||[Oct. 11th, 2010|08:13 pm]
I have made a decision. Fortunately, P is with me on it, but it was one I made very definitely on my own. We are having an independent midwife.
The difference in how I feel now compared to how I felt just two days ago when I contemplated the birth is immense. I can now look forward to it, know I can relax fully in it and let it unfold as it should with a team of supporters who are completely there for us.
I reached it after we had our 25 week midwife appointment on Saturday. The midwife who came out, E, was perfectly pleasant and said nothing overtly negative about our home birth plans, but given that I've already had one normal, problem-free home birth and am having a normal, healthy pregnancy it would have been hard for her to come up with something really bad. Still, when she asked what kind of things we'd have on our birth plan and I said I probably wouldn't want any internal examinations unless there was some indicator there could be a problem she tried several times to convince me otherwise 'because otherwise they have no way of knowing how advanced things are'. Becasue the length, frequency and intensity of contractions would clearly tell her nothing, not to mention I might have an opinion of my own at the time. She also wanted to be sure we knew how a 'good, strong sweep inside the cervix could really help move things along'. Maybe that can happen, but it would hurt, a lot, potentially cause foetal distress or break the waters if they were still intact, and if everything was fine, why on earth would we want to 'move things along' any more than nature was going to do for us anyway. It took three repetitions before she actually heard that we didn't want the cord to be clamped or cut - the prospect of an unclamped cord was clearly far outside her comfort zone. And the idea of waiting an hour or two for a physiological third stage to take place before resorting to syntometrine had her eyebrows nearly touching the ceiling. She conceded to everything, saying 'at the end of the day it is your choice' but I'd have no doubt that if she were to attend us we'd have to debate and negotiate with her to get our wishes adhered to.
For several hours afterwards I felt very emotional and really couldn't work out how I felt. We'd had a busy day and opted for a take-away for dinner which I went out to collect. In the car on the way out (we're in the sticks so it's 15 minutes each way) I had my light bulb moment. I just knew I wasn't able to compromise on this. It's the birth of our baby, our last baby, and a lifetime of memories and that is too precious to choose second best on. On the way home I called L, one of the local independent midwives who I have been at births with and who I have a lot of respect for. We'd talked vaguelly about the prospect of her being our midwife in the past but never got round to the details. I asked her for a figure to take us on and the one she gave me was significantly less than I'd anticipated. She also said that after an initial deposit, she'd be willing for us to pay the rest off in installments over several months. That was all I needed to hear. I came home, told P what L had proposed and within the hour the decision was made. I called L today and confirmed it. We are having an IM, and a good one at that. The relief I feel is enormous.
We're going to be spoiled rotten with this birth. We're having a doula and an IM! Sure, it will take a big chunk out of my maternity allowance but we've worked out we can manage that and the pay off will be worth every penny. I can really start looking forward to this birth now. Bring it on!