Something that I really appreciated from these interviews was the insight that each midwife offered when it came to choosing where to give birth. Neither of them tried to convince me that home birth was the right thing to do. They had both given birth in a hospital setting as well as in their own homes. They both knew and understood what a big decision and commitment it was either way. Both midwives encouraged me in my searching and pondering to really follow my intuition and go with my “gut,” when deciding what was best for me and my baby. I, of course, translated that into listening to The Spirit, and that is what I was hoping to do.
After the first interview, I left feeling that a home birth would be safe for me and my body. At that point, my mind and prayers were focused solely on the baby I am carrying, and what is right for him or her. The second interview came, and at the end, I mentioned my concern of giving birth to a baby with special needs at home. When Kevin and I were first married, I read an article in the Ensign and had a feeling that there was a possibility of having a special needs child in our family. So far our three children have been born healthy and have developed normally, so there’s always that thought in the back of my mind, that maybe, this time, will be different. There is such a wide variety of special needs out there, and some are seen at birth, while others don’t manifest themselves until later in life. I think I was curious how this could affect the baby’s health if they were not born in the hospital. The midwife told me about some special needs babies (down syndrome) that had been born at home with her and the midwife she apprenticed with. They were both fine, and nothing negative came of them being born at home. She remarked that this isn’t always the case and that it depends on the severity of the “special needs” per se. I was grateful for her insight and honesty in her experiences.
As my kids and I left her office and began loading up in the car, The Spirit hit me. I felt that a homebirth and a hospital birth were both safe, and good options for this baby. The concern and worry about the health my baby was met with a comforting feeling, and I felt that my Heavenly Father was pleased with me and my desire to find and do the right thing. A few more thoughts came to my mind that I will keep private, but ultimately I knew that the choice of birth place was up to me, and I was not expecting that.
After reviewing the information I gathered from the interviews, I found that I felt good about the second midwife, and had confidence that she could provide a safe environment to birth in at home. The first midwife was great but lacked in experience which is a necessity for me to feel comfortable. My husband and I agreed that it would be best to transfer to the 2nd midwive’s care, and continue with plans for a home birth. Before I called her to share the news, I wanted to double check with my insurance. I figured she would be covered as out of network, but found that they would not cover her at all because she is a naturopathic doctor as well as a midwife. I argued with them two different times on the phone, but there was no working around it. If I use her as my provider, I would have to pay 100% out of pocket and would not have any insurance benefit.
So to break it down Arizona law says I can’t use a midwife at home unless she is a CNM or a Naturopathic Doctor, yet my insurance says I don’t have any coverage for a midwife if she IS a Naturopathic Doctor. Kind of ironic isn’t it?! They almost completely cancel each other out, other than the CNM option. Dallin’s birth with a midwife in the hospital cost us between $600-$700 for everything (including prenatal care). I understood that doing a home birth, and using an out-of-network provider would cost us more, but was not planning on having to pay for everything on our own. If I were to use the midwife I felt good about, it would cost us around $2900. As of now, it’s too much of a financial burden, and I am searching frantically trying to find another legal option that will have some insurance coverage. This is where I am at the moment.
I could just stick with the Bethany midwives and have a hospital “drive through delivery,” like I did with Dallin, but I still have the desire to be at home. I have a hard time visualizing myself at the hospital giving birth, but if I have to do it I will. I just keep hoping and praying that another option will open up to me. I’ve sent out emails, called birth centers, and searched out other midwives that may be able to take me, but so far I’ve had no luck. It’s annoying because I consider myself low risk and pretty similar to all the other moms out here in AZ who have their pick of any midwife in the valley. Even so, my previous c/s almost 5 years ago, prevents me from having real options when it comes to birthing at home. It doesn’t seem fair, but I know respecting the laws even when I don’t agree with them is the right thing to do. I have faith that Heavenly Father is aware of my situation, and that he will bless me with whatever He sees fit, and as my husband keeps assuring me that”The right thing will happen.”