So In Love

Posted by Jamie Buckland on Friday, September 9, 2011
Need a coffee break after drudging through all these posts this week?  It's okay, I understand, my past, and sorting through the details of my past, can definitely be exhausting.

It's Friday and I'm spending the morning curled up in my comfy bed listening to my Ethan on the phone with my dad planning tomorrow morning's hunting excursion.  Emma is just starting to get woke up, of course, and I really wish there was someone here capable of scrambling eggs.  I haven't taught Ethan that yet, but thinking I probably should soon.

Greg was up and out of here at 6am to Mayben with his new job.  For those curious, he loves it.  He is feeling a little tired this week from such long days, but with the weight of financial strain being lifted off his shoulders, he definitely feels it is all worth it.  We really are thankful for his career change, by the way, can I just shout that out as another "woot woot" to my heavenly father?  I don't want to seem like I'm bragging, or make this all about the money, but just have to admit that we were nervous about the cost of a growing family, and for a man, the ability to work and be paid well for his work is quite a blessing.  This has just been really good for him, and for us, and for me since I manage the money and pay the job is much less stressful!

Okay, with the job change brought some other changes as well.  When you're a few weeks away from delivering a child, one change is quite scary, the loss of insurance.

At first, we were under the impression that his new job would give us 100% coverage on the hire date, but it seems there was a last minute change of details, and that wasn't the case.  So as of September 1st, we were uninsured.  Immediately I started feeling overwhelmed with the financial strain of a hospital bill, a labor and delivery bill, and the expense of all the prenatal care that is done the last few weeks.  So once again, we started to entertain the thought of having Elsie in our home.

We had talked about having a home birth back in the spring, but honestly, I didn't have any driving reason to choose it.  We also wanted to be sure I wasn't considered high risk, and that all was well with my short cervix.  At that time, I had thought it was going to be more expensive to choose a home birth than it would be to have her in the hospital, so we kind of just moved on from the thoughts of that adventure.

After a few extra ultrasounds, and speaking with a specialist in Huntington who obviously didn't understand why anyone was worried about my cervix, we realized I am not, nor was I ever, at risk of an incompetent cervix.  Should I mention here that with our insurance plan, all of this has been paid for out of pocket?  Yes, $400 out of pocket to go to Huntington and be told I'm healthy...

Now, before I go on, let me say that I understand doctors, nurses, ultrasound techs, they all have a job to do, and if you're doing it well, wouldn't you rather mention that something looks different than just letting it slide?  Of course you would.  And if you have a patient who spent the last half of her last pregnancy on modified bed rest from a possible incompetent cervix, wouldn't you want to consult a specialist?  Of course you would.  I get it, all of it.

However, I feel that sometimes when it comes to medical intervention, well, the researching of the possible negatives, and then the treating of the possible negatives, and the so-called precautionary treatment, well, they end up causing a lot of situations that are simply unnecesary.  I'm not saying this can even be avoided if they are all doing their job well, I'm just saying that in my case, it has caused a lot of stress, worry, and inconvenience for no reason.  As the specialist in Huntington said, "You've carried two babies to term and you're here why?".

So, with that worry out of the way, I spent the spring and summer trying to enjoy being with child.  This pregnancy has definitely been different than the last two.  I've experienced so many different yuckies...nausea, heartburn, swelling, headaches, sinus issues, fatigue, back pain, abdominal ligament pain, and lots of scatter-brainedness.  However, nothing horrific, and I've managed to survive until now!  I'm 38 weeks and 3 days along.  Guess the ol' short cervix is doing it's job pretty darn well.

So when we realize we're going to be paying out of pocket for the birth no matter what, I at least reach out to my moms who have experience with home birth.  I get contact information for midwives and start trying to figure out if they would even take me on at 34 weeks pregnant.

I talk via phone with the 2 my friends recommended, ask lots of questions, listen to lots of information, and finally decide to drive to Lewisburg to meet with one of them.  Greg and I spend some time chatting with her and decide we really like her.  A lot.  I give her all my history to be sure she's comfortable taking me on, and we decide this is what we want to do.
She gives me some books to start educating myself, some paperwork with her credentials and just some really good information, and then a hug.  It just felt right.

It's time to get to work!  I have had an epidural twice before, and knowing I wanted a natural labor and delivery this time, I knew I needed to start preparing for the road ahead.

Let's quickly recap:  Loss of insurance was a large factor for opting to birth at home.  Now, with that being said, if I really were high risk, or had any concern that my body or my baby couldn't do this without being in a hospital, it wouldn't have mattered if there were insurance or not, we wouldn't even be entertaining the process.  However, because I have been cleared by the experts as healthy, we in no way feel as though we are making a risky decision.

Right away I start reading a small book about how the baby's position plays a huge roll on delivery.  Well, duh, we all have heard that over the know, what if your baby's breech?  Well, the book explains that there are proactive steps a mother can do to help her baby get in position, and then the baby can, and will, find her way out of her mama without any assistance at all.  As long as someone is there to catch her, a baby really does know what to do to get out into this world!  Now many are shaking their heads and wanting to share their story of their necessary C-section with me.  No need.  I'm well aware not all babies get it right, and sometimes, medical intervention is EXACTLY what the mom and baby need.  That is the exception. 

As I read, my eyes start to be open to so many things I could have done to help Emma turn instead of just laying in that stinking bed and having an epidural.  Why didn't someone suggest those things to me?

I can't find a link to this exact book the midwife loaned me, but it looks like she has
another one that looks like it covers the same concepts.  I strongly recommend every pregnant woman, no matter how you plan to get your baby into the world, researches this information!  It was great.  The book I have read is, "How Will I Be Born?" by Jean Sutton.

After reading the first small book, I jumped into
a book by, from what I'm learning, is the modern day midwife guru, Ina May GaskinAlthough I haven't read it all from beginning to end, I've read it all.  Now, what I'm finding in a lot of my researching home births, is that there is plenty of hippyish, new age, and even evolutionist concepts that are taught.  Well, I'm just chewing up the meat and spitting out the fat here, and I suggest you do the same.  One thing she says in this book is, "Let your monkey do it...", which is a way to say stop holding yourself back or worrying about silly things and let your inner woman do what she was created to do.  I'd rather say, "Let your Eve do it!", that's right, let the help meet of Adam, the mother of us all help you channel your inner strength to do the task at hand.

Either way, this book is great!  Lots of things I just hadn't ever thought of before.  I felt very educated, informed, and empowered after just skimming through.  Again, I say if you're havin' a baby, you should read this book.

The last book that helped convince me we have made the right decision is
"Pregnancy, Childbirth, and The Newborn: The Complete Guide".

Written by Penny Simkin, who also has a DVD we've been watching about different methods to help with labor, really breaks down the different stages you'll go through and what your body is capable of doing.  I think that is one big realization I've had over this process, I'm not sick.  This isn't an illness that needs medical attention.  Pregnancy is natural.  Labor is natural.  Delivery is natural.  Birth is natural.  And the less we mess with natural, the better chance we have of not ending up with needing medical intervention.

Now, is a home birth for everyone?  Nope, it's not.  But is it for some?  Yes.  And hopefully, it will be how Elsie makes her way into this world.  Of course if we need to transport, no one's pride is in the way, we'll do what needs to be done if SOMETHING GOES WRONG.  But that's just it, hospitals and medicine are for when something isn't going right, not for poking, prodding, inducing, cutting, jabbing, stretching, administering, drugging, and intervening when the body and baby are doing exactly what they are supposed to do.

After a few days of researching home birth, I discovered a huge reason why I want to do it here.  I want a water birth.  Doing this natural for the first time isn't going to be easy, I'm not expecting it to be.  But I've heard wonderful things about laboring and delivering in the water.  Well, that isn't an option in the hospital.  So I feel for me, this is the best way to labor and deliver the way I want to. 

Greg really could not be more supportive.  From hurrying home to be here when the midwife comes over for my prenatal care, to watching the DVD, to watching YouTube video after YouTube video, to really caring about how he can get me through the process as comfortably as possible, he is definitely not feeling like this is all on me!

Last night, as he laid in bed beside me with his hand on my belly feeling Elsie hiccup, I just felt so in love.  There's no way to turn back time for him to have a do-over during Emma's pregnancy, but let me tell you, he sure as heck has made up for it 100 times over in my book this time around.  He isn't perfect, and there are times I really do envision biting his ear off to inflict bodily harm, ask me about this sometime in person, but he is mine, and I am his, and I love being 1/2 of our whole.

I am so excited to experience this birth with him in our home, on our terms, with him catching his baby girl as she succeeds on making her way out of my womb.

I ask that you pray for my labor, and for her birth, and I look forward to sharing more about this process over the next few weeks.

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Jamie Buckland
Jamie Buckland
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