want to homebirth with a midwife. We'd have to drive 3 hours ourselves to reach a birth center in Calgary.
2. We live two blocks from the hospital.

Just for what it's worth, for some reason those 4th babies don't always come faster. My third shot out in 2 hours, so naturally I was a little nervous about the midwife getting here in time with our 4th. He took his sweet time. 11 hours. My midwife said that's very, very common. Definitely, prepare for the worst, but keep in mind that your pattern of acceleration may not continue this time, LOL! Each of my labours was half of what the previous one was, until #4. 12 hours, 6 hours, 2.5 hours, then 11 hours.
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June 17th, 2007, 08:03 PM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
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Just for what it's worth, for some reason those 4th babies don't always come faster. My third shot out in 2 hours, so naturally I was a little nervous about the midwife getting here in time with our 4th. He took his sweet time. 11 hours. My midwife said that's very, very common. Definitely, prepare for the worst, but keep in mind that your pattern of acceleration may not continue this time, LOL! Each of my labours was half of what the previous one was, until #4. 12 hours, 6 hours, 2.5 hours, then 11 hours.[/b]
So true... actually any baby can be "different". My midwife kept telling me that and that I shouldn't have expectations based on my history. My first was 7 days late and 84 hour labor. My second was 5 days late and 2 1/2 hour labor. My third was 10 days late and 10 hour labor. You just never know. My midwife lived about 20 minutes away in normal traffic, up to an hour in bad traffic (DC area has VERY bad traffic). Since I went in to labor in the middle of the night and called her at around 3 or 4 am she was there very quickly - no traffic. I've moved and now she's about 40 minutes away in good traffic and up to 2 hours in bad traffic. I'll still use her next time. It all boils down to comfort level.

~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
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