My dream birth…


The Ricki Lake documentary, The Business of Being Born, changed my life.

I used to be scared of birth.  In fact, a few jobs ago, I worked at a maternity home with plenty of opportunity to attend a live birth.  But I refused; I was too nervous.

But then, before I was even married, I saw the film on Netflix streaming.  I cried at every birth.  It was beautiful.  It was then that I knew birth was wonderful, magical, and different than I had imagined.

All of the horror stories I heard growing up didn’t matter anyone.  It didn’t have to be that way.  I could choose my own dream birth.

Fast forward a few years.

I first chose my insurance plan simply on the financial factor.  I picked the one that had the cheapest out of pocket cost for maternity care, which ended up being Kaiser, an HMO.

I got what I paid for.  My prenatal care was less than desired.  I was lucky to see a midwife, but unlucky to only get a few minutes with her (or whoever was available) each time.  I hated going.  I strongly disagreed with their model of care.  I cried, and argued with my husband.  I wanted something more, something different – my dream birth.

Unfortunately, my insurance wouldn’t cover a home birth, or birthing center.  I felt like my other options were: zero.  But I refused to feel like a victim.  I reminded myself that I chose this because it was cheaper for us.

We hired a doula because I was determined to have little or no interventions.  Turns out, the more you intervene with drugs, the higher your chances for a c-section.  I wanted to avoid surgery, if possible.

I shared my birth story a while ago; but I left out how miserable I was during “the recovery” time at the hospital.  It was horrible.

I don’t know why they call it recovery because there is NO rest or recuperation involved.  Just thinking about it makes me cringe.  I felt helpless, powerless, exhausted, pissed off.  Let’s just say – I want to avoid recreating that scenario!

So guess what I did?!?!

I changed my insurance!!!  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about it.

You would think that Kaiser in California would be better than in Georgia.  But WRONG – it is worse.  I didn’t like the two pediatricians we tried.  And I was bullied at my first appointment with the midwife.  She was so mean.  I already hated going there, but after the visit with her – it was the last straw.

My husband and I spoke in length about making the switch.  He is very supportive.  He was there to witness the bullying, and was just as angry about it.

I learned about The Sanctuary Birth and Wellness Center when I did a Google search long ago, even before I was pregnant.  I followed them on Facebook and saw their booth at the Boobie Palooza.

So, when I was shopping around for a new provider, I emailed them and immediately got a call back from the owner.  She was nice and answered all my questions.  We signed up to attend the info session to meet the staff.

I wasn’t ready to commit that night, but something in my heart told me I was at the right place.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the out of pocket cost for us.  Thankfully, there’s a company that contracts with midwives to help families figure out the finances.  I’m waiting to hear back on my verification of benefits.

We attended our first prenatal appointment with the new group though.  It was AMAZING.  They actually asked me about nutrition and mental health.  They spent TIME with us.  They care about us.  We aren’t just another face to them.

My husband and I have decided to make this happen, regardless of what it takes.  I want a better, more humanizing experience than before.  We’re still on the fence about whether we’re using the birthing center or having the baby at home.  Either way, this is my dream birth.

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