I'm 8.5 weeks pregnant with my second baby and can't decide what I'd like to do about my birth this time around.

Last time I switched from an ob-gyn to a midwife around 20 weeks and gave birth in a hospital with a doula. My issues with repeating this situation are:

-I live an hour away from the hospital. When I arrived last time I was ten cm dilated. I think I would've given birth in our car if my water broke, but luckily it stayed in tact until we arrived. I know second babies tend to come faster, and I'm very worried we won't make it this time.

-When I arrived at the hospital my contractions were intense and I'd handled them pretty well up until then. However, the nurses were so intent on getting me into bed, examining me, and monitoring the baby's heart that they were ordering me around and wouldn't let me do things at my own pace. It was the only time during labor when I was really stressed or uncomfortable. I know I should labor in the hospital more next time, but I worry that it will be very uncomfortable.

-The nurses woke me up so many times that I couldn't sleep in the hospital. By the time I got home I was an exhausted wreck.

-I got the feeling that my midwife was more into induction than she let on. In fact, I think she would've insisted on inducing me the day before I went into labor, except my husband scared her off by scolding her for sweeping my mebranes without asking.


ANYWAY - so I'm up for switching. HOWEVER, I'm really not finding many options. Here is what is available. What would you do?

1. I had a meeting with the ONLY certified homebirth midwife in our area. She's only been a midwife for 2 years, but she worked as an L & D nurse for 20. She's seen about 50 home births. Unfortunately, she is probably going to be in Colorado on our due date. Waiting to hear back from her when she solidifies her plans. (Note: there IS a hospital 5 minutes from my house, in case of an emergency. I just would not choose to deliver there because the c-section rate is so high and the doctors who deliver there are the ones I originally switched from.)

2. There is a birth center at another hospital an hour from my house. I might have a better time laboring there. However, the only midwife who delivers there isn't covered by our insurance. My only other option is a large ob/gyn group with lots of doctors who deliver there. It's one of those situations where you have no idea who will deliver you.

3. I could go with my midwife from last time. There is a doula in my area who is an assistant to the homebirth midwife. This doula is also certified in neonatal resuscitation. So we could chance making it to the hospital, with the backup that the doula could help us out if there was an emergency deliver. (Although that is REALLY not ideal.)


What would you do? It's irritating that this is all we have to choose from in my area. I'd love to win the lottery and build a free-standing birth center. ;) Until that happens, does anyone have any ideas?


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UPDATE:  The homebirth midwife just called me. She told me she would be willing to take me on as a patient with the understanding that she may be out of town during my birth. She is either going the first or last week in July. I am due July 19 and went a couple days early last time.


She said she would set me up with a backup midwife who is a a CPM with the credentials to be a CNM in most other states except for NY (where we live). She would deliver me if my CNM was unavailable.


On one hand, this option makes me happy because then I can labor at home where I'm comfortable and won't have to worry about avoiding interventions and making it to the hospital on time. On the other hand, if I have to give birth with a backup midwife that I've only met a few times, I worry that the relationship won't be there and it might hurt my trust in the homebirth.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?




Hi Sara, congratulations on your pregnancy!  I am glad you are feeling a little happier in your updated post. I have a few thoughts about possible comfort level with a backup midwife.

When I was pregnant with my son, my husband and I spent a lot of time interviewing midwives, trying to get the perfect match. And we did, and our prenatal experience was wonderful.  I really felt like having the right chemistry with my midwife was so important, both prenatally and for the delivery. 

It turns out that chemistry and relationship were great, but not as end-all-be-all as I'd thought. When it came down to laboring, it really could have been anybody there as long as I knew her and felt she understood & respected the way I labored.  I was so surprised!  But the truth is, a good midwife adapts to the situation and follows the birthing woman's lead. My midwife did attend my birth, but I feel confident that if her backup had shown up instead, I wouldn't have cared a bit.

So my feeling is that as long as you meet the backup, and get a good vibe from her, it should be all right.

Best of luck to you on your journey, I wish you peace in your decisions, whatever they may be.


How do you feel about the midwife so far?  If you have a good vibe, it might be the right fit, even if you don't see her too many times before the birth.  



If you have contact information for the CPM, you might feel better contacting him/her so you can ask questions and get a feel for how they handle things. It may help put your mind at ease or give you time to make other decisions. After all, YOU are hiring THEM. You should be at peace and have full confidence in who you entrust yourself and your baby to. This isn't something you need to be stressed about down the road. So the sooner the better. Good luck and congrats on your precious little baby!

I agree with what Liss said.  As long as the midwife is supportive you won't care who it is that is helping you.  I use a fairly large Birth Center with many different midwives.  The practice is very good about scheduling your appointments with a different midwife every visit so you can meet them all and not meet a total stranger when you go in for delivery.  I liked this but did not have a strong bond with any of the midwives at the Birth Center.  But when it came time to deliver my daughter I found that it didn't matter who was with me as long as they were supportive and knew what they were doing and how to best help me.  I hope this helps encourage you.  Good luck!



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