Why did you choose a home birth?
I wanted a different experience than what I had with Zoe. I wanted to be respected by the medical professionals.
Mostly because I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do with my birth. I disagree with many hospital policies – mainly because they aren’t evidence-based.
Birth is over medicalized with too many unnecessary interventions causing too many problems. I wanted to take a stand to say no to that.
Plus, when I had Zoe, my birthing plan wasn’t honored. They tried to talk to me into stuff when I was tired. I hated being in the hospital during the recovery time – the bed was uncomfortable, and I couldn’t sleep with people coming in my room all the time anyway.
How did you find the midwives?
I did a search online. Thankfully, The Sanctuary is only 4 miles down the road! And I knew right away during the get-to-know-you meeting that I had found the people I wanted to walk me through this journey. It took me a while to decide though because we had to pay out -of-pocket.
How much did it cost?
Including all my pre and postnatal care, the total cost was about $7,000. Give or take a couple hundred. We had to pay a lump sum that covered the general care, then additional fees for any other services. For instance, the antibiotics for my GBS were additional. As was the birthing kit I had to order.
Will your insurance reimburse?
Hopefully! There is a company that The Sanctuary contracts with to do all the insurance billing. It was easy for us! We just had to sign some paperwork saying they could handle it for us. I’m hoping to get about a third of the money back. Zubair isn’t counting on it.
Don’t get me started on how I feel about insurance companies and birth! Home birth is a much less expensive option. Just being in the hospital alone with Zoe was $15,000 in Atlanta. That’s not counting the prenatal visits. Thankfully, our co-pay was only $500 of that. So this time felt like a lot more, but it’s really not.
Where did you put the birthing pool?
We have a spare bedroom, also known as the kids room. We moved a few things out of the way to make it work. Our apartment is small, but it doesn’t matter. The pool doesn’t take up that much space! I considered using their birthing center. But it’s really just like a nice big hotel room. And we would have had to leave 4 hours after the birth. Being home made more sense for us.
What were you most nervous about?
At first I was pretty nervous about my neighbors hearing me. I didn’t want to wake them in the middle of the night. I was very vocal when in labor with Zoe. However, I stopped caring when I heard them up late yelling at each other on NUMEROUS occasions. After that, I wanted them to hear me!
I honestly didn’t worry about any complications. Of course, the thought of something going wrong crossed my mind, but it didn’t linger. I trust the process of normal birth. Plus, the chances of complications are only about 2% when there are no interventions. Knowing there are about three hospitals about 10 minutes away helped a little.
What were you most excited about?
I have it say – it was probably – sleeping in my own bed and eating during labor. And I was grateful that Zoe could be around for the whole event.
What’s something you want everyone to know about home birth?
I want people to know that it’s completely safe for women who aren’t high risk. Birth is a very normal process that’s been happening since the beginning of time. Somehow we’ve gotten off track and treat it like an illness. Let’s reclaim birth!