Susannah and her husband spent months planning & preparing for a homebirth. they hired a homebirth midwife, hired me as their doula, took natural childbirth classes, ordered a birth kit, and got their house ready for the birth and the baby. then, in her third trimester, the almighty dollar sign reared its ugly head, and they realized that their homebirth would be financially impossible.
if they went to the hospital to give birth, Susannah’s health insurance would pay all of the $10,000+ bill, whereas a homebirth would be less expensive ($3,000) but they’d have to pay the entire bill themselves. Susannah grieved the loss of her fantasy homebirth, but had to quickly move on and embrace a new fantasy of the perfect hospital birth with homebirth-style care.
when her baby’s birth-day finally came, Susannah’s fantasy came true. she labored beautifully at home late into the night, until transition, often the most difficult part of labor. most women rush themselves frantically to the hospital long before this advanced stage of labor, but instead Susannah and her mother and i sat quietly in the darkness of her home, massaging and reassuring and hydrating and timing, for hours as her body prepared her to meet her baby.
it was beautiful to watch her disappear inside her mind with each surge of pressure & pain, and then re-awaken to our voices as the contraction passed. Susannah’s mother held her tightly, loving being needed, and Susannah loving being cared for. we created a quiet, calm, and safe space for the mother inside Susannah to begin to emerge, and we waited. Continue reading