Doctors and Doulas and Midwives, Oh My!Lauren Hartmann
One of the questions I’ve gotten often since announcing my pregnancy to the world is: “Where are you going to deliver?”. And to that, I reply: “Hmmmm….good question.” It seems like there are so many decisions to be made. Will we have a hospital birth? Will we use a doctor or a midwife? Will we hire a doula? Will we have baby at a birthing center? Perhaps even at home?
I guess I had always just assumed I’d have a hospital birth, complete with stirrups and an epidural. I didn’t really know much about birth any other way. But then I saw “The Business of Being Born” and “Pregnant in America” and I was intrigued. Maybe I could actually handle a natural birth, maybe even a home birth. If Ricki Lake can do it, why can’t I?
The only problem is our insurance is through a giant HMO and any type of non-hospital birth (i.e. home birth or birthing center) will not be covered. So basically my options are: 1) go with the big box birthing experience or 2) pay out of pocket.
There may seem to be an obvious solution to most people: “Go with what your insurance will cover of course!”, but since we’ve had a terrible experience with our HMO so far, it’s not such an easy decision to make.
My hospital experience during my pregnancy up to now has been disappointing to say the least. At our first appointment, my husband and I were so excited to hear our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, but the appointment quickly turned into a negative experience. Our doctor criticized our decision to forgo the prenatal genetic screenings and made me feel like my questions were stupid and that my desire to use a midwife was practically archaic. I left the appointment in tears. It felt like we were in a baby factory – like we were just another faceless deductible. I know that not all hospitals are like this, but I don’t have the option to choose another hospital – this is my only option.
Today we are going to be touring a birthing center and I look forward to comparing the experiences. Regardless we know it is going to be a difficult decision to make and there are a lot of things to consider.
My question is: Did any of you struggle with making this decision about where and how to give birth? I’d love if you’d share your experiences with me!