Preparing for Birth

Before I had heard this buzzword “attachment parenting” I have always known that birth matters. I’m a bit of a birth junkie myself.

Before we conceived our daughter, I started checking into the legalities of home birth in our state and if our insurance would assist in the cost. For prevention, we also looked at birth defect law in case something went wrong during delivery. I was so delighted to find that our insurance would cover my midwife that we immediately set to work on making a baby.

We quickly conceived and I moved down to my husband’s duty station in North Carolina. When I arrived and started making arrangements for prenatal care, I was really shocked at how few options I had available. There was only one homebirth midwife who could legally practice in my area and she wouldn’t accept my insurance.

Brick wall. Long story short, we planned a homebirth using alternative practices but we ended up transferring to the hospital about 18 hours into my labor because I just wasn’t making any progress. I honestly wasn’t prepared to transfer. We had taken The Bradley Method and made a birth plan but there was no way I would be the mom to transfer. Not me!

Arbor’s birth experience was extremely traumatic for all of us. There’s no way to candy coat it. I’ve heard it said before that the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting different outcomes. So when we discovered I was expecting our second child, a lot sooner than we had counted on, our first plan of action was finding a better way.

We were 100% certain we wanted to attempt another home birth but we would need to prepare for the possibility of a transfer if this labor was as long as my last 38 hour labor. While we loved the Bradley Method, we are looking at other childbirth preparation classes to gain different perspective.

We started talking about hiring a doula to have just in the event of a transfer. Most importantly, we came to the decision that we did not feel comfortable having me give birth in North Carolina again. So as much as it pains us to split up the family, Arbor and I will be moving home to Virginia where we have multiple home birth midwives to choose from, at least two free standing birth centers we could use and at least one hospital that has the kind of statistics and reputation that would make me feel more comfortable in the event of a transfer.

This wasn’t an easy decision to come to and I am completely terrified to be moving away from my husband for any length of time. I’m the wife of a marine and have been blessed to not have to deal with a deployment yet. Because of the nature of his work, he isn’t able to just switch jobs to come to be with us. It’s a sacrifice we are all willing to make because we believe birth matters.

It is crucial to give yourself and your baby a fighting chance for a healthy start. I had to fight so hard for my breastfeeding relationship because of our birth experience. I’m grateful I had the sheer determination to make it work but I don’t want to have to fight this time. This baby deserves to have a birth team who respects the process and honestly has our best interests at heart. I feel it is of utmost importance to learn from where we made mistakes in my last pregnancy and try to make this experience healthier for all of us.

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