Let's start at the top... Throughout this year, I have started making all our bread, we decided to home school Gabe, I've been seen in a long maxi skirt or two, and we just had our baby at home... It might be time to call tree huggers anonymous... :) But really, we haven't like gone off the deep end (if you ask us!) or anything- it's just more been learning and growing and figuring out what's best for our family. For instance, the bread, store bread is horrible for you and making your own is actually beneficial, so that was easy. Homeschooling... been there, explained that. And the skirts, well, try one on and you'll be hooked too :) But the birth- now that's seriously way out there and we totally get that-- actually this time last year, I actually thought that myself!
The really short version of having the baby at home this time starts with insurance... Basically, leading up to Obama care, lots of insurance companies have made their plans dumb, including no maternity rider- which they can do if you have personal plans like we do because Chad owns his own business. So we have good insurance coverage but nothing for maternity which means I get my insurance discount but have to pay it fully out of pocket- there is no deductible or anything like that. So when working with our insurance agent who we really like, he nonchalantly told me about a home birth midwife that their family used and thought we might be interested. I was NOT. So I hit delete and we went on with life, and decided to create a baby birth account and save money all along the way to pay the big huge $10,000+ bill when it was time. And then someone else told us about the same midwife. And then someone else. And then someone else. Like we weren't even asking, but people kept telling us. So we found out we were about 2 seconds pregnant and invited her over. And when she entered our home, her spirit and grace and peace and calm just filled our home. This is one of those people who you just see and feel Christ in- without them even speaking. And my eyes started to open to another way of doing things... and we prayed and prayed about it all for a long time... and by about 16 weeks into the pregnancy, Chad and I both decided we wanted a homebirth. WHhhhaaaa???? (We actually also committed to growing the baby account because remember how baby Jack jumped out of the womb at 35 wks? Well if that happened again, we were headed straight for the hospital for safety/ lungs reasons!)
(And don't worry, despite the homebirth, we still had all sorts of bills we got to pay nonetheless... like blood work, ultra sounds, middle of the night emergency triage visits, etc... HA! Healthcare is so ridiculous, but that is my soap box and I am too tired and sore to climb on it right now.)
So along the way, my midwife came to my house every 3 weeks for the majority of pregnancy and then came to my house once a week for the last several weeks- checking on me, the baby, the heart beat, my belly, blood pressure, urine, etc.... all the same stuff EXCEPT she sat on my couch and talked to me about what I'd been eating and feeling and thinking and wondering too.... and she'd stay for an hour +... and I could email and call and text her directly 24/7. I was BESIDE myself with this care. And then these last few weeks when I've felt horrible and had tons of contractions that'd never turn over into labor, she'd check in on me every single morning and give me some encouragement for the day and suggest things to do and monitor the baby.... seriously? And this is coming from someone who would rate both previous prenatal/ birth/ baby growing situations a 9 out of 10. But this was like a 13. Out of 10. Every time something was up or off, my midwife, Margaret, knew exactly what it was. Sometimes she'd even send me to an in-office ob-gyn for a 2nd opinion and she was always right on with what all the big machines said. She prayed over things and would meditate on me and my baby before making decisions. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced.
I mentioned several times on the blog throughout this pregnancy that I had a great midwife, more details to follow... and this was the reason. I wanted to wait until the baby was born- whether it panned out in-home or in the hospital- because this is such a sensitive subject. There is fear and questions and just the rarity that make people panic-- and I totally get that. I'm a panic-er by nature myself. Chad didn't mind telling people all about it, but I preferred just to keep it on the down low, mainly just so my confidence in our decision couldn't/ wouldn't be swayed by outside opinions. I probably also feared "failure" to some degree if we talked about it like it was a sure thing and then ended up in the hospital bed. But amazingly enough, our mom's handled it quite well and supported us the whole time, although I KNOW they were dying on the inside-- can you imagine your kids telling you they were totally going to do something the opposite way of the normal, safe way, and that there lives and babies were involved?? But again- they loved us and supported us, and probably prayed their brains out too :)
Part 2.... the actual birth to follow....