June in KY: ever more pregnant lady looking for the right caregivers…

…and finding it! What a super pickle to be in – having to choose between several really positive options – especially when it comes to health care! My only lament is that we can’t use all of the caregivers we found…

So…where were we…Since I was dropped off by the boys in Kentucky at the beginning of May, I have nesting and researching like mad for the best place to give birth – the best birthing options, the best prenatal care, and the best pediatrician for our new baby (who is coming in just a few weeks now)!

Some may recall, we originally planned to give birth at The Farm – a licensed midwifery Birthing Center in Summertown, TN, with midwives who basically wrote the books on midwifery in this country. However, at some point around my 6th month, I began having 2nd thoughts – partly financial, partly emotional – and Ben and I started talking about finding a midwife to have a homebirth in KY, as well as a doula (Greek – a labor coach).

From personal referrals and information on a local website called Birthcare Network, I found and interviewed several midwives and doulas, as well as people who had either homebirthed or given birth naturally in hospital (just keeping my options open). I continued reading as many books and birth stories as I could get my hands on, and watched an eye-opening documentary called The Business of Being Born (feature length – you can watch it free here) two days in a row, trying to get a handle on my own hopes and fears and expectations about birth while husband, Ben, was still off on his tour of environmental duty through YERT’s last remaining states…

As I mentioned before, while it is not illegal in KY to give birth at home, it is illegal for a midwife to be hired to do so without a license (Licenses for midwives haven’t been offered in KY since 1976.) …And doctors are discouraged from supporting homebirths also for legal reasons. What it came down to is that birthing at home in KY means taking pretty serious risks that neither Ben nor I felt willing to take. Ben said to me, finally, “You’re not going to get hero points for giving birth at home.” And my deepest feeling is that if we ended up somehow being in the rare 1% of cases where something does go wrong, and anything bad happens to our baby because of it, I don’t see how I could ever forgive myself. I needed the backup to feel safe.

So, there it was. As I discovered that my comfort level was not going to include homebirth, I at first felt rather disappointed in myself and what I considered to be my lack of courage and faith. But then friends and family kept rallying behind me and I started looking into Clark Memorial Hospital’s Birthing Center. Just across the river from Louisville (in Jeffersonville, Indiana – a 15 minute drive), Clark seems to offer the natural birth we are looking for, with the medical back-up we want in case of emergency. Mom and I toured the facilities last week, and I must say that I was encouraged. Though the labor bed seemed a bit skinny to me, I was happy to learn that it’s specially designed to break down so that laboring moms never have to be in a horizontal position (the worst position for giving birth as it defies the Law of Gravity – the most important law in facilitating birthing!!). I was mesmerized by the giant labor tub in the Natural Birthing Room…

The last thing I found – which maybe should have been the first – was a natural birthing class, to get us ready for the big push…. We fortunately found Bethany Collins, who was able to offer us private Bradley classes (I have been going by myself, Ben will join me next week) that we will kind of cram into 8 concentrated sessions instead of the usual 12. Bethany also happens to be a doula very familiar with the nurses and midwives at Clark, having assisted many births there and delivered there herself, so I am thrilled to have her with us, and feel like we are in really great hands.

We are now down to the last few weeks, and I am just making my decisions and phone calls, so that everything is as ready as it can be. Today I went to meet the doctor who is going to be our family doc as well as baby’s pediatrician, and couldn’t be more pleased. I didn’t even know that family practice doctors – who literally take care of the whole family, from newborn to aged- still existed! I liked him immediately, and am really looking forward to feeling actually CARED FOR by a trusted physician. I’m sure I will write more about him as we get to know him better.

So, there it is!
I am about 35 weeks pregnant, seeing how long I can ride the crest of 190 pounds (zoiks???), walking a couple of miles every day (during which I experience Braxton Hicks contractions pretty much constantly), eating mostly healthy (though not always getting in my greens or my 85 recommended g of protein), enjoying baby squirming around in belly, still able to sleep for the most part (though that is getting interesting), and almost finished organizing the upstairs where Ben and i and baby will be making our home in Mom’s house for the next year or so.

Where is YERT? I hear they are on their last day in Wyoming, headed tomorrow to Montana and Big Sky Country. I am wishing them well, and trying not to feel too sorry for myself for being without my babydaddy and for missing those gorgeous states I’ve never been to…
On the days where I feel like I am doing this all alone, I just have to think of my wonderful, supportive family and beautiful friends here who are absolutely terrific, and to remember that Ben is doing all he can to help preserve what’s beautiful for our little one.

Yes, I feel a little lonely, waiting to share this amazing time with the man who made it happen…
but he will be home with us in a week, and it is all going to be so worth it!!! Wahoo!!!

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