This is 1 of 2 post about homebirth related on questions I’ve received. See the other post here.
If someone told me a few years ago, that I would at one point choose to have a homebirth, I would not have told you not a chance.
Even after doing some research and becoming more aware of options than the typical OB/hospital model, I thought of homebirth as this awesome sounding path that other people chose. I would probably choose a natural birth in the hospital or maybe even a birth center when it was my turn.
Then my turn came! At first I went to my OB of many years, but after our rather brief first meeting, where I was handed a pregnancy journal sponsored by Enfamil, I knew I would be taking my business elsewhere. Lucky for us, the only free standing birth center in the state of NY is right here in Brooklyn. Fantastic right? So, I spoke to my hubby about what I wanted to do and why, had him watch The Business of Being Born just to get a perspective of where I was coming from, and then we signed up for the required orientation at the birth center. At that orientation, we would set up our first appointment, for 2 weeks later. This was gonna be great!
We had the first appointment on a Saturday morning, so in lieu of sleeping in, I had the alarm set and we got up at the crack of dawn to trek to the other side of town and make it on time. We were so excited to be embarking on this journey, we could barely contain ourselves. The parking gods even looked out for us, and we got a spot right up front.
After signing in, the girl at the front desk showed me to the bathroom and instructed me on how to use the scale and the urine stick test. Something, that most midwife practices have the patient do themselves. Then it was on to meet the midwife. She started with just some general questions, wanting to know a little more about us, explaining the process, etc, then it was time for the medical history questionnaire.
She was zooming through through the questions asking about history of heart disease, Down’s, Autism…then she got to diabetes. Of course, I have diabetes. So I said ” Well actually, I do have type 1 diabetes but…” before I could even explain my rather unusual case, and the fact that I was already working with my endocrinologist who would be following very close…her entire demeanor changed, the air in the room changed. She listened briefly to my tale, but had to call her director to see if they could take me as a patient.
In her parting remarks, she said it was phenomenal that I was doing so well, and that I was probably healthier than most of her patients, but they simply could not take the “risk”. She offered to connect me to Maternal-Fetal Medicine at her affiliated hospital stating that’s who “should really” be seeing me. I declined. Not only was I not in need of Maternal-Fetal care, in the case I ever did I’d prefer my fancy hospital in Manhattan lady. Thanks.
I held off the tears just enough to make it to the car. I was so pissed! Chris was even more pissed and completely appalled by the way I was treated. I just stood there sobbing as he tried his best to comfort me. “They’re wrong…I’m gonna prove them wrong!”
With that it was back to the drawing board. I spent the weeks
after trying to figure out just what I would do. I could always stay with the OB, but though I kept my appointments, I really didn’t feel that was the place for me. I called the midwife practice that delivered at a local hospital, but wasn’t impressed with the front desk service, not to mention I called several times and no one got back to me.
One night, while discussing the obstacles with hubby, he said “well, what about homebirth?!” I paused, that was a good question. The thought had crossed my mind, I even did research on some local practices, but I always thought that perhaps I would go that route for baby number 2. With a little encouragement from him, I decided to do a little more research and narrowed it down to two offices I would contact.
Another few weeks would go by before meeting with my potential midwife. I had my final OB appointment in the mean time, mainly because Chris wanted to see a sonogram. I felt a little sad leaving, mostly due to silly nostalgia, I had been a patient for over 8 years, longer than Chris and I had been together. Should I send a card? Usually when I break up with doctors, it’s quick and painless, but this one was hard. Alas, I was a different person, with different priorities than that girl many years ago, and I needed much more than they could offer.
When it was finally time for our first midwife interview, I tried not to get too excited in fear of yet another disappointment. From the moment we walked in, the vibe felt good. As we were starting the interview, I abruptly interrupted the first question, stating ” I have type 1 Diabetes, is that gonna be a problem?” Memaniye calmly said no. I then briefly explained my history and recent birth center encounter. She was not only a midwife, but also a nutritionist and she too understood the intricate role food plays in healing the body, and also believed in the healing power of herbs. Sweet Jesus, someone who spoke my language!
The rest of the interview went well, and before we left, Memaniye encouraged us to continue our interviews, and let the office know when we made a decision. I played it coy and told her that we would be in touch, but at that moment I already knew our search was over.
4 wk old Anaïs, napping with midwife Memaniye
As you can tell by my pregnancy update posts, I loved the prenatal care I received and am beyond blessed to have welcomed Anaïs into the world exactly the way it was meant to happen for us. As cheesy as it may sound, more than just me choosing to have a homebirth, I believe that homebirth chose me. The rest as they say, is history.
Note: Aside from my midwife, I was under constant supervision from my endocrinologist and his staff to make sure there weren’t any diabetes related complication. There weren’t. I’ve already gone back for my post baby follow up, still kicking Diabetes’ Ass, no drugs needed!!